Saturday, August 5, 2023

Biden Admin Planning to Evade Congress with Secret New Nuclear Deal with Iran - Fred Fleitz


by Fred Fleitz

The agreement includes major U.S. concessions with reportedly little given in return


Question: How can the Biden administration implement a new nuclear agreement with Iran that is far more dangerous than the Obama administration’s 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreement and avoid criticism of the agreement from the American public and Congress?

Answer: Negotiate a secret, oral nuclear agreement with Iran so there is nothing for the American people and Congress to see.

Several press outlets, including HaaretzAxios and The Jerusalem Post, have confirmed this secret nuclear deal. The agreement reportedly is a set of unwritten “understandings” and is the result of indirect talks between the U.S. and Iran that began in May, with Oman serving as a mediator. 

Although Biden officials have repeatedly denied holding talks with Iran to reach a new nuclear deal, they also have criticized Israel for leaking details of the talks to the press. 

The new nuclear deal has been described as an interim agreement but includes major U.S. concessions to Iran. They include “freezing” Iranian enrichment of uranium to 60% uranium-235, a dangerous concession that puts Iran two weeks away or less from producing weapons-grade uranium. Iran also will keep its nuclear infrastructure, including advanced uranium centrifuges, and would be permitted to continue to develop this technology. 

Iran reportedly has agreed under the deal to stop its proxy groups from attacking U.S. forces in Syria and Iraq and to cooperate with IAEA investigations of its nuclear program. There were discussions of Iran halting military sales to Russia, but The Jerusalem Post reported on July 20 that this probably would not be part of the agreement. 

The new agreement may include a U.S.-Russia prisoner exchange that would actually be U.S. ransom payments to Tehran to win the freedom of three American hostages – Siamak Namazi, Emad Shargi and Morad Tahbaz – who are serving prison sentences on fabricated espionage charges. The prisoner release may not be part of the final agreement due to resistance from Iran. 

In exchange for agreeing to the above requirements, Iran will receive over $20 billion in sanctions relief, which would come from the U.S. dropping its opposition to Iran accessing its frozen assets held in foreign banks. The U.S. also reportedly has agreed not to impose new sanctions on Iran.

Although it is unclear whether the new nuclear deal has been finalized, Iran already received partial sanctions relief under the agreement when the U.S. issued a sanctions waiver in mid-July, allowing Iraq to pay Iran for electricity via non-Iraqi banks. The U.S. stipulated that Iran could only use these funds for humanitarian purposes. However, since money is fungible, this restriction is meaningless. 

Several factors appear to be behind the new secret, unwritten nuclear deal with Iran.

First, the Biden administration refuses to give up its obsession with reversing President Trump’s 2018 withdrawal from the deeply flawed JCPOA nuclear agreement with Iran.

Second, its efforts in 2021 and 2022 with European states, Russia and China to revive the JCPOA failed due to Iran’s refusal to negotiate in good faith.

And third, the formal written nuclear agreement that lifts most sanctions on Iran that Biden officials were seeking in 2021 and 2022 is no longer politically viable because of a surge in Iran’s belligerent behavior over the last 18 months, including major advances in its nuclear program that Tehran refuses to give up; Iran’s brutal, nationwide crackdown in response to mass protests over the killing of Mahsa Amini; selling attack drones and other weapons to Russia for its use in the Ukraine war; and attacks on almost two dozen oil tankers and other commercial ships since 2021.

So, to implement an agreement that would be both highly controversial and unpopular in the U.S., Biden officials are using deception to hide this agreement from the American people.

This subterfuge not only defies congressional oversight of U.S. foreign policy, it is a clear violation of the 2015 Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (INARA), which requires that any nuclear agreement with Iran or agreement to lift U.S. sanctions on Iran be submitted to Congress for review. INARA also allows Congress to vote to disapprove any new nuclear deal with Iran. 

There have been strong Congressional reactions to the secret, unwritten nuclear deal.

In a June 15, 2023, letter to President Biden, Congressman Michael McCaul, the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, warned Biden officials against attempting to evade congressional oversight of a new nuclear deal with Iran and INARA and said, “any arrangement or understanding with Iran, even informal, requires submission to Congress.”

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) said on June 15, “I’m sorely disappointed at Biden admin. for their willingness to continue working on a behind-closed-doors deal with Iran. It’s abhorrent if they’re releasing dollars to Iran which we know will go to violent extremist organizations.”

When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was asked about the reported secret nuclear deal with Iran in a July 31 Newsmax TV interview, he said, “I think that any deal with Iran that doesn’t set back Iran’s nuclear infrastructure is basically not worth it because it means nothing. They basically take what you give them, but they don’t set back. They don’t roll back the capacity to produce nuclear weapons or the components of nuclear weapons. So, you really get nothing for it.”

