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Team Obama Should Just Accept They Failed with Iran

Well, after driving the United States into a foreign-policy wreck, it’s time for former members of the Obama administration to ask themselves the same question.

According to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel has recovered documents that demonstrate Iran is seeking nuclear weapons. These clandestine plans for five 10-kiloton nuclear warheads were hidden and stored by Iran while it was developing a ballistic-missile program that would be able to carry them to Tel Aviv.

So not only did the United States end up saving the Islamic Republic from economic ruin with the Iran deal, it allowed the nation to solidify its foothold in Syria and strengthen its terrorist proxy Hezbollah. And not only did the Obama administration allow a humanitarian disaster to unfold in Syria while it was placating Russia to save the deal, it destroyed a sanctions program that was working.

[Read the full story here, at NYPost.com]

On top of that, we also now know that the Iran deal was sold to the American public in bad faith. Yet, even after these revelations came to light, the former Obama aides who established a media echo chamber meant to silence critics and mislead citizens were still taunting and whining from sidelines, offering one bizarre justification after the next to continue the charade.

Tommy Vietor, former spokesman for Obama’s National Security Council, defended the Iran deal by making the bewildering accusation that President Trump was “cooking up intel with the Israelis” to start a war. Read the rest of this entry »

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Iran Deal & Project Cassandra: Iran Echo Chamber Smears Politico Reporter 

Josh Meyer is not an ideologue, not a partisan, not a quack.

Matthew Continetti writes: ;Nothing has been more tedious over the last year than the constant reminders that good journalism is “now more important than ever.” The implication, of course, is that solid, groundbreaking reporting was not as essential so long as a liberal Democrat was in power. I’ve long assumed that the factotums mouthing such clichés lack the self-awareness to understand the true import of their words. But maybe I’ve been wrong. Recent days brought evidence that, no, liberals really mean it: The only meaningful investigative work is that which reflects poorly on Republicans.

“Meyer points to congressional testimony from former Treasury official Katherine Bauer, who said last February, ‘These investigations were tamped down for fear of rocking Iran and jeopardizing the nuclear deal.'”

Earlier this week, for example, Politico Magazine published a story by Josh Meyer headlined “The secret backstory of how Obama let Hezbollah off the hook.” This epic and copiously sourced piece relates how, “in its determination to secure a nuclear deal with Iran, the Obama administration derailed an ambitious law enforcement campaign targeting drug trafficking by the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah, even as it [Hezbollah, not the Obama administration] was funneling cocaine into the United States.”

“President Obama, in other words, slow-walked counter-narcotics efforts for the inane ‘greater good’ of paying Iran billions to pretend to shut down its nuclear program for ten years. This is the very definition of ‘stupid stuff.'”

The law-enforcement program in question is called Project Cassandra, which for eight years “used wiretaps, undercover operations, and informants to map Hezbollah’s illicit networks, with the help of 30 U.S. and foreign security agencies.”

[Read the full story here, at National Review]

However, as investigators came closer to unraveling the globe-spanning conspiracy, “the Justice Department declined requests by Project Cassandra and other authorities to file criminal charges against major players such as Hezbollah’s high-profile envoy to Iran, a Lebanese bank that allegedly laundered billions in alleged drug profits, and a central player in a U.S.-based cell of the Iranian paramilitary Quds force.” Linger over that last item for a second.

“Meyer is not an ideologue, not a partisan, not a quack. He worked for the Los Angeles Times, for NBC News, and for the Medill National Security Journalism Initiative before joining Politico as a senior investigative reporter. His Twitter feed contains plenty of criticisms of President Trump and congressional Republicans. And his story is solid.”

Meyer cites “dozens” of interviews and documents as evidence. He quotes a veteran U.S. intelligence operative — the sort of guy whose every utterance is anonymously paraded in the newspapers and magazines so long as it’s anti-Trump — who says, “This was a policy decision, it was a systematic decision.” And the reason for this systematic decision, presumably, was to make Hezbollah’s Iranian backers more willing to deal with the Obama administration on nukes.

“He explores different angles and gives his subjects fair comment. He’s produced a classic example of the good journalism that our betters tell us we need more than ever. Except our betters don’t like it, not one bit, because it reflects poorly on the most significant – yet dubious and controversial – achievement of Barack Obama’s second term.”

