US President Donald Trump has suggested that killing someone with a "horrible past" is justified. This remarkable admission was made yesterday in a tweet defending his decision to assassinate Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad nearly two weeks ago.
The president has been under pressure to explain the reason for ordering the killing of Iran's most high profile general. The official narrative justifying the killing, which looks increasingly like an after-the-fact save face exercise, is that Soleimani presented an "imminent threat" to the US and was planning on attacking four American embassies.
Not everyone is convinced, least of all Democrat members of Congress as well as the Pentagon. US Defence Secretary, Mark Esper, threw further doubts over the official narrative by admitting that he did not see specific evidence "with regard to four embassies".
Trump reacted to his inability to convince his critics by suggesting that killing Soleimani needed no explanation. "The Fake News Media and their Democrat Partners are working hard to determine whether or not the future attack by terrorist Soleimani was "imminent" or not, & was my team in agreement" tweeted Trump.
"The answer to both is a strong YES" added Trump before insisting that "it doesn't really matter because of his horrible past!"
The Fake News Media and their Democrat Partners are working hard to determine whether or not the future attack by terrorist Soleimani was "imminent" or not, & was my team in agreement. The answer to both is a strong YES., but it doesn't really matter because of his horrible past!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 13, 2020
Democrat Congress member Ro Khanna, responded by suggesting that Soleimani was killed in revenge for his responsibility in the death of Americans. He dismissed the official account saying "Trump has finally admitted the true motivation for the killing of Soleimani who had American blood on his hands: retaliation."
Keen observers of Trump described how this was another example of his disregard for international law which prohibits assassination unless there is an imminent threat. "The problem is that he thinks he has the power to kill anyone with a 'horrible past'," noted one of Trump's Twitter followers.
Trump's failure to provide any evidence of the threat posed by Soleimani and to justify his killing with nothing more than the claim he has a "horrible past" would be seen as setting a very dangerous precedented in international affairs.