Manchin and McCaul Discuss Boston Marathon Bombing, Intelligence Assessments Regarding Syria

Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) and House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) sat down this morning with “Fox News Sunday.” The two key lawmakers offered their perspectives on the unfolding Boston Marathon bombing investigation.

As new details have emerged from the FBI that toy car remote controllers were used to detonate the bombs, Chairman McCaul pointed to the level of sophistication and tradecraft of the alleged bombers to corroborate his belief that a trainer was involved. McCaul also stated his disappointment with Obama administration officials in dismissing any foreign involvement, citing their ‘rush to judgment,’ as the FBI investigation just recently began.

Despite the current uncertainty regarding a foreign or domestic trainer, McCaul believes that the “mother [of the alleged bombers] played a very strong role in the radicalization process…I think there is a connection there.”

Senator Manchin expressed reservations of his own in how the Obama administration handled the investigation. Manchin would’ve liked the interrogation process to have gone further before Miranda rights were read to the suspected bomber in hopes to extract as much information as possible.

Some have speculated on a possible association between the Boston bombings and the ricin-laced letters sent to public officials. On Saturday, the FBI arrested Everett Dutschke in connection with the mailing of letters containing ricin to President Obama, Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS), and a local judge. Despite the recent bombings at the Boston Marathon, McCaul quickly asserted that the two are “totally unrelated.”

Following this week’s statement from a top Israeli military intelligence analyst that Syria has “clearly used deadly chemical weapons against armed rebels,” Syria has quickly emerged into the international spotlight. Sarin – a nerve agent that is 500 times more toxic than cyanide, is said to be among Syria’s stockpile.

Manchin, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, noted that the briefings he’s attended indicate that Syria has used chemical weapons. Nevertheless, Manchin would not support an approach comprised of U.S. boots on the ground. Instead, the West Virginia Senator believes that the United States must coordinate other strategies with NATO and other allies in the region.