Patterico's Pontifications

1/13/2020

Trump’s Claim that Soleimani Was Planning to Attack Four Embassies Is Unevidenced

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:59 am



Trump recently said: “Soleimani was actively planning new attacks, and he was looking very seriously at our embassies and not just the embassy in Baghdad.”

His Defense Secretary says they all believe it. They just, um, don’t have any evidence of it.

ESPER: Well, what the president said was he believed that it probably and could have been attacks against additional embassies. I shared that view. I know other members of national security team shared that view. That’s why I deployed thousands of American paratroopers to the Middle East to reinforce our embassy in Baghdad and other sites throughout the region.

MARGARET BRENNAN: “Probably” and “could have been.” That is — that sounds more like an assessment than a specific, tangible threat with a decisive piece of intelligence.

ESPER: Well, the president didn’t say there was a tangible — he didn’t cite a specific piece of evidence. What he said is he probably — he believed, could have been —

BRENNAN: Are you saying there wasn’t one?

ESPER: I didn’t see one with regard to four embassies. What I’m saying is, I share the president’s view that probably — my expectation was they were going to go after our embassies.

Again: one need not conclude that the attack on Soleimani was unjustified, or believe that a planned attack on four embassies was a prerequisite to taking him out, to question Trump’s credibility.

Soleimani was a bad guy. Killing him was legally justified.

But without independent evidence from a separate source I trust, I don’t believe a word these people say.

And I’m not alone.

108 Responses to “Trump’s Claim that Soleimani Was Planning to Attack Four Embassies Is Unevidenced”

  1. Unsurprisingly, Twitchy’s attack is totally dishonest…

    Dave (1bb933)

  2. Imagine being so deep in the cult that you would think someone loses credibility by questioning Trump’s credibility and by suggesting that any Democrat might ever speak more truly about Trump than a partisan (and self-serving) Trump defender does.

    Radegunda (39c35f)

  3. The twitch in Twitchy is in their tail when they hear “Trump”.

    nk (dbc370)

  4. “Well, what the president said was he believed that it probably and could have been attacks against additional embassies.”

    All we need now is Trump to doctor a threat-assessment map with his Sharpie and wave it around in front of the cameras as “evidence”…

    Dave (1bb933)

  5. @1, that Twitchy pc is terrible.

    Time123 (daab2f)

  6. Don’t worry, Trump clarified in a tweet today that an attack was “eminent.”

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  7. Someone has said this is like knowing that an attack on the United States was brewing before 9/11 but not knowing what.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/12/us/politics/esper-iran-trump-embassies.html

    “I have not seen the intelligence, just to be clear, but it is sometimes possible for the reporting of planned attacks to be very compelling even without specificity of time, target or method,” said John E. McLaughlin, a former acting C.I.A. director. “In a sense, that is the story of 9/11. Our reporting gave us high confidence that a big attack was coming — and we so warned — but we were unable to nail down key details.”

    Mr. McLaughlin said that the administration may well have had intelligence adequate to compel action, but that it was a separate question whether killing General Suleimani was the most effective response, as opposed to hardening targets or choosing a less provocative option.

    John B. Bellinger III, who was the top lawyer for the National Security Council and later the State Department under Mr. Bush, said the president would have legal authority to strike under the Constitution whether or not there was fear of an imminent attack.

    It stands to reason there would be more indication of a plan to attack the United States in the Middle East, than of any particular targets. It also stands to reason that Iran had not issued any final or even close to final instructions, because Iran would be plan before deciding. And that one way to stop them from ordering anything was to kill Soleimani.

    The information they probably had was of the general direction of Iranian foreign policy and attempts to get more timely and better control of Iranian proxies. That Iran would choose embassies was probably based on the idea that they would be very tempting targets for Iran. IRAN ITSELF PROBABLY HADN’T PICKED ANY TARGET LIST.

    Sammy Finkelman (2cb3c3)

  8. In other words, Patterico, presume Trump’s statements false until proven true.
    It’s easier that way.

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7)

  9. Radegunda (39c35f) — 1/13/2020 @ 8:30 am

    Where do you land on the credibility of the various teams who asserted that killing Soleimani meant we were going to invade Iran, that Iran has a top-notch air defense system and going in wouldn’t be as easy as Iraq or AF, that Trump intended to destroy cultural sites out of spite, that the US might have shot down that plane to make Iran look bad, that the Iranians were right and this was probably mechanical failure, that Iran shooting the plane down was Trump’s fault, etc?

    Do you think the people who’ve spent the last week or so on the other side of Trump have improved or degraded their credibility? After all, you don’t have to conclude that Trump is credible to make an assessment of these other groups.

    frosty (f27e97)

  10. Google Chrome says:

    twitchy.com uses an unsupported protocol

    And Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage.

    Sammy Finkelman (2cb3c3)

  11. And the Google cache gives a 404 error.

    It’ll probably work on a different connection.

    Sammy Finkelman (2cb3c3)

  12. You’re a hapless tool. It’s no wonder why someone SWATted you, just on general principles.

    Comment moderation is enabled. Your comment may take some time to appear.
    I’ll bet.

    Zeb Quinn (917efe)

  13. Twitchy tail and other proximate parts.

    nk (dbc370)

  14. If Trump didn’t lie, he’d be clinically diagnosed as a mute.

    nk (dbc370)

  15. 10 — I don’t have to choose between defending every statement ever made by any Democrat, or going along with the Twitchy view that there’s something inherently insane or dishonest in thinking that a Democrat might have spoken more truly on a particular point than did Trump, or a politician who has decided that being a Team Trumper is in his self-interest.

    The Sharpie incident should have made it screamingly obvious to any sentient person (if it wasn’t already) that attaching any credibility to Trump’s pronouncements is folly.

