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DEVELOPMENTS & CONFIRMATIONS IN IRAN – MOVES AND COUNTERMOVES! – POTUS Authority for strikes dates back to April 8, 2019

(Related item: ARTICLE)

*UPDATED/edited to include the President’s statement (1:55 a.m. 03 Jan 20.)

*UPDATED/edited 2nd time to include Schiff/Pelosi exclusion (2:44 a.m. 03 Jan 20.)

Moves and countermoves!

In a way, you could argue that the Trump Administration’s assassination of Iran’s most senior military official is old news. At the least, it was foreshadowed. Here’s how.

Tonight, as news and updates on the assassination of Iran’s most senior military commander and the IRGC’s Quds Force chief Qasem Suleimani continue to unfold, I want to draw your attention to a significant development.

Before we even get there, let’s elaborate on ‘moves and countermoves!’ Think about what the President is in the midst of right now as I type these words: impeachment and Iran. Both are forces emanating from the same power base – Deep State/Shadow Government and the ‘usual suspects.’

Now, ask yourself what would be required in order for the President to act so quickly, with so little notice and, most importantly, without overly involving the same Congress currently trying to impeach him (relevant to the process for military action, war, war powers, etc.)? Think about how the President might be able to circumvent Congress while preserving the ability to act forcefully both unilaterally and immediately and in a responsive capacity to what are likely foreseen strategic scenarios deriving from the Deep State/Shadow Government. It’s a lot to think about but it’s actually a simpler notion.

I first wrote about the development HERE on April 14, 2019, while examining US hegemonic expansion in Iran. Also, here’s the source page I’ve been relying on for much of my information tonight: ARTICLE

Below is a large but very relative excerpt from my earlier article because it reflects on the authority of the President to lawfully assassinate a foreign military leader on foreign soil. More on that in a minute. Here’s the excerpt:

So, as we can see, Iran is nothing new as it relates to the geopolitical landscape and it’s long-tenured status as the greatest state-sponsor of terrorism globally. Everyone knows that. It also goes without saying that we’ve seen a tumultuous and abrupt shift in how the United States views and handles Iran politically, militarily and diplomatically. It’s important to note that the US severed diplomatic relations with Iran during the Carter administration and since that time, Switzerland has served as the nation’s protector by proxy for the US (

The days of Obama diplomacy, replete with transporting $1.5 billion in the form of pallets of currency and coin to the country aboard five different flights and using four different routes; and not to mention the splendid nuclear deal (at least from the Iranian’s point of view) from which the Trump administration thankfully removed us despite all of the bellyaching from the Left and the usual Deep State suspects, are long gone.

There was no doubt that a shift in tactics would be forthcoming following the election of President Trump. That shift is now on full display for all to see; however, there was a notable development about six days ago when on April 8th, the administration took the unprecedented step of branding the military arm of the Iranian government – The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its Qods Force – as a foreign terrorist organization. Again, this is an unprecedented maneuver – declaring a country’s standing army as a foreign terrorist organization – and it has implications.

We first noticed this development the same day that President Trump made the declaration and issued two press releases. It prompted us to post and ask about the distinct possibility of a quid pro quo event; more on that later. For now, here are the press releases issued by the White House:

 1. Statement from the President on the Designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a Foreign Terrorist Organization – full text (08 Apr 19):

“Today, I am formally announcing my Administration’s plan to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), including its Qods Force, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.  This unprecedented step, led by the Department of State, recognizes the reality that Iran is not only a State Sponsor of Terrorism, but that the IRGC actively participates in, finances, and promotes terrorism as a tool of statecraft.  The IRGC is the Iranian government’s primary means of directing and implementing its global terrorist campaign.

“This designation will be the first time that the United States has ever named a part of another government as a FTO.  It underscores the fact that Iran’s actions are fundamentally different from those of other governments.  This action will significantly expand the scope and scale of our maximum pressure on the Iranian regime.  It makes crystal clear the risks of conducting business with, or providing support to, the IRGC.  If you are doing business with the IRGC, you will be bankrolling terrorism.

“This action sends a clear message to Tehran that its support for terrorism has serious consequences.  We will continue to increase financial pressure and raise the costs on the Iranian regime for its support of terrorist activity until it abandons its malign and outlaw behavior.”

– Statecraft Discerned


Let’s make moonshine. We’ll begin with some straight-up opinion here. In my best estimation, Trump’s Administration had exceptional intelligence both back then (to take the FTO measure) and currently (to execute the strike.) I believe the intelligence demonstrates something akin to what I’ve outlined already: the entire Iran/Iraq Embassy event was a DS/SG political construct predicated on a manufactured event and supported by manufactured propaganda.

