War

Trump's Iranian Kill Shot: Legal? Constitutional? Sensible? Impeachable?

The Reason Roundtable argues over America's latest foreign policy escalation

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Some regular listeners of the Reason Roundtable podcast have been attempting to give me credit for predicting in last week's episode that the 2020s would feature a conventional war between two countries with populations larger than 40 million.

But as too many journalists already seem to be missing in the reaction to the U.S.'s drone-assassination of Iranian Revolutionary Guard leader Qassim Sulemaini, this act of war on third-party soil—which comes after years' worth of Sulemaini-directed war-acts against American and allied personnel, also on third-party soil—nonetheless does not pit conventional army vs. conventional army on the territory of the combatants. At least not yet. What's more, President Donald Trump has rhetorically ruled out "regime change" war against Tehran, and he claimed with a straight face that his escalatory act of violence was "defensive."

In today's podcast, Peter Suderman, Katherine Mangu-Ward, Nick Gillespie, and I debate a series of questions over Trump's most notable military action as president. Was it legal? Constitutional? Precedented? Deliberated? Sensible? Impeachable? We also nominate some of the more noteworthy new laws that went into effect January 1, expend yet more oxygen praising Watchman, and touch briefly on the welcome Golden Globes comedy of Ricky Gervais.

Audio production by Ian Keyser and Regan Taylor.

Music credit: "From Russia With Love" by Huma-Huma

Relevant links from the show:

"Don't Believe Mike Pence's Spin About Iran and 9/11," by Eric Boehm

"Trump Wants to Target Iranian Cultural Sites, Says His Tweets Shall Serve as Notice to Congress," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown

"Without Evidence of 'Imminent' Attack on Americans, the White House's Justification for Killing Iranian General Seems Hollow," by Eric Boehm

"Reminder: American Officials Lie About War," by Matt Welch

"Congress Should Debate War, Not Mindlessly Cheer for It," by Eric Boehm

"Military-Intellectual Complex Looks Forward to More War in 2020," by Eric Boehm

"A Decade of No Lessons Learned in U.S. Overseas Intervention," by Brian Doherty

"Media Would Rather Talk About Gary Johnson's 'Aleppo Moment' Than a Damning New Report on Hillary Clinton's Actual War," by Matt Welch

"Pot, Guns, Tampons, Narwhals, Bail, Bags, and More Face New Rules in 2020," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown

"Fiscal Analysis of Colorado's New 'Red Flag' Law Assumes Gun Confiscation Orders Will Be Granted 95% of the Time," by Jacob Sullum

"California Freelancers Sue To Stop Law That's Destroying Their Jobs. Pol Says Those 'Were Never Good Jobs' Anyway," by Billy Binion

"HBO's Dazzling Watchmen Was a Show About the Limits and Dangers of Power," by Peter Suderman

"Ricky Gervais Slams Woke Hollywood's Sanctimony in Golden Globes Speech," by Robby Soave

NEXT: Professor Who Faced Attempted Blackmail Over Flirty Emails Now Suing University of New Mexico For Suspending Him

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  1. Reason, Iranian cultural asset # 52.

  2. Oh please….the legalistic portion of the podcast was pretty lame. You need to up your game.

    1. Didnt bother to listen. How bad was it?

      1. To sacred to click the link?

        (Chortle)

        1. Never heard of sacred links! Maybe he was scared?

          1. I tend to not listen to babbling chickens and know nothings. Not curious enough to listen or laugh at. Reason writers arent exactly the group of experts I go to learn about anything.

            1. Trump on, Trumper. Ignorance is bliss, no?

            2. Particularly, anything relating to presidential powers, international conspiracies, etc.

              Stick to liberal ignorance, new recipes and perhaps the latest Hollywood gossip.

  3. his escalatory act of violence

    They kill 400 of us but killing a handful of them is “escalatory”. In this mindset any response is an escalation because it wrongly compares the action to our previous response of nothing. The correct comparison is to the actions we are responding to.

    1. New to Reason huh? Anything the US does is escalation even when doing things like removing troops from Kurdish areas. It is the same with their trade analysis.

  4. Impeachable? Shit, of course. Farting in an elevator is impeachable. Overcooking a sirloin steak and then trying covering it up with A-1 is impeachable. Being mean on Twitter is impeachable. Killing an enemy combatant? Obviously impeachable.

      1. I guess he was just visiting Iraq for the scenery.

        1. Soleimani loved the smell of napalm in the morning….he just didn’t figure it would be his ass burning up. Son of a bitch is dead, and the owrld is demonstrably a better place without him.

      2. If the head of an organization declared a terrorist organization, which has conducted military operations that killed Americans, with a UAMF described as a “war on terror” is not an enemy combatant, then who is? All Republicans?

        1. Soleimani was a revered man, a poet, a father, and often treated his house guests to a special serving of his famous Tahdig. He was brutally assassinated while vacationing in Iraq. He was a good man. He will be missed. Trump is such a monster.

          1. Looks like someone got an advance copy of Dalmia’s column on this.

      3. He is too. He was wearing a uniform and conducting a irregular warfare. WTF

        1. Literally exactly the same as hypothetically killing General Petraeus in front of his children. Literally.

          1. US Generals aren’t legitimate war targets?

            I am confused.

      4. Just think of it as a late term abortion and shut the fuck up you sub-average Marxist sounding board.

      5. Brandybuck
        January.6.2020 at 3:54 pm
        Not an enemy combatant.

        This is going full retard

      6. Not an enemy combatant.

        Combat is not limited to firing a weapon, it includes giving orders.

        1. This is similar to British officers complaining about American snipers targeting officers rather then regular soldiers during the Revolution.

  5. unreason.

    So sad to see it go.

  6. Looking forward to the Hollywood Production, George Clooney as Solimaini and Joan Crawford as Mohammed Dearest

  7. In order.

    “yes, yes, yes, good luck because Ahahahahahahah”

  8. I can’t imagine even Trump is lucky enough to have the Democrats try and impeach him for killing this asshole.

    1. Give it a few weeks. Some disgruntled “whistleblower” is bound to come out of the woodwork to reveal that Trump ordered the hit while farting loudly and eating ice cream on the couch. So callous. So inhumane.

    2. Just watch…..I called this Friday night. 😉

      1. If they do that, Trump will win 40 states next November.

    3. Impeachable, no. Stupid, yes.

  9. Reason’s staff: Vapid? Ignorant? Mendacious? Marxist?

    1. More than that, they are arrogant. They cannot imagine themselves on a barstool in a dive bar with actual people, knocking back a shot and a beer and talking about da bears. They are cosmotarians, pseudo-intellectuals. As a group they have a great need to be accepted by the elites, while at the same time decrying them. That’s why Trump has caused them so much angst; even when they agree with him they have to disavow him as a vulgarian. It’s a class purity thing and Trump is unclean, an untouchable made good.

      1. In any decent bar, you’d get laughed out spouting that Trump BS. He’s a joke everywhere that matters.

  10. “It is possible that anti-Trump partisanship isn’t behind Democrats’ reluctance to say they’re glad Soleimani is dead. It may be that today’s Democratic Party simply doesn’t believe in the use of force against America’s enemies in the world. I don’t believe that is true, but episodes like this one may lead many Americans to wonder whether it is. If enough voters decide that Democrats can’t be trusted to keep America safe, Mr. Trump won’t have much trouble winning a second term in November.”

    —-Joe Lieberman (D)

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-democrats-and-iran-11578262553?

    I can see arguments either way that what Trump did should require authorization from Congress.

    If the Democrats try to impeach Trump because he took out a vicious murderer who killed hundreds of American heroes, it’ll be the stupidest thing they ever did.

    House Democrats would do themselves a favor in 2020 if they looked the other way on this–regardless of whether what Trump did was constitutional.

    Impeachment is like a jury trial in a number of ways. A man who kills someone for raping his daughter may be guilty of murder, but if a jury of his peers won’t convict him for it, whether he’s guilty of murder doesn’t really matter. Likewise, if what Obama did when he killed Osama bin Laden was unconstitutional, maybe that shouldn’t really matter if the American people, by way of their representatives in the Congress, refuse to impeach him for it and reelect him as president despite him having violated the Constitution.

    The same rules apply to President Trump.

    I wish we lived in a country where people were so upset about the president violating the Constitution that they saw removing him from office as an automatic thing–just because he violated the Constitution. Meanwhile, I’m glad we don’t live in a country where elitists remove a president from office against the will of the American people and over their objections. If you want the American people to want what you want, there’s no getting around persuading them.

