Islam’s renewed campaign against our civilization is inspired, directed, and carried out by the Muslim Brotherhood and the groups it has spawned.
Barack Hussein Obama, astoundingly elected President of the United States in 2008, did what he could to empower the Brotherhood, insisting that the organization, banned in Egypt, have pride of place in the audience of his first address abroad as president, in Cairo. He did his utmost to support the Brotherhood when revolution brought it to power in Egypt, and objected furiously when it was overthrown. He went so far as to appoint Muslim Brotherhood personnel as his advisers. The disastrous US policy towards the Middle East, causing war, civil war, displacements of millions, the catastrophic flooding of Europe by Muslim migrants, the death by drowning of thousands in the Mediterranean, the enslavement and mass murder of Christians and Yazidis, is the manifest result of their advice.
What a conjuring act it has been for Obama – to use his power to help the Muslim Brotherhood attain its ends at the same time as having to seem to be the chief guardian of Western civilization and liberty!
The two theorists on whose writings the Muslim Brotherhood was founded were Hasan al-Banna and Sayyid Qutb. ISIS, al-Qaeda, their terrorist activities in Europe and America, all spring from the Muslim Brotherhood, the organization that Obama protected, promoted, indulged, and abetted.
Writing in the Guardian, Robert Manne – emeritus professor of politics and vice-chancellor’s fellow at La Trobe University in Melbourne – explains how the Muslim Brotherhood and its “Qutbism” launched the jihad that is being waged against us. We quote his article in part:
During the period of my research, the Islamic State published in several languages, including English, a quarterly online magazine called Dabiq. …
In Dabiq, no theme was more important than the Islamic State’s desire to destroy those it regarded as its historical and current enemies – especially the Shia Muslims, the Rafida; their Syrian cousins, the Alawites or Nusayris; the fallen apostate peoples, the Yazidis and the Druze; the Christian west, the “Crusaders”; and the eternal enemy of the Muslims, the Jews. Despite its intellectual sophistication, each issue of Dabiq contained eschatological articles, concerning, for example, the nature of the Dajjal (the Rafida equivalent of the Antichrist) or the coming battles at the End of Days, from whose prophesied battleground, the town of Dabiq, the magazine took its name.
The magazine had several regular features. Each issue provided details of the military triumphs of the Islamic State and its affiliates, including both the planned operations and the lone-wolf attacks on its Crusader enemies in the west. (It was, however, conspicuously silent about the setbacks.) Each issue contained gruesome photos of the enemies it had dispatched – the beheaded western or Japanese hostages, the immolated Jordanian pilot, and dozens showing the corpses of the captured enemy troops and of the Shias, Alawites or Yazidis it had slaughtered.
Each issue told the story of the noble mujahideen “martyrs”, under the rubric Among the Believers Are Men. In a regular column called From Our Sisters, questions concerning women were discussed – the benefits of polygyny; the merits of sexual slavery; and the mothers’ indispensable role in providing a suitable education for the “lion cubs” – the next generation of soldiers. One of Dabiq’s preoccupations was the horror of life in the infidel (kuffar) societies of the west and the religious obligation of Muslims around the world to undertake migration to the Islamic State (hijrah) now that the caliphate had been established. …
Dabiq contained a regular feature it called In the Words of the Enemy. Here, special pleasure was taken in the comments of leading US generals, politicians or journalists expressing anxiety about the growing strength of the Islamic State and the danger it posed.
The pages of Dabiq express a remarkably consistent and internally coherent ideology, no less consistent and coherent than the Marxism–Leninism of the Soviet Union during the era of Stalin; more consistent and coherent, in my view, than the ideology of Nazism. As one can assume that Dabiq represents the official world-view of the Islamic State, it is surprising how little it has been analyzed by specialist scholars. It has been my primary source for an understanding of the mind of the current leadership of the Islamic State. …
The ideology of the Islamic State is founded upon the prison writings of the revolutionary Egyptian Muslim Brother Sayyid Qutb, in particular some sections of his commentary In the Shade of the Qur’an, but most importantly his late visionary work Milestones, published in 1964.
Qutb argued that the entire world, including the supposedly Muslim states, had fallen into a time of pre-Islamic ignorance, jahiliyya, or pagan darkness. He called upon the small number of true Muslims to form a revolutionary vanguard to restore the light of Islam to the world. …
So powerful was Qutb’s vision that several scholars have termed the ideology that provided the foundation of the Islamic State “Qutbism”. …
The first answer to the question about what was to be done by those who hoped to implement Qutb’s vision came a decade and a half after the master’s death, with The Neglected Duty, the underground revolutionary working paper of an Egyptian electrical engineer, Muhammad Abd al-Salam Faraj. Faraj called upon Muslims to fulfil their religious obligation of jihad – which he, like Qutb, interpreted as violent struggle in the service of God – and to lay the foundation of a truly Islamic state. His favoured method was assassination of the most important contemporary enemy of the Muslims, the apostate “Pharaoh”, a clear reference to the president of Egypt, Anwar Sadat.
Faraj regarded the “near enemy”, the Egyptian state, as a more strategically significant target than the “far enemy”, the Crusader Americans and the Zionist Jews. In 1981 Faraj’s group succeeded in their plot to kill Sadat. As a consequence, Faraj’s life, like Qutb’s, ended on the gallows. His pamphlet nonetheless represented the beginning of a 20-year era during which Egyptian jihadi revolutionaries, under the spell of Qutb’s prison writings, conducted a prolonged, bloody and ultimately unsuccessful revolutionary struggle against the “near enemy” – with plots to assassinate the apostate leaders, the taghut; to stage military coups; to incite popular uprisings.
A more influential answer to the question of what was to be done to implement the Qutbist vision was provided shortly after Faraj’s death by the Palestinian Islamic scholar Abdullah Azzam. After the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Azzam moved to Peshawar and established an office for the organisation of Arabs who had journeyed to Afghanistan to support the local jihadi fighters, the mujahideen.
In remarkably eloquent speeches, in the articles of his magazine, al-Jihad, and especially in two of his short books, Defence of the Muslim Lands and Join the Caravan, Azzam called upon Muslims across the globe to defend their nation, the umma, which was now under direct threat. Azzam insisted that defence of the umma through jihad, in the face of the infidel invader, was not a collective but an individual duty for each Muslim, as obligatory as one of the five pillars of the faith, such as praying and fasting. Azzam was assassinated in 1989, nobody knows for certain by whom. But by the time of his death, he had convinced a generation of revolutionary Muslims that the Afghan and Arab mujahideen had been responsible, through God’s grace and through their glorious martyrs’ deaths, for crippling the military might of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.
