A Very Familiar Report: The Trump Administration Had Only 'Razor Thin' Evidence To Justify Soleimani Strike
Picture it: The United States, 2002. When we invaded Iraq, after some people from places that were not Iraq attacked the World Trade Center, based on the claim that they had "Weapons of Mass Destruction" that, it turned out, did not actually exist. Thousands of Americans killed or injured, tens of thousands of Iraqis — both military and civilian — killed, because the President had daddy issues and was suuuuuper excited to go to war, and no one wanted to tell him "no" because he just had his little heart set on it.
Once again, we have another spoiled rotten President with daddy issues and an unrelenting thirst for power possibly embarking on his own stupid war in the Middle East. And oh what luck! He's using the official Authorization for Use of Military Force from the previous stupid war to justify the drone assassination strike on Iranian military leader Qassem Soleimani. And his Vice President is even trying to claim that this had something to do with the World Trade Center attack, hoping that screaming "9/11" will still have the magic power it once did to get people to let the executive branch do whatever the hell it wants.
Once again, it appears that we have attacked a country in the Middle East on almost no evidence.
In a thread, New York Times correspondent Rukmini Callimachi tweeted that several sources she had spoken to about the attack say that the evidence that there was going to be an imminent attack on Americans that could only be prevented by this assassination was "razor thin."
2. In fact the evidence pointing to that came as three discrete facts: a) A pattern of travel showing Suleimani was… https://t.co/77rMJ19LmI— Rukmini Callimachi (@Rukmini Callimachi)1578137621.0
4. And finally, a) and b) were read in the context of c) Iran’s increasingly bellicose position towards American in… https://t.co/E9bX1vPgVP— Rukmini Callimachi (@Rukmini Callimachi)1578137917.0
6. One official described the planning for the strike as chaotic. The official says that following the attack on an… https://t.co/lGcsrnjiSh— Rukmini Callimachi (@Rukmini Callimachi)1578138312.0
Oh wow, I'm so shocked. And we usually have such solid evidence when we start attacking other countries. Weapons of Mass Destruction, the Gulf of Tonkin...
But anyway, not only were they not sure that an attack was going to happen, they weren't even totally sure the guy was where they thought he was when they attacked.
9. According to the official, the strike on Suleimani was pulled together so quickly that initially the US was not… https://t.co/Gx7KR241vq— Rukmini Callimachi (@Rukmini Callimachi)1578139121.0
Now, normally, a president would need Congressional approval to go to war or do a military strike of this kind, but this is Donald Trump we're talking about. You think he gives a shit about that? Please. Republican lawmakers sure as hell aren't going to care, his people don't care, and yes, that includes Tucker "I don't like war but only because I'm super racist" Carlson, and they in fact root for him when he does this kind of thing. He'll use the Authorization from the last war (thanks, 58% of Democratic senators at the time!) and kill a bunch of people, and it'll really jazz up his base and make them feel all warm and patriotic inside.
Anyway, this is now your open thread!
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse