Senators to be given CIA video that shows gas victims in Syria

The CIA has produced a DVD that will be given to lawmakers showing the effects of last month’s chemical weapons attack in Syria, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said Thursday.

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Feinstein, who supports a military response in Syria, requested the video from the CIA in order to demonstrate what the attack did to victims and how the intelligence community determined that chemical agents were used.

The senator received the video on Thursday morning and said she planned to distribute it to the entire Senate and potentially members of the House.

“It’s horrendous,” she told reporters after a Senate Intelligence Committee briefing on Syria. “So we are having that DVD multiplied, and we’re going to get it out to every member of the Senate and possibly members of the House so that they can, at their leisure, go through it."

The video evidence could help sway lawmakers who remain skeptical of taking military action against Syrian President Bashar Assad.

President Obama has been hitting the phones to make the case to senators for authorizing force but is facing strong resistance from Republicans and Democrats alike.

Feinstein said the video shows many of the victims and explains “what pinpointed eyes mean, what the convulsions mean, a number of aspects.”

Feinstein said the CIA made the DVD by taking the 170 videos taken after the attacks in the Damascus suburbs and trimming them down to 13 cases with clear points of the effects of the chemical weapons.

She said the footage should be all that senators need to back Obama's call for a military response.

“It’s enough for me. I think that the prohibition on chemical weapons is well founded, and after you watch exactly what happens, you can see why that’s so,” she said. “They have tons and tons and tons of this stuff.”

Other members of the Senate Intelligence Committee who are on the fence about military action told reporters Thursday they believe the intelligence is clear the Syrian regime used chemical weapons, even if they are unsure about how to respond.

“To me, the evidence that Assad engaged in the barbaric use of chemical weapons is clear,” said Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). “What the effects of a military strike will be is not clear.”