ACLU Comment on White House Justification for Soleimani Strike

February 14, 2020 2:30 pm

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WASHINGTON — The White House today provided Congress its claimed legal justification for the U.S. military strike killing Qassem Soleimani, leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force.

Below is comment from Hina Shamsi, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Security Project, in response:

“The Trump administration is asserting shockingly broad, dangerous, and unlawful power to take military action against Iran. Apparently abandoning its earlier shifting and unsupported claims of an imminent attack, the administration now wrongly claims even more expansive presidential power to use lethal force. It also absurdly argues that Congress authorized the strike under a 2002 law aimed at the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq. The bottom line is that Congress has not authorized war or hostilities against Iran, and the Trump administration’s arguments fall afoul of both the Constitution and international law.

“After almost two decades of expansive presidential claims of authority to use force abroad, Congress must act to robustly exercise the oversight and restraining powers that are integral to our system of checks and balances.”

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