Moreover, he saw in the triumphant struggles of the mujahideen in Afghanistan a portent of a worldwide Islamic revival – in the jahili Muslim lands of the present; in his homeland, Palestine, and all other Muslim lands that had been conquered by the Crusaders; eventually across the entire globe.
In Afghanistan, Azzam had worked for a time with a wealthy Saudi of Yemeni background, Osama bin Laden. …
Having absorbed both Qutb’s vision and Azzam’s triumphalism and ambition … in 1988 Bin Laden created in Afghanistan an organisation he called al-Qaeda, which was eventually to become the first global army of jihadis.
In 1996, upon his return to Afghanistan, Bin Laden set his sights on the destruction of the only remaining superpower, the United States. In his view, the US was under the control of the Jews. It had been responsible for inflicting upon the Muslims the cruellest wound, the creation of a Jewish state at the very heart of the umma. It was also the indispensable patron and protector of the taghut regimes throughout the supposedly Muslim world. Perhaps worst of all, since 1990, by invitation from the Saudi royal family after Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, the US had occupied the land of the two holiest cities of Islam, Mecca and Medina. In 1998 al-Qaeda called upon the mujahideen to kill Americans and Jews.
One of the signatories of Bin Laden’s fatwa was the most influential Egyptian Qutbist revolutionary of the past 20 years, Ayman al-Zawahiri. In mid-2001 Zawahiri led a part of his group, al-Jihad, into al-Qaeda. Their union was consummated with a double conversion. Zawahiri adopted Bin Laden’s concentration on the far enemy. For his part, Bin Laden adopted the tactic that Zawahiri and other Egyptian Islamist revolutionaries had long embraced: suicide bombings, or what the Qutbists now called “martyrdom operations” – a vital tactic in technologically unequal, asymmetrical warfare. The first fruit of their union was 9/11, the attack on the twin towers in New York and the Pentagon.
By this time, Zawahiri was responsible, most comprehensively in his 2001 memoir, Knights under the Prophet’s Banner, for systematising the political ideology founded on the vision of Sayyid Qutb.
The ideology had not yet reached its latest and perhaps final destination. One consequence of 9/11 was the March 2003 US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq. As it happened, one leader of the Sunni resistance was a Jordanian revolutionary jihadi, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who had established his own training camp in Afghanistan in 1999 at Herat and then, after the US invasion of Afghanistan and attack on the Taliban, had moved to Iraq via Iran in preparation for the generally anticipated US invasion.
Zarqawi was responsible for adding several new elements to the political ideology inspired by Qutb and systematised by Zawahiri. Zarqawi injected into its heart a sectarian and exterminatory hatred of the Shia.
Drawing upon the strategic theory of Abu Bakr Naji, the author of The Management of Savagery, and the theology of a jihadi scholar, Abu Abdullah al-Muhajir, the author of a work most commonly known as The Jurisprudence of Blood, Zarqawi extended vastly the purpose, the method and the permissible scope of killing. He conducted public beheadings of hostages. He greatly expanded the role of suicide bombings, with increasingly callous theological justifications, targeting not only the occupation forces and their Iraqi allies but also innocent Shia civilians and politically unfriendly Sunnis, earning for himself the well-deserved title of “the sheikh of the slaughterers”.
Before Zarqawi, the creation of an Islamic State, and even more the re-establishment of the caliphate, had been distant dreams of the Qutbists. With Zarqawi they became pressing items of a current political agenda. Before Zarqawi, too, the thought of the Qutbists had been largely unaffected by the eschatological or apocalyptic undercurrents of Sunni Islam. Under Zarqawi these began to rise to the surface. Zarqawi was killed in 2006. Nonetheless, his two successors, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, who was killed in 2010, and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the first caliph of the Islamic State, embraced fully and even extended the anti-Shia sectarianism, the strategic and jurisprudential savagery, the immediate Islamic state-building ambition, and the apocalyptic dimension that Zarqawi had injected into the political ideology that had grown from the vision of Qutb.
A supporter of the Islamic State, thought to be the Yemeni journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye, captured with admirable precision in a single sentence its ideological genealogy: “The Islamic State was drafted by Sayyid Qutb, taught by Abdullah Azzam, globalised by Osama bin Laden, transferred to reality by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and implemented by al-Baghdadis: Abu Omar and Abu Bakr.”
The good news is that the days when the Muslim Brotherhood could bask in the patronage of an American government are coming to an end. President-elect Trump has said that he will ban it.
Is there any precedent in history for this?
Has any other head of state ever done what President Obama is doing to help empower an enemy?
Far from preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear power, as he and Hillary Clinton glibly claim to the nation, Obama goes to extreme lengths to make sure that Iran WILL BE ARMED WITH NUCLEAR WARHEADS AND THE MISSILES TO DELIVER THEM.
Daniel Greenfield writes at Front Page:
As another part of the secret ransom deal with Iran, [Obama] lifted UN sanctions on Bank Sepah … [which is] owned and operated by Islamic terrorists.
Bank Sepah is an IRGC [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] bank. The IRGC, despite Obama’s denials, is an Islamic terror group with American blood on its hands. It is to Shiite Islam what ISIS is to Sunni Islam. And even the Democrats know it. …
[And it ] had been sanctioned for something bigger than terrorism … . It had helped Iran buy ballistic missile technology from North Korea.
Iran’s nuclear weapons program would only be halfway complete if it gets the bomb. It also needs missiles to be able to strike Israel, Europe and eventually America. That’s where North Korea and Bank Sepah come in. Bank Sepah helps keep Iran’s ballistic missile industry viable. By delisting it, Obama aided Iran’s ballistic missile program just as he had earlier aided its nuclear program.
Obama’s holistic approach to the Iranian bomb is to help the terror state assemble the physical components it needs to become a nuclear power. …
[He has claimed that] “every pathway to a nuclear weapon is now closed off.” … [But] under his deal, in 13 years Iran’s breakout time will, “have shrunk almost down to zero”. …
[A] secret document revealed earlier this year by the AP showed that Iran would be able to get its uranium enrichment in gear after 11 years and more than double its enrichment rate. What happens by the thirteenth year? Then Iran gets a blank check on centrifuges … [and] breakout time to the bomb drops from a year to six months. Or even less. Until it hits zero.
But Ernest Moniz, Obama’s sniveling Secretary of Energy, assured the AP that it wouldn’t be a problem because Iran would only be allowed to store 300 kilograms of low-enriched uranium.
He lied. …
Obama wanted to lift sanctions on Iran. But Iran was not in compliance with even his mostly worthless agreement. So Obama decided that it was time to help the terror state fake it.
Iran was only allowed to keep 300 kilograms of low-enriched uranium. Obama agreed to upgrade that amount to “unknown quantities”. How much is an “unknown quantity”? Like the rest of Iran’s nuclear program, we don’t know. Low-enriched uranium, even in unknown quantities, doesn’t sound that scary. Except that according to a former U.N. weapons inspector,it can be used to produce highly enriched uranium. And that’s how you go from zero to a mushroom cloud over your city.