    Radegunda (39c35f)

  16. You can’t treat Trump lying like a liar in a logic puzzle. It doesn’t mean the exact opposite is true.

    Sammy Finkelman (2cb3c3)

  17. We don’t know who used the sharpie, and why.

    Sammy Finkelman (2cb3c3)

  18. Yet, no rational person doesn’t believe it to be true.

    MJN1957 (6f981a)

  19. Trump lying about the reasons for an eminently justifiable act is peak Trump and an illustration of his peculiar genius. Because the honest people who support the act are going to point out the lie. And then get criticized for noticing the lie. And then they can be criticized a la twitchy for preferring the Iranian POV to the Americans. And be criticized for being traitors.

    Does he do it on purpose? When it works well for him, why assume that it isn’t on purpose.

    Appalled (aed860)

  20. Radegunda (39c35f) — 1/13/2020 @ 9:18 am

    I wasn’t asking you to pick team twitchy.

    Do you think the people who’ve spent the last week or so on the other side of Trump have improved or degraded their credibility?

    frosty (f27e97)

  21. Do you think the people who’ve spent the last week or so on the other side of Trump have improved or degraded their credibility? After all, you don’t have to conclude that Trump is credible to make an assessment of these other groups.

    I read a lot of takes by people who didn’t seem to know what they were talking about. Many of them haven’t been writing this subject much in the past. I didn’t find any of them credible. I read some others by people I’d never heard of because they’d spent their careers in MEO politics and national defense and I don’t follow that news as closely. They seemed credible. I picked up a common theme of ‘we’ll see what happens can’t be certain right now from them.”

    Both Trump and Schiff can be untrustworthy. The fact that I’m saying the guy you like isn’t reliable doesn’t reflect on you personally.

    Time123 (daab2f)

  22. RIP – Roger Scruton

    https://youtu.be/1eD9RDTl6tM

    harkin (d6cfee)

  23. I like how this Patterico guy said “Schiff is right” and then when shown Schiff was lying (as usual), Patterico denies he ever said it. This is what the left does, they lie with impunity, because they rarely get called out for it, and when they do get called out, their fellow cult members on the left attack the source that called them out.

    If you haven’t figured it out yet, this Patterico person is using all of you useful idiots for his own publicity, knowing he will get many glowing replies saying how wonderful he is for spouting Orange Man Bad all day.

    I hope some of you are catching on to what they do, and will decide to walk away from the cult which is the Democrat party. Walk away, and take the red pill, you will be much happier.

    MrReasonable (2041db)

  24. Apropos of his recent memoriam to Neil Peart, I think what our host is saying here, regarding the Trump administration, is “Show me, don’t tell me.”

    Show me don’t tell me
    You’ve figured out the score
    Show me don’t tell me
    I’ve heard it all before
    Show me don’t tell me
    I don’t care what you say
    Show me don’t tell me

    Certainly a reasonable position in modern politics, but poison to the Trump cult, which functions on exactly the opposite principle in all matters.

    Daren Jonescu (ad8e67)

  25. Dear Twitchy

    The basic position of this blog is

    Trump is usually bad.
    The Democrats are usually bad even more than Trump is.

    Now go back to Trumplandia…

    kishnevi (496414)

  26. #24 —

    Since twitchy doesnt show it (just the reactions), this is what Schiff was saying:

    I’ve been a member of the Intel Committee for over a decade.

    Been briefed hundreds of times on threats — some imminent, some not. When targeting a top gov’t official for killing:

    “We don’t know precisely when and we don’t know precisely where,” does not constitute “imminent.”

    Since you know “Schiff was lying as usual”, maybe you can tell us about an occasion when imminent meant “no precisely where, not precisely when”. As a finding aid, go look back at the endless debates over the Iraq war.

    Appalled (aed860)

  27. Soleimani was a bad guy. Killing him was legally justified.

    ‘Course ‘legal justification’ and ‘consequences’ are separate issues, which is likely why he wasn’t taken out several administrations ago. Once upon a time, the “Iranian hero” wasn’t ‘such a bad guy’ from the U.S. POV:

    ‘Following the September 11 attacks in 2001, senior U.S. State Department official Ryan Crocker flew to Geneva to meet with Iranian diplomats who were under the direction of Soleimani with the purpose of collaborating to destroy the Taliban. This collaboration was instrumental in defining the targets of bombing operations in Afghanistan and in capturing key Al-Qaeda operatives, but abruptly ended in January 2002, when President George W. Bush named Iran as part of the “Axis of evil” in his State of the Union address.’ – source, wikibio

    Are neocons an “imminent threat” to world peace? Depends on your POV.

    … and Putin smiled.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  28. Post Helsinki, it should be fairly obvious by now that Trump is relatively easy to sway- usually by the last group that has his ear, be it the Putin, neocons, a porn star, a Playboy bunny, the NRA, Bibi– even Brian Kilmeade.

    Overseas he is outside the area of his competence. He really outta just stay at home and eat the German chocolate cake rather than fly to Berlin to try to bake ’em.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  29. Appalled (aed860) — 1/13/2020 @ 9:31 am

    Arguing that someone can’t infer something from a statement isn’t a very strong argument. Even the most precise and direct statements can leave room for interpretation. To the degree that credibility matters one of its functions is to provide a framework to interpret a comment. The argument is further weakened if the person making it has a pattern of making inferences about other people’s comments.

    It doesn’t help that a pattern of saying “I didn’t say exactly that” signals that the person is going to play word games based around implication and inference. This is also one of the common responses you get when someone is caught in a lie.

