A bombshell report on Sunday revealed that former President Barack Obama intentionally sabotaged a major federal investigation into the Iranian backed terrorist organization Hezbollah because he did not want the investigation to interfere with the Iran deal. Now an Israeli politician is demanding that Obama return the Nobel Peace Prize that he won an award that he did little to nothing to earn.The Politico report outlines how the Drug Enforcement Administration DEA had gathered evidence that Hezbollah had grown into a major international crime syndicate that was earning approximately $1 billion per year. The federal agency launched “Project Cassandra” a major federal investigation into Hezbollah which the Obama administration derailed by throwing an “increasingly insurmountable series of roadblocks in its way.”
“Obama must return his Nobel Peace Prize,” Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid said following the report, according to “Israel warned repeatedly that there can be no connection between the nuclear deal and anti-terror activity, certainly against Hezbollah.We also warned of this specifically, because of the proven link between Hezbollah and Iran.”
The result of Obama’s actions was undeniable.He grew exponentially under his watch into one of the most powerful criminal organizations in the world.
David Asher, who helped establish and oversee Project Cassandra as a Defense Department illicit finance analyst, believed that “the task force wasn’t overhyping the threat posed by Hezbollah’s criminal activities, it was significantly underestimating it. Because Hezbollah’s drug trafficking was bankrolling its Islamic Jihad military wing and joint ventures with Iran, as Asher would later testify before Congress, it represented ‘the largest material support scheme for terrorism operations’ the world had ever seen.”“The FBI and other parts of the USG U.S. government] provide a little or no assistance during our investigations,” said Jack Kelly, the veteran DEA supervisory agent who created and led the task force. “The USG lack of action on this issue has allowed Hezbollah to become one of the biggest transnational organized crime groups in the world.”
A damning report released Sunday by Politico chronicles how the Obama administration undid years of investigations into the terrorist organization Hezbollah in order to appease Iran and pave the way for the Iran deal.
Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi wrote on Facebook that the report is not surprising, due to Obama’s “persistent efforts to give Iran, Nasrallah’s patron, legitimacy at any price.
“Up until the Obama Administration, every American President fought terrorism uncompromisingly… I am convinced that the Trump administration will not turn from that tradition, and that the outrageous and mistaken policy that was revealed this week will not be repeated,” Hanegbi said.
The Politico piece details the efforts of the US Drug Enforcement Administration, which launched Project Cassandra in 2008. The group tracked Hezbollah’s global criminal-syndicate operation, backed by Iran, including drug and weapons trafficking worth $1 billion annually.
But while DEA gathered evidence, including of Iran backed activities in Latin America and the US, Politico charged that the Justice Department and other US authorities refused to file charges against major players.This included, according to Politico, “Hezbollah’s high-profile envoy to Iran, a Lebanese bank that allegedly laundered billions in alleged drug profits, and a central player in a US-based cell of the Iranian paramilitary Quds force.”
Among those against whom no US action was taken, was Ali Fayad, a suspected Hezbollah operative held from 2014 to 2015 by the Czech Republic.
“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,” according to the Politico article.
It further charged that the administration blocked other initiatives to give the Cassandra Project legal tools to halt Hezbollah’s activities.
Even as far back as 2007, the article claimed, planes flew from Caracas to Syria and then on to Tehran with drugs and cash, returning with arms and agents.
The article relied heavily on the testimony of a former US Defense Department financial analyst, David Asher, who worked for the Cassandra Project.
“This was a policy decision, it was a systematic decision,” said Asher, according to Politico. “They serially ripped apart this entire effort that was very well supported and resourced, and it was done from the top down.”
Asher also publicly testified to Congress in 2015 on the need to do more to combat Hezbollah’s criminal and financial activities.
The article also put forward counter theories that would have accounted for the Obama administration’s actions, including turf wars among different US agencies, the destabilization of Lebanon and reprisal terror attacks.Former Israeli ambassador to the US Michael Oren, currently a deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, said the news “wouldn’t surprise any Israeli involved in the attempts to prevent a bad nuclear deal with Iran.
“It was clear that the government was willing to do anything to reach an agreement, including ignoring Iranian terror that took the lives of hundreds of Americans and Israelis and hundreds of thousands of Syrians,” Oren said. “This exposé and others that may be published in the future must strengthen our resolve to dance or at least significantly change this dangerous agreement.”
Communications Minister Ayoob Kara called the report “excellent,” tweeting that the Obama administration allowed Hezbollah to grow stronger.