The Leaking Echo Chamber

Real Clear Investigations posted an article today about the targeted anti-Trump leaks to the press coming from the Justice Department.

The article reports:

A trail of evidence appearing in major news outlets suggests a campaign to undermine President Trump from within the government through illegal leaks of classified information, and then to thwart congressional investigators probing the disclosures.

On Monday the Justice Department released a handful of texts and other documents that included two former officials known for their anti-Trump bias – Peter Strzok and Lisa Page of the FBI – discussing the DOJ’s “media leak strategy.” Strzok now says, through his lawyer, that that strategy was aimed at preventing leaks. Nevertheless, days later he and Page approvingly mention forthcoming news articles critical of Trump associates.

“The leaks that have been coming out of the FBI and DOJ since 2016 are unconscionable,” said retired FBI supervisory special agent James Gagliano. “There’s a difference between whistleblowing and leaking for self-serving or partisan purposes.”

Past and present U.S. officials say the template for the leak campaign can be traced back to the Obama administration’s efforts to sell the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which made the press reliant on background conversations and favorable leaks from government officials. Obama adviser Ben Rhodes told the New York Times in 2016 that “we created an echo chamber” that “helped retail the administration’s narrative.”

“That same configuration,” said Michael Doran, a senior official in the George W. Bush White House, “the press, political operatives, newly minted experts, social media validators—was repurposed to target Trump, his campaign, transition team, then presidency.” The echo chamber’s primary instrument in attacking the current White House, said Doran, “is the Russia collusion narrative.”

This is the quote from the New York Times article about the echo chamber:

As Malley (Rob Malley, a favored troubleshooter who ran negotiations that could keep the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad in power during the Obama administration) and representatives of the State Department, including Wendy Sherman and Secretary of State John Kerry, engaged in formal negotiations with the Iranians, to ratify details of a framework that had already been agreed upon, Rhodes’s war room did its work on Capitol Hill and with reporters. In the spring of last year, legions of arms-control experts began popping up at think tanks and on social media, and then became key sources for hundreds of often-clueless reporters. “We created an echo chamber,” he admitted, when I asked him to explain the onslaught of freshly minted experts cheerleading for the deal. “They were saying things that validated what we had given them to say.”

This is how it works. Find a cooperative person who wants to be on television as an expert. Feed him the conclusion you want him to draw. Then find another one.

The press is not currently our friend. Maybe that will change someday, but right now that is the situation. If we want to keep our representative republic, we need to vote against the political party that has consistently used government agencies and anyone in the press who was willing to cooperate for partisan purposes.

Strange People In Stranger Places

Yesterday LifeZette posted an article about alleged Russian spy Maria Butina.

The article reports:

Butina has been accused of working with a top Russian official and two unidentified U.S. citizens to infiltrate a pro-gun rights organization in the U.S., along with attempting to influence America’s foreign policy toward Russia, as CNBC.com and others reported.

This is all part of the efforts to accuse President Trump of colluding with the Russians. However, there is a problem with those who are attempting to use this accusation against President Trump.

The article reports:

Alleged Russian spy Maria Butina was involved in high-level meetings with two senior U.S. officials in the Obama administration and a Russian official before the 2016 election, according to multiple sources and a Washington, D.C., think tank, as The Daily Wire and other outlets reported.

The meetings — “disclosed by several people familiar” with them, noted Reuters, and also by a report prepared by the think tank that arranged the meetings — involved Stanley Fischer, then Federal Reserve vice chairman, and Nathan Sheets, who was then the Treasury undersecretary for international affairs.

Butina reportedly came into the U.S. in April 2015 with then-Russian Central Bank Deputy Governor Alexander Torshin to participate in “separate meetings with Fischer and Sheets, to discuss U.S.- Russian economic relations during Democratic former President Barack Obama’s administration.”

The think tank involved in the meetings is the Central for the National Interest (CNI), a group that advocates for improved U.S.- Russia relations, as CBS reported.

Whoops.