    A lot of the general criticism of taking the Iranian POV that’s going around isn’t based on people criticizing Trump. It’s based on people actually taking the Iranian POV wrt the Ukranian plane. The bias was obvious before that but not really out of the ordinary. The rush to blame the US for the plane and doing so after Iran admitted to the mistake is a credibility killer.

    frosty (f27e97)

  30. OT

    Marianne Williamson Levitates Out Of Presidential Race

    Marianne Williamson’s presidential campaign has ended its presence on our physical plane. This is devastating news for supporters of the “Orb Queen,” who thought it was a great idea to replace an incompetent, anti-science president with another incompetent, anti-science president … but with crystals!

    Williamson announced last week that she was firing her campaign staff and would rely on unpaid Oompa Loompas to continue her long-shot bid for the White House. But you can’t align the nation’s chakras with negative cash flow. So, Williamson finally called it quits Friday.

    https://www.wonkette.com/marianne-williamson-successfully-phones-home-returns-to-native-planet

    Also, it seems Cory Booker is bowing out.

    kishnevi (496414)

  31. @30. Even the most precise and direct statements can leave room for interpretation.

    ROFLMAOPIP

    “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is…” – W.J. Clinton, POTUS

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  32. frosty (f27e97) — 1/13/2020 @ 10:30 am

    The rush to blame the US for the plane and doing so after Iran admitted to the mistake is a credibility killer.

    It’s simply blame America first. What could the United States have done differently?

    Incidentally, notice, we have no problem with the “the” unlike Ukraine.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  33. Reading the appropriate entrails suggests that “the Ukraine” is seen as having an implication of being subordinate to Russia, but “Ukraine” is not. Of course, it’s not nearly as implying subordination as the old name of “Little Russia” was.

    The actual word means borderlands or region/country.

    kishnevi (496414)

  34. For background:

    Wall Street Journal Wednesday, Updated Jan. 1, 2020 4:36 pm ET

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/protesters-retreat-from-u-s-embassy-site-in-iraq-11577891592

    BAGHDAD—An attempt by supporters of Iran-backed militias to storm the U.S. Embassy here ended on Wednesday, as protesters withdrew from the area after their leadership ordered the suspension of a violent challenge to American troop presence in Iraq.

    The withdrawal was instigated by the Popular Mobilization Forces, an umbrella body for dozens of militia groups including factions aligned with Iran. Some of those groups and their supporters tried Tuesday to force their way into the U.S. Embassy compound but failed to break in. …Militia supporters disregarded orders from caretaker Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi to withdraw from the embassy on Tuesday but almost immediately began dismantling tents they had pitched on the opposite side of the street in response to the PMF’s request.

    That’s why it was kind of a surprise that, after that the United States launched a drone attack that killed Soleimani and nine others associated with him.

    The withdrawal was occasioned, I am sure, by the possibility that they might kill some Americans. (although the opposite was more likely – we now know the Marines had orders to shoot to kill anyone who breached the walls)

    Another possibility is that the PMF = Soleimani, although it could have been someone else from Iran, ordered the withdrawal in an attempt to protect himself since he was going to Baghdad soon. It may not be so much that he feared a attack on the airport as he feared an attack on a militia site where he might be.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  35. Incidentally, notice, we have no problem with the “the” unlike Ukraine.

    And then conversely there’s some state university in Ohio…

    PTw (894877)

  36. Like we don’t know Rodentia Rectalis Trumpensis by now. (I only promised I wouldn’t say “Trump butt-gerbil” on Dana’s threads.) Look what happened to the late, unlamented, Trump bumboy Matt Gaetz. Not one syllable of deviation from the Trumpslam Koran is permitted. If you’re not 100% Trumpamedan, 100% of the time, you’re a vile infidel.

    nk (dbc370)

  37. PTw (894877) — 1/13/2020 @ 10:54 am

    Didn’t they send the famous Jammie Jammie-Jammie to the 2nd east-west bowl?

    frosty (f27e97)

  38. As I’ve said, there was plenty of justification for killing him. He was in Iraq, where he had no business, and was orchestrating attacks against US forces while there (and had been for some time). He was likely behind the protests attack at our embassy that had just concluded.

    Both W and Obama had considered killing him, and had demurred not because it was unjustified, but because they were concerned the Iranian response would be worse.

    The Trump administration, however, always prefers stupid lies when the truth would serve them better. There’s a reason I call Trump an opportunity lost.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  39. @37. It’s really the revelation of Gaetz’s DUI and booking pix; Brother Fred died a Drunk Trump. Our Captain likes his crew sober; no beards– and stashe free.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  40. * an attack at the airport – this happened after he got into a car and the two car convoy had traveled some distance. A special forces team was following the cars half a mile behind I read. Their main purpose was to inspect the wreckage.

    Profile of Soleimani from 2013:

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2013/09/30/the-shadow-commander

    Qassem Suleimani is the Iranian operative who has been reshaping the Middle East. Now he’s directing Assad’s war in Syria.

    …“The Syrian Army is useless!” Suleimani told an Iraqi politician. He longed for the Basij, the Iranian militia whose fighters crushed the popular uprisings against the regime in 2009. “Give me one brigade of the Basij, and I could conquer the whole country,” he said. …

    … In 2010, according to Western officials, the Quds Force and Hezbollah launched a new campaign against American and Israeli targets—in apparent retaliation for the covert effort to slow down the Iranian nuclear program, which has included cyber attacks and assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists.

