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The Trump administration has already built its case for Iran war

The Trump administration has already built its case for Iran war thumbnail

President Donald Trump may not need Congress to go to war with Iran.

That’s the case his lieutenants have been quietly building as tensions between the two nations have escalated.

The key elements involve drawing links between al Qaeda and Iran and casting Iran as a terrorist threat to the U.S. — which is exactly what administration officials have been doing in recent weeks.

That could give Trump the justification he needs to fight Iran under the still-in-effect 2001 use-of-force resolution without congressional approval.

That prospect is unsettling to most Democrats, and even some Republicans, in part because Iran didn’t attack the U.S. on 9/11, in part because there is a reluctance to engage U.S. forces in another theater of war, and in part because many lawmakers believe Congress has given too much of its war-making authority to the president over the years.

With Congress unlikely to grant him new authority to strike Iran under the current circumstances, and amid a campaign of “maximum pressure” against the regime in Tehran that has escalated tension between the two countries, Trump administration officials have sent strong signals that they will be ready to make an end run around lawmakers, using the 2001 authorization for the use of military force — or “AUMF” in Washington-speak — if necessary.

That law gave the president the power to use force against “nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.”

Earlier this month, the U.S. deployed an aircraft carrier strike group to the region. Three U.S. officials told NBC that a surge in American forces in the region was a response in part to intelligence-gathering suggesting that the Iranian regime had given proxies a green light to attack U.S. personnel and assets in the region.

And in recent weeks, the Trump administration has accused Iran of assisting al Qaeda, designated an arm of the Iranian military as a foreign terrorist organization and accused Iran of being linked to a terrorist threat against the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, Iraq.

National Security Council officials declined to speak on the record with NBC about whether such incidents would satisfy the legal threshold necessary for the president to determine he had the authority to use force against Iran.

But former government lawyers familiar with the 2001 law and its applications say it’s obvious from those moves what the Trump administration is trying to do.

“The whole thing is building up to the notion that they don’t have to go to Congress for approval,” Yale University law professor Harold Koh, who served as the State Department’s top lawyer under Secretary Hillary Clinton, said in a telephone interview with NBC News.

Yet Koh said an attempt to shoehorn Iran into the 2001 AUMF is absurd and shouldn’t pass legal muster.

“The theory of war powers has to be that Congress doesn’t just sign off once,” he said. “The suggestion now that Iran attacked us on 9/11 is ridiculous.”

The original law essentially creates a two-part test for the president to make a determination that force is warranted: a country, group or person has aided al Qaeda and force is necessary to prevent a terrorist attack against the U.S. from that entity.


60 Comments on "The Trump administration has already built its case for Iran war"

  1. CloggieKike on Sat, 25th May 2019 1:39 am 

    Forgot to say thanks to Cloggie for the Kunstler hysteria. Translation: BAU>

    Kunstler has accurately predicted……absolutely nothing.

    No wonder he stopped making his annual predictions of things to pass in the new year.

  2. CloggieKike on Sat, 25th May 2019 1:40 am 

    Is the Kunt the best you can dig up in support of President Chump.


  3. Cloggie on Sat, 25th May 2019 2:15 am 

    Mobster wasting his time in writing these juvenile impotent posts above, telling me that in his own estimation he is fighting a rearguard battle.

    And that’s a correct assessment.

  4. Davy on Sat, 25th May 2019 5:57 am 

    clog, it looks like you are getting junapeed too. check out the timing:

    Davy on Sat, 25th May 2019 12:20 am
    Davy on Sat, 25th May 2019 12:51 am
    Father Sullivan on Sat, 25th May 2019 12:55
    Cloggie on Sat, 25th May 2019 1:21 am
    Davy on Sat, 25th May 2019 1:27 am
    The Church Lady on Sat, 25th May 2019 1:32 am
    CloggieKike on Sat, 25th May 2019 1:35 am
    CloggieKike on Sat, 25th May 2019 1:39 am
    CloggieKike on Sat, 25th May 2019 1:40 am

    I think you like juanpee but are too slow to figure out his activity. MOBster would tell you to your face what he thinks. He is not a coward like juanpee

  5. Cloggie on Sat, 25th May 2019 6:07 am 

    You simply do not understand jews. All of garbage above is from mobster, not Juan, who has no issues with me.