So let’s back up a bit and see what we actually know. Russia was a major player in getting the Iran deal put together and approved by European countries. Russia had the ability to make or break that deal. President Obama desperately wanted that deal (for reasons that will be debated for a long time–see Ben Rhodes statements in The New York Times here). Because of his desire to keep Russia on his side regarding the Iran deal (and because he was sure Hillary Clinton would be elected) President Obama ordered a stand down on the investigation into Russian cyberattacks on the 2016 election (story here). We also know that the Russian cyberattacks did not impact the 2016 election. Logically, Clinton would have been the Russian’s preferred candidate–they had enough information from her private server to control her totally–I am sure they have all the dirt on the Clinton Foundation and the money that flowed in and out of the Foundation. So why was President Obama meeting with this supposed Russian spy? It could be totally innocent–he might have had no idea who she really was or what she was up to. However, the efforts to connect her to the Trump campaign after President Obama met with her are sort of ridiculous to anyone who is paying attention.

A Perfect Job For A Creative Writer

Ben Rhodes has been described as an aspiring novelist who somehow became a major player in President Obama’s foreign policy. In May of last year, he gave an extended interview (my notes here) with The New York Times describing his part in selling the Iranian nuclear agreement to the American people.

The New York Times article states:

Rhodes singled out a key example to me one day, laced with the brutal contempt that is a hallmark of his private utterances. “All these newspapers used to have foreign bureaus,” he said. “Now they don’t. They call us to explain to them what’s happening in Moscow and Cairo. Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.”

Somehow that is not comforting.

Today The Daily Caller posted an article about Ben Rhodes’ new job:

Former White House aide Ben Rhodes, who served as Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications and advised former President Barack Obama on foreign policy issues, will start his new job on Sunday as a politics contributor for MSNBC and NBC News.

MSNBC’s public relations department made the announcement on Twitter on Saturday, noting that Rhodes will make his official debut on Sunday’s “Meet the Press” and Monday’s “All In With Chris Hayes.”

I’m not holding my breath waiting for the time a true conservative shows up on MSNBC as a political contributor. The network is entitled to hire anyone they want, but the viewers need to be aware of the political leanings of the people who are designated as political contributors.

Why I Don’t Trust The Mainstream Media

On Saturday, The New York Post posted an article titled, “White House admits it played us for fools to sell Iran deal.”

The article reports:

In an astounding New York Times piece by David Samuels, senior White House officials gleefully confess they use friendly reporters and nonprofits as public relations tools in the selling of President Obama’s foreign policy — and can do it almost at will because these tools are ignorant, will believe what they’re told, will essentially take dictation and are happy to be used just to get the information necessary for a tweet or two.

Their greatest triumph, according to Samuels, was selling a misleading narrative about the nuclear deal with Iran — the parameters of which were set a year before the administration claimed and which had nothing to do with the fact that a supposedly more accommodating government had risen to power.

The mastermind of the Obama machine is Ben Rhodes, a New Yorker who joined the Obama campaign as a speechwriter in 2007 and has risen to become the most influential foreign-policy hand in the White House.

Rhodes drips with contempt for almost everyone but his boss. He consigns all those who do not share every particular of the Obama-Rhodes foreign-policy perspective to a gelatinous mass called “The Blob” — including, Samuels writes, Hillary Clinton.

I have previously written an article about this New York Times piece. However, as the media panic over ending the Iran deal continues, I would like to add a few thoughts to the discussion. First of all, many of the Democrats now yelling that the sky is falling because President Trump pulled out of the deal did not support the deal in the first place. The Iran deal was never given to the Senate as a treaty because the Obama Administration understood that it did not have the votes to pass. So I am not sure if the work of Ben Rhodes was actually successful–the treaty (or non-treaty as it was) never really gained majority approval.

The article at The New York Post concludes:

It was, Samuels says, a deliberately misleading narrative. The general terms were actually hammered out in 2012 by State Department officials Jake Sullivan and William Burns, rooted in Obama’s deep desire from the beginning of the administration to strike a grand deal with the mullahs.

Why on Earth was such conduct remotely acceptable? Because, Samuels makes clear, Rhodes and Obama believe they’re the only sensible thinkers in America and that there’s no way to get the right things done other than to spin them. “I mean, I’d prefer a sober, reasoned public debate, after which members of Congress reflect and take a vote,” he tells Samuels. “But that’s impossible.”

