by Ari Lieberman
Obama’s scheming with the Mullahs reveals a troubling pattern.
By now it should be readily apparent to all, even those afflicted with Trump Derangement Syndrome, that the Trump-Russia collusion narrative is a spent force or as leftist political commentator Van Jones put it, “a big nothingburger.” Nearly a year has passed since the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller and not a scintilla of evidence demonstrating collusion has been forthcoming. Moreover, the investigation itself has been plagued by scandal and partisanship placing a cloud of taint over the entire inquiry. Nevertheless, Mueller’s Russia probe will continue to putter along and after wasting millions of taxpayer dollars (as of December 2017, the cost has reportedly reached a staggering $7 million) the former G-Man will get a trickle of indictments and plea bargains on peripheral figures for matters wholly unrelated to the original investigation. Democrats will then pat themselves on the back and Mueller will go back to obscurity.
Democrats and their allies in the establishment media have cleverly succeeded in temporarily deflecting America’s attention away from the real collusion story, one with real substance and far greater ramifications. A persuasive case can be made that former president Barack Obama colluded with a sworn enemy of the United States, the Islamic Republic of Iran. With each passing day, another disquieting facet of the Obama administration’s dealings with the Islamic Republic is revealed and when taken in totality, paints a disturbing picture of the administration’s underhanded efforts to placate and appease the mullahs and their proxies, including Hezbollah.
The Obama administration’s current dealings with Iran began with an outright fabrication to the American people. On August 5, 2015 Obama asserted that negotiations with the Iranians commenced in 2013. Obama argued that the ascent of the “moderate” Hassan Rouhani offered the United States an opportunity to engage with the Iranians. This was in fact, a bald-faced lie. Circumventing the State Department and using Sen. John Kerry (whose Iran connections are a matter of public record) as its point man, the administration began engaging with Iran in 2011 when the toxic Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was president. For the record, Ahmadinejad is a rabid Holocaust denier. Four years later, Obama sealed his infamous Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, alternatively known as the Iran deal, which gave the Iranians $150 billion worth sanctions relief while simultaneously providing them with a legal pathway toward acquiring nuclear weapons.
The flow of lies and deceit continued from there. The JCPOA was, to put it mildly, a flawed agreement, one in which the benefits flowed one way. Charles Krauthammer aptly described it as the worst agreement in U.S. diplomatic history. But there were alarming elements of the agreement, chiefly secretive side arrangements between Iran and the IAEA, which were so patently egregious and absurd that even Obama understood that it would render the agreement a hard sell. Under these side arrangements, Iran’s highly opaque Parchin military facility was off limits to international inspectors undermining Obama’s claim that the agreement provided for anytime, anywhere intrusive inspections. Consequently, Obama tried and failed to keep this information from Congress.
Even more disturbing than the administration’s attempt to obfuscate elements of the Iran deal was the manner in which it illegally weaponized the NSA and other domestic intelligence services to spy on members of Congress and leaders of Jewish groups and then leak their identities. You read that correctly. The Obama administration adopted tactics employed by two-bit, paranoid dictators and exploited loopholes in surveillance laws to keep one step ahead of the opposition. Meetings with Israeli officials opposed to the Iran deal were monitored and the contents of those meetings as well as the identities of those who attended were scandalously leaked to sympathetic journalists, who proceeded to mouth administration talking points. The administration also employed subtle use of anti-Semitic stereotypes implying that those opposed to the Iran deal maintained dual loyalties or were agents for Israel. In a grotesque display of anti-Semitic stereotyping, the New York Times, one of the media outlets shilling for Obama, actually implied that congressional members who voted against the deal were motivated by their Jewish ethnicity or high proportion of Jews residing within their districts. Obama’s talking points, which seemed to mimic Tehran’s, were trickling down to his echo chamber in a well-orchestrated scheme.
Bad deals are one thing and can always be attributed to amateurish negotiating skills (found in abundance in Obama’s negotiating team) but Obama’s dealings with Iran went far beyond ineptitude. In May 2016 it was revealed that Secretary of State John Kerry appealed to European banks to do business with Iran. Kerry instantly transformed himself from secretary of state to Iran lobbyist. Knowing that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps controls much of Iran’s economy, the bank heads wanted no part of what Kerry had to offer and curtly showed him the door.
Another even more startling revelation soon followed. It has long been America’s policy not to pay ransom to tyrants and terrorists in exchange for captive hostages but that policy was shattered when Obama agreed to give the mullahs $400 million in exchange for American hostages held without cause by Iran. A further $1.3 billion was transferred later.
