Darn that Trump, he lied again. So much imminence, so little evidence for a targeted air strike that was meant to distract from an impeachment trial.
President Trump said on Friday that a senior Iranian general killed by a U.S. drone strike had been planning attacks on four U.S. embassies, a claim made to justify the decision but that was at odds with intelligence assessments from senior officials in Trump’s administration.
“I can reveal that I believe it probably would’ve been four embassies,” Trump said.
The senior administration official said that Trump has been fixated on not allowing an attack on a U.S. diplomatic facility, out of fear of being compared unfavorably to his predecessor.
Trump is “totally obsessed with not letting something like Benghazi happen to him,” the official said, referring to the 2012 attack on a U.S. facility in Libya that has achieved totemic status among Trump allies, who see it as evidence of former president Barack Obama’s alleged weakness in the face of terrorism.
The embassy in Baghdad did not receive an alert commensurate to the threat Trump described, said a person familiar with the situation, who was not authorized to comment publicly. When the U.S. government has specific information about threats to embassies, warnings or alerts are often sent to embassy personnel to be vigilant.
The State Department did not respond to questions about whether alerts were conveyed to the four embassies Trump claimed were in danger.
Trump administration officials like Pompeo and Esper are so arrogant that they couldn’t be bothered to devise a consistent pretextual story for the Soleimani killing in advance, and as a result they’ve spent a week contradicting themselves and deepening the scandal— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 11, 2020
HOW IT HAPPENED … REUTERS: “Informants in Iraq, Syria helped U.S. kill Iran’s Soleimani”: “Iranian General Qassem Soleimani arrived at the Damascus airport in a vehicle with dark-tinted glass. Four soldiers from Iran’s Revolutionary Guards rode with him. They parked near a staircase leading to a Cham Wings Airbus A320, destined for Baghdad.
“Neither Soleimani nor the soldiers were registered on the passenger manifesto … Soleimani avoided using his private plane because of rising concerns about his own security …
“The Iraqi investigation into the strikes that killed the two men on Jan. 3 started minutes after the U.S. strike … Investigators have focused on how suspected informants inside the Damascus and Baghdad airports collaborated with the U.S. military to help track and pinpoint Soleimani’s position, according to Reuters interviews with two security officials with direct knowledge of Iraq’s investigation, two Baghdad airport employees, two police officials and two employees of Syria’s Cham Wings Airlines, a private commercial airline headquartered in Damascus.” Reuters
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