And then there are the large hot cells that Iran was allowed to keep running.
Secretary of Energy Moniz didn’t just lie to the AP. Lying to the media is practically an Obama indoor sport. He told the same lie in his testimony to the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee. Senators were assured that Iran would be allowed to keep “only 300 kilograms of low (3.67 percent) enriched uranium hexafluoride, and will not exceed this level for fifteen years”.
Iran didn’t have to wait 15 years to exceed that amount. Or even 15 minutes. Obama gave them a pass on it right out of the gate.
But Moniz wasn’t a rogue liar. He was telling the lie that he had been told to tell. …
Obama has lied about the Iran deal from the very beginning. And that’s not about to change.
The fairy godmother of Iran’s enrichment was Hillary Clinton. The “breakthrough” in the negotiations took place when she accepted some Iranian nuclear enrichment. And then it was just a matter of determining how much enrichment would take place officially and how much would take place unofficially that would be officially ignored or covered up by our own government.
That is how we got to the ticking atomic time bomb.
Obama hasn’t just turned a blind eye to Iran’s race to the bomb. He has empowered and enabled all elements of it from its nuclear program to its ballistic missile program. He has ensured that Iran would have the money, the manpower and the resources to become a nuclear power. He directed elements of our intelligence services and military to prevent Israel from striking Iran’s nuclear program. He even aided its core terrorist organization and its ballistic missile program.
This isn’t an error. It’s not cowardice. It’s treason.
A coldly calculated plan to turn Iran into a nuclear power is coming together. On the other end of it lies the horrifying death of millions.
Why would Obama and Hillary do such a horrifying thing? The American scientists and spies who helped the Soviet Union get the bomb believed that they were making the world a better place by limiting our ability to use nuclear weapons. Their treason almost led to the end of human life on earth.
The Iran deal is the second great wave of nuclear treason of the left. And the full truth is yet to be told.
What motive can Obama possibly have?
The only way to to guess the answer to is to look at what Iran is likely to do when it has its nukes.
Will Iran use them against America? The threat has been made.
So the harming of America and the destruction of Israel are Obama’s objectives?!
Is there any other possible explanation?
The Democratic Party is trying to pretend there’s nothing seriously wrong with Hillary Clinton’s health. But there obviously is. She is very ill, and could not fulfill the onerous duties of a president of the United States.
She is also widely disliked, hopelessly incompetent, deeply dishonest, disreputable, corrupt, and dangerous to the security of the nation.
So why is the Democratic Party prepared to do and say anything to keep Hillary campaigning for the highest office when they could find a healthier candidate?
We suspect the idea is that Hillary must win the election FOR BILL. They may speak of substituting Joe Biden or Tim Kaine for Hillary as the Democratic candidate if it is absolutely necessary, but they are fervently hoping it won’t be. Neither Biden nor Kaine would do at all, because they won’t get Bill back in the White House. (Apart from the fact that neither Biden nor Kaine can be sure of the votes of the multitudes of silly women who want “the first woman president”.)
Bill (in our supersensitive hearing): “Just get there, Hill, and I’ll do the rest.”
She has already said that she would put the economy in his hands.
In fact, he will do the whole job.
Sick as she is, she must drag herself on to get elected. Once back in the White House, he’ll take over. She may sit at the Oval Office desk when she can sit upright, but he will be the power.
They see themselves, and the Democratic Party sees them, and about half the electorate sees them, as the natural rulers of “progressive” America. Never mind all their character faults. Never mind their corruption. Never mind that they are thieves. Never mind that he is a rapist.
They will carry on where Obama has to leave off. They will proceed with the enlargement of government and the augmenting of federal power; the weakening of the military; the humbling of the nation in the eyes of the world; confiscatory and punitive taxation; the alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood; the aid to Iran to become nuclear armed; the importation of millions of Syrian Muslims and Latin American migrants; central government economic planning; strengthening the power of the United Nations in the name of saving the earth from catastrophic “man-made global warming”; stealthily putting an end to individual liberty, objective justice, and freedom of speech; abandoning the Constitution.
Clintons rule, okay?
What will the $400 million in cash, paid illegally by Obama to ransom American hostages held by Iran, be used for and by whom?
Dan Calabrese writes at Canada Free Press:
The entity within Iran that will likely use the cash is one Obama would rather you didn’t know about: There is principally one entity within the Iranian government that has need of untraceable funds. That entity is the Quds Force — the branch of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps focused particularly on furthering the regime’s goals world-wide by supporting and conducting terrorism.
This is the entity, for example, that was tied to the foiled plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington, D.C., in 2011, as well as to the successful plot to blow up a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires in 1994.
Notably, there is a federal statute that bars the transfer of “monetary instruments” — cash or its equivalent in bearer instruments—with the intent to promote “specified unlawful activity.” That term is defined to include a crime of violence or use of an explosive against a foreign country, a category that would include terrorism.
Proving intent is always difficult, but federal law recognizes that conscious avoidance of knowledge can be enough. So, for example, the person who transfers a firearm to a known bank robber need not be told directly that the weapon will be used in a bank robbery in order to be held responsible when it is—particularly if he took steps to conceal the transfer.
As it happens, though, there is more than one reason why no one in the administration will be prosecuted for consciously avoiding knowledge of how this cash likely will be used, and thereby violating the anti-money-laundering statute — even with proof that the cash was transported in an unmarked plane. For one thing, the law applies only to transfers to or from the territory of the U.S. This transfer occurred entirely abroad. In addition, there is a legal doctrine that bars the application of criminal statutes to government activity in furtherance of legitimate government business, unless those statutes are clearly meant to apply to such activity. So, for example, the driver of a firetruck cannot be held liable for speeding on his way to a fire.
The cash transfer here was said to have been arranged in furtherance of conducting the foreign relations of the U.S. The conduct of foreign relations is entirely an executive function. Those involved in this transfer would have the benefit of that doctrine.
So delivering a haul of cash to the mad mullahs in an unmarked plane is fine because, while illegal for anyone else to do, it’s just like the fire engine driver speeding to a fire. He has to do it! See how much the one is just like the other? …
No. The fire engine driver is an employee carrying out orders. Obama gives the orders.
The Obama Administration’s entire approach to Iran has been driven by a conceit both Obama and John Kerry share, which is the belief that the U.S. would never have gotten so crosswise with Iran if only truly great, expert diplomats had been on the job. Like, ahem, them. I will never forget Kerry’s haughty declaration about himself during the first debate with President Bush in 2004. Talking about how one deals with foreign leaders, Kerry insisted, “I know how to do this!”
