According to a bombshell report by Politico, the Obama administration actively stymied a U.S. task force investigation into the billion-dollar drug trafficking enterprise by the anti-Israel Lebanese terror group Hezbollah in order to ink the Iranian nuclear deal.
Politico’s “secret backstory of how Obama let Hezbollah off the hook” is exhaustive. We will briefly summarize its investigation into how our last president gave terrorists an open playing field to ship cocaine, weapons — you name it — unhindered and all for the glory of his legacy:
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.
The task force tracked a web of drug shipments through Latin America, West Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Mexico, and the United States. The “dirty cash” was “laundered by, among other tactics, buying American used cars and shipping them to Africa.” The orders for this criminal venture came from high up in the Hezbollah organization and spread to “its state sponsors in Iran,” the report notes.
As more crimes were uncovered, and top-level bosses exposed, Obama, fearing a stalemate from Iran for the deal, sabotaged Project Cassandra and it began to crumble:
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 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 paramilitary Quds force. And the State Department rejected requests to lure high-value targets to countries where they could be arrested.
David Asher, who established the Cassandra task force for the Defense Department, described how the Obama administration, from the top down, undermined hours upon hours of the team’s work:
“This was a policy decision, it was a systematic decision. They serially ripped apart this entire effort that was very well supported and resourced, and it was done from the top down.”
Politico points out several other missteps by the Obama administration in derailing the investigations:
Project Cassandra members say administration officials also blocked or undermined their efforts to go after other top Hezbollah operatives including one nicknamed the ‘Ghost,’ allowing them to remain active despite being under sealed U.S. indictment for years. People familiar with his case say the Ghost has been one of the world’s biggest cocaine traffickers, including to the U.S., as well as a major supplier of conventional and chemical weapons for use by Syrian President Bashar Assad against his people.
And when Project Cassandra agents and other investigators sought repeatedly to investigate and prosecute Abdallah Safieddine, Hezbollah’s longtime envoy to Iran, whom they considered the linchpin of Hezbollah’s criminal network, the Justice Department refused, according to four former officials with direct knowledge of the cases.
The administration also rejected repeated efforts by Project Cassandra members to charge Hezbollah’s military wing as an ongoing criminal enterprise under a federal Mafia-style racketeering statute, task force members say. And they allege that administration officials declined to designate Hezbollah a “significant transnational criminal organization” and blocked other strategic initiatives that would have given the task force additional legal tools, money and manpower to fight it.
Former officials under Obama spoke anonymously to Politico and said their efforts were “guided by broader policy objectives,” namely “de-escalating the conflict with Iran” in order to secure the nuclear deal. The former officials insisted they did anything to harm the task force’s investigations.
This bombshell report piggybacks another from Politico earlier this year that revealed the other price President Obama was willing to pay to secure the Iran deal: the lives of hundreds of U.S. soldiers. The former president dropped the charges against Amin Ravan, an arms smuggler responsible for the deaths of hundreds of U.S. soldiers fighting in Iraq, as well as a dozen other weapons traders. Not even the lives of Americans trying to protect our freedom could stand in the way of Obama’s selfish ambitions.