In a demonstration of their unwavering devotion to the former president on Monday, all three of the major network news outlets (ABC, CBS, and NBC), and the Spanish-language networks (Univision and Telemundo), had a blackout on the revelations uncovered by Politico: The Obama administration sabotaged efforts to damage the financial operations of the Hezbollah terrorist group all so he could have his precious Iran nuclear deal.
“A very serious charge tonight against the Obama administration. A bombshell report alleges the government deliberately sabotaged its own efforts to fight terrorist drug and money laundering operations,” announced Fox News anchor Bret Baier during Special Report before handing the report off to Doug McKelway.
At the beginning of his report, McKelway rhetorically asked: “At what cost was the nuclear deal with Iran reached?” “In an effort to reach the agreement, [the Obama administration] drastically curtailed efforts to interdict cocaine shipments in the U.S. by Hezbollah, a terrorist organization closely allied with Iran,” he answered himself.
According to the Politico report, the federal and international effort to root out Hezbollah’s crime network predated the Obama administration:
The campaign, dubbed 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.
“In 2016, a DEA official told a congressional panel that Operation Cassandra, a massive law-enforcement effort to stop the Hezbollah drug trade, was inextricably curtailed,” McKelway noted in his report.
In a clip played by McKelway, former DEA Chief of Operations Michael Braun testified before Congress that “for some unknown reason, we seem to have missed out on one opportunity after another. We seem to have forgotten about the importance of disrupting the supply chain.”
Politico spoke with a former CIA officer who confirmed that the Obama administration’s efforts to stifle their investigation were tied to directly to the nuclear deal with Iran:
DEA operations in the Middle East were shut down repeatedly due to political sensitivities, especially in Lebanon, according to one former CIA officer working in the region. He said pressure from the White House also prompted the CIA to declare “a moratorium” on covert operations against Hezbollah in Lebanon, too, for a time, after the administration received complaints from Iranian negotiators.
“[Obama] really, really, really wanted the deal,” the CIA officer added.
The dead silence by the networks on this issue is made even more concerning when their fawning coverage of Iran is taken into account. They all refuse to report when Iran threatens U.S. Navy vessels in the Strait of Hormuz and ignored the sentencing of an American citizen jailed on trumped-up charges. CBS acted like their state ran TV while NBC sat down and sympathized with their radical president against Trump. And NBC’s Andrea Mitchell recently suggested claims that Iran is an international threat were just a ploy made up by Trump.
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Fox News Channel
December 18, 2017
6:29:55 PM Eastern
BRET BAIER: A very serious charge tonight against the Obama administration. A bombshell report alleges the government deliberately sabotaged its own efforts to fight terrorist drug and money laundering operations. Doug McKelway tells us why.
[Cuts to video]
BARACK OBAMA: Today the United States, together with our allies and partners, has reached a historic understanding with Iran.
DOUG MCKELWAY: At what cost was the nuclear deal with Iran reached? A Politico investigation alleges the Obama administration, in an effort to reach the agreement, drastically curtailed efforts to interdict cocaine shipments in the U.S. by Hezbollah, a terrorist organization closely allied with Iran.
For years it's been known Hezbollah have been active in the Latin American drug trade. In 2016, a DEA official told a congressional panel that Operation Cassandra, a massive law-enforcement effort to stop the Hezbollah drug trade, was inextricably curtailed.
MICHAEL BRAUN: For some unknown reason, we seem to have missed out on one opportunity after another. We seem to have forgotten about the importance of disrupting the supply chain.
MCKELWAY: Politico reports, quote: "When Project Cassandra leader sought approval for some significant investigations, prosecutions, arrests, and financial sanctions, officials at the Justice and Treasury Departments delayed, hindered, or rejected their request."
GENERAL JACK KEANE (RET): There is clearly a huge pattern. We pull out of Iraq largely because the Iranians want us out of there. And President Obama has no political and moral commitment to in the Iraqi end state that's in the United States interests. From 2009, January to the tire eight years of the Obama administration, hands off anything to do with the Iranians and their proxies.
MCKELWAY: Several Obama administration officials did not respond to our requests for comment. A spokesman for Mr. Obama told Politico the administration was hard on Hezbollah, quote: "Through tough sanctions on law enforcement actions."
[Cuts back to live]
The Trump administration has taken an entirely different tack in its Iran policy. That course change reflected in some sober comments from Secretary Mattis here on Friday to reporters when he told them, quote: "Everywhere you find turmoil you find Iran’s hand in it."