Americans and much of the world either went to bed Thursday night or woke up Friday morning to the news that President Donald Trump ordered a strike against Iran over a downed drone, then called it off in progress, mid-air.
Calling off the strike was the fourth critical action he took in the span of less than 12 hours. Ordering the strike was the third action. Saying a rogue Iranian military official probably was to blame was the second, and threatening Iran, possibly with military action was the first.
That was Thursday.
By late Thursday night The New York Times had broken the news of the strike that wasn't.
But additional reporting reveals many disturbing facts, leading to one unmistakeable conclusion: this is a White House out of control, with a Commander-in-Chief not in charge.
Sr WH official tells me it's Bolton vs Trump on how to proceed on Iran. Trump does not want conflict. Pompeo, Pence… https://t.co/fWqWIOoxnX— Alexander Marquardt (@Alexander Marquardt) 1561061951.0
A Fellow at the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center notes that the CIA is not supposed to be in the business of making policy decisions.
Not the most important thing right now but why is CIA Director Haspel recommending policy options according to NYT… https://t.co/Oo9p5GaHon— Zachary Keck (@Zachary Keck) 1561091220.0
A professor at the U.S. Naval War College who is an expert on Russia, nuclear weapons, and national security affairs sums up what's going on:
No benefit of the doubt here, especially after he was warned off by Putin. But I'd rather two more years of humili… https://t.co/brrghMeD3f— Tom Nichols (@Tom Nichols) 1561087900.0
Then there's this warning from former Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes:
This is precisely why politics isn’t a game, diplomatic agreements should be honored, and temperament, intellect an… https://t.co/spZGkQtdlg— Ben Rhodes (@Ben Rhodes) 1561088117.0
Former Republican U.S. Congressman David Jolly delivers a breathtaking blow:
There's absolutely nothing about this aborted Iran strike that looks good on the world stage tonight. Nothing. Noth… https://t.co/uBaK5JMbPa— David Jolly (@David Jolly) 1561088475.0
Here's a professor of international relations, political scientist, and journalist:
Even though Trump blinked re: Iran--not a sign of restraint so much as evidence of indecision and bumbling--the sit… https://t.co/h3CmeDEklg— David Rothkopf (@David Rothkopf) 1561109149.0
And if you think this episode is over, Newsweek reports it very well may not be.
#BREAKING Update: @Newsweek has learned from a Pentagon official that regional U.S. military assets, including the… https://t.co/daXSQEObug— James LaPorta (@James LaPorta) 1561091765.0