Barack Obama’s former DHS Secretary told Chuck Todd on ‘Meet the Press’ that Qassem Soleimani was a “lawful military objective” and the President had “ample domestic legal authority to take him out.”
Former Secretary Jeh Johnson leaves open the possibility that the terror general wasn’t a terrorist, but even then, he states he was a “lawful military target.”
Soleimani and his Quds Forces were declared terrorists by the United States in 2007 and Barack Obama never sought to change the designation.
Todd asked Johnson, “There is a legal reason he keeps saying the word terrorist, isn’t there?”
Johnson responded, “No, not necessarily. If you believe everything that our government is saying about General Soleimani, he was a lawful military objective, and the president, under his constitutional authority as commander in chief, had ample domestic legal authority to take him out without an additional congressional authorization.”
It didn’t matter if he was a terrorist. “Whether he was a terrorist or a general in a military force that was engaged in armed attacks against our people, he was a lawful military objective.”
He then raised another question, “But that’s not the only question here. For a very long time, the Bush administration, the Obama administration, had been engaged in what we refer to now as shadow warfare with the Iranian government. And last Thursday night was what we refer to as a decapitation strike, where we’ve taken out a very high-profile member of the Iranian government. That is a provocative, in your face act, where you kill a senior member of the Iranian government and you say, “Yes, I did it.” And I hope that this administration has carefully considered the second and third-order of effects of that one very plain second-order effect, which any foreign officer could predict is the reaction in Iraq. With the growing Shia political influence in that country…”
That’s a fair concern, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley made it clear that it was given a great deal of thought.
He did destroy one of the arguments Democrats have put out, namely, that what the President did was unconstitutional and required congressional approval.
This morning, Obama DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson debunked Democrats’ claim that Congress needed to approve Soleimani strike
Johnson: Soleimani was a “lawful military objective” & the President had “ample domestic legal authority to take him out” pic.twitter.com/1LUqYAwm9j
— Zach Parkinson (@AZachParkinson) January 5, 2020