The administration alleged that the money was transferred in settlement of Iranian legal claims stemming from a pre-revolution, aborted arms deal, and had no nexus to the hostages. But that argument is unconvincing. The initial $400 million transfer was initiated contemporaneous with the hostages’ release. Moreover, the transaction was an all-cash deal – untraceable the way the mullahs like it – conducted in the dead of night away from prying eyes, the way the Obama administration liked it. As I previously noted, if it walks like a ransom payment and talks like a ransom payment, it’s likely a ransom payment despite the administration’s contrary protestations. The administration did grudgingly acknowledge that the money could have ended up in the hands of the IRGC. Anyone possessing an ounce of common sense knows that the $1.7 billion almost certainly lined the coffers of the IRGC, and was probably also parsed out to Iranian proxy terror groups like Hezbollah, which receives between $700 million and $1 billion annually from Tehran.
What the administration also failed to note was that the United States maintained an $817 million counterclaim against the Islamic Republic stemming from breaches of Iranian contractual obligations. The United States also maintained subrogated claims against Iran to the tune of $3.9 billion. With the stroke of a pen, Obama relinquished these valid legal claims and allowed Iran to get off scot-free. In addition, as part of the ransom deal, Obama authorized the release of seven convicted Iranian felons and expunged warrants on 14 others. Unlike Iran’s American detainees, these individuals actually committed crimes and were afforded due process.
Ironically, in light of the Obama-era, Uranium One scandal, and Russia’s concomitant acquisition of 20 percent of America’s mining capacity, there’s a fair likelihood that at least some of the Russian uranium came from American uranium mines. This is because at least some uranium from Uranium One’s mining operations in America was exported abroad, despite assurances by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that the company lacked an export license and therefore, could not export uranium produced at their American facilities; yet another fabrication.
It goes from bad to worse. In his zeal to curry favor with the Islamic Republic, Obama shut down a highly successful and lengthy DEA operation – codenamed Project Cassandra – aimed at thwarting Hezbollah drug trafficking, arms trafficking and money laundering schemes. As a result, Hezbollah and their IRGC patrons continued their nefarious operations virtually unmolested. That means that Hezbollah drugs continued to pour into the U.S., Hezbollah Explosively Formed Projectiles (EFP) continued to make their way into the hands of anti-American insurgents and drug money, stained with the blood of Americans, continued to be laundered to the tune of billions of dollars.
We’re not done just yet. There is bipartisan agreement that the IRGC is a group that actively supports international terrorism. The overseas arm of the IRGC is the so-called Quds Force. Quds Force operatives have been fomenting unrest in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain, Yemen, Gaza and Afghanistan. They’ve also been active in India, Africa, Southeast Asia, Central & South America, and Europe. In fact, a cell of Quds Force operatives was recently exposed executing surveillance operations against Israeli and Jewish targets in Germany. A kindergarten was on the list of surveilled targets demonstrating just how deeply depraved the IRGC truly is. The Quds Force is led by a nasty sort named Qassem Soleimani, whose activities have earned him a spot on the U.S. sanctions list.
According to recently surfaced reports, three years ago, Israel decided to rid the world of this menace and was on the verge of accomplishing this objective through a targeted liquidation in Damascus. Soleimani’s removal from the scene would have severely disrupted Quds Force operations. The operation however, never materialized because the Obama administration tipped off Tehran to Israel’s plans. Soleimani dodged a bullet and has since been working tirelessly to foment unrest and undermine America’s interests.
It’s not the first time that the Obama administration betrayed covert Israeli activities to a sworn enemy. In 2012, the Obama administration leaked damaging information that inexplicably sought to sabotage a burgeoning strategic alliance between Israel and Azerbaijan. Such an alliance would have enabled Israel to seek alternate bases in close proximity to Iran from which it could conduct military operations including surveillance and rescue missions, refueling and maintenance and even direct military strikes. The damaging disclosure severely undermined Israel’s strategic position. Some have suggested that Obama leaked the information in an effort to derail an Israeli preventative strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities while others have noted that he was motivated by pure malevolence.
So what is it called when a president …
- Initiates secret negotiations with a Holocaust denier and then lies about it;
- Signs an agreement with Iran that allows Iran’s most opaque nuke facility to avoid inspection and then attempts to hide this fact from Congress;
- Weaponizes intelligence services to illegally spy on Americans to secure passage of the JCPOA;
- Gives the Iranian government, and by extension, the IRGC, $1.7 billion in cash;
- Relinquishes all valid legal claims against the Islamic Republic, including judgements against the regime for acts of terrorism;
- Releases convicted Iranian felons without cause or justification and removes others from INTERPOL list;
- Fails to call out Iran when it materially breaches the terms of the JCPOA;
- Rewards Iran’s bad behavior by giving consent for the transfer of natural uranium to Iran;
- Informs Iran about an ally’s intention to knock off a sworn enemy of the United States;
- Informs Iran about an ally’s covert operations.
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