    1. I can see arguments either way that what Trump did should require authorization from Congress.

      What he did was already authorized under both of the still-in-effect AUMF that congress passed in 2001 and 2002 respectively.

      If the party of extrajudicial assassinations of 16 year old American citizens and executive branch decade long middle east civil wars wants to make an issue of that then by all means they should do so, as loudly as possible.

      1. Oh and for the record Obama’s assassination of Bin Laden is one of his few acts as president that actually was constitutional. Also fully authorized under 2001 AUMF. It’s unbelievable how you can manage to be absolutely and totally incorrect factually and logically on any given issue without any partisan bias of any kind. Most of the Marxist clingers here at Reason let ideology be their guide. You are just genuinely, comprehensively, and remarkably stupid.

        1. Most of the Marxist clingers here

          Confirmed Rev sock

          1. LMAO, yesterday I was Tulpa. Jesus Christ you’re brain dead.

            1. I was the one saying you weren’t Tulpa, actually. Also, the Rev thing was a joke. You can unclench now.

        2. Likewise, [IF IF IF] what Obama did when he killed Osama bin Laden was unconstitutional, maybe that shouldn’t really matter if the American people, by way of their representatives in the Congress, refuse to impeach him for it.

          Your binary thinking seems to be blinding you to the bigger picture.

          If there were no AUMF, would that have made any difference?

          If it were unconstitutional for Barack Obama to kill Osama bin Laden, I might have supported him in killing bin Laden anyway. In fact, if Obama had been presented with the opportunity to kill Osama bin Laden and he willfully chose not to do so, I might have called for impeaching President Obama on that basis alone.

          In criminal law, there’s this thing called “jury nullification”. That’s what we’re really talking about here. Juries sometimes decide that they aren’t returning runaway slaves to their masters–no matter what the law says. That’s more or less the situation President Trump is in with this. It doesn’t really matter whether what he did was unconstitutional–not if the House is too afraid to impeach him for fear that they will lose their seats in November because of it. You could say the voters are using jury nullification to give Trump a pass on this–regardless of whether what he did was constitutional.

          I’m not saying that’s the way it should be, but I think that’s the way it is–whether what Trump did is constitutional is a red herring whether we like it or not.

        3. Bin Laden died in Dec. 2001 in Tora Bora of kidney disease.

          1. Cool story bro.

      2. “What he did was already authorized under both of the still-in-effect AUMF that congress passed in 2001 and 2002 respectively.”

        If what he did was constitutional, it probably isn’t because of the AUMF. The AUMF authorizes the president to go after anyone he deems collaborated with those who attacked us on 9/11. I don’t think anyone has ever accused the Iranians of collaborating with Al Qaeda. If what Trump did was constitutional, it has more to do with his constitutional status as Commander-in-chief. The president has denied that his intentions were to start a war. When he retaliated against Americans being targeted by rockets within Iraq, he did so by way of his powers as Commander-in-Chief.

        And like I said, it may not matter whether what he did was constitutional to the American people anyway. Like Barack Obama, he might plead “guilty as charged” on the count of killing a terrorist threat to the American people and simply dare the Democrats to impeach him for it. If the jury won’t convict him for killing someone who buried hundreds of American heroes in Arlington, then whether it was constitutional is a dead point.

        On the other hand, I’m not about to pretend that presidents shouldn’t need to seek congressional approval for their foreign adventures, and if and when Congress sunsets the AUMF, I’ll be as happy as anybody for that reason.

        1. It was in response to a direct attack on US interests. The President needs congressional authority to go to war. He doesn’t need it to retaliate for attacks on US territory, which is what the attack on the embassy was. By your logic, Roosevelt needed Congressional approval to respond to Pearl Harbor being attacked.

        2. The AUMF authorizes the president to go after anyone he deems collaborated with those who attacked us on 9/11. I don’t think anyone has ever accused the Iranians of collaborating with Al Qaeda.