Oh. Does he? All he’s done in dealing with Iran is give them everything they want in exchange for a bad and completely unenforceable deal that everyone can see will turn Iran into a nuclear power.
We’ve had problems with Iran because Iran is a terrorist state that attacks us and our allies, not because our diplomats have been too mean to the mullahs.
And now Obama and Kerry are turning a blind eye to the fact that they just bankrolled more terrorist activity. Because it takes a truly great diplomat, I guess, to understand what a great idea that is.
Yes. It seems to us most probable that Obama was less intent on freeing hostages than on getting cash to Iran. To help Iran! Because sanctions were making it hard for Iran to get hold of foreign currency. Which it needs to fund terrorism abroad.
But is Obama actually keen on getting Islamic terrorism funded? Or is he just endlessly trying to get Iran to love him? And if it is the latter – why?
Are there possible explanations we haven’t thought of?
Paying ransom for captured citizens is one of the worst things a government can do.
It obviously launches a lucrative industry, signaling that it will be profitable to go on capturing them wherever they may be found.
Obama paid a $400 million cash ransom for the release of American hostages held in Iran. It’s against the law, but such a triviality never bothered Obama. He tried to hide the transaction by sending Swiss francs and Euros packed in wooden crates in an unmarked cargo plane to Tehran. The American hostages were released.
Now more have been taken, of course.
When rumbled, the crooked administration came up with a cock-and-bull story about the money being a debt owed to Iran since the days of the Shah.
From the WSJ by Jay Solomon and Carol E. Lee:
The Obama administration secretly organized an airlift of $400 million worth of cash to Iran that coincided with the January release of four Americans detained in Tehran, according to U.S. and European officials and congressional staff briefed on the operation afterward.
Wooden pallets stacked with euros, Swiss francs and other currencies were flown into Iran on an unmarked cargo plane, according to these officials. The U.S. procured the money from the central banks of the Netherlands and Switzerland, they said.
As usual, the administration lies to the American people, insisting that there is no connection between the money and the hostage release. Instead:
The money represented the first installment of a $1.7 billion settlement the Obama administration reached with Iran to resolve a decades-old dispute over a failed arms deal signed just before the 1979 fall of Iran’s last monarch, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
The settlement, which resolved claims before an international tribunal in The Hague, also coincided with the formal implementation that same weekend of the landmark nuclear agreement reached between Tehran, the U.S. and other global powers the summer before.
“With the nuclear deal done, prisoners released, the time was right to resolve this dispute as well,” President Barack Obama said at the White House on Jan. 17 — without disclosing the $400 million cash payment.
Senior U.S. officials denied any link between the payment and the prisoner exchange. They say the way the various strands came together simultaneously was coincidental, not the result of any quid pro quo.
“As we’ve made clear, the negotiations over the settlement of an outstanding claim… were completely separate from the discussions about returning our American citizens home,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said. …
Sen. Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas and a fierce foe of the Iran nuclear deal, accused President Barack Obama of paying “a $1.7 billion ransom to the ayatollahs for U.S. hostages.”
“This break with longstanding U.S. policy put a price on the head of Americans, and has led Iran to continue its illegal seizures” of Americans, he said.
Since the cash shipment, the intelligence arm of the Revolutionary Guard has arrested two more Iranian-Americans. …
At the time of the prisoner release, Secretary of State John Kerry and the White House portrayed it as a diplomatic breakthrough. Mr. Kerry cited the importance of “the relationships forged and the diplomatic channels unlocked over the course of the nuclear talks”. …
Iranian press reports have quoted senior Iranian defense officials describing the cash as a ransom payment. …
The $400 million was paid in foreign currency because any transaction with Iran in U.S. dollars is illegal under U.S. law. Sanctions also complicate Tehran’s access to global banks.
According to the New York Post, there is proof that the administration is lying about there being “no link between the payment and the prisoner exchange”:
One of the American hostages who was released the day the United States sent $400 million to Iran said his plane to freedom was not allowed to take off until “another plane” arrived in Tehran, according to a report.
Pastor Saeed Abedini, who was among four Americans released this past Jan. 17, told Fox Business he wound up waiting for an extended time for the second plane to reach the Iranian capital and was never told why the arriving aircraft was so important.
“I just remember the night at the airport sitting for hours and hours there, and I asked police, ‘Why are you not letting us go?’ ” Abedini said. “He said, ‘We are waiting for another plane so if that plane doesn’t come, we never let you go.’ ”
The WSJ report concludes:
Revolutionary Guard commanders boasted at the time that the Americans had succumbed to Iranian pressure. “Taking this much money back was in return for the release of the American spies,” said Gen. Mohammad Reza Naghdi, commander of the Guard’s Basij militia, on state media.
Among the Americans currently being held are an energy executive named Siamak Namazi and his 80-year old father, Baqer, according to U.S. and Iranian officials. Iran’s judiciary spokesman last month confirmed Tehran had arrested the third American, believed to be a San Diego resident named Reza “Robin” Shahini.
Friends and family of the Namazis believe the Iranians are seeking to increase their leverage to force another prisoner exchange or cash payment in the final six months of the Obama administration. Mr. Kerry and other U.S. officials have been raising their case with Iranian diplomats, U.S. officials say.
Iranian officials have demanded in recent weeks the U.S. return $2 billion in Iranian funds that were frozen in New York in 2009. The Supreme Court recently ruled that the money should be given to victims of Iranian-sponsored terror attacks.
Members of Congress are seeking to pass legislation preventing the Obama administration from making any further cash payments to Iran. One of the bills requires for the White House to make public the details of its $1.7 billion transfer to Iran.
“President Obama’s … payment to Iran in January, which we now know will fund Iran’s military expansion, is an appalling example of executive branch governance,” said Sen. James Lankford (R., Okla.), who co-wrote the bill. “Subsidizing Iran’s military is perhaps the worst use of taxpayer dollars ever by an American president.”
The only surprise is that Obama did something – though very much the wrong thing – to get American captives freed. Why? That’s the deeper mystery, the answer to which we may never know.
(Is one of the released hostages related, or closely connected, to one of Obama’s henchmen? To John Kerry, for instance? A good investigative journalist is needed to find out.)
“Satan in Flames” was the Iranian’s elaborate plot to hijack three passenger jets, each packed full of people, and crash them into American landmarks: the World Trade Center, which jihadis took to be the center of American commerce; the Pentagon, the center of America’s military apparatus; and the White House.
It turns out – only now – that Shia Iran was as much behind the plot of 9/11 as the Sunni princes of Saudi Arabia were.
And that successive US governments have covered up the guilt of both.
