Mass. lawmakers comment on crisis in Syria - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

Mass. lawmakers comment on crisis in Syria

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BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) – FOX 25's Sharman Sacchetti caught up with some of Massachusetts' lawmakers at a Labor Day breakfast at the Park Plaza in Boston Monday to ask them how they felt about the crisis in Syria.

Over the weekend, Secretary of State John Kerry publicly said there's proof chemical weapons were used by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Despite what the former Massachusetts senator is saying, and despite what the president wants, support from the state's delegation is hardly enthusiastic. In fact, they are surprisingly lukewarm or outright noncommittal.

"It would not be appropriate for me to announce a vote without having seen all of the classified information," Sen. Ed Markey said.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren shared the same sentiment as Markey saying, "It's a very complicated situation on the ground, and if we go in, even with good intentions, there could be very unexpected consequences from that."

"I'm flying back for the hearings this week which are going to be conducted so that I and all members of Congress can have total access to documents and a full discussion of consequences," Sen. Markey said.

Warren called Assad's alleged actions "reprehensible." When asked if she remains unconvinced after hearing evidence she said, "I spent two and a half hours yesterday in a briefing and we heard a great deal more evidence. I think there is still more evidence to come and I want to listen to all of it.

Congressman Michael Capuano said he wants a debate, but is leaning toward not supporting strikes.

"Question is, would Syria be better off if we take action and would we be better off. Unless I'm convinced we'd be better off, I would not vote to support it," Capuano said.

Boston University Professor Thomas Whalen said the back and forth makes the president look weak to the international community. He believes Pres. Barack Obama has real concerns about how history will judge him.

"I think the president truly at his heart of hearts is completely divided over this, but he's being pushed forward by key members of his foreign policy team - Sec. of State John Kerry and Samantha Power, the UN Ambassador who really exercises a lot of clout behind the scenes. In the 1990s she was highly critical of Pres. Clinton for his failure to act on Rwanda, and I think that's what the president is worried about here," Whalen said.

Classified hearings are set to start Monday in Washington, D.C. Congress is expected to return from summer break on Sept. 9. If Pres. Obama goes ahead with the action without congressional approval, he may open himself up to impeachment.

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