Meyer points to congressional testimony from former Treasury official Katherine Bauer, who said last February, “These investigations were tamped down for fear of rocking Iran and jeopardizing the nuclear deal.” President Obama, in other words, slow-walked counter-narcotics efforts for the inane “greater good” of paying Iran billions to pretend to shut down its nuclear program for ten years. This is the very definition of “stupid stuff.”

“‘Non-fact based anti-Iran Deal propaganda,’ sneers former deputy national security adviser and creative-writing expert Ben Rhodes.”

Meyer is not an ideologue, not a partisan, not a quack. He worked for the Los Angeles Times, for NBC News, and for the Medill National Security Journalism Initiative before joining Politico as a senior investigative reporter. His Twitter feed contains plenty of criticisms of President Trump and congressional Republicans. And his story is solid. He explores different angles and gives his subjects fair comment. He’s produced a classic example of the good journalism that our betters tell us we need more than ever. Read the rest of this entry »


Sessions Orders Dept of Justice to Review Obama Admin’s Hinky Hezbollah Pass

Project Cassandra leaders, who were working out of a DEA facility in Chantilly, Virginia, sought approval for some significant investigations, prosecutions, arrests and financial sanctions, Obama Justice and Treasury Department officials delayed, hindered or rejected their requests.

Alex Pappas reports: Attorney General Jeff Sessions is launching a review of a law enforcement initiative called Project Cassandra after an investigative report was published this week claiming the Obama administration gave a free pass to Hezbollah’s drug-trafficking and money-laundering operations to help ensure the Iran nuclear deal would stay on track.

The Justice Department said in a statement to Fox News that Sessions on Friday directed a review of prior Drug Enforcement Administration investigations “to evaluate allegations that certain matters were not properly prosecuted and to ensure all matters are appropriately handled.”

“While I am hopeful that there were no barriers constructed by the last administration to allowing DEA agents to fully bring all appropriate cases under Project Cassandra, this is a significant issue for the protection of Americans,” Sessions said in a written statement. “We will review these matters and give full support to investigations of violent drug trafficking organizations.”

According to a bombshell exposé in Politico on Sunday, an elaborate campaign led by the Drug Enforcement Administration, known as Project Cassandra, targeted the Lebanese militant group’s criminal activities.

“We will review these matters and give full support to investigations of violent drug trafficking organizations.”

– Attorney General Jeff Sessions

But when Project Cassandra leaders, who were working out of a DEA facility in Chantilly, Virginia, sought approval for some significant investigations, prosecutions, arrests and financial sanctions, Obama Justice and Treasury Department officials delayed, hindered or rejected their requests, according to Politico. Read the rest of this entry »


Congress Demands DOJ Turn Over All Docs Related to Obama Scheme to Nix Hezbollah Terror Investigation

Congress investigating former administration’s efforts to appease Iran.

The letter represents the first salvo in a new investigation by congressional leaders into allegations senior Obama administration officials thwarted a decade-long Drug Enforcement Agency investigation into Hezbollah’s illicit operations.

The Obama administration, in what congressional insiders described to the Free Beacon as a “potentially criminal” enterprise, interfered with the DEA’s investigation into Hezbollah drug activities in order to avoid angering the terror group’s chief patron Iran and preserve the landmark nuclear deal.

“I’ve long believed that the Obama administration could not have done any more to bend over backwards to appease the Iranian regime, yet news that the Obama administration killed the investigation into a billion dollar drug ring that lined the terrorist group Hezbollah’s pockets in order to save its coveted Iran deal may very well take the cake,” Rep. Ron DeSantis (R., Fla.) said.

“Hezbollah is a brutal terrorist group with American blood on its hands and it would be unconscionable for American policy to deliberately empower such a nefarious group,” he said.

Congressional leaders have begun a formal investigation into the matter and petitioned the DOJ to hand over “all documents and communications” that may shine light on “interference with the DEA’s law enforcement efforts against Hezbollah,” according to a letter sent by Reps. DeSantis and Jim Jordan (R., Ohio.).