Robert Spencer writes at PJ Media:
The 28-page section of the 9/11 report detailing Saudi involvement in the terror attack has finally been released (although with substantial portions still redacted). We now know why one president who held hands with the Saudi king and another president who bowed to him worked so hard all these years to keep these pages secret. The 28 pages confirm that the 9/11 jihad murderers received significant help from people at the highest levels of the Saudi government.
However, Saudi involvement in 9/11 was not the only subject of a cover-up: Iran’s little-noted role in 9/11 has been covered up as well. …
On December 22, 2011, U.S. District Judge George B. Daniels ruled in Havlish, et al. v. bin Laden, et al., that Iran and Hizballah were liable for damages to be paid to relatives of the victims of the September 11, 2001 jihad attacks in New York and Washington.
Judge Daniels found that both the Islamic Republic and its Lebanese proxy had actively aided al-Qaeda in planning and executing those attacks. He found that Iran and Hizballah had cooperated and collaborated with al-Qaeda before 9/11, and continued to do so after the attacks.
Before 9/11, Iran and Hizballah were implicated in efforts to train al-Qaeda members to blow up large buildings. This training resulted in the bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia in 1996, the bombing of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, and the attack on the USS Cole in 2000.
Shortly after the Cole attack, the 9/11 jihad plot began to come together — and Iran was involved.
Former MOIS operative Abolghasem Mesbahi, a defector from Iran, testified that during the summer of 2001 he received messages from Iranian government officials regarding a plan for unconventional warfare against the United States. The plot was entitled Shaitan dar Atash (“Satan in Flames”).
“Satan in Flames” was the Iranian’s elaborate plot to hijack three passenger jets, each packed full of people, and crash them into American landmarks: the World Trade Center, which jihadis took to be the center of American commerce; the Pentagon, the center of America’s military apparatus; and the White House.
A classified National Security Agency analysis referred to in the 9/11 Commission report reveals that eight to 10 of the 9/11 hijackers traveled to Iran repeatedly in late 2000 and early 2001.
The 9/11 Commission called for a U.S. government investigation into Iran’s role in 9/11 – but none was ever undertaken.
So Kenneth R. Timmerman of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran was, in his words, “engaged by the Havlish attorneys in 2004 to carry out the investigation the 9/11 Commission report called on the U.S. government to handle”.
Timmerman noted that during the 9/11 hijackers’ trips to Iran, they were “accompanied by ‘senior Hezbollah operatives’ who were in fact agents of the Iranian regime”. Iranian border agents did not stamp their passports so that their having been inside the Islamic Republic would not arouse suspicion when they entered the United States. The CIA, embarrassed by its failure to recognize the import of these trips, tried to suppress this revelation.
However, Timmerman contends that even the available evidence is explosive enough. In his words, he reveals that the Islamic Republic of Iran:
- Helped design the 9/11 plot
- Provided intelligence support to identify and train the operatives who carried it out
- Allowed the future hijackers to evade U.S. and Pakistani surveillance on key trips to Afghanistan — where they received the final order of mission from Osama bin Laden — by escorting them through Iranian borders without passport stamps
- Evacuated hundreds of top al-Qaeda operatives from Afghanistan to Iran after 9/11 just as U.S. forces launched their offensive
- Provided safe haven and continued financial support to al-Qaeda cadres for years after 9/11
- Allowed al-Qaeda to use Iran as an operational base for additional terror attacks, in particular the May 2003 bombings in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
The Ayatollah Khamenei knew about the plot. During the summer of 2001, he instructed Iranian agents to be careful to conceal their tracks. He told them to communicate only with al-Qaeda’s second-in-command – Ayman al-Zawahiri – and Imad Mughniyah of Hizballah.
Mughniyah was Iran’s key player in the 9/11 “Satan in Flames” plot. During the Havlish trial, former CIA agents Clare M. Lopez and Bruce D. Tefft submitted an affidavit stating:
Imad Mughniyah, the most notable and notorious world terrorist of his time, an agent of Iran and a senior operative of Hizballah, facilitated the international travel of certain 9/11 hijackers to and from Iran, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Afghanistan, and perhaps various other locations for the purpose of executing the events of September 11, 2001.
This support enabled two vital aspects of the September 11, 2001 plot to succeed: (1) the continued training of the hijackers in Afghanistan and Iran after securing their United States visas in Saudi Arabia, and (2) entry into the United States.
The Obama-era CIA went to great pains to try to ensure that information about Iran’s role in 9/11 did not come out in the Havlish case.
Why Obama protects Iran seems to us obvious enough. He wants Iran to be a power in the world – best of all a nuclear power. He loves Islam, he does not care a fig for Israel, and Iran constantly repeats that it intends to destroy Israel.
But why did George W. Bush cover up both the Saudi and the Iranian roles in the plotting of 9/11?
Okay, Saudi Arabia is claimed to be an ally of the US. (An “ally” dedicated to America’s destruction.)
But what was the Bush excuse for protecting Iran from the fury of the American people? Weren’t Americans pretty fed up with Iran already?
A rebel group in Syria cut off the head of a poor, emaciated, hungry, sick boy named Abdullah Issa, aged between eleven and thirteen.
They claimed he was a “spy”, but they most likely seized him in order to make their gleeful snuff-film (which you can watch here if you have the stomach for it).
The group has been lavishly supported by Obama.
When questioned about the official reaction to the atrocity, the State Department spokesman expressed indignation that such groups (in that chaotic bloodbath!) were ”not obeying the laws of armed conflict”.
From the (pacifist) New American, by Alex Newman:
As if Americans needed another reason to rein in the out-of-control government in Washington, D.C., jihadist Syrian “rebels” backed and “vetted” by the Obama administration and neocons in Congress beheaded a 12-year-old boy. The barbaric beheading of the impoverished child was perpetrated on video that surfaced this week, with smiling jihadists funded and armed by the U.S. government shouting “Allahu Akbar” as they sever the child’s head. According to the Obama-backed terror group behind the horror, the boy was suspected of being a “spy” for the government. The group, which received heavy military equipment and funding from Obama, claimed it was “investigating” the gruesome child beheading.
The latest atrocity perpetrated by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Obama’s allegedly “moderate” Syrian rebels, one faction in the globalist-fueled civil war, follows years of similar horrors. … Obama-backed jihadists have engaged in … a seemingly never-ending stream of horrific war crimes. …
The specific group behind the latest beheading of a child, which sparked a global outcry and headlines worldwide, is known as Nour al-Din al-Zenki. … The U.S. government supplied the terror group with American tax dollars and even BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missiles … As many as 1,000 Zenki jihadists were reportedly on the payroll of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency …
The writer points out that the group was approved as “part of the ‘well-vetted’ jihadist alliance” by Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).
