County's federal representatives react to killing of Iranian general
Last updated 1/8/2020 at 5:02pm
Adams County’s federal representatives had a mixed reaction to the U.S. drone strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani on Jan. 3, mostly falling along party lines.
Soleimani, commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force, was killed in the early morning hours of Jan. 3 in Iraq, the evening of Jan. 2 in the U.S. He and nine others died after a U.S. drone fired several missiles at two vehicles that were driving on an access road at the Baghdad International Airport.
Following the attack, President Donald Trump asserted that Soleimani had been plotting future attacks on U.S. diplomats and members of the military.
“We took action last night to stop a war. We did not take action to start a war,” Trump said at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida a day after the attack.
Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-Sunnyside), representing Washington’s Fourth Congressional District, said in a Jan. 3 statement that Soleimani’s death “signifies American strength against his threats, attacks, and acts of global terrorism.
“President Trump acted decisively to defend America. I am grateful to the men and women of the U.S. military and intelligence community who helped successfully carry out this mission to protect our country and our allies. I will be carefully monitoring the situation as it plays out.”
The state’s two senators, Patty Murray (D-WA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA), expressed concerns over the strategy--or lack thereof--and the bypassing of coordinating with and alerting Congress about the attack.
Sen. Murray said in a Jan. 3 statement that while she agreed Soleimani was an enemy of the U.S., “I am gravely concerned this President’s escalatory actions jeopardize American servicemembers, allies, and interests and could put us on a path to deeper, sustained engagement—once again without a strategy or clearly defined objectives, and this time without any attempt to seek Congressional approval.”
National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien told reporters on Jan. 3 that the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 provided legal justification for the killing of Soleimani.
Sen. Cantwell said “no one wants to see an escalation with Iran” in a Jan. 3 statement. “The President needs a strategy that involves working with our allies to find a diplomatic solution for the region. The President also needs to brief Congress on the intelligence that led to this strike, as well as the plan to protect Americans and allies from the repercussions of his actions.”