The Note’s Must-Reads for Wednesday, September 4, 2013

By Will Cantine

Sep 4, 2013 4:14am

The Note’s Must-Reads are a round-up of today’s political headlines and stories from ABC News and the top U.S. newspapers. Posted Monday through Friday right here atwww.abcnews.com

Compiled by ABC News’ Will Cantine, Carrie Halperin, Jayce Henderson and Jordan Mazza 

SYRIA
ABC News’ Devin Dwyer: “Iran Is Key To Obama’s Case For Syria Strikes”  Iran has increasingly become one of the Obama administration’s top talking points in the case for military action against Syria.  “Iran is hoping you look the other way,” Secretary of State John Kerry bluntly told members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today. “Our inaction would surely give them a permission slip for them to at least misinterpret our intention if not to put it to the test.”  LINK

The New York Times’ Mark Landler, Michael R. Gordon, and Tom Shaker: “House Leaders Express Their Support For Syria Strike” President Obama won the support on Tuesday of Republican and Democratic leaders in the House for an attack on Syria, giving him a foundation to win broader approval for military action from a Congress that still harbors deep reservations. Speaker John A. Boehner, who with other Congressional leaders met Mr. Obama in the Oval Office, said afterward that he would “support the president’s call to action,” an endorsement quickly echoed by the House majority leader, Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia. LINK

USA Today’s David Jackson: “Boehner, Cantor Back Obama On Force Against Syria” President Obama said Tuesday he believes Congress will vote to authorize a military strike against Syria over the use of chemical weapons, and he won the support of the top two Republicans in the U.S. House.  House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said after a White House meeting that he supports the president’s “call for action” against Syria, and he believes most other congressional Republicans will do so as well.  LINK

Politico’s Jonathan Allen and Jake Sherman: “On Syria, House GOP Won’t Follow Their Leaders” The whip count on Syria has become like the war itself: No one in Washington wants to own it alone. While most top congressional leaders have vowed to back President Barack Obama in seeking authority to launch missile strikes, there’s little evidence that they can — or even want to — help him round up the rank-and file-Republicans he’ll need to win a vote in the House. LINK

The Hill’s Jeremy Herb: “Senate Strikes Agreement On New Syria Resolution” The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has reached an agreement on revised language to authorize military action in Syria, Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) said Tuesday. The new use-of-force resolution, which Menendez and the panel’s ranking member, Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), agreed to, states that U.S. forces “will not be deployed for combat operations in Syria.” LINK

The Washington Times’ Stephen Dinan: “Kerry Holds Objectors Responsible For Any Future Atrocities” Secretary of State John F. Kerry said Tuesday that members of Congress who refused to authorize retaliatory strikes against Syria would be responsible when the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad gasses its citizens or when North Korea or Iran attempts to use nuclear weapons. Opening the administration’s official pitch to Congress for action, Mr. Kerry testified at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing that he didn’t want to rule out the need for the U.S. to deploy troops to the ground in Syria — then backtracked and said if it means winning a vote, they have “no problem” with Congress writing a resolution prohibiting troops. LINK

The Wall Street Journal’s Carol E. Lee, Janet Hook, Julian E. Barnes: “Support Builds In Congress For U.S. Strike Against Syria” President Barack Obama’s drive to build support for an attack against Syria gained significant momentum Tuesday as a range of congressional leaders, including House Speaker John Boehner, urged wary rank-and-file lawmakers to back a resolution authorizing the use of military force.  Mr. Boehner (R., Ohio) said striking Syria in retaliation for President Bashar al-Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons on civilians was necessary to reassure U.S. allies of American resolve and put adversaries such as Iran on notice.  LINK

The Boston Globe’s Matt Viser and Noah Bierman: “Obama Faces Support, Skepticism In Congress” President Obama won bipartisan backing Tuesday for strikes on Syria but final approval for the effort was far from certain, with Secretary of State John F. Kerry facing tough questions during his Senate testimony about whether US ground troops could eventually be deployed. The good news for Obama came early in the day when House Speaker John Boehner and House minority leader Nancy Pelosi emerged from a White House meeting to announce they would support limited strikes against Syria. The House’s second-ranking Republican, Eric Cantor of Virginia, also released a statement supporting the president. LINK

Bloomberg’s Lisa Lerer & Joe Sobczyk: “Obama Gets Boehner’s Support In ‘Call To Action’ Against Syria” President Barack Obama urged Congress to take a “prompt” vote authorizing military action against Syria and won support from the two top House Republicans even as two polls found opposition from the American public. Backing from House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor will help Obama as he makes his case to lawmakers who’ve questioned the administration’s evidence that the Syrian government launched a sarin gas attack last month and whether the U.S. has a vital interest in Syria. LINK

The New York Daily News’ Leslie Larson: “Service Members Anonymously Protest Potential War Against Syria On Facebook” Soldiers protesting military strikes against Syria are taking to Facebook to voice their opposition to a war. “I didn’t join the Marine Corps to fight for al Qaeda in a Syrian Civil War,” one Marine in uniform declared, in a message written on a piece of paper he held strategically to block his face and conceal his identity. In another message, a man donning fatigues holds up a paper with “I didn’t sign up to kill the poor for the rich,” written out. The Armed Forces Tea Party, a loose affiliation of veterans who align with the conservative movement, is collecting snapshots of military members holding up written statements slamming Obama’s plan to ask Congress for authorization to use force against Bashar Assad’s regime. LINK

The Hill’s Judy Kurtz: “McCain Caught Playing Poker On Smartphone During Syria Hearing” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) admitted Tuesday to playing poker on his phone during a lengthy Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the potential use of military force in Syria. The Arizona Republican, who along with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) met with President Obama on Monday at the White House to discuss the situation in Syria, was “passing the time by playing poker on his iPhone during the hearing,” according to a Washington Post photographer. LINK

DRONES
The Washington Post’s Craig Whitlock and Barton Gellma: “U.S. Documents Detail Al-Qaeda’s Efforts To Fight Back Against Drones” Al-Qaeda’s leadership has assigned cells of engineers to find ways to shoot down, jam or remotely hijack U.S. drones, hoping to exploit the technological vulnerabilities of a weapons system that has inflicted huge losses upon the terrorist network, according to top-secret U.S. intelligence documents. Although there is no evidence that al-Qaeda has forced a drone crash or interfered with flight operations, U.S. intelligence officials have closely tracked the group’s persistent efforts to develop a counterdrone strategy since 2010, the documents show. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO
“Pelosi: Deterring Use of WMD’s ‘A Pillar of National Security’”  LINK

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