The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has pointed to a new in-depth investigation by Politico which reveals that, “In its determination to secure a nuclear deal with Iran, the Obama administration derailed an ambitious law enforcement campaign [Project Cassandra] targeting drug trafficking by the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah, even as it was funneling cocaine into the United States.”
As a result of this policy decision to impede Project Cassandra, vast amounts of cocaine entered the United States which might otherwise have been kept out, while hundreds of millions of dollars went into the coffers of Hezbollah, a US-designated terrorist organization with vast reach.
The Politico report elaborates that, among other things that:
- The US Drug Enforcement Administration, in Operation Cassandra, tracked cocaine shipments, and dirty cash payments engineered by the Iranian-sponsored Lebanese Shia terrorist organization, Hezbollah, and traced what they believed to be the innermost circle of Hezbollah and its state sponsors in Iran. Yet, the Obama Administration placed obstacles in the path of investigators and delayed, hindered or rejected significant investigations, prosecutions, arrests and financial sanctions.
- The Obama 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.
- Ali Fayad, Ukraine-based arms merchant and suspected of being a Hezbollah operative, was in Czech custody from 2014-16, but top Obama administration officials declined to apply serious pressure on the Czech government to extradite him to the United States, and despite the fact that Fayad had been indicted in U.S. courts on charges of planning the murders of US government employees, attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization and attempting to acquire, transfer and use anti-aircraft missiles. Fayad is now believed to be helping to arm terrorists in Syria and elsewhere with Russian heavy weapons.
- Obama Administration officials declined to designate Hezbollah a “significant transnational criminal organization” and blocked other strategic initiatives that would have given the Project Cassandra task force additional legal tools, money and manpower to fight it.
- An Obama-era Treasury official, Katherine Bauer, in little-noticed written testimony presented last February to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, acknowledged 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.” As a result, some Hezbollah operatives were not pursued via arrests, indictments, or Treasury designations that would have blocked their access to U.S. financial markets.
- Veteran U.S. illicit finance expert David Asher said that the Obama Administration was so perturbed at disturbing negotiations with Iran that it sought to “defang, defund and undermine the investigations that were involving Iran and Hezbollah … The closer we got to the [Iran deal], the more these activities went away … So much of the capability, whether it was special operations, whether it was law enforcement, whether it was [Treasury] designations — even the capacity, the personnel assigned to this mission — it was assiduously drained, almost to the last drop, by the end of the Obama administration” (Josh Meyer, ‘The secret backstory of how Obama let Hezbollah off the hook: An ambitious U.S. task force targeting Hezbollah’s billion-dollar criminal enterprise ran headlong into the White House’s desire for a nuclear deal with Iran,’ Politico, December 17, 2017).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “The revelations contained in the in-depth Politico report are devastating and jaw-dropping.
“It is horrifying to imagine that an incumbent US president shackled, impeded and otherwise rendered impotent vital counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics investigations in order to secure a catastrophic and dangerous nuclear agreement with Iran, the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism and a threat to the US and its allies, including Israel.
“Any responsible president would have sought to put terrorist groups, narcotics organizations and their associates out of business. If doing so would upset those with whom America happened to be negotiating, the US would have looked at their interlocutor in a different light, instead of becoming obsessively concerned at upsetting them.
“Instead of drawing the conclusion that Iran was up to its neck in terrorism and drug-trafficking, President Obama ploughed forward despite to empower Iran via the nuclear agreement he foisted on America.
“It is an extraordinary dereliction of duty for a president to endanger the country and empower its enemies by torpedoing investigations into those who threaten America through terrorism and narcotics in order to deliver $150 Billion and a pathway to nuclear weapons.
“What does this reveal about Obama’s motivations and core beliefs?!”