Trump Smacks New York Times Report on Iran War Plan as Fake News
May 14, 2019 (EIRNS)—Yesterday, the New York Times ran a story, obviously based on leaks, claiming that during a meeting on May 9, Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan presented a revised war plan that calls for deploying 120,000 troops to the Persian Gulf region, “should Iran attack American forces or accelerate work on nuclear weapons.” According to the Times report, the revisions were ordered by hard-liners “led by” National Security Advisor John Bolton. This development, the Times says,
“reflects the influence of Mr. Bolton, one of the administration’s most virulent Iran hawks, whose push for confrontation with Tehran was ignored more than a decade ago by President George W. Bush.
“It is highly uncertain whether [President Donald] Trump, who has sought to disentangle the United States from Afghanistan and Syria, ultimately would send so many American forces back to the Middle East,”
the Times goes on. “It is also unclear whether the President has been briefed on the number of troops or other details in the plans.” Also present at the meeting were Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford, CIA Director Gina Haspel and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.
Trump himself cleared up the uncertainty today. “I think it’s fake news, OK? Now, would I do that? Absolutely,” he told reporters at the White House. “But we have not planned for that. Hopefully we’re not going to have to plan for that. And if we did that, we’d send a hell of a lot more troops than that.” He then asked, “Where was that story? In the New York Times? Well, the New York Times is fake news.”
Retired DIA officer Col. W. Patrick Lang, writing on his “Sic Semper Tyrannis” blog earlier today, surmises that in his opinion, someone in the military leaked the information about the war plan to the Times “to warn Trump of the wild-eyed foolishness of the crew he has allowed to run U.S. foreign policy.” Lang described the May 9 meeting as an information briefing and stated that Trump was not even there.
“What has happened once again is that Bolton asked DOD for options for the President/CinC’s [commander in chief’s] contemplation. As I have written in the last days, neither Bolton nor Pompeo has any command authority over the armed forces. Neither does Haspel at CIA. Only the President can command them. Only he has the constitutional authority to do so,”
“IMO the neocon squeeze with regard to Iran is in high gear. The aim is probably to pressure Iran until they lash out somewhere against U.S. forces or interests. Trump would then be urged by the madmen in the White House to order the armed forces to attack.”