          Al Qaeda no longer exists in any meaningful sense but its offshoots and former leadership have all received training and money from Iran. We’ve conducted military operations all over the world including Somalia and DRC on far more tenuous connections to Al Qaeda. And that’s just the ’01 AUMF. The ’02 AUMF authorizes carte blanche military action in Iraq based on Iraqi non-compliance with UN directives, state sponsorship of terrorism, and harboring of known terrorists. Every condition of the ’02 AUMF was met with this drone strike on an active terrorist paramilitary commander in Iraq at a conference with other high-level terrorist leaders.

          1. “Al Qaeda no longer exists in any meaningful sense but its offshoots and former leadership have all received training and money from Iran.”

            You need to link to that. I believe you are mistaken.

            Al Qaeda in Iraq was part of Al Qaeda.

            AQI left Al Qaeda so they could concentrate on murdering Shiite pilgrims–and then they became Islamic State.

            Iran has been fighting Islamic State in Syria, especially. I’m not saying that Iran never financed a Sunni group anywhere that was fighting against ISIS, but if you think that satisfies the objectives of the AUMF in going after the perpetrators of 9/11 and their collaborators, then you’re throwing justifications up against the wall and hoping that something sticks.

            1. The AUMF is an open ended joke of a DoW and thats the point.

              Neocons wanted endless war with whomever the Progressive President wanted to drone. Now Trump has made sure Progressives will never be fully in power and they are pissed.

  11. Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    Only if the Ds are suicidal

  12. The may have been a signature strike based from intel that the people involved in the embassy attack were in a plane and being picked up at the airport. We identified the plane, and the car picking up people, fire away.

    Trump may have accidently killed the general. Which would be pretty funny.

  13. I see a bunch of comparisons to Obama and Bin Laden.

    But the real “compare and contrast” would be Obama and Libya.

    Obama took on an actual war operation against a government, not some limited retaliatory action, or police action, or targeted assassination or whatever you want to call it. It was legit weighing in on one side of a war against the government of Libya with US forces attacking Libyan forces and targeting its leadership.

    Obama not only did not consult with congress, he said that the war powers act did not apply and he didn’t need to notify congress at all, let along getting some sort of declaration of war.

    And the compare and contrast comes with Congress’ reaction. A major chunk of them were the same people. Pretty much all of the leadership was the exact same group of people. Nancy Pelosi didn’t demand notification. Chuck Schumer didn’t demand notification or consultation. They didn’t even assert their authority under the war powers act. They completely abdicated all responsibility. Obama continued pressing air attacks into many other countries, without some much as a “By your leave”.

    There’s your comparison. These idiots are screaming about World War III after 1 bomb in a country that we currently occupy militarily – not in Iran. Said bomb hit the top Iranian commander as he was meeting with the second highest Hezbollah (terrorist organization) commander. A commander who had just attacked Americans at the embassy and at an air base. For this, WWIII and cries of congressional oversight from people who have just proven that they cannot be trusted to follow even the most basic of rules of civility or process in politics.

    Hell, there’s a good argument that it would have been a good idea to bring congressional leaders in on this in the abstract, but that this group would have screwed it up for a single news cycle’s worth of advantage. And there is also a very good argument to be made that there is no precedent or need for notification for actions like this in the war on terror in Iraq. (all of which completely ignores whether or not this action was smart, necessary, or even a calculated risk… or completely reckless and stupid)

    The bottom line is that people who are running around with their hair on fire over this one have not got a leg to stand on unless they were born sometime in the last 3 years and never pounded the table over Trump’s “weakness” against Iranian provocations, or in Syria, etc….. It isn’t just hypocrisy, it exposes your arguments as entirely disingenuous.

    Meanwhile, folks like me who objected to all of the above are free to call this spade a spade. But there are not too many of us. The rise of the Democrat Neocon has been one of the truly shocking developments of my adult lifetime.

    1. “Hell, there’s a good argument that it would have been a good idea to bring congressional leaders in on this in the abstract, but that this group would have screwed it up for a single news cycle’s worth of advantage.”

      Anyone who doubts they wouldn’t are either lying or stupid.

    2. I can shock you some more. The only reason Lefties protested nukes and war in the 1960-1980s was to protect communism. These fuckers never really protested Commies in Afghanistan murdering women and children.

      Then the USSR imploded and utterly came out of nowhere for Lefties.

    3. Within the context of an argument about whether Congress should have authorized Obama to do what he did in Libya, I argued (and still maintain) that Congress should authorize what Obama did in Libya.

      What Obama did in Libya was unjustified–even though it was smart.

