Without Evidence, Mike Pence Invokes 9/11 To Justify Suleimani Killing

After the worst terror attack on American soil occurred on September 11, 2001, the typical neo-conservative war hawks, like then-Vice President Dick Cheney, began claiming former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein participated in the plot that sent two commercials airliners into New York’s World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in Shanksville, Pa.

By the time President Bush disavowed this claim in 2006, the war he had lied the country into had been raging for three years.

He had gotten the war he admitted to journalist Mickey Herskowitz was necessary to get himself re-elected, so he no longer needed to promulgate the lie.

Facing similar international backlash over its targeted assassination of Iranian military leader general, Qassem Suleimani, the Trump administration is already using 9/11 as a justification to bring us to the precipice of World War III.

In a series of tweets, Vice President Mike Pence called Suleimani “an evil man who was responsible for killing thousands of Americans.”

He also claimed Suleimani “assisted in the clandestine travel to Afghanistan of 10 of the 12 terrorists who carried out the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.”

19 terrorists perpetrated 9/11, not 12.

15 of them came from Saudi Arabia.

The rest were from the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon and Egypt.

There is also no evidence Suleimani was behind it.

The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, aka the 9/11 Commission, confirmed as much in its official 600-page report.

Page 241 states:

“Several of the 9/11 hijackers (at least eight) transited Iran on their way to or from Afghanistan, taking advantage of the Iranian practice of not stamping Saudi passports. They deny any other reason for the hijackers’ travel to Iran. They also deny any relationship between the hijackers and Hezbollah. We have found no evidence that Iran or Hezbollah was aware of the planning for what later became the 9/11 attack.”

Suleimani’s name was never even mentioned.

Unfortunately, it may not matter.

The 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) allows the president, without congressional approval:

“To use all necessary and appropriate force against those 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.”

By invoking 9/11, Pence–a former congressman–is attempting to tap into powers the executive branch solidified nearly two decades ago.

In 2011, Donald Trump tweeted the following:

Nearly a year later, he followed with:

Two weeks later, Trump tweeted:

This indicates a lot about how Donald Trump thinks the way presidents win re-election.

Although Trump’s prognostication about Barack Obama starting a war with Iran was incorrect, Trump is doing what he accused Obama of intending now that he is the first impeached president to run for re-election and the tide of public opinion is turning against him.

Trump has been provoking Iran since he first stepped foot in the Oval Office.

But the violence that ensued at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, Iraq over American airstrikes against Iranian-backed militia Kata’ib Hezbollah (KH), and the Trump administration’s reaction to it, could be the match for which Trump has been searching.

Suleimani’s assassination was conducted illegally.

Trump failed to notify the top four leaders in Congress and the top four lawmakers on the Senate and House Intelligence committees, known as the “Gang of Eight,” about the attack that killed Suleimani.

It is Congress, after all, with the constitutional power to declare war, not the president.

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) intends to introduce a war powers resolution to compel debate on military authorization for any further action against Iran.

Here we go again.

The drums of war have begun.


Image credit: commons.wikimedia.org

Ted Millar is writer and teacher. His work has been featured in myriad literary journals, including Better Than Starbucks, The Broke Bohemian, Straight Forward Poetry, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices Project. He is also a contributor to The Left Place blog on Substack, and Medium.