“We have a responsibility to evaluate whether these allegations are true, and if so, did the administration undermine U.S. law enforcement and compromise U.S. national security,” the lawmakers wrote to Sessions, according to a copy of the letter obtained by the Free Beacon. Read the rest of this entry »


‘BAM BETRAYS ISRAEL’: New York Post Cover for December 24, 2016

front-12-24

Source: New York Post


[VIDEO] Lebanese Female TV Host Rima Karaki Shuts Down Rude Porch-Dick ‘Islamist Scholar’ Hani Al-Seba’i on Live TV

A male Lebanese scholar was promptly shut down by a female host on a talk show after telling her bluntly to “shut up, so I can talk.”

“How can a respected sheikh like yourself tell a TV host to shut up?!”

— Host Rima Karaki

During a Mar. 2 discussion on Lebanon’s Al-Jadeed TV about Christians joining Islamic groups, Islamist scholar Hani Al-Seba’i was giving his take on the historical context when host Rima Karaki tried to ask a more specific question.

“It’s beneath me to be interviewed by you.”

— Islamist scholar Hani Al-Seba’i

He told her not to cut him off, to which she responded, “In this studio, I run the show,” according to a YouTube clip with English subtitles uploaded by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

“Just one second. Either there is mutual respect, or the conversation is over.”

— Host Rima Karaki

Al-Seba’i says he will answer the questions the way he wants to answer them and, when told that time was running out, adds: “Are you done? Shut up, so I can talk.”

“How can a respected sheikh like yourself tell a TV host to shut up?!” Karaki responds.

“It’s beneath me to be interviewed by you,” the sheikh fires back. Read the rest of this entry »


Hemingway: Brian Williams Is No Exception. Media Lying, Exaggeration Are The Rule

BW-strange-TV-retro

  writes: NBC NewsBrian Williams is taking a few days off from his anchor chair at the Nightly News. The Most Trusted Name In News (TM) is in a spot of trouble. He admits he lied when he claimed he was in a Chinook helicopter forced down by rocket-propelled grenade fire in Iraq in 2003.

There are also concerns about dramatic stories he told about gangs attacking his hotel in New Orleans during Katrina. Whether he saw a dead body floating by him in the French Quarter. Whether he got dysentery on that trip.

bad-news-federalist-extra-BW

Or witnessed someone commit suicide in the Superdome. Also about whether he actually saved a puppywhile on duty as a voluntary firefighter. Whether he was really “looking up at a thug’s snub-nosed .38 while selling Christmas trees out of the back of a truck” in the 1970s. And whether a helicopter he was in during Israel’s war with the militant group Hezbollah in 2006 was nearly hit by Katyusha rockets.

[Read the full text at The Federalist]

I could go on. The point is that he’s beginning to resemble Jen from the IT Crowd:

Obviously you can’t tell tall tales and keep your title as the most trusted name in news. But as a friend 5159tELPeUL._SL250_asked, and pardon the French here, “Is Brian Williams a liar, or a bullshitter?”

[Check out Neil Postman’s book “Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business” at Amazon]

If Brian Williams were just a dude at the bar, he’d probably be your favorite dude at the bar. He has great stories and tells them well. The loquacious Williams is just an obscenely well-paid news reader. As Neil Postman put it in his 1985 book Amusing Ourselves To Death, “A news show, to put it plainly, is a format for entertainment, not for education, reflection or catharsis.” And that’s how we like it — here’s a promo Marx-TVfor a new CNN game show featuring anchors competing against each other. (Show ‘em who’s boss, Tapper!)

A Far Worse Kind Of Exaggeration

Some journalists have responded to the Williams spectacle by running defenses they’d never imagine using on others — such as that Williams had ordinary false memory syndrome. Others are just waiting for him to be pushed out or quietly get back to work.

Williams lied. I’m not defending him. But in a world of serial exaggerators and distortion artists, he’s the least of mainstream media’s problems.

Exaggeration and distortion is de rigueur for many political journalists.

Exaggeration is kind of what our media do. Now, part of this is defensible. At one of my first newspaper jobs, I would write unbelievably spare copy that accurately described the event or situation I was reporting on. My editor used to take his big red pen and scrawl, “So what?” across my copy, double underlined. It was a great edit. I had to learn how to make a story interesting and how to pull out the parts a reader would actually care about.

Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Benjamin Netanyahu Babysitter Ad

An ad from the Israel election 2015


Iranian News Website Published Detailed Plan to Kill Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Sons, in Retaliation to IAF Attack


Despite offensive, Gaza rockets still hit Israel

Israel Palestinians Nonstop Rockets

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Israel says its punishing air assault on Hamas militants, their property and their weaponry has delivered a devastating blow to the Islamic militant group. Yet rocket fire at Israel has continued almost unabated.

The military says that due to years of generous Iranian shipments, thousands of rockets remain in Gaza, and there is no quick way to eliminate the threat.Brigadier-General-retd-Shlomo-Brom_large

“There is no attempt here to solve the conflict. We are talking about managing the conflict and as long as it goes on, quiet will only be temporary.”

It says its goal is to inflict so much pain on Hamas that it will be deterred from attacking Israel again — just like Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon have largely remained on the sidelines for the past eight years.

The military also says it wants to punish Hamas for the violence. But both goals are hard to quantify in the short term. A similar offensive in November 2012 was also deemed a military success, though it left Israel vulnerable to rocket fire. Israel also launched a large offensive in late 2008 that delivered a tenuous cease-fire.

“It’s a mistake to think that if you have established deterrence it will stay that way. Deterrence must be maintained.”

— Shlomo Brom, a retired Israeli general, analyst at the Institute for National Security Studies

“There is no knockout, it is more complicated,” said a senior military official involved in the fighting, who spoke on condition of anonymity under military guidelines. But, he added, “if there is a map of pain that the enemy sees, it will have to think about things.” Read the rest of this entry »


Saudis lament, ‘we have been stabbed in the back by Obama’

Memo to the Saudis: ‘Welcome to the club’.

obama_statement_122013

Richard Miniter writes:  Arabs don’t trust Obama either.

As 2013 ends, President Obama has lost credibility with many people who trusted him at the start of the year. Thanks to the Healthcare.gov debacle, polls find support for the president among women and independents has dropped to the lowest ebb of his presidency. Obama’s words — promising Americans they could keep their doctors under his health care plan — didn’t match his deeds.

Surprisingly, the same thing is happening on the other side of the world among Arabs in the Middle East and for the same reason.

Too often, Obama’s speeches and actions don’t match.

“We are glad the Americans are here,” said Ahmed al-Ibrahim, an adviser to some of Saudi Arabia’s royals and officials, when I met with him recently, “but we fear that the president has lost credibility after Syria.”

Astonished Saudi officials are contrasting Obama’s quick actions in South Sudan with his unwillingness to act in places like Syria or in Bahrain.

The Saudi official is referring to Obama’s “red line” vow of military action if the Syrian dictator Bashir Assad used chemical weapons against his own people. Assad did and Obama didn’t. Saudi officials were stunned.

Next came the revelation earlier this year that Obama was secretly negotiating with Iran, the mortal enemy of both Israel and Saudi Arabia. Officials in both nations have told me that they simply don’t believe that the president can sweet-talk the mullahs out of the weapons they have coveted for years.

Read the rest of this entry »


Hizballah Says Commander Killed Outside Home

A smoke cloud rises from the rubble of the bom...

(BEIRUT) — Hizballah says that one of its commanders has been “assassinated” outside of his home in Lebanon’s capital of Beirut.

A statement issued by the group Wednesday said Hussein al-Laqis was killed as he returned home from work around midnight. It did not say how he died.

The statement accused Israel of being responsible for the killing. It said Israel had tried to kill him several times, but had failed.

Hizballah also has been fighting alongside Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces in that country’s civil war. That’s sparked attacks across neighboring Lebanon.

TIME.com


The Great Game

cartoon.preview

The Weekly Standard‘s  Ken Jensen writes: The cartoon above is from the Great Game era in Central Asia, when the British and Russians were in a contest for places like Afghanistan and Iran. It’s strongly (perhaps perversely) suggestive given current events.

Could it be that, in withdrawing from the Middle East, the United States believes the Russian bear will sit on the Persian (nuclear-clawed) cat and keep him in order—along with Assad in Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon—so that the (cowardly) lion(s) of the West can stand by and do nothing?

Could this be the realpolitik fantasy that underlies Obama’s “multipolar” Middle East fantasy?