      There are a number of considerations that complicate the comparison of Trump to Obama.

      One of the big ones is the reason why Obama didn’t seek a congressional authorization. The reason Obama didn’t seek a congressional authorization wasn’t because the Republican neocons in Congress wouldn’t give him one. The reason Obama didn’t seek a congressional authorization is because the Republican neocons in Congress were insisting that he send in American ground troops into Libya by the thousands, and they were planning to insert that into the resolution. That was a terrible idea. If we had done that, everything that happened in Libya would have happened anyway, but we’d be stuck in a quagmire with no clear way out–just like we are in Afghanistan and Iraq.

      I oppose violating the separation of powers on principle, but I’m glad we didn’t send ground troops into Libya. To a large extent, what Obama did in Libya was smart–aside from the question of whether it was constitutional–specifically because it required no presence on the ground by American troops. The reason it was easy to withdraw our troops from Libya is because we never deployed ground troops to Libya. The French and the UK were dead set on doing what they did in Libya under the auspices of NATO whether Obama gave them logistical and air support or not. Meanwhile, the money, arms, and ground troops were supplied by Qatar.

      The point is that what Trump did as Commander-in-chief is fundamentally different from what Obama did in Libya. Trump already had troops on the ground in Iraq, and Trump is still operating under the authority of Congress that authorized the president to invade and occupy Iraq. The strike against Suleimani happened in Iraq, and it was in retaliation for attacks that Suleimani ordered that killed Americans in Iraq. Again, within that context, it can be well argued that Trump was acting in his capacity as Commander-in-chief on the basis of an authorization that already exists and lets him keep ground troops in Iraq.

      Contrast that with Obama’s actions in Libya, and there is a big difference. Obama wasn’t acting on the basis of a congressional authorization. Obama wasn’t going after terrorists who collaborated with Al Qaeda–so the AUMF didn’t cover it. Obama was acting on his own accord without any authorization from congress at all.

      If there’s a legitimate comparison to make between what Obama did and what Trump did, it’s that in both cases, the constitutionality of their actions doesn’t matter–if Congress isn’t willing to impeach them for it.

      1. That was pretty much the point I was making. And it was the exact same people. It was Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer in charge when Obama attacked Libya. And there is no question that Obama violated the Constitution and the War Powers act. It isn’t even a close call. And they not only did nothing, they assisted the White House in blocking the republicans from doing anything.

        And now they are running around screaming about an action that is almost certainly within the president’s purview and legal from several points of view.

        They are not just being hypocritical, they are lying about the whole thing – and everyone who is covering it in the press knows it. Almost all of them were there for the Libya attacks as well, so it isn’t like they are ignorant. They all gave Obama cover as he violated the constitution and the war powers act. And now they are beating their chests about how Trump has threatened the constitution in ways that have never happened in our history, and he is totally acting like a dictator and wants to be Hitler.

        Nobody should be granting any of these people a pass on any of that.

        All of which is a separate question as to the wisdom of our current path with Iran. That’s a Gordian knot that I don’t think anyone can cut.

        1. “All of which is a separate question as to the wisdom of our current path with Iran. That’s a Gordian knot that I don’t think anyone can cut.”

          I think it was a mistake to fall for Iran’s provocations, but I hope I’m wrong about that.

          There is an argument to make the Iranian government and the people within it need to know that there are downsides to provoking the United States, but I don’t think that message is worth it–especially when Iran’s economy is circling the drain and they’re lashing out at the United States because it’s the only move they have left.

          The reason Iran is lashing out at the United States isn’t because their fear of retaliation is insufficient. The reason Iran is lashing out at the United States is because of the sanctions. The sanctions are doing far more harm to Iran than killing Suleimani did, and killing Suleimani does nothing to change that calculation.

          The key way for Iran to get rid of the sanctions (without capitulating on its nuclear ambitions) is to continue to provoke the United States, continue to hope President Trump overreacts, and push for the Europeans to break down on sanctions enforcement because of that. The Europeans are still in compliance with Obama’s nuclear deal and so are the Iranians (even if they’ve said they would break the deal and leave it). If Iran can provoke the U.S. into retaliating against them with increasing force, European resolve will break down on the sanctions.

          What Obama did in Libya was unconstitutional but smart.

