The White House released a memo on Friday to Congress justifying the assassination of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani. Despite earlier claims from the administration of Soleimani and his Quds Force planning imminent attacks on US personnel in the region, the memo uses past actions as the justification for the killing.
The memo says President Trump ordered the assassination on January 2nd “in response to an escalating series of attacks in preceding months by Iran and Iran-backed militias on United States forces and interests in the Middle East region.”
Although the memo says one purpose of the action was to “deter Iran from conducting or supporting further attacks against United States forces,” it does not cite any specific threats. Both President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the killing was done to prevent imminent attacks and led on like they had the intelligence to prove it.
The New York Times recently reported that Iraqi military and intelligence officials believe the December 27th rocket attack that killed a US contractor was likely carried out by ISIS, not the Shi’ite militia the US blamed and retaliated against. This attack led to a series of provocations that resulted in the assassination of Soleimani. Iraqi officials do not have proof that ISIS carried out the attack, but this possibility makes the US justification for killing Soleimani even more flimsy.
Lawmakers from both parties criticized Trump for killing Iran’s top general without congressional approval. The memo argues that Trump had authority to order the attack under Article II of the US Constitution, and under the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq (2002 AUMF).
Congress is taking measures to limit Trump’s ability to wage war with Iran. The Senate passed the Iran War Powers Resolution on Thursday, and the House voted to repeal the 2002 AUMF in January.
Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) responded to the White House’s memo in a statement on Friday, “The administration’s explanation in this report makes no mention of any imminent threat and shows that the justification the president offered to the American people was false, plain and simple.”
38 thoughts on “White House Justifies Killing Soleimani for Past Actions, not Imminent Threats”
Sounds like a CYA memo to me.
Neither Article II of the Constitution nor the 2002 AUMF vs. Saddam Hussein’s Iraq legalizes the postwar premeditated murder of an Iranian official in 2020.
Dave’s article shatters the Administration’s earlier “imminent attack” excuse for the murder.
Remember, an assassination ignited World War I. This one could have brought on No. III.
By his own words, Trump has now made it legal to attack any US forces anywhere in the World.
The past actions of the US military are mainly composed of war crimes.
…and the first crime was the genocide of the native peoples.
Solly that is a meaningless throw away phrase. It is a cheap sentiment that means nothing to you and costs you nothing to say. We are all citizens of the same sovereign that dispossessed the Indians. Are you going to give your land to a tribe, if you can find anyone in the tribe? Do you want to abandon individual ownership of the soil? Do you expect in the age of the 2d industrial revolution for the Great Plains states to be possessed by tribes to hunt buffalo and the grains raised there to feed the world just not happen. You are not in reality. WhAt do you even know about it. Some tribes e.g. the Cherokee wow they got raw deals no doubt. People today are sympathetic of the plight of the Indians but they have zero knowledge. I read something saying the Wyandot were in he trail of tears. Total ignorance
Blacks were slaves once and we seem to care a lot about them. But the native peoples descendants live in reservations–out of sight and out of mind. We should be ashamed.
About 20% still live on reservations.
That depends on how you define Native Americans. I’d bet the more Native American blood a person has then it’s more likely s/he is confined to a reservation (our gulag).
The definition for the 20% stat I found was “enrolled members of recognized tribes.” So the 20% is probably high.
The way I see it, if a person is 20% native and, say 80 percent white or whatever, then to me that person is white. Logically, one would have to be at least 50 percent or more native to be considered native. But that’s just my opinion.
And that’s why Obama being referred to as black bothered me because his other half was white (even though he looked black).
Depending on your definition of “native,” there are either no “native Americans” or about 300 million “native Americans.” There are no “indigenous” Americans. Every American’s ancestors migrated here from elsewhere. My Blackfoot and Cherokee ancestors descended from earlier Asian migrants. My European ancestors were later migrants.
As far as percentages of enrolled tribal members go, those vary by tribe. For example, the Keetowah Band of Cherokees requires 1/4 “Old Settler” blood, while the Eastern Band requires only 1/16th, but also a direct lineal ancestor on the 1924 Baker Roll of the tribe.
Obama was About 25 % black About 25 scot or English the remainder Arab and Jewish .
Here’s a different take on the Soleimani assassination. The Iranian general was killed at the behest of Israel, one of the many “gifts” Trump has showered the gangster-run Zionist entity with since he was elected…
“Soleimani had arrived in Baghdad not to plan attacks on American targets, but to coordinate de-escalation with Saudi Arabia. Indeed, he was killed while on an actual peace mission that could have created political distance between the Gulf monarchy and members of the US-led anti-Iran axis like Israel.”