BREAKING: ‘Israel Targets Syria Air Base’

AFP Photo/Daniel Leal-Olivas

AFP Photo/Daniel Leal-Olivas

Dubai (AFP) – Israel has hit a Syrian air base in the northern province of Latakia, targeting a shipment of surface-to-surface missiles destined for Lebanon’s Shiite movement Hezbollah, Al-Arabiya television reported Thursday.

AirStrikeSyriaA US official confirmed to AFP that “there was an Israeli strike” but gave no detail on the location or the target.

“Historically targets have been missiles transferred to Hezbollah,” allied with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the official said.

Citing unnamed “exclusive sources” Dubai-based pan-Arab Al-Arabiya said on its website: “Israel was behind a series of explosions that rocked a Syrian air base in the northern Latakia province.”

“The bombing targeted a shipment of surface-to-air missiles (SAM) that was headed for Hezbollah in Lebanon,” the report said.    Read the rest of this entry »


Syria: Are Amphetamines Funding the War?

Captagon pills are displayed along with a cup of cocaine at an office of the Lebanese Internal Security Forces. JOSEPH EID / AFP / Getty Images

Captagon pills are displayed along with a cup of cocaine at an office of the Lebanese Internal Security Forces. JOSEPH EID / AFP / Getty Images

 reports:  Fifteen days into his job as Lebanon’s top drug-enforcement official, Colonel Ghassan Chams Eddine got a tip-off that something big was going down at the Beirut shipping port this summer.

How big? Nearly 5.5 million tablets of a locally produced amphetamine expertly hidden inside an industrial water heater destined for Dubai. His men had to use acetylene torches to remove the white tablets, each embossed with an off-kilter yin-yang symbol and packed into 1,000-piece units in heat-sealed plastic bags. “The boiler was made in Syria, and the way the tablets were hidden, it was clear that they hadn’t been just stuffed inside,” says Chams Eddine. “That unit was formed around the drugs, at the factory.” Read the rest of this entry »


New tone: Thomas Friedman likens GOP to Hezbollah

The GOP and the Tea Party have been called anarchists, arsonists and hostage takers so much this week we’d almost stopped noticing. The New York Times’ Thomas Friedman managed to make a few ears perk up on NPR today, though, when he compared the GOP to terrorist group Hezbollah.

Twitchy


Syria Prepares for U.S. Attack

By SAM DAGHER

DAMASCUS, Syria—The Assad regime prepared for a U.S. attack on the capital despite a likely delay in any military action, urging civilian evacuations, moving soldiers into vacant apartments and issuing new threats of retaliation.

A senior Syrian official on Monday said that both the Syrian army and its ally Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite group, would strike back in the event of a U.S.-led offensive by first hitting American warships now in the Mediterranean Sea.

Syria in the Spotlight

Referring to Hezbollah as the resistance, Khaled Abboud, a parliament member and confidant of President Bashar al-Assad, told The Wall Street Journal: “The resistance and the armed forces are now one body. In my assessment, Hezbollah will side with Syria in certain operations targeting warships in the Mediterranean.”

Read the rest of this entry »


Hezbollah’s CFO flees to Israel carrying stolen money, classified documents

Hezbollah’s CFO has fled to Israel taking with him large sum of stolen money, classified documents and maps, local news media reported on Friday.

The news website, Now Lebanon, cited Hezbollah officials saying that the 29-year old telecommunication engineer, Hussein Fahs, has crossed to Israel carrying with him $5 million in embezzled money from the group. Fahs is also head of Hezbollah’s operational communications network.

In September, Fahs, who is native of southern Lebanon, was arrested along with other four Hezbollah members over the suspicion of embezzling the group’s funds and collaborating with Israel, Yoni Alpert’s Terror Watch reported.

The operation to arrest the five was a collaborative one between Hezbollah and Iranian intelligence. Hezbollah, which has long been a staunch ally to both Iran and Syria, officially became part of the Lebanese government in 2011.

According to Al-Joumhouria newspaper, he was arrested while on his way to an unknown destination by 20 Iranian intelligence officers at Beirut’s Hariri Airport. At the time it was suspected that they stole at least $5 million in Iranian aid funds…

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