Attempting to justify the Trump administration’s decision to kill Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Mike Pence falsely claimed that Iran was involved in planning for the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
“Assisted in the clandestine travel to Afghanistan of 10 of the 12 terrorists who carried out the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States,” Pence wrote, referring to Iran’s Quds Force, which was under the leadership of Soleimani.
Pence’s claim is at complete odds with the official findings of the 9/11 commission, which exhaustively investigated and examined the attack.
“We have found no evidence that Iran or Hezbollah was aware of the planning for what later became the 9/11 attack,” the report noted. “At the time of their travel through Iran, the al Qaeda operatives themselves were probably not aware of the specific details of their future operation.”
Pence also incorrectly stated the number of terrorists involved in the worst terrorist attack in American history, which claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 people.
There were 19, not 12, hijackers who committed the attacks. Most of the attackers were from Saudi Arabia, with the others coming from Egypt, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates. Not Iran.
Pence made his allegation as part of a thread describing Soleimani as involved in “plotting imminent attacks” against American diplomats and military personnel.
That assertion is contradicted by Pentagon officials who spoke to the New York Times.
“National security experts and even officials at the Pentagon said there was nothing new about Iranian behavior in recent months or even weeks,” the Times noted.
The paper also reported that “one Defense Department official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal planning, said that there was nothing new in the threat presented by the Iranian general.”
In 2004 when he was serving in the House of Representatives, Pence falsely claimed that “weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq.”
There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.