Pelosi left in dark, reacts to Trump’s classified War Powers Act notification to Congress

(Global News video screenshot/White House Flickr)

As per the law, on Saturday the White House provided Congress with a detailed, comprehensive written explanation of the drone strike that killed top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani.

But in what appears to be a purposeful move designed presumably to protect America’s national security interests amid growing tensions with Iran, the Trump administration classified the entire document from top to bottom.

In response, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued an angry statement accusing the administration of leaving both Congress and the American people “in the dark” and demanding the president lay out his entire agenda for Iran.

“This classified War Powers Act notification delivered to Congress raises more questions than it answers,” she said. “This document prompts serious and urgent questions about the timing, manner and justification of the Administration’s decision to engage in hostilities against Iran.”

The highly unusual decision to classify this document in its entirety compounds our many concerns, and suggests that the Congress and the American people are being left in the dark about our national security.

As noted earlier, the Trump administration provided the completely classified explainer as per law, namely the War Powers Act of 1973, which requires that upon the use of military force without a formal war declaration, the president “submit within 48 hours… a report, in writing” to top congressional leaders detailing the purpose of the operation.

Pelosi continued her statement by seemingly defending Iran, describing the elimination of Soleimani as a “provocative, escalatory and disproportionate” act committed “without the articulation of a clear and legitimate strategy to either the Congress or the public.”

It’s not clear why the House speaker expects President Donald Trump to publicly lay out his entire strategy (and military plan?) and thus potentially expose the strategy to Iran.

Moreover, despite her complaints to the contrary, the president has for his part provided a general “justification of the Administration’s decision to engage in hostilities against Iran.”

“Soleimani was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel, but we caught him in the act and terminated him,” he said while speaking from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on Friday.

“Under my leadership, America’s policy is unambiguous: To terrorists who harm or intend to harm any American, we will find you; we will eliminate you. We will always protect our diplomats, service members, all Americans, and our allies.”


He added that the Iranian general’s elimination was a long time coming.

“For years, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its ruthless Quds Force — under Soleimani’s leadership — has targeted, injured, and murdered hundreds of American civilians and servicemen,” he noted.

“The recent attacks on U.S. targets in Iraq, including rocket strikes that killed an American and injured four American servicemen very badly, as well as a violent assault on our embassy in Baghdad, were carried out at the direction of Soleimani.”

What remains unclear is what’ll happen next.

“The Trump administration has warned members of Congress that Iran is expected to retaliate against the US ‘within weeks’ for the strike that killed Qasem Soleimani …,” CNN reported Saturday, citing sources within the administration.

“There are also intense discussions taking place inside US military and intelligence agencies to assess whether Iran might be preparing some type of retaliatory strikes in the next few days or wait for some time.”

The president has for his part warned Iran that if they strike, he’ll “hit them harder than they have ever been hit before” by, among other things, targeting at least 52 Iranian sites — one for every American who was taken hostage during the Iran hostage crisis decades earlier:

The problem is that congressional Democrats have already begun maneuvering to cripple the administration’s military powers.

“Democratic presidential candidate and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders teamed up with California Rep. Ro Khanna on Friday to file legislation to prevent funding for any military intervention in Iran,” CNN reported.

“Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine filed a War Powers Authorization that same day that would require any hostilities with Iran to be approved by Congress through a declaration of war or new Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF).”

If any of this legislation passes, the administration may ultimately be forced to adopt President Barack Hussein Obama’s strategy of appeasement.


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