For President Biden’s critics, the secret, unwritten Iran nuclear deal is consistent with many other examples of his administration ignoring the law and Congress to achieve its policy objectives. This instance is much more serious since it locks in Iran’s nuclear enrichment program at a high level and will provide Iran with billions of dollars in sanctions relief that it is certain to spend on supporting terrorism, missile and nuclear programs, and meddling in regional conflicts. At the same time, the agreement reportedly will do nothing to stop Iran from sending weapons to Russia to use in the war in Ukraine. 

This na├»ve agreement is another sign of national security malpractice by this administration that will weaken American security and embolden our enemies. It is imperative that Congress act immediately on a bipartisan basis to stop President Biden’s secret, unwritten nuclear deal with Iran. 

Fred Fleitz is vice-chair of the America First Policy Institute Center for American Security. He previously served as National Security Council chief of staff, CIA analyst and a House Intelligence Committee staff member.


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As President Trump is indicted for January 6, more evidence emerges that it was a set-up - Andrea Widburg


by Andrea Widburg

Once Trump announced a rally in D.C., he and his supporters were doomed.


Coincidentally, I’m sure, in the lead-up to his being taken off the air at Fox News, Tucker Carlson and his team were investigating events on January 6—the same events that are serving as the basis for Jack Smith’s creative indictment against Donald Trump. One of the things that Fox News prevented from airing was an interview with former Capitol Hill Police Chief Steven Sund, during which he told Tucker that the FBI had “a lot of operatives” in the crowd. There was more, and it all feeds into the reasonable belief that January 6 was a set-up.

January 6 has been enormously useful to the Democrats:

  • It allowed them to certify the electoral college votes without any objections. These objections (which Democrats have vigorously made over the years) are a prerequisite to challenging the count.
  • It allowed them to round up almost 1,000 Trump supporters and destroy their lives, a useful lesson to anyone else who might think about opposing the Biden regime…er, administration.
  • It allowed them to pretend that the lack of crowds in D.C. for Biden’s inauguration was due to security requirements rather than to the reality, which is that no one would have shown up anyway.
  • And, of course, most usefully at all, it’s just allowed them to indict Biden’s chief rival, President Donald Trump, in the lead-up to the 2024 election. The charge, while failing to use the word “insurrection,” essentially alleges that Trump defrauded America by ignoring those of his advisors who believed in the 2020 election (many of whom have been outed as fervent Trump haters) and, instead, looking to evidence of election of fraud and believing that election.

Knowing how useful January 6 was for Democrats—and considering that the “insurrection” narrative kicked in within fewer than 24 hours —it’s worth considering a very loose rundown of the timeline.

  • Trump announced a rally in D.C. on the day that the Senate was set to certify the election.
  • Trump asks for extra security in D.C. for that day, a request that is refused.
  • Trump tells those at the rally who “will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voice heard.”
  • The crowd at the Capitol did not become agitated until the police, without any warning to the crowd to disperse, suddenly fired flash bangs into the crowd.
  • People in whom the FBI had no interest were filmed removing barriers and urging people into the Capitol. (See here and here.) Significantly, those who weren’t on the front lines would have had no idea that they weren’t being invited into the Capitol, especially because the Capitol police were welcoming them in (which should negate any charges that they were illegally trespassing).
  • Trump immediately issued tweets telling the crowd to remain peaceful and disperse. (See here and here.) Soon after, Twitter shut down his account, making his tweet inaccessible for posterity to revisit.
  • Trump tried to get to the Capitol to calm the crowd but was prevented from doing so.
  • Capitol police apparently beat one Trump supporter to death and shot to death an unarmed woman. Otherwise, no one suffered any serious injuries at the hands of the crowd—although Democrats lied relentlessly about Officer Sicknick, who emerged unscathed on January 6, only to die later from a stroke.

In event after event, it’s the system, not Trump, that’s inexorably pulling the crowd into the Capitol. And in event after event, it was Trump who tried to put the brakes on things, only to be blocked.

The previously hidden revelations from former Capitol Hill Police Chief Steven Sund are entirely consistent with the above facts:

Former Capitol Hill Police Chief Steven Sund told Tucker Carlson “there was a fair amount of law enforcement” in the January 6th crowd, in footage exclusively obtained by The National Pulse. The bombshell news follows revelations that Sund had called the events surrounding the Capitol riot “a cover up,” adding his concerns over provocateurs like Ray Epps.

Over halfway through the interview hidden by Fox News following Tucker Carlson’s firing, Sund explains that it is normal for Secret Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and D.C. Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) to have a few undercover assets in large crowds gathered in the nation’s capital. But the 18 or so FBI agents present, plus an estimated 20 from the Department of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) was remarkably high.

