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September 01, 2013 5:49 PM Harkin unimpressed by the case for intervention, Morsi facing criminal charges - The evening news round-up, MENA crisis edition

By Samuel Knight

Jim Naureckas at FAIR tries to poke holes in the Obama administration’s claims to have “no doubt” Assad used nerve agents in Ghouta. Of the most compelling of his points - the 90 minute delay between the launch of the supposed offending rockets and the asphyxiation, and the apparent lack of human intelligence sources on the ground.

*Sen. Harkin appears to agree, at this juncture, that the administration’s intelligence - even behind closed doors - is far from convincing.

“I have just attended a classified Congressional briefing on Syria that quite frankly raised more questions than it answered.,” he said in a recently issued statement. “I found the evidence presented by Administration officials to be circumstantial.”

*Ever the optimist, Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, writing in Foreign Affairs, says that an unintended positive effect of the Ghouta killings could be a reinvigorated move toward diplomacy. She theorized that the gruesome incident could result in the US and Russia specifically pushing for peace talks.

*Meanwhile, the crisis in Egypt only appears to be worsening. State prosecutors have charged ousted President Mohammed Morsi with attempting to incite violence…

*…and three Al-Jazeera journalists were deported, according to Reuters, “days after the Qatari-owned channel carried appeals from leaders of ousted President Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood to stage protests against the army-backed government.”

The Gulf emirate was a strong financial backer of Brotherhood rule and vehemently opposes the army’s overthrow of Morsi and the ensuing bloody crackdown on his movement.

Enjoy the rest of your long weekend weekend and have a very relaxing Labor Day.

Samuel Knight is a freelance journalist living in DC and a former intern at the Washington Monthly.

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