Okay, so what were the moves and countermoves, then? For President Trump, the Foreign Terrorist Organization designation was the sage play. He preempted the Congressional impeaching body that carries weight in declaring war (recall, this was a military strike) back in April and Pelosi still hasn’t even delivered the AOIs to the Senate.

Moreover, think about this. Given the precarious nature of the current landscape in Iran (post-embassy attack), any sort of military response on Iranian soil would most certainly require Congress’ participation as it would stray away from terrorism and much closer to a retaliatory act of war. So then, just where did Trump execute this strike? In Iraq. What permits that? An FTO designation does.

To examine the President’s Constitutional authority to unilaterally execute the strike while precluding Congress, consider THIS, THIS and THIS.

Recall all of the longstanding political rhetoric around Iran being the world’s greatest state sponsor of terror? It’s not a difficult argument to make if you’re President Trump looking to predicate and justify significant unilateral executive power as a ‘countermove.’ Using the FTO designation back in April is a keen mode of political expedience to get that done.

As THIS LA Times article observed in layman’s terms,

“If there is one lesson Congress should have learned in nearly two decades since the 2001 AUMF, it is that a sunset, or cut-off date, is an essential component in dealing with asymmetrical warfare and enemies. In its absence, the president is granted the ability to fight the war as long as he or she chooses.”

The President himself weighed-in via his DOD with grand confirmations: a) his intelligence has been and continues to be exceptional, b) moves and countermoves were foreseen and prognosticated and c) the FTO designation was essential to the operation. The DOD statement:

“At the direction of the President, the U.S. military has taken decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization

“General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region. General Soleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more. He had orchestrated attacks on coalition bases in Iraq over the last several months – including the attack on December 27th – culminating in the death and wounding of additional American and Iraqi personnel. General Soleimani also approved the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad that took place this week.  

“This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans. The United States will continue to take all necessary action to protect our people and our interests wherever they are around the world.”


This ain’t no different than any other good old fashioned “muh terrorism” drone assassination. Quite the circumvention on Mr. Trump’s part, is it not? Slick way to ensure your own capabilities.

The FTO provided President Trump authority that Congress couldn’t subvert and they gave it to him. Outsmarted. Outclassed. It worked like a hunting permit – he caught his quarry at just the right time and in just the right location and as permitted by law.

Beaten at their own game once again. Whatever you want to call it. Winning, I suppose.

The DS/SG thought they’d drag President Trump into an Iranian, Middle Eastern disaster and controvert significant aspects of his reelection platform. They were wrong.

Instead, Mr. Trump immediately sent the Marines into the embassy in Iraq while he took his other countermove last spring. And that allowed him to circumvent a duplicitous Congress to rightfully and legally to assassinate Iran’s highest military official on Iraqi soil.

Your move Iran (DS/SG.)



*Updated: CONFIRMATION: As suspected, predicted and outlined in the article, Schiff and Pelosi have come forward to confirm their preclusion from any advance notice of the strike: SOURCE


“But Congress didn’t authorize and American people don’t want a war with Iran.

– Nancy Pelosi

Unbelievable. Truly revolutionary times.

(Related item: ARTICLE)


  1. Maria Holm January 3, 2020

    Thank you so much for your excellent article. President Trump is highly talented and works with the best in the Military. I want to ask what the abbreviation SG means? I know that DS is Deep State.

    • Political Moonshine March 11, 2020

      Sorry for the long delay – just realized I had settings off that queued everything up for moderation. That said, the abbreviation DSSG/MIC = Deep State Shadow Government/Military Industrial Complex. The Deep State and Shadow Government are two different but enmeshed entities – think of the SG as the dark, unseen, true power brokers who actually pull the strings while the Deep State is a aggregation of elected and un-elected bureaucrats who essentially make-up the federal apparatus (Senior Executive Service employees and the like) that often serve ulterior purposes beyond the scope of their designated purpose.

  2. […] THIS is a very deep and updated dig providing details on the Iran/Iraq embassy political construct. It’s required reading to fully understand what’s being outlined in this article. Most importantly, it cites another piece I wrote in April 2019 questioning the expanding US hegemony in Iran and depicting the origins of President Trump’s authority to strike Suleimani via the Foreign Terrorist Organization designation he made in April 2019. […]

  3. […] THIS is a deep dig taking the President’s authority in Iraq back to a Foreign Terrorist Organization designation from April 2019. It has twice been updated but most importantly, it cites my previous work from 14 Apr 19 examining US hegemonic expansion in Iran. It’s also important to note two confirmation from previous claims contained herein: Trump’s decision to preclude Democrats on advance notice of the strike and Pelosi’s quote outlining the event as a political construct. […]

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