January 14, 2020

Um, Senator Toomey? It's WRONG To Mislead Your Constituents Like This

On January 13 at about 1:30 PM I received a blast email from Senator Pat Toomey, Pennsylvania's junior Senator, a republican.

In it, I found this curious passage:
Last month alone, Soleimani oversaw attacks that injured several American soldiers and killed an American contractor. He also worked with a terrorist group in Iraq to attack our embassy in Baghdad. Coupling these events with intelligence that another attack against Americans was imminent, President Trump was right to take decisive action. [Emphasis added.]
The important word here is "imminent" and it means "happening very soon."

In International Law, it's my understanding that, the prevailing criteria for self-defense in the face of an imminent threat is an attack that is:
instant, overwhelming, and leaving no choice of means, and no moment for deliberation.
I was sent the above from Senator Toomey on a Monday, the previous Friday, Politico reported that:
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insisted Friday that Qassem Soleimani posed an "imminent threat" to U.S. interests in the Middle East, sparring with reporters who questioned him on the nature of the intelligence that prompted the killing of Tehran's chief military commander.

"We had specific information on an imminent threat, and those threats from him included attacks on U.S. embassies. Period. Full stop," Pompeo told reporters at a morning White House briefing.

The secretary's certainty before the press corps appeared to run counter to his remarks in a Fox News interview Thursday night, when he told host Laura Ingraham that Soleimani was plotting a "series of imminent attacks," but added, "We don't know precisely when and we don't know precisely where, but it was real." [Emphasis added.]
Let's say outright that not knowing precisely when and not knowing precisely where are, in fact, precisely not the definition of "imminent."

Senator, if an attack is not imminent, then the response is not self-defense and in your lockstep loyalty to Donald Trump in this regard, you're misleading your constituents.

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