President Barack Obama, third from right, listens during a bilateral meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in Paris, on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015. The leaders discussed the continuing crisis in Syria, and the fight against the Islamic State group. From left, Charles Kupchan, Senior Director for European Affairs, Brian Deese, Senior Advisor, Secretary of State John Kerry, Obama, Susan Rice, National Security Advisor, and Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Earlier this week, POLITICO published a stunning and highly documented story detailing how the Obama administration went about shutting down a major, multi-agency investigation of Lebanese Hezbollah’s role in terrorism and drug running on an epic scale. The reason the Obama regime shut the investigation down was because Hezbollah is a proxy of Iran and Obama was trying desperately to get Iran to negotiate on their nuclear weapons program. A sample:
In its determination to secure a nuclear deal with Iran, the Obama administration derailed an ambitious law enforcement campaign targeting drug trafficking by the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah, even as it was funneling cocaine into the United States, according to a POLITICO investigation.
The campaign, dubbed Project Cassandra, was launched in 2008 after the Drug Enforcement Administration amassed evidence that Hezbollah had transformed itself from a Middle East-focused military and political organization into an international crime syndicate that some investigators believed was collecting $1 billion a year from drug and weapons trafficking, money laundering and other criminal activities.
But as Project Cassandra reached higher into the hierarchy of the conspiracy, Obama administration officials threw an increasingly insurmountable series of roadblocks in its way, according to interviews with dozens of participants who in many cases spoke for the first time about events shrouded in secrecy, and a review of government documents and court records. When Project Cassandra leaders sought approval for some significant investigations, prosecutions, arrests and financial sanctions, officials at the Justice and Treasury departments delayed, hindered or rejected their requests.
The Justice Department declined requests by Project Cassandra and other authorities to file criminal charges against major players such as Hezbollah’s high-profile envoy to Iran, a Lebanese bank that allegedly laundered billions in alleged drug profits, and a central player in a U.S.-based cell of the Iranian paramilitary Quds force. And the State Department rejected requests to lure high-value targets to countries where they could be arrested.
This is not InfoWars or PrisonPlanet. This is POLITICO. This is the mouthpiece of the Beltway Democrat establishment.
If you were alive in the 1990s, you know that even in the pre-internet age the media would glom onto and run with anything, no matter how bizarre, that hinted at Republicans doing something like this. The CIA was blamed for the crack epidemic. The New York Times covered and investigated the “October Surprise” bullsh** wherein GHW Bush supposedly flew to Paris by XR-71 to negotiate with the Iranians. But, as of today, no major media, print or electronic, has picked up the story.
Days after the news broke, in fact, neither NBC News, ABC News nor CBS News — whose shows can boast a collective 20 million viewers — had been able to find the time to relay the story to its sizeable audiences. Other than Fox News, cable news largely ignored the revelations as well.
Most major newspapers, which have been sanctimoniously patting themselves on the back for the past year, couldn’t shoehorn into their pages a story about potential collusion between the former president and a terror-supporting state.
Perhaps if President Trump had tweeted about the story, outlets would’ve squeezed something in.
Even when outlets did decide to cover the story, they typically framed it as a he-said/she-said. “Politico Reporter Says Obama Administration ‘Derailed’ Hezbollah Investigation,” reads the NPR headline. Did Josh Meyer of Politico say something about Obama or did he publish a 14,000-word, diligently sourced, document-heavy investigative piece? If you get your news from NPR, you’d never know.
Fact is, the Drug Enforcement Agency began its classified investigation (called Project Cassandra) into Hezbollah in 2008. It found that the Iranian proxy had laundered nearly a half a billion dollars and was moving cocaine to the United States. According to Politico, the Obama administration not only threw obstructions in front of investigators but failed to prosecute major players in the enterprise.
What makes the media blackout particularly shameful is that the story isn’t a partisan hit job. It was written by a well-regarded journalist at a major outlet. The story has two on-the-record sources — which is more than we can say for the vast majority of so-called scoops about the Russian “collusion” investigation. One of these sources, David Asher, was an illicit finance expert at the Pentagon who was tapped to run the investigation. There’s no plausible reason to ignore him or the story.
A major investigative report that was followed up by a very public food-fight between the reporter and a half-dozen or so Obama administration alumni on Twitter.
The conflict between reporters caught the interest of the Washington Post’s media critic, Erik Wemple…even if their “news” operation can’t be bothered to cover it.
Since the story hit the Internet this week and has gained traction on other outlets, including NPR, more officials are coming forward with their own thoughts on the piece. The pushback doesn’t cite any factual errors involving the story’s claims about shut-down investigations and the like.
Basically, for a week Obamanauts have been screaming about the story but they have yet to produce a single factual inaccuracy
Why would this be the case?
If you recall, during the prelude to the Iran Deal, Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser (let’s pause here to recall that Rhodes is the brother of CBS News chief David Rhodes, he could not get a security clearance during the transition period because of his close ties to Iranian groups and his sole qualification for the NSC was having a MFA as a novelist, so the next time someone complains about a Trump appointee being unqualified, as far as I’m concerned they can f*** right off) bragged to New York Times Magazine how he’d created an “echo chamber” of tame interest groups and utterly stump-broken reporters to push the Iran Deal.
“All these newspapers used to have foreign bureaus,” he said. “Now they don’t. They call us to explain to them what’s happening in Moscow and Cairo. Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.”
In this environment, Rhodes has become adept at ventriloquizing many people at once. Ned Price, Rhodes’s assistant, gave me a primer on how it’s done. The easiest way for the White House to shape the news, he explained, is from the briefing podiums, each of which has its own dedicated press corps. “But then there are sort of these force multipliers,” he said, adding, “We have our compadres, I will reach out to a couple people, and you know I wouldn’t want to name them — ”
“I can name them,” I said, ticking off a few names of prominent Washington reporters and columnists who often tweet in sync with White House messaging.
Price laughed. “I’ll say, ‘Hey, look, some people are spinning this narrative that this is a sign of American weakness,’ ” he continued, “but — ”
“In fact it’s a sign of strength!” I said, chuckling.
“And I’ll give them some color,” Price continued, “and the next thing I know, lots of these guys are in the dot-com publishing space, and have huge Twitter followings, and they’ll be putting this message out on their own.”
No one is covering this story because the people who should cover it are totally owned and operated by Ben Rhodes and his posse. If they write anything about it, their own activities as a volunteer (or as we’ve seen with Fusion GPS, paying reporters to cover your story is not uncommon) member of Rhodes’s echo chamber will be leaked.