Impossible? There was a sober, reasoned public debate over the Iran deal. Its opponents were deadly serious. In the end, 58 senators voted against it on sober, reasoned grounds.

What the Samuels piece shows is that the Obama administration chose to attempt to get its way not by winning an argument but by bringing an almost fathomless cynicism to bear in manipulating its own clueless liberal fan club.

Would a Hillary Clinton presidency have been any different?

Details On The Iranian Nuclear Program

On Wednesday, Bill Gertz posted an article at The Washington Times which provided some of the details on the Iranian nuclear program. The information presented by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was truly an intelligence coup. Secretary of State (and Former CIA Director) Mike Pompeo noted that much of the information Israel had obtained was new to the United States.

The article reported:

An Israeli government PowerPoint briefing on the documents showed Iran moved the files in 2017 to a secret warehouse in an industrial area of southern Tehran called Shorabad. Inside the warehouse were numerous safes protecting some 55,000 pages of documents in binders, and 183 CDs containing 50,000 more digital files.

An Israeli official told reporters the daring operation by Mossad agents to steal the documents was carried out on Jan. 31, and included Iranians discovering the break-in as it was happening. The Iranians flew a drone aircraft into Israeli airspace 11 days after the document raid, possibly in response to the operation.

 The document cache was so large, Israeli agents were unable to bring all the files out. The storage facility and the materials in it were among the Tehran government’s most closely guarded secrets and Iranian authorities were alarmed that warehouse was discovered and sacked.

The documents reveal Iran’s nuclear arms program was called “Project Amad” and operated from 1999 to 2003.

An Iranian presentation in Farsi revealed in the Israeli presentation said that the goal of Project Amad was to “design, produce and test” nuclear weapons. Under the plan, the Iranians were to build five warheads with yields of 10 kilotons that would be designed “for integration on a missile.”

That is not a peaceful nuclear program to provide energy for Iran (as was claimed by Iran).

The section of the article dealing with Iran concludes:

The Israeli presentation included documents showing that Iran deceived the International Atomic Energy Agency in its final report on Iran’s past and present nuclear program that was required as part of the 2015 nuclear deal. The documents show that — contrary to Iran’s denial to the IAEA of a coordinate arms program and denying the existence of Project Amad — Iran in fact carried out a coordinated nuclear weapons programs.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said this week the documents obtained by the Israelis from Iran were “authentic.” He called the documents that are being reviewed by U.S. intelligence agencies an “arsenal of knowledge.”

“It’s not just in the minds of people whom they have. It’s the actual calculations that they’ve done, the blueprints, the measurements,” he said.

The Pentagon’s latest nuclear posture review said the Iran nuclear deal has constrained Tehran’s arms program, “many of the agreement’s restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program will end by 2031.”

“In addition, Iran retains the technological capability and much of the capacity necessary to develop a nuclear weapon within one year of a decision to do so,” the posture review said.

On May 10, 2016, I wrote an article about the role that Ben Rhodes had played in securing positive public opinion about the Iran deal. The deal was seriously flawed from the beginning. I am not sure that it can be changed in any way that would make the world safer from Iranian nuclear weapons. If it can’t be changed, it needs to be scrapped. At that point someone needs to pinpoint all locations of the Iranian nuclear program and make them disappear.

Notes On The Iran Deal

Scott Johnson at Power Line posted an article today about the new revelations by Israel about Iran’s nuclear program.

My favorite quote from the article:

Not even Neville Chamberlain funded Hitler’s aggression to secure his infamous agreement with the madman. That innovation in treachery took one Barack Obama and his many enthusiastic servants such as John Kerry.

There is even more information about the treachery involved in the Iran deal in the New York Times article I posted about in May of 2016 (here). The Iran deal was supported by the European nations because it was financially advantageous to them. They either did not believe or were not concerned about the fact that Iran was planning to threaten them with nuclear weapons as soon as the restrictions in the treaty expired.

