White House effectively admits Iran did not pose an 'imminent threat'Watch
According to the Trump administration, the military offensive that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani was necessary in order to prevent an "imminent" attack. At least, that was the line in January. As the New York Times reported, the White House has dramatically changed its posture.
The White House told Congress on Friday that President Trump authorized the strike last month that killed Iran's most important general to respond to attacks that had already taken place and deter future ones, contradicting the president's claim that he acted in response to an imminent threat.
The official explanation for the U.S. military strike, which was sent to the House Foreign Affairs Committee and is required by law, said that the offensive was intended as a "response to an escalating series of attacks in preceding months" by Iran and militias that enjoy Iranian support.
This seems like a good time to pause and take stock. As regular readers may recall, after Donald Trump authorized an airstrike that nearly sparked a war, Americans were told the mission was approved in order to prevent an imminent attack.
Well, maybe not imminent. But the president and his team certainly knew of a deadly attack Soleimani was planning. Except maybe "knew" was too strong a word, since the administration didn't know who, what, where, or when the general intended to strike. Except the opposite might also be true, since Trump said Soleimani was targeting an embassy. No, wait, not just any embassy, but the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. Hold on, maybe it was four embassies.
After these meandering and contradictory explanations for the airstrike effectively collapsed, the president told a group of donors at Mar-a-Lago that he approved the strike that killed Soleimani because the general "was saying bad things about our country."
Maajid Nawaz's incredibly powerful speech on whether President Trump did the right thing by killing Qassem Soleimani
- Study Helper