President Donald Trump's allies are scrambling to justify an airstrike that killed top 7 General Qasem Soleimani.
The move escalated the growing tensions between the United States and Iran overnight, with some even claiming the strike put the U.S. on track for yet another war in the Middle East.
Among those defending the President's actions are his Vice President, Mike Pence, who falsely claimed in a Twitter thread that Soleimani played a part in transporting the hijackers behind the September 11 attacks.
Read the tweet below.
Assisted in the clandestine travel to Afghanistan of 10 of the 12 terrorists who carried out the September 11 terro… https://t.co/MjP3Uy1lO0— Mike Pence (@Mike Pence)1578081952.0
The comment was in a litany of offenses against Americans committed by Soleimani.
While no one disputes the actions Soleimani took against American service members in Iraq, many agree that foreign policy and potential acts of war shouldn't be based on revenge. Especially when hasty retaliations could result in the loss of even more American lives.
There is no evidence that Iran or Soleimani played any role in facilitating the 9/11 attacks.
While the 9/11 Commission found that some of the attacks' orchestrators passed through Iran to Afghanistan, none of the report's findings concluded that Soleimani was involved with their passage or any other actions involving the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil in history. Trump allies Saudi Arabia did not fare as well.
What's more, Pence didn't even get the number of hijackers correct. There were 19, not 12.
People weren't about to let Pence's lie go unchecked.
The official 9/11 commission report found no evidence that Iran or Hezbollah were aware of the planning for the 9/1… https://t.co/l99LZlKJPH— Jon Jones (@Jon Jones)1578131240.0
This is a level of untruth that is quite incredible. The 19 (not 12) attackers were Sunni fanatic jihadists sponso… https://t.co/F1S0X3gnWb— Craig Murray (@Craig Murray)1578093132.0
1. There were 19 hijackers, not 12 2. There is no evidence tying Soleimani to 9/11 3. Soleimani is a Shiite & the… https://t.co/r9UJKpy3nW— Judd Legum (@Judd Legum)1578099300.0
The Vice President of the United States just openly and brazenly lied and said an Iranian General that the Trump ad… https://t.co/HYm10iKvOk— Shaun King (@Shaun King)1578088099.0
I hear Pence is a fundamentalist Xtian. I have news for you, Mike , you are banned from Rapture for your constant l… https://t.co/ogPayMUV3h— Citizen Halo 🇫🇮🐦⏳ (@Citizen Halo 🇫🇮🐦⏳)1578318197.0
The claim reminded some of the George W. Bush administration's lies to tie Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein to 9/11.
I quit the CIA in late 2002 for two main reasons. First, torture. Second, a transparent attempt within the Bush adm… https://t.co/PQsvujP6N8— Hugh Handeyside (@Hugh Handeyside)1578084947.0
These guys can't even come up with an original lie. They're now using the same lie Bush used to justify going to wa… https://t.co/4xRsBFZ3f3— Facts Do Matter (@Facts Do Matter)1578154457.0
No. Absolutely no. Bush & co shamelessly, baselessly exploited the mass trauma and fear of 9/11 to lie us into c… https://t.co/o7mUBkRIW4— Kai Newkirk (@Kai Newkirk)1578088775.0
Iran has vowed revenge for the killing of Soleimani, leading Trump to threaten Iraqi cultural sites with attacks. Some of the cultural sites of Iraq are part of world history, dating back many thousands of years.
The threat is like vowing to bomb the Smithsonian, the Statue of Liberty or the Louvre or the Great Pyramids. Hopefully cooler heads will prevail before irreplaceable historical sites are wiped off the map.
The book Piety & Power: Mike Pence and the Taking of the White House is available here.