In a stunning and lengthy 14,000-word report published Monday, Politico said the Obama administration derailed a sprawling law enforcement campaign against drug trafficking by the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah, even as it was funneling cocaine into the United States. The effort was apparently intended to protect the regime’s nuclear deal with Iran.
According to Politico:
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.
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, Politico said, “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.”
The New York Post added:
Former Treasury official Katherine Bauer even admitted in little-noticed testimony to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs last February that “under the Obama administration . . . these [Hezbollah-related] investigations were tamped down for fear of rocking the boat with Iran and jeopardizing the nuclear deal.”
When the Iran agreement took effect in January 2016, the investigation — dubbed Project Cassandra — was effectively dismantled.
“This was a policy decision, it was a systematic decision,” said David Asher, an expert in illicit finance who helped found the project. “They serially ripped apart this entire effort that was very well supported and resourced, and it was done from the top down.”
Some 30 American and foreign security agencies worked for eight years on the effort, the report said.
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But that’s not all, according to the Post:
Politico also reported that late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was in cahoots with then-Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hezbollah in cocaine trafficking and other activities meant to undermine US influence.
In 2007, Venezuela’s state-run Conviasa airline was ferrying drugs and cash from Caracas to Tehran via Syria each week, according to Politico.
DEA agents nicknamed the airline “Aeroterror” because the planes would come back carrying weapons, along with Hezbollah and Iranian operatives.
“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,” Politico said.
But who knew those efforts included letting terrorist groups and hostile foreign operatives run guns and drugs into the United States?
“An Obama spokesman denied the operation was derailed for political reasons, noting several Hezbollah members were arrested,” the Post said.
Rush Limbaugh summed it up this way:
Hezbollah was funneling cocaine into the U.S. Now, the DEA is all over Mexican drug cartels, right? One of the reasons why TSA security at airports is such that it is is because of Mexican drug cartels and other things, border security, you name it. And here’s the Obama administration ordering law enforcement to look the other way when they find cocaine trafficking in the U.S. by Hezbollah.
Now, some might say, “Why, Rush, why?” Because Obama did not want to anger the Iranians. Remember, the Iranians at this time held either four or eight Americans hostage, which Obama paid a ransom for, by the way, too. Flew pallets of American cash into Tehran, unmarked, the sleaziest kind of payoff you can imagine. Fourteen thousand words to say that. And because it’s 14,000 words, nobody is gonna be able to cut to the chase like I have here ’cause they’re gonna think, 14,000 words, I’ve gotta say more than a paragraph about it, but that’s basically the story.
Call it “fundamental transformation.”
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