Trump threatens war while at the golf course

Over sixty hours of golf over the past two weeks. His ‘head’ is worth less than his federal golf expenses, but enough to buy a lottery ticket for everyone in Iran

In many ways, Trump’s approach to the presidency adds to the uncertainty of an increasingly volatile situation in the Middle East, with the administration deploying thousands of additional troops to the region even as Iran vows to take revenge with attacks on unspecified American targets.
Former U.S. national security officials described the situation as worrisome in part because of Iran’s capabilities but also because of Trump’s tendency to ignore advisers and favor instinct over hard information.
“That’s going to be a problem going forward if this situation deteriorates,” said John McLaughlin, the former deputy director of the CIA. Trump and members of his Cabinet with critical roles in a potential conflict with Iran have two defining qualities, McLaughlin said: “low credibility and limited experience.”

www.washingtonpost.com/…

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“There may well have been an ongoing plot as Pompeo claims, but Soleimani was a decision-maker, not an operational asset himself,” said Jon Bateman, who served as a senior intelligence analyst on Iran at the Defense Intelligence Agency. “Killing him would be neither necessary nor sufficient to disrupt the operational progression of an imminent plot. What it might do instead is shock Iran’s decision calculus” and deter future attack plans, Bateman said.

[…]
Steve Stalinsky ✔ @SteveStalinsky New CJL Report: IRGC Qods Force Commander Qassem Soleimani, Designated By U.S. Treasury Dept., Is Active On Instagram; Posts Include Image Of White House Exploding http://cjlab.memri.org/lab-projects/iran-cyber-initiative-lab-projects/irgc-qods-force-commander-qassem-soleimani-designated-by-u-s-treasury-dept-is-active-on-instagram-posts-include-image-of-white-house-exploding/ …
The United States tracked Soleimani’s movements for several days, keeping Trump apprised, and decided that their best opportunity to kill him would be near the Baghdad airport, the senior administration official said.
He ultimately gave final approval just before the strike, a senior administration official said, making the call from his golf resort.
Trump also had history on his mind. The president has long fixated on 2012 attacks on U.S. compounds in Benghazi, Libya, and the Obama administration’s response to them, said lawmakers and aides who have spoken to him, and he felt the response to this week’s attack on the embassy and the killing of an American contractor would make him look stronger compared with his predecessor.

www.washingtonpost.com/…

An $80 million bounty has been placed on Donald Trump’s head in the wake of General Qasem Soleimani’s assassination, according to reports.

During the televised funeral of the top Iranian, official state broadcasters said one US dollar would be tabled for every Iranian in the country, with the cash going to whoever killed the US President.

“Iran has 80 million inhabitants. Based on the Iranian population, we want to raise $80 million (£61million) which is a reward for those who get close to the head of President Trump,” it was announced, according to en24.

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Date: January 5, 2020 at 2:30:09 PM EST
Subject: [WH Pool] Out of town pool report #3
At 2:28 the motorcade pulled out of Trump International Golf Club publicpool.kinja.com/…

Second, he claims “[s]uch legal notice is not required.” That’s not true. Any time the president involves the armed forces into “hostilities,” he must–at a minimum–notify Congress within 48 hours. 2/
Third, he is also obligated to “in every possible instance . . . consult with Congress before introducing United States Armed Forces into hostilities or into situation where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances . . .” under the WPR. 3/
Fourth, he is promising a “perhaps … disproportionate” strike in response–that’s another promise of an international law violation. Any action taken in self defense (the apparent justification for the strikes) must be necessary and proportionate to the threat posed. 4/
That any of this has to be said suggests just how insane this situation has become. Where are the White House, DoJ, DoD, State Dept. lawyers? 5/5

Date: January 5, 2020 at 2:42:34 PM EST



Subject: [WH Pool] Out of town pool report #4

POTUS motorcade pulled back into Mar-a-Lago at 2:39 pm.