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?
Being skeptical by nature, principle, and habit, we don’t look for conspiracy theories, much preferring the “cock-up theory” of history and politics.
But when it comes to what happened last January to two US boats and their crews in the Persian Gulf – their capture by the Iranian enemy – our suspicions are aroused by a very strong smell of rat.
Ari Lieberman sums up what is known and unknown about the episode, writing at Front Page:
On January 12, at approximately 9:23 a.m., a pair American navy riverine command boats or RCBs, set sail south from Kuwait to Bahrain, headquarters of the U.S. 5 Fleet.
At 2:10 p.m., the navy received a report that the RCBs had been intercepted by the Iranians. At 2:45 p.m., the military reported that all communication with the RCB flotilla was severed.
At 6:15 p.m., the U.S. Navy cruiser USS Anzio received a communication from the Iranians that the sailors were being detained. Coincidentally, their detention coincided with Obama’s scheduled State of the Union Address, which predictably, made absolutely no mention of the event.
The Pentagon claimed that the RCBs strayed into Iranian territorial waters as a result of a “navigation error” and thereafter, one of the RCBs experienced engine trouble. They were then greeted by a pair of Iranian speed boats. Photos and video of the incident released by the Iranians show that the Iranian boats were armed with nothing more than forward-mounted Russian 14.5mm DShK machine guns of Korean War vintage.
At gunpoint, the Iranians transferred the boats and their crew to Farsi Island where they maintain a military base.
The boats and crew members were released some 16 hours later. … The Iranians thoroughly inspected the RCBs. Two satellite phone sim cards were stolen by the Iranians and the Pentagon has not divulged what, if any, information they contained.
The groveling John Kerry thanked his Iranian counterpart profusely for releasing the illegally detained sailors.
Aside from these bare facts, the Pentagon has not released any new information concerning the embarrassing incident, a humiliation unparalleled in modern U. S. naval history. …
Troubling questions remain unanswered.
First, how did an experienced naval crew, equipped with sophisticated navigational equipment and traveling a well-charted, straight forward path, encounter a “navigational error” that led them into the territorial waters of an extremely hostile entity? In the absence of additional information, the Pentagon’s explanation makes absolutely no sense. There has been speculation that the Iranians employed a device that spoofed or tricked the RCB’s on-board GPS devices with fake signals, leading the sailors into believing that they were on a correct course when they had in fact, substantially deviated. If the Iranians had in fact employed such a device, it would not have been the first time. In 2011, they reportedly misdirected a U.S. drone operating in Afghanistan by hacking into its GPS. The drone and all of its technology fell into Iranian hands relatively intact. The Pentagon has not issued any comment on this theory and notably, has not issued any denial of this troublesome scenario.
Second, and even more troubling, is how did 10 American sailors surrender their heavily armed and armored RCBs to a vastly inferior Iranian force without firing a single shot?
Why weren’t readily available military assets immediately deployed and dispatched after the military was notified of the hostile encounter?
Who gave the commander the order to surrender and was the decision to surrender influenced by political considerations, notably Obama’s State of the Union Address?
While the Pentagon continues to remain mute on these and other crucial issues surrounding the seizure of the RCBs, the Iranians have been extremely talkative, missing no opportunity to humiliate the “Great Satan”.
The list of outrages includes the following:
The sailors were forced to kneel at gunpoint with their hands interlocked behind their heads. The display was videotaped.
The commander was forced to apologize and acknowledge his “navigational error” and the graciousness of his Iranian captors on Iranian TV.
The Iranians re-enacted the surrender spectacle during one of their annual “Death to America” demonstrations.
The sailors were subjected to rather intense interrogation. Iranian TV aired footage purporting to show an American sailor crying. A female sailor endured further humiliation and was forced into Sharia compliance by being made to wear a head covering.
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, publicly issued the Iranians responsible for capturing the RCB sailors with “medals of conquest”.
Approximately two weeks after the sailors were freed, Iran released footage of one its drones shadowing the U.S. aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman … on the very day the sailors were captured. A U.S. Navy spokesman called the flyover “abnormal and unprofessional”.
As noted, two satellite phone sim cards, likely containing classified information, were stolen by the Iranians. In mid-March, naval commander Gen. Ali Razmjou of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards announced that Iran had retrieved thousands of pages of information from laptops, GPS devices and maps used by U.S. Navy sailors.
