Trump authorized Soleimani's killing 7 months ago, with conditions
Seth Abramson has a tweet thread on this: https://twitter.com/SethAbramson/status ... 2398650368
1/ In September 2015, within days of Michael Flynn becoming Trump's top national security adviser, UAE-dwelling mercenary company CEO Erik Prince began sending national security and foreign policy memos to Trump and the Trump campaign through Breitbart intermediary Steve Bannon.
In one of these early memos, Prince—who was simultaneously, as he was advising the Trump campaign, one of the *top national security advisers to the ruler of the UAE*, Mohammed bin Zayed—strongly advocated for the assassination of Iran's Gen. Soleimani. This was during a period when Trump's national security advisory corps was starting to fill up with two very specific groups of people: people who advocated that Trump establish a detente with Russia, and people who advocated for the interests of UAE and its ally Saudi Arabia.
Flynn, Trump's top national security adviser, was working on a deal involving *all three* entities: specifically, he was, while advising Trump, traveling the world advocating a joint U.S.-Russia deal that would send nuclear tech to UAE and Saudi Arabia.
There are so many articles on what we might call the "Saudi Nuclear Deal," it's amazing it isn't as much of a household phrase as the "Iran Nuclear Deal." In every respect, the Saudi Nuclear Deal was to be Trump's replacement for the Iran Nuclear Deal. The simple version: Obama, having accepted the UAE and Saudi Arabia as marginal allies, believed the U.S. also could craft a fragile peace with Iran. Trump went all in with Iran's enemies Saudi Arabia and UAE to give them nuclear power—creating a Middle East nuclear arms race.
Well you might wonder: who on Earth would want an arms race between Iran, Saudi Arabia and the UAE—which would be almost certain to eventually lead to one of the biggest and deadliest wars in human history—when instead you could have no nukes in the region and a fragile peace?
As ever, the answer is, "follow the money." Prince was advising Trump while being paid untold millions by the UAE to help them lobby Trump and set up mercenary armies there (including assassination squads; more on that later). Michael Flynn's deal with UAE would make him rich.
But Trump's no altruist; the UAE/Saudi Arabia know that. They could offer money to Trump's top two national security advisers—and did—and still not get Trump to see the value in it for him. So the nations met—with other allies—a month after Prince's memo to Trump on Soleimani.
PROOF OF CONSPIRACY begins with that mid-fall 2015 meeting on a yacht in the Red Sea, during which the UAE/Saudi Arabia determined that—with their allies—they'd *actively* support Trump during the 2016 election. Another ally—Russia—was doing the same.
If you know Middle East geopolitics a little bit, you'll *think* our story has just introduced an *error*: how is Russia an ally of UAE and Saudi Arabia, when they're clearly an ally of UAE/Saudi Arabia enemy Iran? And this is where things get really interesting. Like *very*. Putin decided, starting in 2014, to begin playing both sides of the Iran and UAE-Saudi Arabia conflict—even as UAE and Saudi Arabia decided to start moving toward Russia rather than the U.S. *All* had decided—mysteriously—the U.S. might soon be less of a factor in the region.
In 2014, Putin started engaging in *joint investment* projects with the UAE, and—several years thereafter—Saudi Arabia (this process continues in 2019, see below). The man he put in charge of this Russia-and-UAE/Saudi Arabia detente? Kirill Dmitriev.
So beginning in 2014, Dmitriev is Putin's point of contact with the UAE, which is—as the UAE and Saudi Arabia habitually do—using cash to buy friends and influence. Meanwhile, the UAE has hired two men to help it with U.S. *and* Russia relations: George Nader and Erik Prince.
UAE agent George Nader, with Putin "friend" (per Putin) Dmitri Simes, UAE agent Erik Prince, and UAE agent Michael Flynn, are all advising Trump on Russia-UAE-Saudi Arabia foreign policy by 2016. But wait! Trump didn't stop *there* in sidling up to the UAE and Saudi Arabia. One of Trump's two best friends in the world, Tom Barrack, connects UAE's *ambassador to the US* Yousef al-Otaiba with Jared Kushner, and *al-Otaiba* becomes one of the top Middle East advisers to the Trump campaign. This is *stunning*, and I'll explain why in the next tweet.
Trump claims Clinton *colluded with Ukraine* simply because the Ukrainian ambassador to the US, Valeriy Chaly, wrote (on his own accord!) an op-ed criticizing Trump for saying Russia should be able to keep Crimea (Ukrainian land). A very *understandable* position for Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Trump was *secretly being advised on a regular basis* by the *UAE's* ambassador to the U.S., which if Chaly's op-ed is "collusion" means Trump and his campaign colluded with the UAE *hard* following the fall 2015 "Red Sea summit" in which UAE decided to back Trump.