The terror group also worked closely with the self-styled “Free Syrian Army”, the jihadist umbrella group loudly promoted by Obama … It was also reportedly a regular ally of al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, known as Jabhat al-Nusra. …
According to the terrorist group, the 12-year-old boy from a poor family was originally arrested near Aleppo for serving as an alleged “spy” for al-Quds, a group that supports the Syrian regime. The accusation led the jihadist group to decapitate the boy using a small knife on the back of a pick-up truck. The video of the murder, which was posted online, has caused a worldwide uproar. It shows the apparently prepubescent boy laying down in the truck surrounded by five adult jihadists with huge smiles on their faces. In the beheading footage, one of the men can be seen severing the boy’s head … [and then] holding the head up in triumph. …
As the beheading of the child and the Obama administration’s links to it became a global scandal, the John Kerry-led State Department was forced to respond. “We strongly condemn this type of barbaric action, no matter what group is responsible,” the State Department was quoted as saying. “We do not comment on which groups are funded by the United States. We do, however, routinely vet the groups we work with and support and their human rights record figures prominently in that. We do not support groups that condone this sort of barbarity, period.”
State Department spokesperson John Kirby noted that “al-Zenki has identified some of its own members as being responsible for this appalling act”. He also said that, according to a statement, the terror group had supposedly arrested those allegedly responsible for the beheading. “We encourage al-Zenki to investigate the incident and expect all parties to comply with their obligations under the law of armed conflict,” Kirby was quoted as saying by the far-left Daily Beast. “Regardless of who may be culpable, we strongly condemn what appears to be the brutal murder of a minor.” Other reports suggested that Obama had recently stopped funding the terror group, reportedly less than a year ago.
As The New American has documented extensively, however, the Obama administration has been lawlessly showering funds and weapons on practically every faction involved in the conflict — including the Shia militias out of Iraq fighting alongside Assad’s forces … Other factions benefiting from American largess include multiple terror groups officially designated as terrorist organizations by the U.S. State Department. … There appears to be no warring faction that has not at some point been receiving U.S. government aid — a major violation of federal law, which does not provide exceptions for government officials in criminalizing support for terror groups.
What can explain the zeal with which Obama has empowered Iran, against all reason, against all opposition and difficulty – including the truculent and obstreperous behavior of Iran itself?
Obama ardently wants Iran to be a power in the world. Why?
Bret Stephens’s report yesterday at the Wall Street Journal on the progress of Iran towards nuclear arms under Obama’s patronage only deepens the mystery of the motive.
What diplomats call the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action—known to the rest of us as the Disastrous Iran Deal—was agreed in Vienna a year ago this week. Now comes a status update, courtesy of our friends at the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, or BfV.
In its fascinating 2015 annual report, published late last month … there’s this:
The illegal proliferation-sensitive procurement activities [by Iran] in Germany registered by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution persisted in 2015 at what is, even by international standards, a quantitatively high level. This holds true in particular with regard to items which can be used in the field of nuclear technology.
The report also notes …
… a further increase in the already considerable procurement efforts in connection with Iran’s ambitious missile technology program which could among other things potentially serve to deliver nuclear weapons. Against this backdrop it is safe to expect that Iran will continue its intensive procurement activities in Germany using clandestine methods to achieve its objectives.
The BfV report arrived days before Germany arrested a Pakistani national, identified as Syed Mustufa H., accused of spying for Iran. It also corroborates another German intelligence report, this one from the intelligence service of North Rhine-Westphalia, that Iran’s nuclear procurement efforts have increased dramatically in recent years, from 48 known attempts in 2010 to 141 in 2015. Seven other German states have reported similar Iranian procurement efforts.
This violates Iran’s explicit commitment to go through an official “procurement channel” to purchase nuclear- and missile-related materials.
There is such a channel open to Iran?
All this was enough to prompt Angela Merkel to warn the Bundestag last week that Iran “continued to develop its rocket program in conflict with relevant provisions of the U.N. Security Council”. Don’t expect German sanctions, but at least the chancellor is living in the reality zone.
As for the Obama administration, not so much. For the past year it has developed a narrative — spoon-fed to the reporters and editorial writers Ben Rhodes publicly mocks as dopes and dupes — that Iran has met all its obligations under the deal, and now deserves extra cookies in the form of access to U.S. dollars, Boeing jets, U.S. purchases of Iranian heavy water (thereby subsidizing its nuclear program), and other concessions the administration last year promised Congress it would never grant.
“We still have sanctions on Iran for its violations of human rights, for its support for terrorism, and for its ballistic-missile program, and we will continue to enforce those sanctions vigorously,” Mr. Obama said in January. Whatever.
The administration is now weighing whether to support Iran’s membership in the World Trade Organization. That would neutralize a future president’s ability to impose sanctions on Iran, since WTO rules would allow Tehran to sue Washington for interfering with trade.
The administration has also pushed the Financial Action Task Force, an international body that enforces anti-money-laundering standards, to ease pressure on Iran, which FATF did last month by suspending some restrictions for the next year.
And then there’s the Boeing deal to sell $17.6 billion worth of jets to Iran, which congressional Republicans led by Illinois’s Pete Roskam are trying to stop. Iran uses its civilian fleet to ferry weapons and fighters to its terrorist clients in Syria and Lebanon.
“The administration is trying to lock in the Iran deal and prevent a future president from doing anything, including pushing back on Iran’s malign behavior,” says the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Mark Dubowitz, who knows more about Iran sanctions than anyone in Washington. “Instead of curbing Iran’s worst behavior, the administration effectively facilitates it.”
One last detail: In June, the Journal’s Jay Solomon reported that the International Atomic Energy Agency had discovered “traces of man-made uranium” at Iran’s military facility at Parchin. The agency reported this finding in a footnote to a report in December, but the administration made no comment then and now dismisses it as old news. The IAEA is no longer allowed to inspect Parchin, or any other military installation, under the deal.
So let’s recap. Mr. Obama says Iran is honoring the nuclear deal, but German intelligence tells us Tehran is violating it more aggressively than ever. He promised “snapback” sanctions in the event of such violations, but the U.S. is operating as Iran’s trade-promotion agent. He promised “unprecedented” inspections, but we’re not permitted to inspect sites where uranium was found. He promised an eight-year ban on Iran’s testing of ballistic missiles, but Tehran violated that ban immediately and repeatedly with only mild pushback from the West. He promised that the nuclear deal was not about “normalizing” relations with a rogue regime. But he wants it in the WTO.
Is Mr. Obama rationalizing a failed agreement or did he mean to mislead the American public? Either way, truth is catching up with the Iran deal.
Plainly Obama has misled the American public. What is the truth?
Is it illogical, or too far-fetched, to ascribe the same desire to the American commander-in-chief who is helping Iran become powerful enough to achieve its aim?
Donald Trump has said that South Korea, Germany, and Japan should pay for the US troops stationed on their soil.
