Embassies Not Notified of Alleged ‘Imminent’ Threat from Suleimani

Embassies Not Notified of Alleged ‘Imminent’ Threat from Suleimani January 15, 2020

The Washington Post has an article looking at the claim from Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Iranian General Suleimani posed an “imminent” threat to four embassies, including the one in Baghdad, Iraq. One of the revelations in the article that seriously undermines the credibility of that claim is that the embassies were never notified of any such threat.

Despite Trump’s claim that the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad was one of four facilities under threat of attack, some embassy officials there said they did not receive an alert commensurate to the threat Trump described, said people familiar with the situation, who were not authorized to comment publicly.

When officials in Washington or in a diplomatic outpost receive specific, credible information about threats to an embassy, warnings are typically sent to the U.S. personnel in the post to be vigilant and take precautions.

“If they had knowledge of an imminent threat, then you would’ve expected them to notify people,” said Ronald Neumann, president of the American Academy of Diplomacy and a retired career Foreign Service officer.

After the killing of Soleimani and Iran’s public vows to take vengeance, U.S. personnel in the region were on edge and asking colleagues about information related to emerging threats. Some who never received any information about such specific threats were angered and confused when Trump later claimed that the Baghdad embassy would have been attacked, when they had received no such information, said the people familiar with the situation.

The Post says this claim is unfounded at best and an outright lie at worst. And since they long ago lost any benefit of the doubt in a torrent of deceit, I think it’s safe to conclude that it’s just a lie. The fact that Trump’s defense of the killing of Suleimani has collapsed down to “it doesn’t matter whether the threat was imminent or not” supports that conclusion.

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