But how do we know Trump having at least four Emirati agents on his national security advisory corps, and the Emirates having decided to back Trump in fall 2015, actually *led* to anything? I don't know, maybe because the New York Times reports it led to *this*: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/19/us/p ... zamel.html
That's right: two of his UAE-agent advisers, Nader and Prince, came *to his New York City house* and met with his son and offered election aid and Donald Trump Jr. responded "approvingly." This, then, days after the RNC in Cleveland, was when the UAE was going to make good on its plan.
But wait! you say. I don't remember hearing anything about Saudi Arabia or UAE actually *helping* Trump...did they? The long answer is that this is why PROOF OF CONSPIRACY became a New York Times bestseller—because yes, they did, and we have the receipts for it. It's a historic scandal. Trump wanted AMI—owned by pal David Pecker—to pay his mistresses pre-election because he thought their stories would sink him. *Prior* to the UAE-Saudi-Trump meeting at Trump Tower, AMI said "no"—they didn't have the money (and apparently didn't trust Trump to pay them back).
Shortly *after* the Trump Tower meeting, Pecker and Saudi Arabia began discussing joint investments...
...and suddenly Pecker had the cash to pay off Trump's mistresses. Saudi Arabia would later allegedly hack Jeff Bezos and give the pics to AMI to aid Trump *post*-election.
As for UAE—which, remember, wanted Soleimani dead, as it told Trump through his top national security adviser Erik Prince (and likely others, but we don't know)—what it had to offer was rather different, and involves someone else in the room at Trump Tower on August 3, 2016.
Joel Zamel, a man close to the Israeli government—a key player in Flynn's Saudi Nuclear Deal—and a man recommended to Trump's campaign *by Netanyahu's former chief of staff*, was also in the room when UAE/Saudi Arabia offered to help Trump.
Zamel is in business intelligence.
PROOF OF CONSPIRACY does a deep dive on this, but the short version is, Zamel pitches to the Trump campaign a domestic disinformation scheme identical to what the Russians were doing. He pitches it *before* Trump Jr. responds "approvingly" on August 3. In mid-2016, Zamel *asks Nader*—the Trump adviser who's also (like Prince) an emissary from the UAE/Saudi Arabia—for the UAE/Saudi Arabia to pay millions for his domestic disinformation campaign. The next evidence we have is Zamel telling Nader post-election the op occurred.
That's a brief summary—but the upshot is, the UAE/Saudi Arabia agreed to help Trump; stacked his advisory corps with their agents; offered the Trumps aid directly; were approached to pay for the aid scheme (disinformation); and post-election it was confirmed the aid happened.
In the past 72 hours, we learned that not only did Trump lie about the intelligence regarding an "imminent" attack on U.S. interests from Gen. Soleimani (there was no such intelligence), in fact we had intel saying Soleimani's IRGC was *standing down*. https://twitter.com/marty_lederman/stat ... 8461543426
This brings me back to this piece by the Intercept:
WITH SULEIMANI ASSASSINATION, TRUMP IS DOING THE BIDDING OF WASHINGTON’S MOST VILE CABAL
WHILE THE MEDIA focus for three years of the Trump presidency has centered around “Russia collusion” and impeachment, the most dangerous collusion of all was happening right out in the open — the Trump/Saudi/Israel/UAE drive to war with Iran.
On August 3, 2016 — just three months before Donald Trump would win the Electoral College vote and ascend to power — Blackwater founder Erik Prince arranged a meeting at Trump Tower. For decades, Prince had been agitating for a war with Iran and, as early as 2010, had developed a fantastical proposal for using mercenaries to wage it.
At this meeting was George Nader, an American citizen who had a long history of being a quiet emissary for the United States in the Middle East. Nader, who had also worked for Blackwater and Prince, was a convicted pedophile in the Czech Republic and is facing similar allegations in the United States. Nader worked as an adviser for the Emirati royals and has close ties to Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi crown prince.
There was also an Israeli at the Trump Tower meeting: Joel Zamel. He was there supposedly pitching a multimillion-dollar social media manipulation campaign to the Trump team. Zamel’s company, Psy-Group, boasts of employing former Israeli intelligence operatives. Nader and Zamel were joined by Donald Trump Jr. According to the New York Times, the purpose of the meeting was “primarily to offer help to the Trump team, and it forged relationships between the men and Trump insiders that would develop over the coming months, past the election and well into President Trump’s first year in office.”
