FPI / September 17, 2019
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, took aim at President Donald Trump’s statements on the attack on Saudi’s oil infrastructure and a possible U.S. response, tweeting, "Trump awaits instructions from his Saudi masters. Having our country act as Saudi Arabia's bitch is not 'America First.' " As an Army officer she may have violated Article 88 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).
Radio host Mark Levin fired back on Twitter, calling her remark "nasty and dangerous": "Tulsi Gabbard, another clown. This isn’t about Saudi Arabia, moron. Iran is threatening world’s oil supply, navigable waters, killed hundreds of American soldiers, building ICBM’s for nuclear warheads, threatens to destroy the U.S., etc. You’re unfit to lead our country. You’re a dangerous fool."
The Wall Street Journal reported on Sept. 16, citing American intelligence officials, that the weekend attack was launched from Iranian soil. The attack on Saudi oil facilities disabled five percent of the world’s oil supply, the report said.
Following the attack, Trump tweeted: "There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!"
Gabbard’s obscene attack on Trump was not the first time the Hawaii Democrat had referred to the president as "Saudi Arabia’s bitch."
In November 2018, Trump stated, "If we abandon Saudi Arabia, it would be a terrible mistake. We may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi. In any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They have been a great ally in our very important fight against Iran."
Gabbard tweeted, "Hey @realdonaldtrump: being Saudi Arabia’s bitch is not 'America First.' "
As s Washington Examiner analysis pointed out, Gabbard was making her proclamation while standing on "shaky ground". She met with Syrian President Bashar Assad in January 2017 and later publicly doubted claims that Assad had used chemical weapons on his own citizens.
Gabbard’s defense of Assad came in the face of assessments by the U.S. and its allies concluding that Assad had indeed used chemical weapons on his own people.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, Illinois Republican, fired back at Gabbard: "And how would you describe your fondness for Assad? Asking for the 500,000 Syrians he murdered ... including the 50,000 children who gasped their last breath because of him."
In a video released on Twitter following the attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities, Gabbard declared:
“Yesterday President Trump offered to place our military, my brothers and sisters in uniform, under the command [sic] of Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the dictator of the Islamist Kingdom of Saudi Arabia [sic]. Trump said, “[We] are locked and loaded, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!” Mr. President, as you know, I have never engaged in hateful rhetoric against you [sic], or your family, and I never will, but your offering our military assets to the dictator of Saudi Arabia to use as he sees fit, is a betrayal of my brothers and sisters in uniform who are ready to give our lives for our country, not for the Islamist dictator of Saudi Arabia. For you to think that you can pimp out our proud servicemen and women to the Prince of Saudi Arabia is disgraceful, and it once again shows that you are unfit to serve as our commander in chief. As a member of Congress, and as a soldier, I and all of my brothers and sisters in uniform have taken an oath to protect and defend the American people and the Constitution of the United States of America. There is nothing in our Constitution that gives you the power to go to war without the express consent of Congress [sic], but to speak of giving you the power to offer our military to a foreign power like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to use as they wish — President Trump, your words and actions are a betrayal of my brothers and sisters in uniform, the American people, and our Constitution. My fellow servicemembers and I — we are not your prostitutes. You are not our pimp.”
Breitbart senior editor-at-large Joel B. Pollak noted “There are several inaccuracies and problems in Gabbard’s assertions.”
Pollak wrote: “It is not clear that President Trump offered command of the U.S. military to Saudi Arabia, and it is hard to imagine him doing so. A more reasonable interpretation of Trump’s tweet was simply that he would be consulting with an important American ally about an attack that is suspected to be the work of an American enemy — or, at least, the work of one of its proxies.”
Pollak continued: “While Gabbard is correct that the Constitution gives the House of Representatives the power to declare war, it does not preclude the president from acting in his capacity as commander-in-chief of the military to protect the country. The War Powers Act of 1973 allows the president to initiate military operations that last up to 90 days before he or she must seek official authorization from Congress. The law is controversial, but it remains the law.”
Gabbard is an officer in the U.S. Army National Guard. Pollak pointed out that Article 88 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) prohibits commissioned officers from using “contemptuous words” about the president — whether in uniform or out of uniform.
“Gabbard might enjoy some leeway from a military court due to the political nature of her job, but to say Trump has betrayed the military, and to call him a ‘pimp’ and a ‘bitch,’ is likely a violation of the UCMJ,” Pollak wrote. “Gabbard may earn herself some attention, but she could also earn a court-martial.”
Free Press International