Sun Jan 12, 2020, 11:08 PM

Esper Says He Saw No Evidence Iran Targeted 4 Embassies, as Story Shifts Again

The disparity between the defense secretary and President Trump added another twist to an ever-evolving explanation for a strike on an Iranian general that led to the brink of war.

The muddled message on Sunday by Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and other administration officials only added to the public debate around the strike.

Peter BakerThomas Gibbons-Neff
Jan. 12, 2020
Updated 10:00 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON — They had to kill him because he was planning an “imminent” attack. But how imminent they could not say. Where they could not say. When they could not say. And really, it was more about what he had already done. Or actually it was to stop him from hitting an American embassy. Or four embassies. Or not.

For 10 days, President Trump and his team have struggled to describe the reasoning behind the decision to launch a drone strike against Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the commander of Iran’s elite security forces, propelling the two nations to the brink of war. Officials agree they had intelligence indicating danger, but the public explanations have shifted by the day and sometimes by the hour.

On Sunday came the latest twist. Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper said he was never shown any specific piece of evidence that Iran was planning an attack on four American embassies, as Mr. Trump had claimed just two days earlier.

“I didn’t see one with regard to four embassies,” Mr. Esper said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” But he added: “I share the president’s view that probably — my expectation was they were going to go after our embassies. The embassies are the most prominent display of American presence in a country.”


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Reply Esper Says He Saw No Evidence Iran Targeted 4 Embassies, as Story Shifts Again (Original post)
RCW2014 Jan 12 OP
batcat Jan 12 #1

Response to RCW2014 (Original post)

Sun Jan 12, 2020, 11:23 PM

1. There was no evidence that Osama bin Laden was planning an attack in the near future either. ...

I personally feel it is wise to prove to terrorists who kill American citizens or members of our military that we will do our best to hunt them down and bring them to justice — perhaps even instantaneous justice via a hell fire missile.

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