Senator Ted Cruz posted the following press release yesterday after Prime Minister Netanyahu gave his presentation explaining the Iran actually does have a nuclear weapons program:

HOUSTON, Texas – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today issued a statement following Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s revelations about Iran’s nuclear program:

“Today’s stunning revelations by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu powerfully demonstrate why the Obama Iran nuclear deal is not just unfixable, but truly catastrophic. The Prime Minister’s presentation was remarkable—unprecedented—and worth watching in full. Through extraordinary intelligence operations, Israeli agents captured over 100,000 secret documents and files from Iran. These Iranian documents prove that (1) for two decades, Iran has conducted a clandestine nuclear weapons program; (2) Iran lied repeatedly, and brazenly, denying that secret program; (3) the Obama nuclear deal was predicated on that edifice of lies; and (4) Iran is today in violation of that deal.

“The national security consequences of the Obama Iranian nuclear deal are twofold: First, America has allowed billions of dollars to flow to the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, a nation directly responsible for the murder of hundreds of U.S. servicemen and women. And second, those billions of dollars have also propped up a despotic regime and provided vast resources for ongoing ballistic missile tests designed to enable Iran to launch a nuclear weapon on the American homeland.

“In light of these astonishing Israeli revelations, the course before President Trump is clear. As the President has said repeatedly, this deal is a ‘terrible deal,’ even worse than many previously realized. The United States should therefore withdraw immediately, re-impose crushing sanctions, work to encourage our allies to do the same, and do everything necessary to insure that the Ayatollah Khamenei never — never — acquires the nuclear weapons to make good on his pledge of ‘death to America.’”

I don’t know if Europe will join us in exiting the Iran nuclear deal–it is very profitable for them to stay in it. However, I think it is time for us to leave. Obviously, Iran has no problem telling us what they think we want to hear, and we have not been very good at finding out what the truth is.

This Is Not A Surprise, But It Is Really Tacky

The Center for Security Policy is reporting today that a new think tank has recently formed in Washington. The think tank, called National Security Action (NSA), is made up of about fifty former Obama administration officials. Three founding members are Ben Rhodes, Susan Rice and Samantha Power. Even in Washington, could anyone find three people with a worse record of telling the truth?

The article reports:

The mission statement of the group is anything but subtle: “National Security Action is dedicated to advancing American global leadership and opposing the reckless policies of the Trump administration that endanger our national security and undermine U.S. strength in the world.”

National Security Action plans to pursue typical liberal foreign policy themes such as climate change, challenging President Trump’s leadership, immigration and allegations of corruption between the president and foreign powers.

This organization uses the acronym NSA, which is ironic. Three of its founding members – Ben Rhodes, Susan Rice and Samantha Power – likely were involved in abusing intelligence from the federal NSA (National Security Agency) to unmask the names of Trump campaign staff from intelligence reports and to leak NSA intercepts to the media to hurt Donald Trump politically. This included a leak to the media of an NSA transcript in February 2017 of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s discussion with Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergei Kislyak. No one has been prosecuted for this leak.

…It is interesting that the new anti-Trump group says nothing in its mandate about protecting the privacy of Americans from illegal surveillance, preventing the politicization of U.S. intelligence agencies or promoting aggressive intelligence oversight. Maybe this is because the founders plan to abuse U.S. intelligence agencies to spy on Republican lawmakers and candidates if they join a future Democratic administration.

I am sure that the formation of this group is not unrelated to the 2018 and 2020 elections. I also suspect that part of the purpose of this group is to create a positive image of Barack Obama. As the Trump administration continues and the economy and foreign relations improve, it is becoming very obvious that America needed to move in a new direction after eight years of President Obama. I suspect that this group is going to work very hard to undermine President Trump and convince Americans that President Obama’s policies were successful. Good luck.

 

Actually, This Is The Way It Was Supposed To Be Done In The First Place

According to the U.S. Constitution, the Senate has the responsibility of advice and consent regarding treaties:

The President…shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur… Constitution of the United States, Art. II, Sec. 2

The Senate never voted on the Iran Nuclear Treaty. President Trump has now “decertified” his support for the agreement and left its fate in the hands of Congress.

Yahoo News is reporting today:

And, outlining the results of a review of efforts to counter Tehran’s “aggression” in a series of Middle East conflicts, Trump ordered tougher sanctions on Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps and on its ballistic missile program.

