Was ‘Imminent Threat’ His Impeachment? Trump Reportedly Admitted Soleimani Killed to Appease GOP Senators 

Was ‘Imminent Threat’ His Impeachment? Trump Reportedly Admitted Soleimani Killed to Appease GOP Senators

Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders both seized upon the report as evidence that Trump nearly sparked a catastrophic war for political gain.

byJake Johnson

Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders on Friday accused President Donald Trump of dragging the U.S. to the brink of war for political gain following a report that Trump privately admitted he ordered the assassination of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani to appease Republican senators who are crucial allies in his upcoming impeachment trial.

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that following the drone strike on Soleimani last week, Trump told unspecified associates “he was under pressure to deal with Gen. Soleimani from GOP senators he views as important supporters in his coming impeachment trial in the Senate.”

It was unclear which GOP senators specifically Trump was attempting to satisfy, but the story does cite hawkish Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) as proponents of the Soleimani strike.

“Once again, we see Trump making enormously consequential national security decisions based on his own personal political needs.”
—Sen. Bernie Sanders

Warren and Sanders, both contenders for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, immediately seized upon the reporting as evidence that the president nearly sparked another devastating Middle East war to advance his own political agenda.

“Today’s reporting confirms what I said on Sunday—why did this strike happen on the eve of an impeachment trial?” Warren tweeted. “Trump is taking us to the edge of war for his own political benefit. It’s reckless and dangerous. We must speak out. No war with Iran.”

In a statement, Sanders warned that “once again, we have a president who is pushing us to the edge of war based on false claims.”

“Unbelievably, we find out that Trump himself told people he was under pressure to deal with Soleimani ‘from GOP senators he views as important supporters in his coming impeachment trial in the Senate,’ according to the Wall Street Journal,” Sanders said. “Once again, we see Trump making enormously consequential national security decisions based on his own personal political needs.”

“As a United States senator,” Sanders added, “I will do everything I can to rein in this reckless president and prevent a war with Iran. I call on my colleagues to do the same.”

The Journal‘s report comes as the Trump administration continues to face scrutiny over its justification for assassinating Soleimani, who the White House claims was plotting “imminent” attacks against Americans.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo admitted during a Fox News interview Thursday night that the administration doesn’t know when or where the supposed “imminent” attacks were going to take place.

In response to the Journal‘s reporting, Sanders foreign policy adviser Matt Duss tweeted, “The ‘imminent threat’ was impeachment.”

Source: Was ‘Imminent Threat’ His Impeachment? Trump Reportedly Admitted Soleimani Killed to Appease GOP Senators | Common Dreams News

‘We Need Everyone in the Streets’: More Than 180 Events Planned Across US to Protest Trump’s March to War With Iran 

‘We Need Everyone in the Streets’: More Than 180 Events Planned Across US to Protest Trump’s March to War With Iran

“America, this is an emergency. If we spiral into war with Iran, millions could die. We have a short window of time to stop it. We need a massive protest.”

By Jake Johnson

After Iran’s retaliation for the killing of Gen. Qasem Soleimani intensified fears of another catastrophic Middle East war, a coalition of progressive advocacy groups Tuesday reiterated their call for massive demonstrations across the U.S. to protest President Donald Trump’s “military brinksmanship” and demand immediate de-escalation of tensions.

“We will not be forced into another war,” said the coalition, led by MoveOn, Indivisible, Win Without War, and other groups. “On Thursday, January 9, at 5 p.m. local time, the anti-war majority in this country will get visible to oppose Trump’s war and say #NoWarWithIran.”

“In the wake of retaliation for Trump’s warmongering, it’s more important than ever to commit to showing up this Thursday to say #NoWarWithIran.”
—Indivisible

As of Wednesday morning, more than 180 demonstrations have been planned across the U.S.—up from just 50 when the protests were first announced Tuesday afternoon.

Find a local event here.

Iran’s missile attacks on two U.S. airbases in Iraq—retaliation that was widely expected and promised by Iranian leaders—brought new urgency to the planned day of action, which will demand that Congress intervene to stop Trump from taking the advice of war-hungry right-wing pundits and launching a devastating war with Iran.