    Since then, Suleimani has orchestrated attacks in places as far flung as Thailand, New Delhi, Lagos, and Nairobi—at least thirty attempts in the past two years alone. The most notorious was a scheme, in 2011, to hire a Mexican drug cartel to blow up the Saudi Ambassador to the United States as he sat down to eat at a restaurant a few miles from the White House. The cartel member approached by Suleimani’s agent turned out to be an informant for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. (The Quds Force appears to be more effective close to home, and a number of the remote plans have gone awry.) Still, after the plot collapsed, two former American officials told a congressional committee that Suleimani should be assassinated. “Suleimani travels a lot,” one said. “He is all over the place. Go get him. Either try to capture him or kill him.” In Iran, more than two hundred dignitaries signed an outraged letter in his defense; a social-media campaign proclaimed, “We are all Qassem Suleimani.”

    Several Middle Eastern officials, some of whom I have known for a decade, stopped talking the moment I brought up Suleimani. “We don’t want to have any part of this,” a Kurdish official in Iraq said. Among spies in the West, he appears to exist in a special category, an enemy both hated and admired: a Middle Eastern equivalent of Karla, the elusive Soviet master spy in John le Carré’s novels….

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  41. @39. See #28; Less Dubya- more the neocons which infested his administration. Same w/t 4th tier rodents w/Trump.

    “It was a stupid thing to do– especially at Baghdad Airport.” – Ret., Gen. Barry McCaffrey 1/13/20

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  42. Colonel Erhardt: [referring to Capt. Schultz] I’ve always suspected zumzing wrong vit a man who does not drink or shmoke…
    Frederick: You mean like our FUHRER?
    Colonel Erhardt: Yes… NO!

    nk (dbc370)

  43. And of COURSE Soleimani was planning further “imminent” attacks. It was what he did. It’s as certain as Bernie attacking capitalism is “imminent.”

    It may well be that, behind closed doors, senators were given information that could not be publicly revealed, lest assets be endangered. This allows senators (some of whom may even lie more frequently than Trump) to spin whatever they want publicly without the threat of factual rebuttal. See JFK and the “missile gap.”

    I take it that Patterico’s disbelief in Cruz had to do with his disbelief in Trump — and I understand that — but I suggest that Cruz’ record (other than supporting the president of his Party) is quite a bit less disingenuous than Trump’s.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  44. OT- Booker books; Spartacus slain.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  45. 39. Kevin M (19357e) — 1/13/2020 @ 11:06 am

    He was in Iraq, where he had no business,

    Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi says that he had business there but that was probably acover story or alibi. He said he was supposed to meet Soleimani and soleimani was carrying with him a reply from Iran to Saudi Arabia (Abedi was being flattered into believeing he was negotiating peace between Iran and Saudi Arabia.)

    and was orchestrating attacks against US forces while there (and had been for some time)

    And (temporary) stand downs as well.

    He was likely trying to make Iraq into a puppet state. They were pushing a resolution calling for the withdrawal of U.S. troops. After his assassination, it was passed. Legislators opposed to it were threatened and they just decided not to show up.

    he takeover of the Iraqi governme

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  46. “It was a stupid thing to do– especially at Baghdad Airport.” – Ret., Gen. Barry McCaffrey 1/13/20

    The General went on to say he was better dead, however. As for your previous, who the F cares what some Iranians promised about the Taliban?

    Kevin M (19357e)

  47. He was in Iraq, where he had no business

    That means, Sammy, that he had no legitimate business. To say he did is like saying Willie Sutton had business in bank vaults.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  48. https://thehill.com/opinion/international/473606-iraqs-riots-threaten-irans-plan-for-middle-east-dominance`

    Soleimani has played an increasingly outsized role in Iraqi politics. It is noteworthy that a senior U.S. State Department official complained that, whereas he needed a visa every time he came to Iraq, Soleimani could enter the country at will.

    When Adil Abdul Mahdi became prime minister in October 2018, he was willing to accept Soleimani’s candidate for the key position of interior minister. A year later, with Abdul Mahdi threatening to resign in the face of accelerating street protests, Soleimani was in Iraq to prevent the departure of Tehran’s puppet.

    By the way, the Prime Minister took credit for the withdrawal of the protesters from the embassy. he said he told them he’d leave office immediately if they didn’t go away. So that’s another possibility.

    He had in a fact already resigned at the end of November and he was staying on there as a caretaker.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/30/world/middleeast/adel-abdul-mahdi-resigns-iraq.html

    Mr. Mahdi and his ministers would still serve in a caretaker government until President Barham Salih requests that the largest bloc in Parliament name a new prime minister and that person’s ministers are then approved by a majority. History shows that agreeing on a prime minister can be a long, arduous process of balancing competing political factions.

    [which Joe Biden believes or claims he once brokered]

    It became so protracted in 2018 that Iranian officials helped set up the current government, brokering an agreement that brought in Mr. Mahdi and Mr. Salih as well as the Parliament speaker, Mohammed al-Halbousi.

    One significant question is whether Iran will play the same role this time around. Since Iraqis are now openly expressing resentment toward Tehran, its direct involvement might be a liability.

    Across the Shiite-dominated south of Iraq, as well as in the capital Baghdad, the chant “Out, Out Iran, Baghdad Remains Free” is part of the daily protests. If one thing is clear, the fact that Iraq is majority Shiite and so is Iran does not mean that Iraqi and Iranian Shiites have shared views.

    In Najaf, a city that hosts several million Iranian pilgrims annually at its shrines and where Iranian clerical students train in its religious universities, the resentment of Tehran’s insertion into Iraqi affairs is running so high that protesters burned the Iranian Consulate there on Wednesday night. [Nov 27]

    ….. The United States — though it has sought political reforms in Iraq, especially on corruption — had wanted Mr. Mahdi to remain in office, worried that his departure could lead to even more extensive bloodshed.

    Mr. Mahdi, however, has been unable to control the violence and the pressure on him to step down has built for some time. He resisted until the latest spate of killings and a looming threat of a no-confidence vote in Parliament.