Trump said the agreement, which defenders say was only ever meant to curtail Iran’s nuclear program in return for sanctions relief, had failed to address Iranian subversion in its region and its illegal missile program.

The US president said he supports efforts in Congress to work on new measures to address these threats without immediately torpedoing the broader deal.

“However, in the event we are not able to reach a solution working with Congress and our allies, then the agreement will be terminated,” Trump said, in a televised address from the Diplomatic Room of the White House.

“It is under continuous review and our participation can be canceled by me as president at any time,” he warned.

Simultaneously, the US Treasury said it had taken action against the Islamic Revolutionary Guards under a 2001 executive order to hit sources of terror funding and added four companies that allegedly support the group to its sanctions list.

Any business done with Iran is done under the auspices of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard. It is a safe guess to say that any money Iran earns in international trade will be spent on its military and its support of terrorism throughout the world.

On May 10, 2016, I posted an article about the role that Ben Rhodes played in selling the Iran Treaty to the American public.In his statements to the New York Times, Mr. Rhodes was described as follows:

Like Obama, Rhodes is a storyteller who uses a writer’s tools to advance an agenda that is packaged as politics but is often quite personal. He is adept at constructing overarching plotlines with heroes and villains, their conflicts and motivations supported by flurries of carefully chosen adjectives, quotations and leaks from named and unnamed senior officials. He is the master shaper and retailer of Obama’s foreign-policy narratives, at a time when the killer wave of social media has washed away the sand castles of the traditional press. His ability to navigate and shape this new environment makes him a more effective and powerful extension of the president’s will than any number of policy advisers or diplomats or spies. His lack of conventional real-world experience of the kind that normally precedes responsibility for the fate of nations — like military or diplomatic service, or even a master’s degree in international relations, rather than creative writing — is still startling.

The Iran Treaty was based on the lie that Iran would give up its aggressive tendencies and its search for nuclear weapons. There is no evidence that either one of those things has happened. Ending the Iran Treaty and renewing the economic sanctions would be a step toward peace in the Middle East.

Who Is Paying For Our News?

The Associated Press posted an article in the Las Vegas Sun (and other newspapers) today about the selling of the Iran nuclear deal to the American public. There has been a bit of a dust-up about the Iranian nuclear deal because of a rather lengthy interview Ben Rhodes, one of President Obama’s top foreign policy aides, gave to The New York Times.

As I reported on May 10, Mr. Rhodes felt that the White House reporters he was briefing were so inexperienced he could tell them anything and they would believe it. He also managed to set up a media echo chamber to convince the American people that the Iranian deal was a good idea. Well, it gets worse.

The Las Vegas Sun reports:

A group identified by the White House as a key ally in selling the public on the Iran nuclear deal gave National Public Radio $100,000 last year to help it report on the pact and related issues, according to the group’s annual report. It also financed reporters and partnerships with other news outlets.

The Ploughshares Fund’s mission is to develop and finance initiatives “to reduce and ultimately eliminate the world’s nuclear stockpiles,” one that dovetails with President Barack Obama’s arms control efforts. But its behind-the-scenes advocacy of the Iran agreement got more attention this month after a candid profile of Ben Rhodes, one of the president’s top foreign policy aides.

In The New York Times Magazine article, Rhodes explained how the administration worked with nongovernmental organizations, proliferation experts and even friendly reporters to build support for the seven-nation accord that curtailed Iran’s nuclear activity and softened international financial penalties on Tehran.

“We created an echo chamber,” said Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser, adding that “outside groups like Ploughshares” helped carry out the administration’s message effectively.

There are a lot of reasons this infuriates me. First of all, in this discussion I don’t hear any reference to America’s national security and how it will be impacted by the Iran deal. I also don’t see any admission that Iran will use much of the money the agreement frees up to manufacture weapons to be used against American soldiers in Afghanistan and the Middle East. It also hits home because bloggers are not necessarily seen as a valid source of news for the American people. In this case, conservative talk radio, conservative news outlets, conservative publications, and conservative bloggers were the only ones telling the truth about the Iran deal, and the White House worked very hard to portray them as misinformed.