Bad enough that Americans pay for the defense of allies.
But America also gives money to its enemies; most notably to Pakistan, which, though classed as an ally, is in fact an enemy.
As far back as 2011, Americans were informed that Pakistan was helping the Taliban, the Islamic terrorist organization in Afghanistan with which they had been at war since October 2001.
Pakistan’s security service provides weapons and training to Taliban insurgents fighting U.S. and British troops in Afghanistan, despite official denials, Taliban commanders say, in allegations that could worsen tensions between Pakistan and the United States.
A number of middle-ranking Taliban commanders revealed the extent of Pakistani support in interviews for a BBC Two documentary series, Secret Pakistan …
A former head of Afghan intelligence also told the program that Afghanistan gave Pakistan’s former president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, information in 2006 that Osama bin Laden was hiding in northern Pakistan close to where the former al Qaeda leader was eventually killed by U.S. special forces in May.
Admiral Mike Mullen, then the top U.S. military officer, accused Pakistani intelligence last month of backing violence against U.S. targets including the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. He said the Haqqani network, an Afghan militant group blamed for the September 13 embassy attack, was a “veritable arm” of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI).
Pakistan denies the U.S. allegations.
One Taliban commander, Mullah Qaseem, told the BBC the important things for a fighter were supplies and a hiding place.
“Pakistan plays a significant role. First they support us by providing a place to hide which is really important. Secondly they provide us with weapons,” he said …
Other Taliban commanders described how they and their fighters were, and are, trained in a network of camps on Pakistani soil.
According to a commander using the name Mullah Azizullah, the experts running the training are either members of the ISI or have close links to it.
“They are all the ISI’s men. They are the ones who run the training. First they train us about bombs; then they give us practical guidance,” he said.
Another Taliban fighter, known as Commander Najib, said al Qaeda trainers also operated in the camps, talent spotting possible suicide bombers.
“I was in the camp for a month … They were giving us practical training in whatever weapons we specialized in … Suicide bombers were taken to a different section and were kept apart from us. Those who were taught to be suicide bombers were there,” he said.
And, of course, Pakistan was hiding Osama bin Laden from American revenge for 9/11 – though of course the Pakistani government denied it.
A former head of Afghan intelligence told the BBC Afghan officials gave Musharraf information in 2006 suggesting bin Laden was hiding in Mansehra, a town just 12 miles from Abbottabad, where bin Laden was killed by U.S. forces in May, but that the information was not acted upon.
Amrullah Saleh, head of Afghan intelligence from 2004 to 2010, said Syed Akbar, a Pakistani believed to be smuggling guns to the Taliban, told Afghan intelligence he had escorted bin Laden from one location to another.
“The information we had was suggesting Mansehra was the town where bin Laden was hiding … It happens after so many years that bin Laden was about 12 miles from that location,” he said.
Saleh and Afghan President Hamid Karzai took the evidence to Musharraf who, according to Saleh, reacted angrily.
“He (Musharraf) banged the table and looked at President Karzai and said, ‘Am I president of a banana republic? If not, then how can you tell me bin Laden is hiding in a settled area of Pakistan’. I said ‘Well, this is the information so you can go and check it.’,” said Saleh …
Nothing has changed. Pakistan continues to train, equip, and protect the Taliban.
But, we learn from an article by Joe Pappalardo at Townhall, the Republican dominated US Senate intends to give that treacherous Muslim state yet more aid – to “compensate” it for “helping” the US in the war against the Taliban:
A proposal for a new fund to pay Pakistan for its assistance in the war on terror has received approval from the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee.
Senator John McCain, committee chairman, introduced the funding bid as part of the Senate’s 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which was passed on May 18. If Pakistan can meet all of the bill’s conditions, the new fund will grant the nation $800 million in compensation.
This new fund replaces the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) from 2013, and solely focuses on Pakistan. The CSF paid Pakistan for its support of the U.S. and Coalition forces in Afghanistan. To date, Pakistan has received $3.1 billion, but the old fund will expire at the end of the fiscal year on September 30.
The reimbursement fund will still require Pakistan to maintain communication lines to Afghanistan, and if Pakistan does not act against the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Haqqani network, the U.S. will withhold $300 million.
Committee members noted that removing Afghanistan operations from the fund’s objectives was timely because U.S. involvement in Afghanistan had decreased. Most U.S. troops in Afghanistan have been withdrawn, and the coalition forces will soon do the same, lawmakers said.
The House of Representatives, which also has a Republican majority, is just as keen to reward Pakistan:
The House of Representatives passed a bill last week that also aims to reimburse Pakistan. However, it does not replace the CSF and offers $900 million with $450 million tied to acting against the Haqqani network.
The new bill marks a shift to a focus on Pakistan’s national security, which has become a major interest for America’s own national security.
Q: How exactly does America’s national security depend on the security of Pakistan?
The committee said continuing to use the CSF would hinder any U.S. support of Pakistan’s anti-terrorism efforts.
Q: What “anti-terrorism efforts” by Pakistan would those be?
If the recklessness with which the US gives aid to Pakistan looks to you like insanity, you will find your suspicions confirmed when you know that your tax money also goes to aid the extremely wealthy Islamic tyranny of Saudi Arabia, which works night and day to impose Islam upon America and the whole of the Western world.
And the insanity doesn’t stop there.
In the years when the US was supposed to have no ties whatsoever with Communist Cuba – yes! Your tax dollars were going there too.
And while you are still gaping in disbelief, there’s one more enemy you need to know you were aiding – Iran.
You will find Cuba and Iran listed as recipients of US aid here. The list makes interesting reading.
Has there ever been a president of the United States – or of a middle school debating club – who knew as little, and cared as little to know anything, as President Barack Hussein Obama?
He employed an immature would-be novelist to make up stories about the world and international affairs, then acted on the fiction.
The result is that the Middle East is in flames, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed, millions have been displaced, Europe is being overrun by Muslim “refugees”, and the savagely belligerent regime that rules the Islamic state of Iran is freely developing nuclear weapons and missiles to deliver them – and getting more than a billion dollars from the United States to help them do it.
We quote from an article at PJ Media by the excellent Claudia Rosett (who has revealed much about Evil’s HQ, the United Nations):
It’s a good bet that by now the entire foreign policy cosmos … has read the York Times Magazineprofile of Deputy National Security Advisor Benjamin Rhodes, “The Aspiring Novelist Who Became Obama’s Foreign-Policy Guru”. The reporter, David Samuels, had extraordinary access to the White House, multiple well-placed sources and in his 9,500 word piece he provides plenty of attribution, including quotes from Rhodes himself. We get a detailed look, behind the White House facade, at Rhodes, “master shaper and retailer of Obama’s foreign policy narratives,” complete with his contempt for Congress, the press and the public; his manipulation of the media; and a case study of his “narrative” of liesconcocted to grease a path for Obama’s signature foreign policy achievement – the unpopular, murky, amorphous and deeply dangerous Iran nuclear deal.