  6. Davy on Sat, 25th May 2019 6:26 am 

    “You simply do not understand jews. All of garbage above is from mobster, not Juan, who has no issues with me.”
    juanpee loves when you talk like that. cloggo, get a grip, you are now part of juanpee’s mental illness.
    It amazes me how everything gets back to Jews with you. You would be so easy to manipulate because all one would have to do is make a clog scheme Jewish. You could be made to do about anything if one was crafty enough.

  7. Davy on Sat, 25th May 2019 6:42 am 

    “This Might Be Where The Very First Total Nuclear War Starts” national interest

    “Undoubtedly, for nearly two decades the most dangerous place on Earth has been the Indian-Pakistani border in Kashmir. It’s possible that a small spark from artillery and rocket exchanges across that border might  –  given the known military doctrines of the two nuclear-armed neighbors  –  lead inexorably to an all-out nuclear conflagration. In that case the result would be catastrophic. Besides causing the deaths of millions of Indians and Pakistanis, such a war might bring on “nuclear winter” on a planetary scale, leading to levels of suffering and death that would be beyond our comprehension. Alarmingly, the nuclear competition between India and Pakistan has now entered a spine-chilling phase. That danger stems from Islamabad’s decision to deploy low-yield tactical nuclear arms at its forward operating military bases along its entire frontier with India to deter possible aggression by tank-led invading forces. Most ominously, the decision to fire such a nuclear-armed missile with a range of 35 to 60 miles is to rest with local commanders. This is a perilous departure from the universal practice of investing such authority in the highest official of the nation. Such a situation has no parallel in the Washington-Moscow nuclear arms race of the Cold War era. When it comes to Pakistan’s strategic nuclear weapons, their parts are stored in different locations to be assembled only upon an order from the country’s leader.

    According to a 2002 estimate by the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, a worst-case scenario in an Indo-Pakistani nuclear war could result in eight to 12 million fatalities initially, followed by many millions later from radiation poisoning. More recent studies have shown that up to a billion people worldwide might be put in danger of famine and starvation by the smoke and soot thrown into the troposphere in a major nuclear exchange in South Asia. The resulting “nuclear winter” and ensuing crop loss would functionally add up to a slowly developing global nuclear holocaust.

  8. Davy on Sat, 25th May 2019 8:16 am 

    Oops, sorry everyone. Wrong link again.

  9. JuanP on Sat, 25th May 2019 8:26 am 

    juanpee posted this

    Davy on Sat, 25th May 2019 8:16 am

    Oops, sorry everyone. Wrong link again.

  10. Robert Inget on Sat, 25th May 2019 9:56 am 

    Iran’s ‘defense posture’, genuine?

    Before the advent of S/400….

    Before now crippled ‘Nuclear Agreement’.
    Israel, on a regular basis threatened Iran with
    bombing. The US has been ‘selling’ Israel the most modern weapons ever since.

    During each US Administration, the most up-to date weapons are also being sold to Saudi Arabia.
    (Saudis actually PAY cash, while Israel uses ‘keep the peace’ US funding returned to the US who in turn service Chinese loans that made weapons
    to BOTH nations possible.

    Best case, those weapons are NEVER used.
    Eventually, sold to some African Dictatorship or sent out into the desert for ‘storage’.

    When questioned why we are selling more arms to
    Saudi Arabia, Sec. Pompeo replied, “Iran is acting

    IOW’s, The US ‘corner men’ are urging all sides to do battle.

    I’m so old.
    One memory sticks in my head till death do part. The chant “Fight, Fight, Nigger and White”. (my Florida school was ALL white) That call went out whenever any fist fight broke out.

    WE live in a time when school shootings don’t make news unless at least one child is murdered.

    Indeed, for 50 years the world has been primed for another ‘Final Solution’ ME ‘world’ war.

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