    On Friday, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the senior Shiite cleric in Iraq, urged Parliament to stop procrastinating or “the country will pay a high price, and everyone will regret it.”

    It was in the hours after Mr. Sistani’s message that Mr. Mahdi announced his intention to resign.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  49. Whether he had “legitimate business” in Iraq or not is irrelevant.

    Even if he were a resident or citizen of Iraq, if he was involved in organizing or supporting attacks against our forces (which he surely was), he was a valid target. Just like the 50 or so militia we blew up a week before him.

    Dave (1bb933)

  50. @47. Consequences. Had the bumbling imbecile not popped the dude in a fit-of-pique last week, those 176 civilians who were shot out of the sky would still be alive this week.

    End of story.

    ‘…who the F cares what some Iranians promised about the Taliban?’ They delivered; but your ‘who cares’attitude justifies the Kurdish Kissoff.

    Americans always forget 1953. Iranians don’t.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  51. Dave,

    “Up to no good” is more relevant. As I said, Willie Sutton had business in bank vaults.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  52. But none of this changes the fact that Trump lies when the truth would serve him better. That’s a flaw.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  53. @50. WTF- he was ‘valid target’ since Dubya days… hell, Putin and Kim are ‘valid targets’… heck, the ghost of QE1 would tell QE2 Harry & Meg are now ‘valid targets’ 😉

    “Off with their heads!”

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  54. He was likely trying to make Iraq into a puppet state.

    This is my guess. With ISIL “regrouping”, an impeached US president, and Shia militia’s active across the region and into Syria it seems like a better time than most to try and expand the republic.

    frosty (f27e97)

  55. Trump lies when the truth would serve him better under all circumstances.

    Dave (1bb933)

  56. 53.But none of this changes the fact that Trump lies when the truth would serve him better.
    That’s a flaw.

    Serve him better?? ROFLMAOPIP Lying got him elected POTUS. As Winchell would say: “Good evening, Mr. & Mrs. North and South America and all the ships at sea… let’s go to press! Pathological lying is a flaw.”

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  57. ROFLMAOPIP Lying got him elected POTUS.

    Well, lying … and people like you.

    Dave (1bb933)

  58. Personally I think Trump shot off his big mouth about something that could threaten a source deep in Iran and everyone around him had to fall on their swords and spout nonsense in the hope of obfuscating.
    Normally Trump would take the attitude of “he’s dead, who cares” and move on to the next outrage but not this time.
    This is like Iran’s initial mess when it had clearly shot down the airliner… just say we did it and move on.

    I get why Trump didn’t tell our allies, I get why Trump thinks Congress would leak it, I get that there probably are officials in government who would call the Iranians and tell them to protect Soleimani, so say that. Be his usual sledgehammer in a china shop self

    steveg (354706)

  59. I get that there probably are officials in government who would call the Iranians and tell them to protect Soleimani, so say that.

    That’s a hell of an assertion to make without evidence.

    Time123 (ea2b98)

  60. State Department security officials weren’t notified of ‘imminent’ threats to US embassies

    Washington (CNN)State Department officials involved in US embassy security were not made aware of imminent threats to four specific US embassies, two State Department officials tell CNN, further undermining President Donald Trump’s claims that the top Iranian general he ordered killed earlier this month posed an imminent threat to the diplomatic outposts.

    Without knowledge of any alleged threats, the State Department didn’t issue warnings about specific dangers to any US embassy before the administration targeted Qasem Soleimani, Iran’s second most powerful official, according to the sources.

    Dave (1bb933)

  61. Pompeo reiterates claim of “imminent” attacks Soleimani was plotting

    He also said we should have “enormous confidence” in our intelligence agencies: (*)

    “I can say to the American people, you should have enormous confidence in the intelligence community, that their efforts are genuine, they are real, they are authentic, they are trying to provide good data sets to, now I’m on the other side, as the policy adviser for the president, receiving this intelligence, informing our decision-making.”

    (*) Except in regard to Russian intervention in the 2016 election on behalf of Donald Trump, presumably…

    Dave (1bb933)

  62. 50 Dave (1bb933) — 1/13/2020 @ 11:41 am

    Whether he had “legitimate business” in Iraq or not is irrelevant.

    He had a little bit of “legitimate business” in Iraq (he was supposed to meet the Prime Minister, to carry a secret back channel reply to Saudi Arabia) but that wasn’t why he came there. It was just a bit of insurance. And he came and he went as he chose.

    https://edition.cnn.com/middleeast/live-news/us-iran-soleimani-tensions-live-intl-01-05-20/h_7c821d1eb7c75ce4b103f0e8020a35e1

    Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi said at a parliamentary session on Sunday that he was scheduled to meet with Qasem Soleimani on the morning the top Iranian general was killed.

    Mahdi said Soleimani was supposed to carry a message from Iran “in response to the Saudi message that we brought to Iran in order to reach important agreements and situations regarding Iraq and the region.”

    Mahdi said he was optimistic after a visit to Saudi Arabia in September 2019 that Baghdad had a plan to open dialogue between Riyadh and Tehran to calm tensions in the region, according to an interview on state-run TV station al-Iraqiya.

    Following Mahdi’s speech at Parliament Sunday, Shia-majority blocs in the session chanted in support of Soleimani, and against the US and Israel.

    You have to look at this thing like the way the Communist Party was taking over governments in Eastern Europe in the late 1940s.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  63. Without Evidence, the DNC-media declares Trump is lying about the 4 embassies.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  64. Without evidence, the DNC media declared Qassem Suleimani a beloved figure in Iran and that Iranians will Retaliate by killing Americans. If we’re going to use “without Evidence” then a lot of the Never trumper, DNC Media speculation and attacks on Trump are going to have to be prefaced with…

    Without Evidence.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  65. “Without Evidence, the DNC-media declares Trump is lying about the 4 embassies.”

