The US government is shut down, which means only essential spending is permitted. So what does the US government, or rather its Central Intelligence Agency decide to spend precious, mission-critical taxpayer money on? Why arming the Qatari-supported Al-Qaeda "rebels" in Syria of course. WaPo reports that the CIA is expanding a clandestine effort to train opposition fighters in Syria amid concern that moderate, U.S.-backed militias are rapidly losing ground in the country’s civil war, U.S. officials said.... “It’s basic infantry training,” the former U.S. intelligence official said. “How to have some discipline hitting a target, how to reload a magazine, how to clear a room. They’re not marching. They’re learning basic infantry procedures." So let's get this straight: 800,000 non-essential workers are furloughed, but the CIA, in its infinite wisdom, is now, when the government is shut down, doubling down on spending to make sure Al-Qaeda insurgents have even more lethal training (for that inevitable moment when they turn on their sponsor as they tend to do), and even better weapons?
More on this stunning development:
The CIA effort was described as an urgent bid to bolster moderate Syrian militias, which have been unable to mount a serious challenge to Assad or match the growing strength of rival rebel factions that have hard-line Islamist agendas and, in some cases, ties to the al-Qaeda terrorist network.
The CIA is “ramping up and expanding its effort,” said a U.S. official familiar with operations in Syria, because “it was clear that the opposition was losing, and not only losing tactically but on a more strategic level.”
The CIA declined to comment.
Perhaps because the CIA's phone dispatcher was furloughed?
The descriptions of the CIA training program provide the most detailed account to date of the limited dimensions and daunting objectives of a CIA operation that President Obama secretly authorized in a covert action finding he signed this year.
U.S. officials said the classified program has been constrained by limits on CIA resources, the reluctance of rebel fighters to leave Syria for U.S. instruction and Jordan’s restrictions on the CIA’s paramilitary presence there.
CIA veterans expressed skepticism that the training and weapons deliveries will have any meaningful effect. In Jordan, operatives involved in training and arming rebels lament that “we’re being asked to do something with nothing,” a former senior U.S. intelligence official said. The former official spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of agency operations overseas.
Some have also questioned the wisdom of expanding the CIA’s mission at a time when many think the agency has become too paramilitary in focus and should return to its traditional intelligence-gathering role.
Don't worry though: the US is not providing Al-Qaeda with high-powered weapons such as rockets and anti-tank munitions. They have Qatar for that:
Officials said the main CIA training effort does not involve instruction on using high-powered weapons such as rockets and antitank munitions, which are being supplied by countries such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia, although the agency is involved in tracking those arms flows and vetting recipients.
Uhm, and where do Qatar and Saudi Arabia get their weapons from? Luckily, the Government shutdown has removed all constrains on CIA resources to do what it does best: provide training and weapons to the very people who a few years down the road turn on the US, resulting in even more deaths, only this time of American citizens.
But that's not all.
The following photo from AFP of "Masked female rebel fighters wearing camouflage fatigues and carrying their purses gather to take part in a training session at the Salaheddin district of the war-battered northern Syrian city of Aleppo on October 2, 2013" shows that in addition to the very latest M-16s and sarin gas, US taxpayer funds provide for the very latest in Al-Qaeda haute couture accessories.