One major common goal ran through the agendas of all the participants in this Trump Tower meeting: regime change in Iran. Trump campaigned on belligerence toward Iran and trashing the Obama-led Iran nuclear deal, and he has followed through on those threats, filling his administration with the most vile, hawkish figures in the U.S. national security establishment. After appointing notorious warmonger John Bolton as national security adviser, Trump fired him last September. But despite reports that Trump had soured on Bolton because of his interventionist posture toward Iran, Bolton’s firing merely opened the door for the equally belligerent Mike Pompeo to take over the administration’s Iran policy at the State Department. Now Pompeo is the public face of the Suleimani assassination, while for his part, the fired Bolton didn’t want to be left out of the gruesome victory lap: "Congratulations to all involved in eliminating Qassem Soleimani. Long in the making, this was a decisive blow against Iran's malign Quds Force activities worldwide. Hope this is the first step to regime change in Tehran."
Trump, who had no idea who Qassim Suleimani was until it was explained to him live on the radio by conservative journalist Hugh Hewitt in 2015, didn’t seem to need many details to know that he wanted to crush the Iranian state.
Much as the neoconservatives came to power in 2001 after the election of George W. Bush with the goal of regime change in Iraq, Trump in his bumbling way assembled a team of extremists who viewed him as their best chance of wiping the Islamic Republic of Iran off the map.
While Barack Obama provided crucial military and intelligence support for Saudi Arabia’s scorched earth campaign in Yemen, which killed untold numbers of civilians, Trump escalated that mass murder in a blatant effort to draw Iran militarily into a conflict. That was the agenda of the gulf monarchies and Israel, and it coincided neatly with the neoconservative dreams of overthrowing the Iranian government. As the U.S. and Saudi Arabia intensified their military attacks in Yemen, Iran began to insert itself more and more forcefully into Yemeni affairs, though Tehran was careful not to be tricked into offering this Trump/Saudi/UAE/Israel coalition a justification for wider war.
The assassination of Suleimani — a popular figure in Iran who is viewed as one of the major drivers of ISIS’s defeat in Iraq — was one of only a handful of actions that the U.S. could have taken that would almost certainly lead to a war with Iran. This assassination, reportedly ordered directly by Trump, was advocated by the most dangerous and extreme players in the U.S. foreign policy establishment with that exact intent.
Assassination has been a central component of U.S. policy for many decades, though it has been whitewashed and normalized throughout history, most recently with Obama’s favored term, “targeted killings.” The U.S. Congress has intentionally never legislated the issue of assassination. Lawmakers have avoided even defining the word “assassination.” While every president since Gerald Ford has upheld an executive order banning assassinations by U.S. personnel, they have each carried out assassinations with little to no congressional outcry.
In 1976, following Church Committee recommendations regarding allegations of assassination plots carried out by U.S. intelligence agencies, Ford signed an executive order banning “political assassination.” Jimmy Carter subsequently issued a new order strengthening the prohibition by dropping the word “political” and extending it to include persons “employed by or acting on behalf of the United States.” In 1981, Ronald Reagan signed Executive Order 12333, which remains in effect today. The language seems clear enough: “No person employed by or acting on behalf of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, assassination.”
As I wrote in August 2017, reflecting on our Drone Papers series from two years earlier, “The Obama administration, by institutionalizing a policy of drone-based killings of individuals judged to pose a threat to national security — without indictment or trial, through secret processes — bequeathed to our political culture, and thus to Donald Trump, a policy of assassination, in direct violation of Executive Order 12333 and, moreover, the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. To date, at least seven U.S. citizens are known to have been killed under this policy, including a 16-year-old boy. Only one American, the radical preacher Anwar al-Awlaki, was said to have been the ‘intended target’ of a strike.”
While many Democratic politicians are offering their concerns about the consequences of Suleimani’s assassination, they are prefacing it with remarks about how atrocious Suleimani was. Framing his assassination that way ultimately benefits the extremist cabal of foreign policy hawks who agitated for this very moment to arrive. There’s no justification for assassinating foreign officials, including Suleimani. This is an aggressive act of war, an offensive act committed by the U.S. on the sovereign territory of a third country, Iraq. This assassination and the potential for a war it raises are, unfortunately, consistent with more than half a century of U.S. aggression against Iran and Iraq.
For three years, many Democrats have told the country that Trump is the gravest threat to a democratic system we have faced. And yet many leading Democrats have voted consistently to give Trump unprecedented military budgets and surveillance powers.
Five months ago, California Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna offered an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would have prohibited this very type of action, but it was removed from the final bill. “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,” Khanna wrote on Twitter after Suleimani’s assassination. “My Amendment, which was stripped, would have cut off $$ for any offensive attack against Iran including against officials like Soleimani.”
Trump is responsible for whatever comes next. But time and again, the worst foreign policy atrocities of his presidency have been enabled by the very politicians who claim to want him removed from office.