    There are 2 pieces of evidence:
    1. Trump lies all the time, so he’s probably lying here. (This is a general axiom, usable with any Trump statement)
    2. SecDef Esper stated on Sunday that he’d seen no evidence of four embassies under threat.

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  66. Only Trump could make the D’s disclose their love and support for an Iranian Terrorist. How terrible of Trump to kill that Revered Giant of an Iranian.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  67. @66 Critic says Trump lies all the time – Without evidence.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  68. “Only Trump could make the D’s disclose their love and support for an Iranian Terrorist”

    Now, this is an example of a statement without evidence.

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  69. Without evidence, CNN says they are a trustworthy, objective, News Organization.
    Without evidence, David French and Jonah Goldberg claim to be Conservative.

    Hey, I’m getting to like this.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  70. @64, the evidence is the people who work for Trump saying they’re not aware of threats to 4 embassies. The statements made by Mike Lee could also be considered evidence.

    Time123 (66d88c)

  71. If people provide you with evidence will you offer a sincere apology?

    Time123 (66d88c)

  72. Davethulhu (fab944) — 1/13/2020 @ 1:38 pm

    Point taken. It’s possible D’s could have done this under a variety of conditions having nothing to do with Trump.

    frosty (f27e97)

  73. @58. Always a joy to sour the milk of an ideological conservative, Dave. Drink up!

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  74. @62. Pompeo reiterates claim of “imminent” attacks Soleimani was plotting

    First in his class; they teach lying well up at West Point: see William Westmorland for details.

    He can fart ’til the cows come home but it won’t change that his story stinks.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  75. @71 what Trump people have publicly – on the record -said they aren’t aware of the 4 embassy threats?
    As for Mike Lee, he only knows what the Trump White House tells him.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  76. What REALLY pisses me off today is that the Dodgers were literally cheated out of the 2017 World Series championship.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  77. RCOCEAN

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Mark Esper explicitly said Sunday that he had seen no hard evidence that four American embassies had been under possible threat when President Donald Trump authorized the targeting of Iran’s top commander, raising questions about the scale of the threat described by Trump last week.

    But Esper, when asked whether there was a specific piece of evidence, replied: “I didn’t see one with regard to four embassies.″

    Maybe he’s wrong, maybe he’s been misquoted, maybe he he meant to say something else. But what he said, publicly, and on the record, is evidence.

    Time123 (66d88c)

  78. Time123
    There are many Obama hold overs in the government.
    The Israelis informed the US they were going to hit Soleimani and Obama’s acolytes tattled to Iran and saved Soleimani.
    Lt. Col. Vindman actively subverted Trump with the Ukraine, the extended national security team should not be trusted not to leak

    Steveg (939430)

  79. ““I have not seen the intelligence, just to be clear, but it is sometimes possible for the reporting of planned attacks to be very compelling even without specificity of time, target or method,” said John E. McLaughlin, a former acting C.I.A. director. “In a sense, that is the story of 9/11. Our reporting gave us high confidence that a big attack was coming — and we so warned — but we were unable to nail down key details.”

    Yeah

    And revealing key details would be stupid, might cut off flow of information and maybe even get a source tortured and killed.

    I’m glad Soleimani is dead and I don’t need to know the details. I’d rather keep too much a secret right now than not enough, because I want more of his network rolled up and destroyed

    steveg (354706)

  80. Patrick is good a dissecting words. Cruz is too.
    Cruz knows more than Patrick about what happened in this instance because Cruz attended the briefing.

    Odd thing. Trump did not give the griefing, professional military and intel people did.
    How is it that so many people left with differing opinions?
    Incompetence? Or intentional deflection? They were competent enough to kill the guy, shadow his vehicle, take over the scene of the bombing to gather evidence. Planned and executed flawlessly. But they go shambolic at the briefing… I think they are trying not to blow their window into the quds force and Trump belched out something that almost gave it away

    steveg (354706)

  81. briefing, griefing. In this instance, same thing

    steveg (354706)

  82. They were competent enough to kill the guy, shadow his vehicle, take over the scene of the bombing to gather evidence.

    Well, some nerd at a video game console, who knows how far away, did the actual killing. Our hapless tranny tatters stayed a mile back until it was all over. I hope they didn’t chip their fingernail polish or get a run in their hose when they sorted through the wreckage.

    nk (dbc370)

  83. Our reporting gave us high confidence that a big attack was coming — and we so warned — but we were unable to nail down key details.

    I think he means with Al Qaeda in 2001, and he’s saying this could be like that.

    John E. McLaughlin was deputy director of the CIA from October 19, 2000 to November 12, 2004, and in the course of that, he was Acting Director from July 12, 2004 to September 24, 2004 between CIA Directors George Tenet and Porter Goss.

    Sammy Finkelman (2cb3c3)

  84. We were saying?

    U.S. troops describe Iranian missile strike: “We huddled together and held one another” https://www.cbsnews.com/news/u-s-troops-describe-iranian-missile-strike-thats-just-not-something-you-survive-2020-01-13/

    These are “warfighters” getting combat pay in an occupied country, you understand.

    nk (dbc370)

  85. nk (dbc370) — 1/13/2020 @ 8:09 pm

    Read civil war lit and you’ll find that was what Billy Yank and Johnny Reb did too…hunker down and hope that if you got hit by artillery it wasn’t a direct hit.

    Kishnevi (4b61f0)

  86. @85. And told the other team was throwing a long bomb toward their end zone and they still had time for that huddle. Did they take a knee, too?