The article further reports:

Ploughshares boasts of helping to secure the deal. While success was “driven by the fearless leadership of the Obama administration and supporters in Congress,” board chairwoman Mary Lloyd Estrin wrote in the annual report, “less known is the absolutely critical role that civil society played in tipping the scales towards this extraordinary policy victory.”

Ploughshares has set its sights on other media organizations, too.

In a “Cultural Strategy Report” on its website, the group outlined a broader objective of “ensuring regular and accurate coverage of nuclear issues in reputable and strategic media outlets” such as The Guardian, Salon, the Huffington Post or ProPublica.

Previous efforts failed to generate enough coverage, it noted. These included “funding of reporters at The Nation and Mother Jones and a partnership with The Center for Public Integrity to create a national security desk.” It suggested using “web videos, podcasts, photo-based stories” and other “attention-grabbing formats” for “creatively reframing the issue.”

The Center for Public Integrity’s CEO, Peter Bale, confirmed the group received a grant.

“None of the funding received by Ploughshares was for coverage of the Iran deal,” said Bale, whose organization received $70,000. “In general, we avoided that subject because the topic did not lend itself to the type of investigative reporting the center does.”

At some point the American people will realize that the Iranian nuclear deal is a bad deal. By then it may be too late, but at some point the truth will come out. Meanwhile, this looks a lot like the Obama Administration working against the welfare of the American people. Unfortunately, the American people played right along.

Irony?

Last Tuesday I wrote an article about the New York Times interview by Ben Rhodes. The Sunday New York Times Magazine featured a rather lengthy interview with Mr. Rhodes. In the interview, Ben Rhodes essentially brags about taking advantage of the ignorance of young White House reporters in spinning the Iran nuclear deal.

The New York Times article quotes Ben Rhodes:

Rhodes singled out a key example to me one day, laced with the brutal contempt that is a hallmark of his private utterances. “All these newspapers used to have foreign bureaus,” he said. “Now they don’t. They call us to explain to them what’s happening in Moscow and Cairo. Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.”

Well, Congress asked Mr. Rhodes to testify about the Iran nuclear deal and his actions in selling it. Mr. Rhodes (and President Obama) were not interested in talking to an audience that might be less than friendly and that might actually be seeking the truth.

Fox News posted a story today about Mr. Rhodes’ refusal to testify.

The article states:

Chaffetz, R-Utah, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, wanted the deputy national security adviser to testify at a hearing set for Tuesday titled, “White House narratives on the Iran Nuclear Deal.”

“We’re planning as if he is attending, and he’ll have a comfortable seat awaiting his arrival,” Chaffetz said Monday afternoon of Rhodes.

But W. Neil Eggleston, White House counsel, sent a letter to Chaffetz late Monday saying Rhodes would not attend.

He cited what appeared to be an executive privilege-related claim, asserting that such a senior presidential adviser’s appearance “threatens the independence and autonomy of the President, as well as his ability to receive candid advice and counsel.” For those reasons, he said, “we will not make Mr. Rhodes available to testify.”

Chaffetz earlier had made a last-ditch attempt to pressure Rhodes into appearing. After White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest initially said he should invite GOP Sen. Tom Cotton, whom he accuses of spreading false information about the deal, Chaffetz did exactly that — inviting Cotton to testify, on condition that Rhodes appeared as well.

“[Earnest] suggested that you should be invited to appear at the hearing as well, because you have some ‘interesting insight’ into the JCPOA [the Iran deal]. Therefore your appearance before the Committee would be contingent on Mr. Rhodes’ appearance at that hearing,” Chaffetz said in a letter Friday.

It seems very ironic to me that Mr. Rhodes is willing to tell all to The New York Times but not willing to talk to Congress.

The article at Fox News explains why Congress requested Mr. Rhodes to appear:

Sources tell Fox News that the committee was keen for Rhodes to appear voluntarily so they avoid the territory of a possible subpoena.

The magazine article that touched off the controversy outlined how Rhodes created a narrative of the deal coming out of the 2013 election of “moderate” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Iran’s subsequent “openness” and willingness to negotiate.