Sund stunningly reveals: “Within a few days of January 6th I had media reach out to me and say ‘Hey, you’re aware the FBI had undercovers in the crowd?’. I was like, ‘Oh no, they would have told me’. I had Steve D’Antuono, the head of the [FBI] Washington Field Office on a call the day before. Didn’t say anything to me about it… and now to see, allegedly, according to the GAO report, they had 18 operatives in the crowd? That’s a lot of operatives.”

Indeed, added Sund, in over 30 years of police work, he’d never seen so much law enforcement. In the same suppressed interview, Sund also revealed that the FBI had worked with him during the IMF protests and the Bush inauguration.

You can see the entire interview at The National Pulse.

It was a net, and the Democrats caught all the fish, both big and small.

Image: January 6 by Tyler Merbler. CC BY 2.0.

Andrea Widburg


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Who Are Democrats Kidding? Of Course Trump Indictment is Political - Matthew Boose


by Matthew Boose

Trump is being punished for refusing to recant his belief that 2020 was fatally corrupted and that Biden is illegitimate



Donald Trump was summoned to the capital on Thursday to face historic charges. Many people are likely under the impression that he is accused of inciting the January 6 riot, but this is not the case. The word “insurrection” appears nowhere in the indictment, a striking omission after three years of breathless hysteria about an “attempted coup.” Instead, Trump is being prosecuted for highly abstract political offenses. Jack Smith tips his hand at the top of the charging sheet, where he blames Trump for creating illegal “mistrust” in the process and giving his supporters “false hope” (this not being the first time Trump created “unsubstantiated hope”) that he would remain in power after the 2020 election.

Trump is being punished for refusing to recant his belief, a reasonable one, that the political process was fatally corrupted in 2020 and that Biden, consequently, is illegitimate. The indictment is a shot across the bow at anyone who shares Trump’s “false” unbelief in “our democracy.” Of course, when “our democracy” was perverted from its natural end, as it was during the Trump interregnum, the rules shifted dramatically. Back then, it was courageous to call the president a traitor and a usurper; it was “resistance” rather than “coup.”

In 2020, Democrats censored a major scandal about Biden and imposed sweeping administrative changes that resulted in an abnormally messy, delayed, and opaque vote count. But it’s Trump who caused “mistrust.”

Now, Democrats say it’s crazy to speculate that there is anything political about the prosecution of a presidential candidate in an upcoming national election. Come on, do you really think Jack Smith would arrest the chief political enemy of his boss if he didn’t have a good reason? Hold on a moment: his boss? Jack Smith is independent! He doesn’t work for Joe Biden. Stop spreading lies. He works for….well, who exactly?

The Trump indictment is politics at its purest. Machiavelli would have no trouble understanding it. But Democrats would have everyone believe the “rule of law” magically enforces itself. In the pollyannaish world of “our democracy,” the corrupt motives that have driven political elites throughout history to faction, intrigue, conspiracy, assassination, slander, bribery, and the like do not exist. There are two kinds of people: the good guys, people like Jack Smith, and the bad guys, like Trump.

It is easy to see why tyrants find this childish, facile reality appealing: it turns political will into law. In this imaginary world where “no one is above the law,” it’s incomprehensible that Biden is targeting his political enemy, because Trump is the bad guy, and anything bad that happens to him, or his supporters, must be the impartial administration of justice. If it seems like things aren’t quite fair, and the only ones being held “accountable” belong to one political party, that’s just a coincidence, or rather, a consequence of natural law.

Among Democrats, Smith is an archangel sent from above, like Robert Mueller before him, to slay the Orange devil and finally end the unwelcome convulsions he brings to the established order. Of course, Smith not actually being a supernatural being, it is more likely that he is what he appears to be to the adults: a dirty Star Chamber prosecutor dispatched to do the bidding of his masters. Like his predecessors, he is a jaundiced character with the capability to see a conspiracy wherever needed. One imagines he would charge the sun if he could, as it shines its kind beams on Mar-A-Lago, too.

It is perfectly logical that Democrats, being in power, should want to deny the people the right to think of politics as political. But when speculation about the conspiracies of elites in the capital is no longer permitted (and why speculate, when the rulers are so benevolent?), there is no longer self-rule. Smith enters the halls of infamy with the extraordinary imprudence, arrogance, and pettiness of his enterprise, at once historic and incredibly stupid, which would destroy the Lockean basis of the United States, the consent of the governed, and replace it with a more primitive kind of authority. In most times and places, people have been ruled by despots. Trump is now all that remains standing in their way.

Matthew Boose


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