January 2, 2020
Ben Rhodes, the Obama NSC spokesman who sold a gullible D.C. press corps on Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, joined his fellow Democrats in a meltdown over President Trump authorizing the assassination of Iran Quds Force Major General Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike in Baghdad early Friday local time.
Ben Rhodes, screen image.
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT): “Soleimani was an enemy of the United States. That’s not a question. The question is this – as reports suggest, did America just assassinate, without any congressional authorization, the second most powerful person in Iran, knowingly setting off a potential massive regional war?”
Rhodes went in a multi-tweet panic keying off Murphy:
“Agree – no question that Soleimani has a lot of blood on his hands. But this is a really frightening moment. Iran will respond and likely in various places. Thinking of all US personnel in the region right now…Trump may have just started a war with no congressional debate. I really hope the worst case scenario doesn’t happen but everything about this situation suggests serious escalation to come…Congress has to assert itself and determine exactly what our Iran policy is. Did we mean to do this? Do we have any plan for what comes next? What is the legal basis for all this?…There are real world consequences to having Trump as President. They are becoming increasingly clear and he is the one who is going to have to navigate incredibly complicated and dangerous messes of his own creation. This is not reality TV.”
Rhodes also retweeted a “terrified” Democrat who served on the Bush and Obama NSC Iran desk, “I worked the Iran account for years at the NSC under two Presidents. I’m honestly terrified right now that we don’t have a functioning national security process to evaluate options and prepare for contingencies. God help us.”
Rhodes also retweeted former Obama official Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) who lamented his amendment to block funding for the killing of Soleimani was voted down, “Any member who voted for the NDAA — a blank check — can’t now express dismay that Trump may have launched another war in the Middle East. My Amendment, which was stripped, would have cut off $$ for any offensive attack against Iran including against officials like Soleimani /1”
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) worried about a “sleepless night”, “.@SenBlumenthal tells me that if the reports are accurate, the Trump admin must “come to Congress immediately and fully explain to Congress and the American people what’s going on” and work through Congress on next steps. In meantime, “it may be a sleepless night.”
Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), “Trump’s apparent assassination of Soleimani is a massive, deliberate, and dangerous escalation of conflict with Iran. The President just put the lives of every person in the region – U.S. service members and civilians – at immediate risk. We need de-escalation now.”
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), vowed to stop Trump, “So what if Trump wants war, knows this leads to war and needs the distraction? Real question is, will those with congressional authority step in and stop him? I know I will.”