    “Say today’s secret words [“reinstating deterrence”] and win a hundred dollarz! Who are our contestants, George?”

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  87. @86. Bily and Johnny didn’t get the word telegraphed ahead of time, though. But hey, Israelis slept well- they had an Iron Dome, not U.S. troopers.

    Bibi got the word of the Soleimani hit ahead of time, too. Congress did not.

    It’s not what you know, but who you know. Sad.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  88. 77…..it prevented a cholo riot and the Red Sox cheating in 2018 prevented one also.

    urbanleftbehind (44b704)

  89. These are “warfighters” getting combat pay in an occupied country, you understand.

    “Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.”
    – Winston Churchill (1898)

    Dave (1bb933)

  90. Mebbe so. My opinion is if the Iraqi government really wants them out, all it has to do is interdict their cosmetics and lingerie.

    nk (dbc370)

  91. @85. And combat troops during World War I hunkered down in trenches during bombardments. The guys in Bastogne huddled in foxholes during artillery attacks.

    What exactly was your point again?

    @88. The guys at the base got word ahead of time. The US’s missile warning network notified them long before the missiles got there so that they could get to shelter. That’s why there were no casualties.

    Factory Working Orphan (eebac7)

  92. Where do you land on the credibility of the various teams who asserted that killing Soleimani meant we were going to invade Iran, that Iran has a top-notch air defense system and going in wouldn’t be as easy as Iraq or AF, that Trump intended to destroy cultural sites out of spite, that the US might have shot down that plane to make Iran look bad, that the Iranians were right and this was probably mechanical failure, that Iran shooting the plane down was Trump’s fault, etc?

    Do you think the people who’ve spent the last week or so on the other side of Trump have improved or degraded their credibility? After all, you don’t have to conclude that Trump is credible to make an assessment of these other groups.

    frosty (f27e97) — 1/13/2020 @ 8:59 am

    You’ve been posing as a dear neutral while being such a damn hack it’s hilarious.

    Trump’s only finally acting like he cares about Iran, after three years of absolutely wasting every opportunity, because it’s a distraction from impeachment.

    I don’t recall anyone saying Iran has a top notch air defense or would be impossible to defeat, but we have not actually invaded Iran. They, like the USA, are capable of shooting down a passenger aircraft on accident, and this doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t capable of other things. Their real defense is that they have money resources and terrain. They are a richer Afghanistan. And Trump has failed to win in Afghanistan, to the extent he was recently inviting those 9/11 guys to Camp David. This flip flop to neocon is hilarious in that guys like you had to flip flop with him.

    It is great if Iran turns around, but if it does, it has nothing to do with with Trump’s tweet. If anything, you can credit Pelosi for forcing Trump to do something to distract from her masterful stalling of his impeachment.

    Dustin (d9d65a)

  93. What exactly was your point again?

    They’re sissies.

    nk (dbc370)

  94. They’re sissies.

    I suppose anyone as obsessed with women’s makeup as you seem to be would be inclined to project that insecurity.

    Factory Working Orphan (eebac7)

  95. You’re a hapless tool. It’s no wonder why someone SWATted you, just on general principles.

    Comment moderation is enabled. Your comment may take some time to appear.
    I’ll bet.

    Zeb Quinn (917efe) — 1/13/2020 @ 9:05 am

    Guns pointed at innocent children, a wife, and an innocent man who dared speak out in defense of others. You cheer this. Because you’re a Trump fan you cheer that. You’re a fascist.

    What’s so amazing is you guys pretend you are tough but are just following whatever the ‘bad guy’ the same couple of outrage blogs told you to be mad at. And you’re only mad about this politics nonsense because you are not invested in anything in your own real world that matters to you.

    Think about it. You’re a psychopath because you are bored.

    Dustin (d9d65a)

  96. Trump’s only finally acting like he cares about Iran, after three years of absolutely wasting every opportunity, because it’s a distraction from impeachment.

    90s nostalgia is as pathetic as mid-2000s nostalgia.

    Factory Working Orphan (eebac7)

  97. It becomes clearer every day that it was “Wag The Dog”. We all kind of knew it from the start, though, didn’t we? Trump only does things which benefit Trump first, and everybody else is just incidental.

    nk (dbc370)

  98. Dustin (d9d65a) — 1/13/2020 @ 8:49 pm

    That’s a lot of words to spend not answering my question. Who do you think came out ahead on credibility? The press? The D’s? NeverTrump? Someone I missed?

    For my part, I think I made the point that we didn’t have to invade or force regime change when the theme was escalation meant regime change and invading. That’s an odd position for a neocon.

    frosty (f27e97)

  99. For my part, I think I made the point that we didn’t have to invade or force regime change when the theme was escalation meant regime change and invading.

    True enough.

    All we had to do to defuse the situation was let them shell our troops and shoot down an airliner full of innocent people, and not respond.

    Dave (1bb933)

  100. 11. 12. Twitchy did work somewhere else (Google Chrome running under the terrible Windows 10*)

    * No default to multiple minimized windows or tabs – if you click on a link while holding the Shift key down you still lose your original website, and it’s too difficult to print and things other than PDF files can come out wrong with lost text

    Sammy Finkelman (2cb3c3)

  101. @100 Am I taking heat here for being a neocon or not being neocon enough? Or are we playing the standard reindeer game of ad hominem? This also doesn’t even pretend to answer the original credibility question. Either you and Dustin aren’t interested in credibility and it’s just another way to complain about Trump or you know how bad this looks and want to change the subject.

    At least you’re acknowledging that the US defused the situation. What was your position right after the soloman hit? Were you in the French pre-surrender group that didn’t have the good sense to go long on KY futures or the pretend you’re tough group that did?

