Your president is a liar.
It may seem impolite or indelicate to call him such, but too much is at stake to not speak the truth. This is especially important for news media, the so-called guardian of democracy whose lap dog repetition of Bush administration lies about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq helped lead to almost two decades of war, thousands of U.S. deaths, hundreds of thousands of Arab World deaths and wasted over a trillion dollars.
The president is a documented liar with the “venerable” Washington Post clocking his falsehoods. According to Huff Post, “Trump as of Dec. 10 had told 15,413 untruths during his presidency, The Washington Post’s Fact Checker column reported … . That’s an average of 14.6 lies for each of his 1,055 days in office.”
“The political lie has existed since the dawn of politics. Yet something changed in 2016 with the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States. Mr. Trump presented falsehood upon falsehood throughout his campaign. While U.S. journalists tried to hold him accountable, the falsehoods, or lies, had few consequences. He won. Many expected Mr. Trump to change after the presidential inauguration. He didn’t,” observed Heidi Taksdal Skjeseth, the U.S. correspondent for Dagsavisen, a leading Norwegian daily, in a Reuters Institute Fellow’s Paper.
By Jan. 13, the media was reporting the president’s decision to kill Iranian general Qassem Soleimani wasn’t a quick one but was made months ago. The leading advocates for the killing were longtime Iran war hawks Mike Pompeo, now U.S. secretary of state, and former national security adviser John Bolton, who wants regime change in the Islamic republic.
This news followed different stories about the need for the drone killing of the Iranian general on Iraqi soil. And it looks like an American “ally” knew nothing about this major assassination while pals at Mr. Trump’s Mar-A-Lago golf club were told something was up in Iraq.
Later the president blurted out that Mr. Soleimani, who at one point was praised by CNN for fighting ISIS in Iraq, planned to attack four American embassies. There was an imminent threat, declared the White House, that justified the drone strike that killed Mr. Soleimani and others. Lies. The secretary of state stood by the president, but said he didn’t know where or when the dubious attacks would take place. Mark Esper, secretary of defense, repeated the presidential lie. But turned around and said he didn’t see the intelligence that led to the strike.
“While Esper said he agreed with Trump that additional attacks against U.S. embassies were likely, he said on CBS’s ‘Face the Nation’ that Trump’s remarks to Fox News were not based on specific evidence on an attack on four embassies,” reported Reuters Jan. 12. “ ‘What the president said was that there probably could be additional attacks against embassies. I shared that view,’ Esper said. ‘The president didn’t cite a specific piece of evidence.’” “When pressed on whether intelligence officers offered concrete evidence on that point he said: ‘I didn’t see one with regards to four embassies,’ ” Reuters noted.
The whole Trump lie used to justify the killing of Mr. Soleimani, which increased anger, protests and likely attacks against American interests, was based on an “imminent threat.” Nations are allowed to act when there is an immediate danger. But imminent means “likely to happen without delay; impending; threatening.” “Here’s the thing – even if there was an ‘imminent attack’, it’s insane to argue that gives the President legal carte blanche to take any and all military actions. The action needs to be tailored to stop the imminent harm. There is no evidence this was,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) in a tweet.
“The justification for the assassination is to ‘deter future Iranian attacks’. One reason we don’t generally assassinate foreign political officials is the belief that such action will get more, not less, Americans killed. That should be our real, pressing and grave worry tonight,” he added in another tweet.
While many mainstream media outlets go back and forth about what is happening, what is happening is clear: The president is lying.
A lap dog media that refuses to state what is true is of little use to society. Its role is grounded in speaking the truth, even unpleasant truths, as a matter of principle. The willingness to speak the truth and prove it with facts becomes more critical as thousands of U.S. servicemen have been sent into the Middle East. The failure to be a guardian of truth helped facilitate a nearly 20-year-old war in Afghanistan that American officials knew could not be won.
The liar-in-chief also violated constitutional protections by failing to quickly inform leading members of Congress about why the killing of Gen. Soleimani was necessary. Instead of speaking to the country’s elected top leaders with top security clearances who deal with these issues, Mr. Trump spoke to GOPers who are his allies. When a congressional briefing did happen, it was described by many as a farce. Then, Trump political hacks in the Republican Party declared no one should question the president and there should be no public discussion of the matter, though it stokes the fires of war with Iran.
What happened to democracy, the public’s right to know, separation of powers, and co-equal branches of government and debating what is best for the American people?
Republican Mike Lee (R-Utah) told the media this was “probably the worst briefing I’ve seen, at least on a military issue, in the nine years I’ve served in the U.S. Senate” after the Jan. 8 Senate session.
“It is not acceptable for officials within the executive branch of government … to come in and tell us that we can’t debate and discuss the appropriateness of military intervention against Iran. It’s un-American. It’s unconstitutional and it’s wrong,” added Sen. Lee on his Twitter page the day of the laughable session.
Sen. Lee and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) were among those backing a successful war powers resolution that says the president must get congressional approval before going to war with Iran. While symbolic in some ways, it still makes a statement.
Scripture warns us of this day: “Justice is turned back, And righteousness stands afar off; For truth is fallen in the street, And equity cannot enter.” (Isaiah 59:14, New King James Version)
“The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said, when truth fails to bring justice about, truth should always lead us to a just conclusion. But if the forces of evil are so strong that truth falls in the street and is not allowed to bring about justice, then the God of Truth and the God of Justice must physically remove from power the forces of injustice. And that time has arrived,” warned the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan in a message delivered last October. That is a warning to America and a warning to those who lie, you will not be successful today.