A Twitter thread by National Iranian American Council Research Director Reza Marashi made up of quotes from “career U.S. government officials” is blowing up as it becomes clearer that a conflict with Iran is forthcoming. Each quote is more troubling than the last, painting a picture of an administration that has no plan, is being actively manipulated, and is full of “ideological lunatic sycophants” too cowardly to ever tell Trump “no.”
THREAD: Over the past few days, I've spoken extensively with career U.S. government officials as they've worked around the clock to try and mitigate the damage from Trump's ineptitude on Iran. With their permission, I'm sharing a small taste from our lengthy conversations. Enjoy.— Reza Marashi (@rezamarashi) January 6, 2020
Marashi includes just “a small taste” of “lengthy conversations” with officials, which really makes you wonder how many details were left out. One individual said that there is “no functional national security decision-making process in place” in the White House right now, leaving Trump officials “woefully unprepared for what’s about to pop off.”
It’s so bad that one Marashi source has turned to alcohol for comfort.
"We're still trying to dig out from underneath the last war of choice, and now they're trying to start a new one. I finally cracked open the bottle of scotch you gave me that I've been keeping stashed away in my desk drawer."— Reza Marashi (@rezamarashi) January 6, 2020
Another quote called the whole situation a “clusterf**k.”
“When did most of us find out about killing Soleimani? After it already happened,” reads another. “Since then, we’ve been trying to cobble together contingency planning on the fly, but these charlatans ignore most of it, and then Trump does more stupid s**t that puts us back at square one.”
"When did most of us find out about killing Soleimani? After it already happened. Since then, we've been trying to cobble together contingency planning on the fly, but these charlatans ignore most of it, and then Trump does more stupid shit that puts us back at square one."— Reza Marashi (@rezamarashi) January 6, 2020
According to one or more of the officials that spoke with Marashi, Trump doesn’t care about the U.S. or its security, only about his own interests, and he’s surrounded himself with yes men and people who have been aching for war with Iran for years.
"So many of Trump's top advisors on Iran are military vets who served multiple tours of duty in our wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. They believe to their core that Iran is the reason why they lost those wars, and they're dead set on payback - no matter what it takes."— Reza Marashi (@rezamarashi) January 6, 2020
One source says that these advisors have been “pushing to kill Soleimani for years” and “baited” Trump into ordering the assassination that has derailed so much of the progress the U.S. has made in the Middle East. Furthermore, they say that the situation with Iran will inevitably escalate.
“When Iran responds, they’ll tell Trump to hit the Iranians harder. You see where this could go.”
Meanwhile, they predict that things will get much worse for the nearby Iraqis as U.S. troops are forced to withdraw from the country.
"They know the Iraqis are gonna kick them out now, so they're gonna try to kill as many as possible on their way out. Iranians, Iraqis, whoever. Some of them are advising Trump to tell the Iraqi government to fuck off and dare them to make us leave. I shit you not. Insanity."— Reza Marashi (@rezamarashi) January 6, 2020
“They know the Iraqis are gonna kick them out now, so they’re gonna try to kill as many as possible on their way out,” said one official. “Iranians, Iraqis, whoever. Some of them are advising Trump to tell the Iraqi government to f**k off and dare them to make us leave. I s**t you not. Insanity.”
Meanwhile, none of Trump’s top advisors apparently have the guts to tell him not to threaten war crimes on Twitter.
"Trump is threatening war crimes against Iran, and none of his top advisors have the courage to publicly oppose it. Instead, they act like cowards and go on background with journalists to express their opposition. They should all resign. They don't deserve to serve this country."— Reza Marashi (@rezamarashi) January 6, 2020
"The scariest part is that they're just making shit up to justify their preferred course of action. When we point out inaccuracies or question logic, we're at best yelled at or at worst cut out of the process. Most of the political appointees are paranoid, unqualified, or both."— Reza Marashi (@rezamarashi) January 6, 2020
Those who do question the actions taken by Trump are “at best yelled at or at worst, cut out of the process.” It’s gotten so bad that one official is no longer confident that a war with Iran led by Trump can be prevented.
“For as bad as it looks to you all on the outside, it’s even worse when you see it from the inside.”
“Last year, if you would’ve asked me whether American institutions are durable enough to prevent a Trump-led war with Iran, I would’ve said absolutely. Today, I’m not so sure. For as bad as it looks to you all on the outside, it’s even worse when you see it from the inside.”
— Reza Marashi (@rezamarashi) January 6, 2020
The final quote of the thread is perhaps the worst, describing a situation in which a top Trump Iran advisor got “suckered into a honey trap,” also known as a “honeypot,” an intelligence tactic in which agents lure targets using romantic and sexual relationships.
“One of Trump’s top Iran advisors got suckered into a honey trap, had their laptop/iPhone stolen and hacked before they woke up, and the White House refused to take precautionary measures regarding their security clearance. Ladies and gents, I give you the Trump administration.”
— Reza Marashi (@rezamarashi) January 6, 2020
Well, that’s not what you want from top government advisors.
Marashi’s thread has been spreading rapidly since late Sunday, with the initial tweet gaining nearly 30,000 shares and each individual quote currently boasting over a thousand at the very least.
It’s going to be a long year.