On Episode 105 of War Room: Impeachment, guest Peter Bergen, author of Trump and His Generals, and host Stephen K. Bannon compare the Trump administration’s messaging on the death of Qassem Soleimani to the Obama administration’s messaging on the death of Anwar al-Awlaki.

Bergen explains its relevance: “I want to go back to the Anwar al-Awlaki decision on President Obama. Anwar al-Awlaki was an American citizen in Yemen who was a leader of Al-Qaeda initially he was sort of a cleric but over time, people realized he was actually running the show in Al-Qaeda.”


He continues: “There was a decision that President Obama made around this question of imminence. The imminence was not that this guy necessarily had a plan or was ready to go tomorrow. It was that this guy was constantly planning against the United States, and Marty Lederman and another lawyer in the White House wrote in a now declassified memo basically making this argument, imminence.”

Co-host Raheem Kassam elaborates on Twitter:

Bannon expands: “They had a tightly argued letter that laid out what the threat was exactly like Peter says. It gives you the whole list of what the threat was.”

He notes how the Trump administration could have benefitted from a similar justification: “This is the point. Why is the Secretary of State, why is the administration not going back to Peter’s exact argument? And by the way, he was an American citizen and he had a 16 year old son they vaporized also.”