In fact, the story stated, the majority of the deal was hammered out in 2012, well before Rouhani’s election. However, the Rhodes narrative was politically useful to the administration as it presented them as reaching out to the moderates who wanted peace.

Congress needs to hold the President (and his ‘truth-spinner’) accountable for the lies that were told to gain acceptance of a treaty that will eventually be a threat to America‘s national security. It is very telling to me that Ben Rhodes was willing to spend as many hours as it took to get his interview in The New York Times but is not willing to talk to Congress.

Does This Matter To You?

On Sunday, The New York Times posted an interview with President Obama’s foreign policy guru Ben Rhodes. Ben Rhodes was an aspiring novelist who somehow became a major player in President Obama’s foreign policy. There are a few very telling remarks in the interview.

This is The New York Times description of Ben Rhodes’ job:

The job he was hired to do, namely to help the president of the United States communicate with the public, was changing in equally significant ways, thanks to the impact of digital technologies that people in Washington were just beginning to wrap their minds around. It is hard for many to absorb the true magnitude of the change in the news business — 40 percent of newspaper-industry professionals have lost their jobs over the past decade — in part because readers can absorb all the news they want from social-media platforms like Facebook, which are valued in the tens and hundreds of billions of dollars and pay nothing for the “content” they provide to their readers. You have to have skin in the game — to be in the news business, or depend in a life-or-death way on its products — to understand the radical and qualitative ways in which words that appear in familiar typefaces have changed. Rhodes singled out a key example to me one day, laced with the brutal contempt that is a hallmark of his private utterances. “All these newspapers used to have foreign bureaus,” he said. “Now they don’t. They call us to explain to them what’s happening in Moscow and Cairo. Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.”

Therefore, it is very easy to lie to reporters. Great. Thanks for doing you job of informing American voters–instead you have chosen to mislead them.

The New York Daily News posted a story on Saturday about the role that Ben Rhodes played in the Iran nuclear deal.

The New York Daily News reports:

Looking far down the road to regional domination, Iran’s radical Islamist leaders made a calculated decision to present a less menacing face to the world.

No longer, for example, would the country’s secular leadership vow the annihilation of Israel and rail against the Great Satan United States.

Worldly President Hassan Rouhani, who earned a Ph.D. in Scotland, took office in 2013, declaring an intention to engage with the West. Foreign minister Mohammad Zarif, educated at American universities, cultivated a close relationship with Secretary of State John Kerry.

Here, finally, were moderates with whom the U.S. could negotiate as President Obama sought to normalize relations with a sworn enemy.

So the Iranian propaganda went as the mullahs hoped for relief from economic sanctions via a nuclear deal with the U.S. and Western powers.

Why would anyone believe such obvious nonsense? One reason — in fact the key reason — is that Obama joined Iran in knowingly peddling the same false propaganda to America, according to an extraordinarily revealing New York Times profile of the President’s deputy national security adviser, Benjamin Rhodes.

“The way in which most Americans have heard the story of the Iran deal presented — that the Obama administration began seriously engaging with Iranian officials in 2013 in order to take advantage of a new political reality in Iran, which came about because of elections that brought moderates to power in that country — was largely manufactured for the purpose for selling the deal,” the profile states, providing evidence aplenty.

“Obama’s closest advisers always understood him to be eager to do a deal with Iran as far back as 2012, and even since the beginning of his presidency,” the profile discloses, quoting Rhodes as saying, “It’s the center of the arc” of an Obama strategy of remaking U.S. relations in the Mideast.

We have exchanged our alliance with Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East that allows freedom of religion, to an alliance with Iran, a country that has vowed to destroy Israel and America. This has been done with the help of Ben Rhodes (and President Obama), who blatantly lied to the American people about pretty much everything involved in the nuclear deal with Iran.

On Monday, The Federalist posted an article about Ben Rhodes and the Iran nuclear deal. The article included a chart based on a Gallop Poll of American opinion of Iran.

Here is the chart:

IranOpinionWe may have the treaty, but I am not sure the American people are on board.