Freighted with the far-reaching effects of a major treaty, the Iran deal was never submitted by Obama to the Senate for ratification as a treaty. Framed as an agreement with Iran, it was never signed by Iran. Sold by the administration as a transparent deal, it is turning out to be a slush heap of secrets. The real blob in this drama is the rolling sludge of presidential over-reach, White House fictions and raw abuse of public trust that has brought us everything from the indigestible “Affordable Care Act” to the Benghazi “video” narrative, to the Iran deal. …
Leading members of Congress are calling on President Obama to fire Rhodes “over accusations the White House intentionally misled lawmakers and the American public about the contents of last summer’s comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran”.
In a letter to Obama, Senators Mark Kirk, John Cornyn and John Barrasso cite Rhodes’s statement to the New York Times that the White House peddled a phony narrative to sell the Iran deal because he considered it “impossible” for elected lawmakers to have “a sober, reasoned public debate, after which the members of Congress reflect and take a vote’. They note, if Rhodes “had conducted himself this way in a typical place of business outside Washington, where American taxpayers work, he surely would have been already fired or asked to resign”.
So, why does Ben Rhodes still have his job?
The broad answer involves the moral vertigo of modern Washington, the Instagram attention span of too many members of a Twitter-driven press corps, and the self-abasements of a culture in which the old American spirit of individual responsibility and free enterprise has been devolving — with many a prompt from President You-Didn’t-Build-That — into a selfie-snapping contest for “safe spaces” and “free stuff”.
In that context, dude, what difference does it make if Boy Wonder Ben Rhodes, speechwriter and “strategic communicator”, mind-melded with the president, carries on manufacturing and marketing the “narrative” that passes these days for foreign policy? Once you dispense with the baggage of reality, and its knock-on effects for those multitudes of lesser mortals who have never flown on Air Force One, what’s left is former White House staffer Tommy Vietor (“Dude, this was like two years ago”), buddy of Ben Rhodes, techno-chatting to one of Washington’s best reporters, Eli Lake (who knows plenty), that he’s sure most folks outside of Washington think the Rhodes profile was just a “fascinating profile of a brilliant guy with a really cool job”.
All these things matter. But there’s a far more direct answer to the question of why Rhodes still has his job.
Under the old rules of American politics, a top White House staffer getting caught betraying the public trust (and then gloating over it) would have been a firing offense. Not anymore. For this president, with his pen, phone and proclivity for executive diktat, the priority is not the rights of the American people, or their elected lawmakers in Congress, or fidelity to the truth. What matters is loyalty to Obama and his agenda – however radical that becomes, and whatever it might require in terms of lies, manipulation and disregard for democratic process.
The real story here is not Rhodes. It’s his boss. Rhodes is no rogue element on Obama’s staff. We’ve heard no protest from the White House over Rhodes’s statement in the Samuels profile that “I don’t know anymore where I begin and Obama ends”.
What’s come out of the White House instead is an article by Rhodes on “How We Advocated for the Iran Deal”; now coupled with a rejection by the White House of an invitation from Congress for Rhodes to come testify on that very topic, at a hearing held earlier today. A prime distinction between these two poles is that Rhodes, when writing an article, controls the narrative from his keyboard (dispensing with assorted inconvenient truths on grounds that “I’m sure I’ll have plenty of opportunities to respond to those topics in the weeks and months to come”). In front of the likes of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, there’s the awkward chance that Rhodes might lose control of his narrative.
The White House argued that the invitation for Rhodes to testify “raises significant constitutional concerns rooted in the separation of powers”. That would be more persuasive had the president shown any such concern for the Constitution while ramming through the Iran deal. That was not solely a matter of peddling the Rhodes-Obama narrative. Obama also raced to get United Nations Security Council approval for the deal before Congress had a chance to delve into it. Recall Obama’s lead negotiator, Wendy Sherman, ridiculing the idea that the administration should take the position “Well, excuse me, the world, you should wait for the United States Congress”. (Yes, Wendy, this being America, that is exactly how it should have worked).
The White House further argues that “the appearance of a senior presidential adviser before Congress threatens the independence and autonomy of the President, as well as his ability to receive candid advice and counsel in the discharge of his constitutional duties”. Fine, if the White House is dealing with Congress and the public in good faith. But when the candid advice and counsel consists of concocting and packaging lies – excuse me, “narratives” – designed to neuter Congress and mislead the public, where does that take us? …
When an administration is caught deliberately spinning lies, when a White House official paid to uphold the public trust is exposed as deriding and manipulating that same public, the response needed for the healthy working of democracy is apology, contrition and a real remedy. If the official does not have conscience enough to resign, the president should do the honors, by firing him. Or her.
But nothing can undo the harm that the Rhodes-Obama twin-headed monster has done.
Under Obama, it has become standard procedure that such firings do not take place. Obama shrugs off the news, doubles down on the narrative and bulldozes ahead. Once the scandal is consigned to last week’s news cycle, for purposes of this administration it is down the Memory Hole. Obamacare, with its partisan vote, indecipherable text, soaring costs and disastrous web site rollout; an American economy choking under regulations; the disintegration of Libya, the vanishing red line in Syria, the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, the rise of ISIS, North Korea’s nuclear tests, Iran’s ballistic missile tests, China’s military buildup, Russia’s turf grabs – the Obama narrative says it is all under control. Nothing much to see here, move along. Or, to quote Obama’s first secretary of State, “What difference, at this point, does it make?”
In the resulting vacuum, absent ethical or responsible leadership at the very top, we’re left to amuse ourselves with the chatter of the echo chamber – home to the infinitely malleable narratives of Rhodes and his boss. Last Wednesday, seeking to mollify the reporters so roundly insulted by Rhodes, White House spokesman Josh Earnest and Chief of Staff Denis McDonough brought a box of donuts to the White House press corps, calling their visit “press appreciation day”. Earnest assured reporters that Rhodes would revise the contemptuous statements about the press, “given a chance”. Does that mean Rhodes will now disavow, in the White House inner chambers, that “candid advice and counsel” so prized by the president? …
We wouldn’t be at all surprised if the White House press corps was bought off with a box of donuts.
Why would Obama fire Rhodes? If nothing else comes clear from this saga, it is that Rhodes has served for years as one of the chief ideological bag men of Obama’s presidency. If, under their ministrations the possibilities of free and open discourse are vanishing in Washington, replaced by bully pulpit narratives bouncing around the echo chamber, wasn’t that the reason Obama gave Rhodes all that power in the first place?