It is likely that we have not heard the last from the Iranians on this humiliating saga. In fact, Razmjou said that the IRG will publish a book about the incident.
The Iranian bombast stands in marked contrast to the Pentagon’s almost docile stance. The reasons for the Pentagon’s silence are not hard to fathom. Something happened in the Arabian Gulf on January 12 that if revealed, would likely cause considerable embarrassment to the Obama administration. …
Obama will continue to order the Pentagon to obfuscate and remain silent on the circumstances surrounding the seizure of U.S. personnel in the Arabian Gulf, because it will likely embarrass the administration and add to further congressional calls to toughen sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
The order to the “experienced naval crew” to “surrender their heavily armed and armored RCBs to a vastly inferior Iranian force without firing a single shot”, MUST have come down the line from the highest authority.
We have frequently argued that Obama wants Iran to become a nuclear armed power, which is why he went to such great lengths, making every possible concession, to get his dubious “deal” agreed with the Iranian regime. Furthermore, Obama has shown consistently that he loves Islam, holding it in far higher esteem than the country he was so improbably elected to lead.
Looked at in the light of those suppositions, the incident of the captured RCBs can be seen as highly congenial to Obama’s agenda. So did Obama have anything personally to do with its occurrence?
Even if the story of the Iranian trick is true – their amazingly expert use of some technological marvel, the modern equivalent of the Sirens who lured Odysseus into their clutches – it does not explain why nothing was done immediately to recover the boats and the crews. Nothing, that is, other than Secretary of State John Kerry getting down on his knees and begging the Ayatollahs to return them. Which he did – though the groveling was called “diplomacy”, for the “success” of which Kerry expressed personal pride.
So how was it done? Why was it done? Was there a secret agreement between the White House and the Dark Tower to have it happen? If so, when was it brewed?
Thing is, the only beneficiary of it is the Islamic regime of Iran. So was the boost to the prestige of those evil men allowed for want of any other choice, or was it planned and intended?
Did the incident come about regrettably because of a series of cock-ups? Or was there a conspiracy over which the conspirers are crowing, one side openly, the other side secretly?
The fact that those questions can plausibly be asked, must cause American patriots to shudder.
Today, in Belgium, at least 31 people were killed and over a hundred injured by Muslim jihadis. There were two attacks on Zaventem airport at 07:00 GMT, in which 11 people were killed and 81 injured. A third attack, in which 20 people were killed, was carried out an hour later in Brussels on the Maelbeek metro station, near the European Parliament.
Muslims had threatened that there would be attacks when Salah Abdeslam, the plotter of the jihadi attacks in Paris last November, was found in Brussels and taken into custody four days ago.
The attacks will no doubt be put down as usual by stupid politicians to Muslims who have embraced a “brand” or “interpretation” of Islam, commonly called “Islamism”, which they say is not anything like the “real” Islam. But in fact there is not a sliver of difference between Islam and “Islamism”, only between active jihadis and non-active jihadis. Jihad – “holy war” – is commanded by Islam and all Muslims are obliged to pursue it, either actively themselves or in support of others who who pursue it actively.
Islam itself is an intolerable totalitarian ideology. It must be treated with the contempt and loathing accorded by most people to Nazism, Stalinism, Maoism. There is no good Islam.
On Fox News “good” Muslims – absurdly chosen advisers to this or that US administration – are saying that in Brussels it is a problem of non-assimilation of the Muslim immigrants; of the young Muslim men who are killing people with nail-filled bombs because they are unemployed.
Is there anyone left who will swallow that story?
We quote below, in part, from our post, It’s not terrorism, it’s war, November 12 2014, in which we argue that terrorism is the method the jihadis are using, but their aim is to conquer, subjugate and kill. And that is what Western governments, which have insisted, and continue to insist, on importing millions of Muslims from the Third World, refuse to accept.
Jihad means Holy War. Jihad must be recognized as a war waged everywhere.
Even if European governments found a way to stop and punish jihadi violence in their own countries, the war would go on. At present they are all acting ineffectively. Instead of joyfully letting all Muslim citizens who want to go and fight with IS/ISIS/ISIL go, and refuse them re-entry, and deprive them of their citizenship (as Geert Wilders so rightly recommends), they try to persuade them not to go, and if they return they give them “therapy”, as if Islam were nothing but a nervous breakdown in a few gullible individuals.