    Both you and Dustin are just complaining about whatever happens. It’s bad to be a neocon but it’s also bad that we didn’t continue escalating. What sort of response are we supposed to have to them shooting down a Ukrainian plane that was mostly full of Iranians? The plane had no Americans on hit and no Americans were injured in the shelling.

    I realize it has been a bad week for team NeverTrump. The impeachment is about to get flushed. Trump took out a top terror leader w/o starting WW3 as you had expected. The D’s and the media sided with Iran who is an ally with Russia. Maybe take a step back. The 1st rule of holes is stop digging. Take some long walks. Do something fun. All of the Trump hate will be waiting on you when you get back.

    frosty (f27e97)

  102. Dave (1bb933) — 1/13/2020 @ 11:32 pm

    All we had to do to defuse the situation was let them shell our troops and shoot down an airliner full of innocent people, and not respond.

    While them shooting down the airliner – and the stampede at the funeral – possibly made them more sober, it wasn’t strictly necessary. (but maybe it will last longer. Something more will be needed to totally stop it)

    I think Trump’s threats helped defuse the situation

    The New York Times is attributing it to the economic dowturn in Iran, which can reasonaly said to be brought about by the sanctions.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/13/business/economy/iran-economy.html

    This they apparently consider more important than maters of life and death:

    The demonstrations were most pointedly an expression of contempt for the regime’s cover-up following its downing of the Ukrainian jet, which killed all 176 people on board. But the fury in the streets resonated as a rebuke for broader grievances — diminishing livelihoods, financial anxiety and the sense that the regime is at best impotent in the face of formidable troubles.

    Sammy Finkelman (2cb3c3)

  103. 102. frosty (f27e97) — 1/14/2020 @ 6:42 am

    he D’s and the media sided with Iran who is an ally with Russia.

    They’re not noticing that.

    Neither is Trump.

    Neither, really, is Russia.

    Sammy Finkelman (2cb3c3)

  104. Oh, and another thing: The National Security Agency seems to be suspecting Russia of hacking Iranian hackers so that anything they do will be attributed to Iran. (although maybe they should consider more the possibility use of Iranian assets is voluntary – paid for maybe.)

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/10/us/politics/russia-hacking-disinformation-election.html

    Groups linked to Russia’s intelligence agencies, they noted, had recently been uncovered boring into the network of an elite Iranian hacking unit and attacking governments and private companies in the Middle East and Britain — hoping Tehran would be blamed for the havoc.

    For federal and state officials charged with readying defenses for the 2020 election, it was a clear message that the next cyberwar was not going to be like the last. The landscape is evolving, and the piggybacking on Iranian networks was an example of what America’s election-security officials and experts face as the United States enters what is shaping up to be an ugly campaign season marred by hacking and disinformation.

    Th words “boring into” make it sound like the Iranian hackers have been hacked, rather than letting Russians use it voluntarily.

    Before that, it was this: (May 15, 2017)

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/15/technology/web-defenders-detect-russian-hand-in-iranians-hacking-attempt.html

    While dueling with the hackers, the security experts said they encountered something that they had never seen before when dealing with an Iranian cyberattack: a Russian connection.

    Specifically, they found that the Iranians were using a tool set developed by a known Russian hacker-for-hire and sold in underground Russian forums. The tool had popped up in connection with an attack in Ukraine in 2015, when Russian hackers successfully shut down parts of Ukraine’s power grid.

    Sammy Finkelman (2cb3c3)

  105. Sammy Finkelman (2cb3c3) — 1/14/2020 @ 6:48 am

    Don’t worry. Someone will be along soon to explain how this is all an elaborate scheme by Putin to prop up Trump because Putin is just that amazing. Under that theory, it’s actually anti-Putin to stand up for Iran to thwart the scheme, once again pull the mask off the creature of the week, and the scooby gang wins again.

    frosty (f27e97)

  106. frosty, I don’t care to answer your question… the Trump Fan Grand Inquisitor thing gets really old because no facts that don’t help Trump are ‘real’ in those exercises.

    however, more importantly I owe you an apology for calling you a hack. Just got annoyed at the twitchy BS that I shouldn’t have cared about. I hope you have a great evening.

    Dustin (d9d65a)

  107. Trump on the Soleimani killing as narrated by Trump last Friday (from an Arutz-7 report on Sunday)

    Trump, who spoke at a GOP fundraising dinner Friday evening, offered new details about the strike that killed Soleimani, claiming that Soleimani was “saying bad things about our country” before the strike, which led to his decision to authorize his killing.

    “How much of this s*** do we have to listen to?” Trump asked. “How much are we going to listen to?”

    Trump did not describe an “imminent threat” that led to his decision to kill Soleimani. He told Fox News last week that Soleimani was plotting attacks on four US embassies.

    In his remarks before the Republican donors, he instead said Soleimani was a “noted terrorist” who “was down on our list” and “was supposed to be in his country” before traveling to other nations in the region.

    Trump described in detail watching remotely as Soleimani arrived at Baghdad International Airport, where he was met by Iraqi paramilitary leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the head of Kata’ib Hezbollah, saying the strike he authorized took out “two for the price of one.”

    He went on to recount listening to military officials as they watched the strike from “cameras that are miles in the sky.”

    “They’re together sir,” Trump recalled the military officials saying. “Sir, they have two minutes and 11 seconds. No emotion. ‘2 minutes and 11 seconds to live, sir. They’re in the car, they’re in an armored vehicle. Sir, they have approximately one minute to live, sir. 30 seconds. 10, 9, 8 …'”

    “Then all of a sudden, boom,” he went on. “‘They’re gone, sir. Cutting off.’ ”

    “I said, where is this guy?” Trump continued. “That was the last I heard from him.”

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)


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