Politico is not a right-wing website. Generally, it leans left. So why are they throwing President Obama under the bus? I don’t know, but Politico posted an article yesterday detailing how the Obama Administration blocked an ambitious law enforcement campaign targeting drug trafficking by the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah, even as it was funneling cocaine into the United States. This is part of the price President Obama was willing to pay to get the Iranian nuclear treaty.
The article at Politico is long, but it is worth reading. I will try to summarize the main points, but I strongly suggest that you follow the link above to read the entire story.
The article reports:
…Project Cassandra, was launched in 2008 after the Drug Enforcement Administration amassed evidence that Hezbollah had transformed itself from a Middle East-focused military and political organization into an international crime syndicate that some investigators believed was collecting $1 billion a year from drug and weapons trafficking, money laundering and other criminal activities.
Over the next eight years, agents working out of a top-secret DEA facility in Chantilly, Virginia, used wiretaps, undercover operations and informants to map Hezbollah’s illicit networks, with the help of 30 U.S. and foreign security agencies.
They followed cocaine shipments, some from Latin America to West Africa and on to Europe and the Middle East, and others through Venezuela and Mexico to the United States. They tracked the river of dirty cash as it was laundered by, among other tactics, buying American used cars and shipping them to Africa. And with the help of some key cooperating witnesses, the agents traced the conspiracy, they believed, to the innermost circle of Hezbollah and its state sponsors in Iran.
But as Project Cassandra reached higher into the hierarchy of the conspiracy, Obama administration officials threw an increasingly insurmountable series of roadblocks in its way, according to interviews with dozens of participants who in many cases spoke for the first time about events shrouded in secrecy, and a review of government documents and court records. When Project Cassandra leaders sought approval for some significant investigations, prosecutions, arrests and financial sanctions, officials at the Justice and Treasury departments delayed, hindered or rejected their requests.
The article quotes someone involved in the investigation as saying that the program was blocked from the top.
The article further reports:
Obama had entered office in 2009 promising to improve relations with Iran as part of a broader rapprochement with the Muslim world. On the campaign trail, he had asserted repeatedly that the Bush administration’s policy of pressuring Iran to stop its illicit nuclear program wasn’t working, and that he would reach out to Tehran to reduce tensions.
The man who would become Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser and then CIA director, John BrennanJohn BrennanObama’s White House counterterrorism adviser, who became CIA director in 2013., went further. He recommended in a policy paper that “the next president has the opportunity to set a new course for relations between the two countries” through not only a direct dialogue, but “greater assimilation of Hezbollah into Lebanon’s political system.”
Anyone who knows the history of Lebanon understands that Hezbollah is not a force for peace, freedom, or stability.
The article goes on to detail money laundering by Hezbollah and the fact that Hezbollah has operatives in America planning terrorist attacks. It is very obvious in reading the article that the activities of the Obama Administration put Americans at risk. The efforts at ending the drug trafficking and money laundering will resume under the Trump Administration. At a time when America has major drug problems, it would be a really good idea to shut down any traffickers we can.