President Donald Trump’s story about his decision to cancel planned airstrikes on Iran is not adding up.
Observers have noted that Trump’s claim to have stopped the airstrikes as the clock was ticking down — he claimed on Twitter that there were just 10 minutes left for him to make a decision — and that it was only then that he realized that there would be approximately 150 casualties from the strike. This, he said, would be a disproportionate response to Iran’s downing of an unmanned drone.
Fox News’ Shep Smith noted, “Something is wrong here.” The network’s reporting suggested that Trump should already have been aware of the possible casualties, as common sense would suggest, far earlier than 10 minutes before the launch. National Security lawyer Bradley Moss argued that, if true, Trump’s account shows a “total breakdown in process.”
And contrary to Trump’s claims, the New York Times reported Thursday that planes were already in the sky to carry out the military operation and ships were in place when the order was withdrawn.
Finally, the Washington Post published a report Friday that said officials in the administration are disputing Trump’s public account.
Early in the day, the president said he called off the counterattack at the last minute because it would kill 150 people in retaliation for the downing of an unmanned surveillance drone. “We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights when I asked, how many will die,” he tweeted.ADVERTISEMENT
But administration officials said Trump was told earlier Thursday how many casualties could occur if a strike on Iran was carried out, and that he had given the green light to prepare for the operation Thursday morning.
Trump’s morning tweets appeared to gloss over the fact that he was the one, as commander in chief, who had ordered the retaliation against Iran in the first place.ADVERTISEMENT
Trump administration officials, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive national security decisions, said the president approved the strikes after Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps earlier in the day shot down the Navy RQ-4 Global Hawk, a move Trump described as a “very big mistake.”
But he later changed his mind, the officials said.
So it seems there’s good reason to think Trump isn’t being straightforward about what happened. The question is: Why won’t he tell the truth?
Another blue wave? This expert says it just might happen
In July 2018, the most widely respected analysts were decidedly uncertain whether the Democrats could retake the House. On July 6, Cook Political Report, for example, listed 180 seats as "solid" for Democrats, with 12 likely/lean and 3 "toss-up or worse." If the Democrats won all of those and the 22 GOP-held seats described as "toss-ups" — they'd still be one seat short of a majority, at 217.
This article first appeared in Salon.
It’s not Democrats who are making guns a political issue: It’s all the dead bodies
We can’t keep up. We can’t keep up with the lies, we can’t keep up with the racism, we can’t keep up with the anti-immigrant hysteria, we can’t keep up with the firings and resignations, we can’t keep up with the flat-out lunacy, but most of all, we can’t keep up with the dead bodies.
In a single week, between Sunday, July 28, and Saturday, Aug. 3, there were three separate mass shootings in this country. In Gilroy, California, at a popular garlic festival, a man wearing a bulletproof vest and carrying an AK-47 style assault rifle, killed three people and wounded 13. Two of the dead and several of the wounded were children. The shooter had six high-capacity magazines in his possession: one was a drum magazine holding 75 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition, and the other five held 40 rounds. He had bought the AK-47 and ammunition just three weeks before he opened fire on the festival goers.
Fox contributor suggests Medicare for All would increase mass shootings
On Friday's Fox and Friends, Fox contributor Rachel Campos-Duffy suggested that Medicare for All would increase the likelihood of mass shootings by lowering access to mental health care.
Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wisc.) noted the lack of mental health care in his state, noting that if mass shooters got the treatment they need, they might not go on murderous rampages.
"And I would just say, Medicare for All is going to make that worse. You're going to have less reimbursement for people in the mental health profession," Campos-Duffy said.
"We already have a shortage of that. So, if you're worried about mental health -- which we should be -- in light of all those events that we're seeing, then we really should consider, what will Medicare for All do to our mental health services?"