​The Beast Obama's Administration Let Live

Josh Meyer is apparently a veteran reporter who is now working for Politico. And his disturbing and fascinating long-form piece in Politico on the Obama administration’s muzzling of a multi-year criminal investigation by the DEA into Hezbollah’s international crime networks has a lot of Obama-era officials angry.

Like Ben Rhodes of course, who has attacked the piece as:

Non-fact based anti-Iran Deal propaganda.

Never mind actually disputing the facts, right Ben. All you need is a nasty quote.

But it goes much further than Ben Rhodes going back to his rusted echo-chamber. Read Meyer's article. Please. It is terrifying in it's depth and thoroughness. From Beirut to Venezuela with drugs and cash. From Mexico to America and to Europe. From used-car dealerships in America that ship their vehicles to West Africa where the proceeds of their sales are couriered back to Beirut. Hezbollah's criminal network is seemingly everywhere and generates billions of dollars in dirty profits that go towards Iran's goal of Shiite hegemony.

And Russia is a key player in this network as well. Arms sales and money and weapons for their ally Assad in Syria are folded into this multinational terror and crime syndicate. Consider this quote from the article:

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 parliamentary Quds force. And the State Department rejected requests to lure high-value targets to countries where they could be arrested.

Yes there are apparently Quds force cells in America.

Project Cassandra was the name the DEA group gave to itself after realizing that their warnings of the imminent danger that this network posed to America and others was being ignored by Justice, State, and rejected in often hostile fashion by the rest of the intel community.

CIA Director Brennan was in July 2008 working in the private sector after years as a CIA analyst and station chief in Saudi Arabia and before his appointment as Obama's Homeland Security Advisor and then as CIA Head. He published a paper on July 1, 2008, with the following quote:

To successfully chart a new course for U.S.-Iranian relations the next president must 1) tone down rhetoric 2) establish a direct dialogue with Tehran, including comprehensive, private discussions and deployment of a special envoy, 3) encourage greater assimilation of Hezbollah into Lebanon's political system, and 4) offer carrots in addition to sticks, including consideration of legitimate Iranian concerns on regional security issues.

That's the justification for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action right there in four neat little bullet points. No wonder Brennan has been gunning for Trump, who has lambasted his precious baby since before he even began running for president.

So Project Cassandra was doomed by the Iran Deal and the policy view of Iran - brought into being by Brennan among others - as a potential partner and not an implacable foe of America. Iran could be brought into the fold by appealing to it's moderates. And remember we have to pay attention to Iran's regional concerns. Like Shiite hegemony, so billions can be handed back to them for their nuclear programs; or perhaps to send cocaine to America, through Mexico and Venezuela, and cars to Africa. And weapons to Syria and Iraq.

Law enforcement was quashed by the spooks at the CIA and the wonks at State and Justice and the consiglieri's like Ben Rhodes at the White House. And by Obama's vision of himself as a healer of the world's oppressed and as the guy who would solve the Iran problem. And ad hominem attacks on a left-leaning media site are all they have left amidst their cognitive dissonance, their stubborn refusal to acknowledge the disaster they brought into being - The Iran Deal - and the beast they let live - Hezbollah's criminal network.

Disturbingly, Meyers writes near the end of his piece that the Trump administration has now fallen silent on the matter. Let's hope that this does not turn out to be the case.

Posted by Keeley at December 26, 2017 3:41 PM
Comments
Comment #422743

Being charitable, the Obama folks took a leap of faith. They hope that given time the Iranians will modify their bad behavior given time. They were willing to act in short term dishonesty in hopes of long term gain.

History indicates that this might not be a very smart move. We saw that tyrannies of the past were stopped only when they ran into determined opposition.

While we fervently hope that the Iranians will come to love democracy and peace, that the Russians will wisely support sound government in the region and the Palestinians will decide not to seek the destruction of the Jews. The Obama folks hoped that too and they bet some of our future on that.

Posted by: Christine & John at December 26, 2017 4:02 PM
Comment #422744

C&J,

More precisely, the Obama administration had only one policy: Do whatever it takes to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. So far, the JCPOA has worked splendidly as Iran possesses zero nuclear weapons and has no capacity to build one anytime soon. This remarkable achievement came at the expense of ignoring a great deal of Iranian bad behavior. The fact that Iran continues to arm itself with the very best conventional arms it can acquire and continues to support entities such as Hezbollah are really beside the point. That is, unless people think it was a mistake to focus so narrowly on nuclear weapons as Obama did.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 26, 2017 5:25 PM
Comment #422745

Warren

The sanctions were doing a decent job of that. There was a lot more talk than action when they bragged about their ability to build a bomb.

The capacity to build one depends more on the knowledge base than on the stuff at hand. Iran has not given up on that.

Iranians are a fundamentally civilized people and their goals in the region need not be at odds with ours. In fact, we have much in common, as we both knew during all those times during the Shah.

The whole region would be much better off if those benighted regimes would give up the jihad against Israel. Nobody in the world knows better how to properly use limited water resources in than the Israelis. Their expertise could help the Middle East out of that backwardness trap local governments have willingly entered.

This is a tangent. But the Middle Eastern government have chosen to to be poor and backward. They have indulged their hate at the expense of the happiness of their people.

Posted by: Christine & John at December 26, 2017 5:32 PM
Comment #422746

WP, there are people concerned about the Obama Iran deal who probably wouldn’t be able to find Iran on a map, or would ever care about anything to do with Iran if Obama hadn’t made a deal. Which is more likely, everyone else in the world is wrong, or some people here are wrong. Someone who has violated the Corrupt Foreign Practices Act repeatedly probably isn’t going to provide much in the way of sensible policy, whatever the stink tanks might tell him. Or, is Pence the real president now? He was seen carrying around the nuclear football the other day.

