Former Defense Department special counsel: Trump authorizing Soleimani killing months ago makes his justification a ‘lie’

Former Defense Department special counsel: Trump authorizing Soleimani killing months ago makes his justification a ‘lie’
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President Donald Trump authorized the killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani seven months ago, according to a Monday morning bombshell report from NBC News. That makes the president’s claim the Iranian general had to be killed to avoid “imminent” threat of attacks on U.S. personnel and troops a “lie,” says former Defense Dept. Special Counsel Ryan Goodman.


Goodman, a professor of law at NYU School of Law and a founding editor at the national security law and policy website Just Security, also says the justification could be illegal.

“Revenge (and disproportionate) strikes are illegal,” Goodman said on Twitter, where he also noted that Trump’s imminent threat argument “is a lie.”

President Donald Trump authorized the killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani seven months ago, according to a Monday morning bombshell report from NBC News. That makes the president’s claim the Iranian general had to be killed to avoid “imminent” threat of attacks on U.S. personnel and troops a “lie,” says former Defense Dept. Special Counsel Ryan Goodman.

Goodman, a professor of law at NYU School of Law and a founding editor at the national security law and policy website Just Security, also says the justification could be illegal.

“Revenge (and disproportionate) strikes are illegal,” Goodman said on Twitter, where he also noted that Trump’s imminent threat argument “is a lie.”

When pressed, Trump told Fox News, “I can reveal that I believe it probably would’ve been four embassies” that Soleimani would have targeted had the U.S. not killed him January 3. The Secretary of Defense later said he had not seen any reports supporting that claim.

Goodman formerly served as Professor of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law and Director of the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School.

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