It is foolish and dangerous to go on calling every Muslim “holy” warrior a terrorist. It is even more foolish and self-deceiving to call IS/ISIS/ISIL a “terrorist organization”. ISIS is one of the armies of Islam.
Islam is an ideology of world conquest. It is fighting a war against the non-Muslim world.
At the same time there are battles within Islam. Sunni versus Shia is a perpetual conflict. IS/ISIS/ISIL – the Islamic State – is Sunni. When Shia Iran becomes a nuclear power – which will be quite soon with Obama’s help – there will be a second Islamic force against the rest of the world, competing with the Islamic State for the victor’s crown.
Of course the Iranian force with its nuclear weapons will be a thousand times stronger than the Islamic State.
Even if the Islamic State were to be defeated by American or Western forces, the war would not stop.
The war will continue on the streets of Western cities in Sweden, Britain, France, Spain, Belgium – and America.
The EU “High Representative for Foreign Affairs”, Federica Mogherini – a life-long Communist, and one of the European leaders who acquiesced in Obama’s “deal” with Iran – brought herself to tears while publicly addressing the Muslim terror attacks in Brussels. She was visiting Jordan at the time.
Like almost all European political leaders, she has been ardently in favor of bringing millions of Muslims into Europe.
She has been consistently unsympathetic – positively antagonistic – to the people of Israel, who have been under terrorist attack by Muslims for decades.
Europe reaps what Europe sowed.
A social worker named Wendy Sherman was employed by President Clinton to negotiate the 1999 non-proliferation nuclear arms deal between the US and the hereditary dictator of North Korea, Kim Jong-il.
The Obama administration was so pleased with her achievement that they got her to negotiate a similar deal between the US and Iran in 2015.
Neither the Iranian rulers nor the present North Korean hereditary dictator Kim Jong-un have any intention of abiding by the terms of their respective “deals”.
North Korea has successfully launched a satellite into space, its state-run TV said …
Carrier rocket Kwangmyongsong blasted off from the Sohae Space Center at 9 a.m Sunday local time …
U.S. officials have said the same type of rocket used to launch today’s satellite could deliver a nuclear warhead. …
According to multiple experts, North Korea has at least a dozen and perhaps as many as 100 nuclear weapons, though at present it lacks sophisticated delivery mechanisms.
Or did, until now.
The Daily Beast reports:
Nuclear nonproliferation experts agree: Obama, they claim, is responsible for the failure of America to prevent North Korea from expanding its nuclear program. …
The Obama administration concept of ‘strategic patience’ emerged early on in the administration after the scathing experience of North Korea’s 2009 nuclear test. The strategy essentially demanded that North Koreans recommit to concrete steps towards denuclearization — such as allowing inspectors and freezing fissile material production — as a precondition of any future talks. …
It is a strategy that has proven to be a failure, given the most recent nuclear test. North Korea has simply accepted sanctions and international isolation as the cost of a slow and steady expansion of its nuclear weapons program. …
By demanding that North Koreans take denuclearization steps before talks that would focus on denuclearization, it put the onus for talks on the authoritarian state, thereby buying them time to creep towards strengthening its nuclear arsenal.
“Given that North Korea equates its nuclear weapons with the survivability of its regime, it is extremely unlikely that Pyongyang will take steps toward denuclearization absent assurances of the state’s security,” said Kelsey Davenport, director for nonproliferation policy at the Arms Control Association. “The overthrow of Qadhafi, several years after Libya gave up its nuclear program, likely increased North Korea’s concerns that absent a nuclear deterrent, its regime would be at risk.” …
So when presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio says that “North Korea is run by a lunatic who has been expanding his nuclear arsenal while President Obama stood idly by”, and Jeb Bush blamed the “Obama Clinton foreign policy”, they’re on the mark. …
One thing is for sure: North Korea’s nuclear program has dramatically expanded over the past decade — during the course of the Obama administration — and the threat is now greater than it has ever been.
Well meaning, good-doing ladies like Wendy Sherman are indispensable to modern politics, especially to a sentimental foreign policy.
They are Mistresses of the Empty Gesture.