by Ari Lieberman
Efforts to push through Iran nuke deal resulted in shutdown of major DEA operation.
By the summer of 2015, the Obama administration was in a panic. Obama’s foreign policy was marked by abject failure. The Russian re-set went disastrously wrong and the same could be said for the Arab re-set.
America’s lead from behind attitude in Libya and its support for anti-Qaddafi insurgents produced a base of operations for al-Qaida. In Syria, an American leadership vacuum allowed the Russians to slip right in and assume a dominant regional role. In Iraq, the early departure of American forces resulted in half the country being overrun by the Islamic State while the other half was subsumed by the Islamic Republic.
Obama’s support for Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood front man, Mohammed Morsi, and his vacillation in supplying attack helicopters to the successive government of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi allowed the Russian to once again move in and usurp America’s traditional role.
The administration seemed incapable of dealing with radical Islamic terrorism. Indeed, Obama and the oleaginous sycophants that worked for him could not even bring themselves to utter that phrase. ISIS was on the march, democracy was on the run in Venezuela, and North Korea continued to detain Americans and test-fire ballistic missiles.
Obama’s efforts to strong-arm Israel into accepting a deleterious peace agreement with the gangsters from Ramallah had backfired miserably. Finally, Obama’s pet project of emptying Guantanamo of its dangerous Islamist detainees ran into a brick wall.
It seemed as if nothing could go right for the president. Everything he touched became tainted. Every Obama initiative (when there was initiative) produced negative results that were harmful to U.S. interests.
Obama was desperate. After a string of public failures and humiliations, he badly needed something in the win column. And so with a cloud of failure swirling around him, he committed an act so egregiously destructive, so outrageously deceptive, it rivaled Neville Chamberlain’s calamitous Munich Agreement. On July 14, 2015, the Obama administration bound the United States to an agreement with the world’s premier state-sponsor of international terrorism and drug trafficking.
In its zeal to clinch a deal with the Islamic Republic, the Obama administration embarked on a systematic campaign to lie to the American people and Congress. It utilized its many obsequious troglodytes, chief among them Ben Rhodes, Susan Rice and John Kerry, to create echo chambers to hammer false talking points and narratives that would reverberate within friendly quarters of the establishment media.
But Obama did much more than lie. In an effort to appease Iran and stroke the detestable mullahs, he thwarted a very promising DEA operation, code-named Project Cassandra, targeting Iran’s terrorist proxy arm, Hezbollah; this, according to an explosive 50-page bombshell report authored by Politico’s Josh Meyer.
Meyer, citing interviews with dozens of participants, details the depth and breadth of Hezbollah’s drug trafficking, arms trafficking and money laundering schemes. DEA operatives established that Hezbollah’s tentacles of destruction was both large and sophisticated and spanned several continents. Hezbollah partnered with various drug cartels in Venezuela, Colombia and Mexico in a lucrative venture that netted the organization billions of dollars. Drug money was then laundered with the help of various Hezbollah affiliated financial institutions, and complex transactions involving the mass scale purchase of used cars in the U.S. for resale in the west African nation of Benin.
Hezbollah operatives were knee-deep in efforts to supply Iraqi and Afghan insurgents with a new type of Improvised Explosive Device called Explosively Formed Projectiles (EFP) which wreaked havoc on American troops and was responsible for over 500 American deaths and the maiming of many more. Moreover, Hezbollah acted on behalf of Iran to obtain illicit material for Iran’s rogue nuclear program.
The names of those involved in these illicit schemes were known to the DEA and its operatives were ready to pounce. But the Obama administration had other ideas. It delayed, obstructed and ultimately thwarted the DEA’s law enforcement efforts. Project Cassandra was shut down and its agents were reassigned. Years of meticulous investigations which netted a treasure trove of intelligence on the inner workings of Hezbollah and its operatives were discarded and lost.
In addition to the calamitous tactical and strategic implications of the Obama administration’s obstructionist policies, Hezbollah was never called to task for its importation of over $1 billion worth of cocaine into the United States. Over 60,000 Americans annually succumb to drug related deaths and Hezbollah is responsible for a good many of these.
But Obama wasn’t concerned with Hezbollah’s nexus to the cocaine flow nor for that matter was he concerned with its money laundering operations and its arms trafficking activities, including its involvement with supplying EFPs to America’s jihadist enemies. Obama was more concerned with reaching accommodation with Iran and solidifying his legacy with at least one crowning foreign policy “achievement.” He feared that criminal action against Hezbollah would alienate Iran, Hezbollah’s main patron, and thus could unravel his efforts in seeking accommodation with the mullahs.
In addition, there was an absurd belief within the administration that America could engage with “moderate elements” of Hezbollah. That’s akin to saying that the Allies could deal with the “moderate wing” of the Nazi party. The chief proponent of this ridiculous policy was CIA chief John “Al-Quds” Brennan. Brennan saw Hezbollah as evolving from “a purely terrorist organization” to a militia and ultimately to a political party with representatives in the Lebanese government. But what Brennan overlooked was that Hezbollah operates a full-fledged army within the sovereign borders Lebanon in flagrant violation of UN Security Council resolutions, has regulated the Lebanese army to a subordinate auxiliary role, and has absorbed most Lebanese state institutions through brute force and intimidation.
With the Iran deal, Obama has indeed solidified his legacy, one that will be remembered for deception, appeasement and curtailment of law enforcement. More ominously, the Iran deal will be remembered as the deal that empowered the mullahs and provided them with a legal pathway toward acquiring nuclear bombs. Absent regime change or overwhelming military force, the Islamic Republic will acquire WMDs sooner rather than later and when that happens, God help us all.
Ari Lieberman is an attorney and former prosecutor who has authored numerous articles and publications on matters concerning the Middle East and is considered an authority on geo-political and military developments affecting the region.
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