Posted by: ohrealy at December 26, 2017 6:49 PM
Comment #422747

ohrealy

Most people couldn’t pick out their own state on map.

Re “everybody else in the world” - consider who you are talking about. Leadership in Russia, Syria, Cuba, Venezuela and many others are happy if the U.S. has trouble with the Iranians. Most members of the UN General Assembly wish us ill, if not to the same extent. The Chinese just want access to the oil and prefer non-democracies.

So, it might well be the rest of the world has drawn conclusions similar to what Trump has. The difference is that they think that harming America is good.

Posted by: Christine & John at December 26, 2017 7:08 PM
Comment #422748

We all know that North Korea would never share it’s nuclear bomb and missile technology with another terrorist regime such as Iran and others. Sleep soundly in your beds knowing that Obama has insured your safety.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 26, 2017 7:44 PM
Comment #422757
The difference is that they think that harming America is good. Posted by: Christine & John at December 26, 2017 7:08 PM

Does this includes our allies or former allies now? Or is it just paranoid rambling? Or is the need to pay back private contractors that contributed to the campaigns of the right wingers paramount. The new policy of The United Shtates seems to be to try to make as many enemies as possible. I don’t know if Pence will continue with any of this nonsense. Other than working for the stink tanks, and some crazy religious views, he’s a do-nothing specialist. He’s not a wealthy man, and doesn’t seem to be trying to gain wealth in the most corrupt administration in our history. The corporatists have paid for him, but what have they bought exactly?

Posted by: ohrealy at December 27, 2017 1:17 PM
Comment #422758

ohrealy

I just think that it is a good idea to differentiate the motives of the “rest of the world”.

Even allies can have different interests. There is significant desire to maintain good trading relationships with countries of the Middle East. Even good allies can take advantage of the “free rider” status, letting us do the heavy lifting while they claim not to want it.

I do not blame them. It is a useful strategy. But it is very childish to think that the opinion of the rest of the world is always something determined by honest reflection.

We took advantage of the free rider position throughout the 19th Century with the British. We were loud in our criticism of their imperialism, while we enjoyed the protection of the Royal Navy. South American nations have been doing this with us for more than 100 years. And Western Europeans to a lesser extent enjoy our aegis in NATO. It is the way of the world.

As Lord Palmerston said more than a century and a half ago, “We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow.”

I do not buy the whole thing. I think that we have some more natural allies or enemies for cultural, historical and geopolitical reasons and I doubt that interests can be described as eternal, since nothing is. But on the whole, he was correct.

Posted by: Christine & John at December 27, 2017 3:10 PM
Comment #422759

One incident among so many that the rest of the world reflected on when they look at The United Shtates:

Twenty-one people were shot in the head, 36 died with chest and back wounds and one died of a gunshot to the leg, according to a chart the coroner released. Four victims had multiple gunshot wounds. Authorities have said more than 500 people were injured when P……. fired more than 1,100 shots. Authorities also reported finding about 4,000 unused rounds along with the 23 guns in the suite.

Do you buy that? Or that any of the previous massacres might cause any reflection?

Posted by: ohrealy at December 27, 2017 4:27 PM
Comment #422760

Ohrealy

You really are naive. Don’t you travel much. You think there is a “rest of the world.” I suppose you also think there is a “foreign language.”

I don’t know which incident you are quoting. I doubt most of the “rest of the world” recognizes it either.

There are two major types of narrow-minded xenophobias.The one is the easily recognized one that thinks only America matters. The other pretends to be its opposite. It is that “the rest of the world” is watching us so closely. You exhibit the latter. Get over it.

Posted by: Christine & John at December 27, 2017 4:51 PM
Comment #422761

Sorry to give you a hard time, but I am just getting a little sick of the lack of sophistication I see too many places.

Posted by: Christine & John at December 27, 2017 4:53 PM
Comment #422762
I don’t know which incident you are quoting. I doubt most of the “rest of the world” recognizes it either. Posted by: Christine & John at December 27, 2017 4:51 PM

You’re kidding, right? I guess your posts are intended as a joke.

Posted by: ohrealy at December 27, 2017 6:03 PM
Comment #422763

I did indeed not recognize it immediately. I thought it might be a report from Iraq, Afghanistan or Yemen, where such things are more regular occurrences.

Re the “rest of the world” - we think they care more about what happens in America than they do. And there is the additional permutation of controlled media. MOST people live in places w/o free media. What actually happens in America is only partly related to what people read or see on their televisions. Think of it like one of those made for TV movies that is “inspired” by real events.

There is no such think as world opinion. It is a similar idea to “foreign language”. I think it is really cute when people tell me that Americans should learn foreign languages. I always ask them which one they propose. English is the most useful worldwide. After English, you good make good arguments for French, Russian, Chinese, Spanish or Portuguese, among others, but it would depend on where you planned to live or do business.

Posted by: Christine & John at December 27, 2017 7:01 PM
Comment #422789

Thanks for telling me not to bother reading what you write. You were the last right winger with any slight glimmer of sense here.

Posted by: ohrealy at December 28, 2017 1:39 PM
Comment #422790

“a little sick of the lack of sophistication”

And he did not disappoint.
You all nailed that one, C&J.

LOL!!!

Posted by: kctim at December 28, 2017 2:13 PM
Comment #422791

ohrealy

Just sharing experience you have not had. It is not “right wing”. It is simply what a person sees when he lives and works in other places and gets to know those places. What did you think was “right wing?”

Posted by: Christine & John at December 28, 2017 2:21 PM
Comment #422989

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