FILE – In this Nov. 15, 2016 file photo, then Rep.-elect Brian Mast, R-Fla. departs after newly-elected House members gathered for a freshman class photo on the Capitol steps, Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016, in Washington. President Donald Trump is considering an Army veteran who is a Republican member of Congress for the position of Veterans Affairs secretary. It’s part of a lengthening White House search for a nominee following the abrupt firing of David Shulkin in March. A White House official said Rep. Brian Mast of Florida, who was elected to the House in 2016, was among the list of candidates for the job heading an agency of 360,000 employees serving 9 million veterans. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
In keeping with the tradition of the Democrat party going back to 1968 of never missing an opportunity to give aid and comfort to our enemies, the House Foreign Affairs Committee was out in full force today to hold a kvetching session over the decision to spontaneous combust terrorist mastermind Qasem Soleimani. The panel was calculated to find the correct answer. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declined to testify because why give credibility to an utter sh** show with a predetermined outcome. The other participants were Stephen Hadley (Deputy National Security Advisor under George W. Bush), Avril Haines (Deputy National Security Adviser and Deputy CIA Director under Obama), and Richard Haas (who makes a living off testifying before Congress).
This was the thrust of the hearing from NY Democrat Eliot Engel who is allegedly the chairman:
“So what was the justification for the strike which killed General Soleimani? Surely neither of the existing war authorizations—the post-9/11 authorization or the 2002 Iraq war authorization—could possibly be contorted into an explanation for attacking Iran in Yemen. Finally, the Administration’s rather heavy reliance on the 2002 law, which authorized the war against Sadaam Hussein, is especially dubious. Was there any legal basis whatsoever for this strike that took us to the brink of open hostilities with Iran?
“We’re not asking these questions because we mourn the death of Soleimani or sympathize with terrorists—and let me say right now that I won’t tolerate any member of this committee making that sort of accusation against other members of this body, even in a general sense. We are all patriotic Americans, Democrats and Republicans, alike.
“We’re asking these questions because the American people don’t want to go to war with Iran. We’re asking these questions because Congress has not authorized war with Iran—as we reaffirmed on the House floor last week. We’re asking these questions because war powers are vested in the Congress, and if we allow any administration to carry out strikes like these—to risk plunging us into war—without scrutiny, then we might as well cross out Article 1, Section 8.
This is all just so much nonsense. The president doesn’t need any “legal basis,” dubious or otherwise, to take out someone who is a “specially designated international terrorist” and who is known to be waging war on the United States. There are no patriotic, and least from the standpoint of patriotic feelings towards America, Democrats on that committee. As President Trump said in the aftermath of killing Suliemani, he was killed to stop a war not start one. The War Powers hogwash was ignored when Obama embroiled us in wars in Syria and Iraq and is only being trotted out now that we have a president who seems to understand how to use military power effectively.
Things were going pretty much as planned until it came the turn of Brian Mast. Mast has represented Florida-18 since 2016. He’s also a veteran who was an Explosive Ordnance Demolition specialist in Afghanistan supporting the 75th Ranger Regiment and lost both legs to an IED.
This is how he started:
This is something I have specifically experienced with. Yes, it is a choice to take it out, all day long. It is not really a choice when you consider that you leave that there and walk around it and ignore it that somebody is going to come across that nest eventually and they’re going to get shot at.
You want to ask, is it wise? I think it is probably always defies conventional wisdom to attack a machine gun nest. It does not mean it does not have to be done. You want to ask is it imminent? Just because this machine gun nest may take a moment to reload, that does not mean it is not an imminent threat. It just got done firing rounds over at our embassy. Over the last number of years they’ve been working to attack our servicemembers time and time again. Just because it was taking a breather to reload, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t an imminent threat because it wasn’t literally pushing the button on something.
And that led to this extraordinary event. You have to watch this to believe it:
What could they say?
All President Trump did in Baghdad was take out the trash, to pay a debt owed to Iran for a decade or more. By taking out a key figure like Suliemani he not only stopped a lot of operations dead in their tracks, he’s upped the ante for anyone wanting to play “blow up the Americans.” This ridiculous exercise by Engel had exactly two purposes. He wanted to inflict political damage on President Trump. He wanted to reassure the Iranians that the House of Representative would fly top cover for them to keep Trump from really thumping them. It was shameful. It was despicable. And Mast showed it the contempt it so richly deserved.