          What Trump did with Suleimani was probably constitutional but not smart.

          1. but I don’t think that message is worth it–especially when Iran’s economy is circling the drain and they’re lashing out at the United States because it’s the only move they have left
            …how long has north korea been circling the drain. any dictatorial power with little regard for the welfare of their own citizens can apparently last a long long time regardless.
            Their economic spiral i think may be background noise to the Iranian leadership when it comes to considerations of more anti-US provocation and so i guess would only come into the calculus if they look to break that cycle by delinking the US from its allies… an argument i have seen made in the comments somewhere at Reason

          2. taking out a gan kingpin with buckets of blood on his hands, IS smart. Particularly whan his plans for his next moves, very bloody ones at that, were known. He was actually in process of setting up his next planned “job”. That’s WHY he was where he was and with the companions he had at the time. I find it rather convenient that another well known and successful worker-of-mayhem was also on scene, and taken out as well.

            Take a read on this dirtbag’s operations over the past twenty years or so. Good riddance to bad rubbish. With the known plans he DID have for his next few moves, taking him out likely saved a signficant number of American lives, as well as those of other nations. I fail to see how that should NOT be taken as “self-defense”.
            If a dirtbag had made known his plans to come pay me a visit in order to kill me, and he had a track record of doing exactly those sorts of things and I caught wind of it, I’d have been justified taking a stand in a tree i view of my driveway, and when their convoy comes uo the road to pay a visit, to take them out.

            Of course, I’d really ring up the Good Guys with Guns and have them stake out the place. Their badges don’t make them better shots, but they have qualified immunity and I don’t. Same end result, though.

  14. Can someone send Nick off to use mushrooms to make this podcast more listenable? Live debate is just not his greatest format. ENB for the save!

    1. Did ENB make sammiches? Otherwise she is intolerable.

  15. I can make a far better case that Obama killing Abdulrahman al-Awlaki; an American citizen, was a more impeachable offense. I’m not disputing what he did was right nor am I criticizing him for it.

  16. Hey Reason, when Obama killed an American citizen where were you in talking impeachment???

  17. America is “World War Champ” since 1776 because the founders put the military under the President, and not under #shithole Congress.

  18. The congressionally enacted, and modified from time to time, AUMF rules provide for actions such as this one.

    Also there is a part of 10 USC that gives the CinC power to deal with emergent situations without the fatal delays in getting Congress to approve.
    Part of why Benghazi was such a mess is that the CinC at the time lacked the stones and interest to authorise the deployment of the available military force until far too late. They were finally deployed.. just in time for cleanup on Aisle Sixteen.
    When our guys are at risk from a clearly identified danger, acting to neutralise that danger without playing Mommy May I is justified and legal.

  19. Hey guys….

    I was out and about and kinda trapped in a no signal zone…. and this podcast was all that was downloaded. So I gave it another go.

    Holy crap.

    You guys should go back and listen to yourselves. It doesn’t hold up well.

    The stuff you grabbed on to as important suddenly looks much less important or even wrongheaded. Suderman in particular was drinking in opposition propaganda as fact, simply because it was in a newspaper.

    Nick is at least coming from a set-in-stone anti-war position, and he had the one salient point …. that we, the voters, need to hold people accountable for all of these sorts of actions and commit the nation to a new policy on foreign affairs. But for some bizarre reason he chose to attach “world’s policeman” and “invading foreign countries” to Trump and what is unarguably an extremely limited military response to a long string of increasingly provocative military actions by Iran.

    But the stupid takes come fast and furious throughout. Most of them reveal a complete lack of appreciation for what has happened and why, what the potential consequences are and what the relevant precedent is.

    I’ll posit that the lesson learned should be that the people you are reading are less honest brokers than you seem to think they are.

    For a contrast to your cluster-f*** of faux erudite takes, I’ll refer you to pretty much the exact opposite…. go listen to the 5th column podcast on the day of the Soleimani strike. Moynahan has a completely off-the-cuff reaction, entirely unaffected by the propaganda machines because there was literally no time for the machines to get their talking points circulating. While lacking any pretense toward erudition, he had a steaming pile of facts ready at his fingertips and went on an extended rant about the deserving nature of the target.

    Amazing how quickly “team” think can rearrange the thoughts of large swaths of very smart people to align with the group.

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