US State Dept officials express frustration with Syria policy

WASHINGTON, June 17 (KUNA) — The US Department of State Friday confirmed that it is in possession of what is referred to as a “dissent channel message” signed by several of its officials expressing frustration with the Obama Administration’s policy on Syria.
The dissent channel – set up during the Vietnam War – allows for State Department officials to present alternate policy recommendations and voice disagreement with current policy without fear of retaliation.
The Wall Street Journal revealed the existence of the internal memo early Friday, and said more than 50 US officials have called for military action against the regime of Bashar Al-Assad. The document has since become classified.
“It is unusual for a dissent channel message to have as many signatories as this one,” State Department Spokesperson John Kirby told reporters. He did not divulge the identities of the signatories.
“I think it tells us clearly that Syria matters a lot to the people who work here at the State Department, as it should,” he added. “No one’s content with the status quo.” Kirby said the Obama Administration will “continue to explore options. Obviously, our focus remains on the three big muscle movers in front of us – getting the political talks back on track, getting the cessation of hostilities to truly be accepted and enforced and adopted nationwide, and getting more people more of the aid that they need.” (end)