Yeah the notion that some kind of desire to “protect Americans” or some such nonsense was the motivator to kill Soleimani is prima faci bullcrap. It’s been a long standing zionist goal to ensure no rapprochement between Iran and the US. The US once again violated diplomatic immunity in order to service its own misbegotten notion of empire. The contempt with which they hold their tax slaves is dripping from their every sentence. It’s like they dare you to call them out on the obvious BS.
Israel told its poodle “sic ’em,” so the pooch snarled and bit.
The gangsters who run Israel, the same thugs Trump has been involved with for decades, are all about exploiting chaos in the Middle East. Any sign of de-escalation between Saudi Arabia and Iran has to be stopped.
“Lawmakers from both parties criticized Trump for killing Iran’s top general without congressional approval.”
Notice there is never any talk that congress was pissed about the actual assassination, just that they weren’t notified in advance. Has one congress member not said the Iranian general was a monster or something similar? It’s the same when congress acts offended because they didn’t authorize any of our adventures around the world. It’s not like they would have said no.
The reason the congress does nothing is because most are beholden( owned) to Israel.
Really wars ? You gonna make me spam all the dem votes against war again ?
Maybe if it was relevant to what I said. I didn’t signal out the dems.
Just because the vote failed, doesn’t mean “congress” did nothing. A faction of congress attempted to thwart the kind of attacks trump has been making on Iran, in my mind, it means there are too many GOP in congress.
Not sure what you’re talking about. What vote? You might be mixing this up with another conversation we had.
Wars, I respect your opinion, what you don’t see, is the difference in the US parties. The sad thing, is, I can criticize the dems so much better than the Hillary/Obama haters here. Their criticisms fall far short of the the true threat to peace…the jackbooted ejaculation for war the gop squeezes off every day. These guys have to go. You better get your head straight, as you hear the shortcomings of the dems, the gop is gonna hobnail boot your head. Elections matter.
I hear what comes out of the dem’s mouths just like I hear what comes out of Trump’s mouth. That’s how I judge. When I hear a real pushback against our forever wars, I will embrace the party that does it. That isn’t happening. The rhetoric must match the votes in order for the votes to have true meaning. When you are against attacking Iran, you shouldn’t call them state sponsors of terror or accuse them of malign behavior. And maybe some real objection to Trump dropping out of the JCPOA and the resulting sanctions would have indicated a real opposition.
Killing Soleimani was never justified for the simple reason he was in Baghdad on a diplomatic mission.
Killing him when he was on one of his many battlefield trips would have been bad too, but Soleimani was a General and the risks are understood.
Past and future ‘crimes’ is kind of meaningless. That same line of arbitrary reasoning could justify assassinating General Le Duc Tho at the 1973 Vietnam War peace talks.
Of course, had they done so, the Vietnam war might have gone on for a lot longer, perhaps indefinitely, which by today’s standards, would have been a fair trade.
While the scare associated with Soleimani’s death did result in Congress cancelling the AUMF and passing a law against any Iran attack, war with Iran simply wasn’t in the economic cards for either the U.S./NATO economies or Iran.
He doesn’t understand the concept of one story and sticking to it. The only story that sort of worked was that the guy was an imminent threat to American lives. Of course that rapidly proved to be BS so we now have all sorts of other stories. Personally I don’t get why they don’t photoshop in a handicapped parking sign next to the destroyed cars then it just serves those f$$$ers right.
He tried /claimed to justify the assassination, but this does NOT justify it, no matter what the NYT or anyone says. There is a US law (the USA is also supposed to follow international laws as well) against assassination and the claim that General Solumeini killed US forces (illegally present in another country) or “intended” to kill others (in Iraq where they have been asked to leave) gives no “justification” for the action which could have led to war.
Trump better wise up and bring a some troops home . Doesn’t Trump know there is a war going on right now in the United States ? Where Trump supporters lives are in danger just for wearing a red hat with the letters MAM on it . Police tell Trump supporters they are on their own in Seattle . meaning they refuse to protect them . In New York City Police cars are being overturned and burned While the Mayor seems to side with the criminals .Universities and colleges refuse to allow free speech . All the while coup plotters have been trying to over throw our democratically elected government with the help of the FBI, CIA and other law enforcement agencies for over three years now . Doesn’t Trump know he has the military and he is responsible to stop these crimes .
Yup, “I am a victim” is the trump brand, thanks for bringing it to light. Are you being oppressed? Call “fuk my loser ass” now.
“Trump better wise up and bring a some troops home.”
“Doesn’t Trump know he has the military and he is responsible to stop these crimes .”
What are you suggesting, that Trump should bring troops home to deploy on the streets? Seriously?
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