“America, this is an emergency,” said activist Kai Newkirk. “If we spiral into war with Iran, millions could die. We have a short window of time to stop it. We need a massive protest. Everyone, if at all possible, must come out this Thursday, nationwide.”

“We need everyone in the streets,” tweeted Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. “This is a critical time for the American people to be heard.”

In a statement Tuesday night, Indivisible national policy director Angel Padilla said the missile attack by Iran was an “entirely predictable” and “avoidable” consequence of the White House’s hawkish policies toward Iran and urged Congress “act decisively and fast to stop Trump’s warmongering.”

“Every day we wait is a message from Congress to Trump to continue his march to war,” said Padilla. “We urge the House to immediately pass a strong war powers resolution, as well as the bills offered by Reps. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) that would prevent war with Iran, and urge the Senate to take those critical measures up immediately upon passage.”

“The anti-war majority of Americans will be paying close attention to what their members of Congress do,” added Padilla, “not what they say.”

Source: ‘We Need Everyone in the Streets’: More Than 180 Events Planned Across US to Protest Trump’s March to War With Iran | Common Dreams News

“We Were All Told to Do This”: US Border Officer Uses Nuremberg Defense to Explain Involvement in Separating Families 

“We Were All Told to Do This”: US Border Officer Uses Nuremberg Defense to Explain Involvement in Separating Families

“Ah, so he was just doing his job? Where have we heard that defense before?”

by Julia Conley

In a new Frontline documentary, a Border Patrol agent describes taking part in a pilot program to separate families nearly a year before the Trump administration officially unveiled the policy—saying that while he was unhappy about separating children from their parents, he and other agents were following orders.

Journalist Martin Smith interviews agent Wesley Farris in “Targeting El Paso” about the program Farris worked on in the summer of 2017 in El Paso, Texas. Agents were instructed to separate families as the administration tested the theory that doing so would deter people from trying to enter the U.S. at the border city.

“That was the most horrible thing I’ve ever done,” Farris tells Smith in an excerpt released ahead of the documentary. “You can’t help but see your own kids.”

Farris describes one experience in particular which caused him to ask his supervisor to take him out of the pilot program.

“It was a young boy. I think he was about two. The world was upside down to that kid,” Farris says. “So when the contractor tried to take him away, he reached for me and he climbed up on me again, and he was holding on to me. So that that one got me a little bit.”

“I said at that one, ‘I’m not doing this anymore. I won’t do it,'” he tells Smith. “I went back to the supervisor and I told him, ‘Don’t assign me to do that anymore.'”

Farris “wanted to” take his complaint up the chain of command, he says, but the Border Patrol agents who were separating families were required to do as they were told.

“I mean, none of us were happy about it,” Farris says. “We were all told to do this.”

Journalist Brooke Binkowski suggested in a tweet that Farris’s defense mirrored that of numerous war criminals who have invoked the “Nuremberg defense,” infamously used by Nazi official Adolf Eichmann in the Nuremberg trials after World War II.

“So he was just doing his job? Where have we heard that defense before?” tweeted Binkowski.

The Trump administration announced six months after the pilot program ended that it would begin separating families on a much larger scale, eventually separating more than 5,000 children from their parents or guardians at the border.

As the program rapidly drew international outrage in the summer of 2018, then-Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen scoffed at the suggestion that the administration was separating families as a deterrent to asylum-seekers and migrants—but “Targeting El Paso” presents new evidence that it was doing just that.

“It aligned with my experience, in the times where we applied a consequence to people who cross the border illegally, we got less of them crossing the border illegally,” Ronald Vitiello, former acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), tells Frontline. “And so when zero tolerance is discussed as a way forward, we knew that it was going to be a benefit to us.”

“Targeting El Paso” will premiere on PBS stations on Tuesday evening.

Source: “We Were All Told to Do This”: US Border Officer Uses Nuremberg Defense to Explain Involvement in Separating Families | Common Dreams News