The New York Times further reports:

As Malley and representatives of the State Department, including Wendy Sherman and Secretary of State John Kerry, engaged in formal negotiations with the Iranians, to ratify details of a framework that had already been agreed upon, Rhodes’s war room did its work on Capitol Hill and with reporters. In the spring of last year, legions of arms-control experts began popping up at think tanks and on social media, and then became key sources for hundreds of often-clueless reporters. “We created an echo chamber,” he admitted, when I asked him to explain the onslaught of freshly minted experts cheerleading for the deal. “They were saying things that validated what we had given them to say.”

When I suggested that all this dark metafictional play seemed a bit removed from rational debate over America’s future role in the world, Rhodes nodded. “In the absence of rational discourse, we are going to discourse the [expletive] out of this,” he said. “We had test drives to know who was going to be able to carry our message effectively, and how to use outside groups like Ploughshares, the Iran Project and whomever else. So we knew the tactics that worked.” He is proud of the way he sold the Iran deal. “We drove them crazy,” he said of the deal’s opponents.

This sort of public manipulation is the reason the alternative media has grown. Many Americans are tired of being manipulated and are willing to do their own search for the truth. Unfortunately, the mainstream media has a way of criticizing any opposition to their ideas successfully by using personal attacks and name-calling.

I don’t know what impact this information about the Iran nuclear deal will have on the 2016 election. What I do know is that President Obama sold the national security of America because he wanted a treaty with Iran as part of his legacy. That is a disgrace.

Cutting Congress Out Of The Iran Deal

The Washington Free Beacon posted an article today about the ongoing negotiations with Iran. The Washington Free Beacon has obtained the audio of a talk to progressive activists last January by Deputy National Security Adviser and MFA in creative writing Ben Rhodes. Mr. Rhodes told the group that a deal with Iran is very important to President Obama as he attempts to establish some sort of positive legacy. Unfortunately, as is usual with this administration, President Obama is willing to take some shortcuts.

The article reports:

“Bottom line is, this is the best opportunity we’ve had to resolve the Iranian issue diplomatically, certainly since President Obama came to office, and probably since the beginning of the Iraq war,” Rhodes said. “So no small opportunity, it’s a big deal. This is probably the biggest thing President Obama will do in his second term on foreign policy. This is healthcare for us, just to put it in context.”

Rhodes made the comparison as the White House was reeling from the botched rollout of the $2 billion Healthcare.gov. Polls continue to show that the health law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, remains unpopular.

Rhodes also said the White House wants to avoid congressional scrutiny of any deal.

“We’re already kind of thinking through, how do we structure a deal so we don’t necessarily require legislative action right away,” Rhodes said. “And there are ways to do that.”

That is similar to what an unnamed senior administration official told David Sanger of the New York Times last week for a piece headlined “Obama Sees an Iran Deal That Could Avoid Congress”: “We wouldn’t seek congressional legislation in any comprehensive agreement for years.”

Those in the Obama Administration need to remember that we do have a Constitution. The U.S. Constitution has very definite rules on Congressional approval of treaties.

The article concludes:

According to Rhodes’ logic, any move by the Americans that strengthens the hardliners at the expense of the other two groups decreases the chances of a deal. Our foreign policy is left hamstrung, in a vain and counterproductive and quite likely futile attempt to put Obama in the history books as the man who reestablished ties between the United States and Iran.

A Republican Congress would not only find itself ignored by the White House. It would find itself powerless to stop détente. The Democratic Congress voted repeatedly for timelines for withdrawal from Iraq. Bush vetoed them. Obama would do the same.

But there is one x-factor: Supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei, whose anti-Americanism is as deep as his Shiite radicalism. He has thwarted the ambitions of past American presidents who hoped to reconcile our two nations. There is no reason to assume he has had a change of heart. He is as aware as anyone of the president’s waning political fortunes.

Repudiated, isolated, ineffective, stymied, Obama cannot persuade the Iranians of the strength of the American position. So he will move as far as he can in the direction of the Iranian one. Unable to make Iran pro-American, he will settle for making America pro-Iranian. It is part of his dismal, pathetic, ill considered, shortsighted, and injurious “legacy.”

For the sake of America, I hope Congress will have the intestinal fortitude to stand up to any attempt to allow Iran to go forward with its nuclear program.