The Jury Talks Back


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

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 9:00 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.

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