THE OFFICE OF FOREIGN ASSETS CONTROL’S ROLE IN THE AWARD OF TAXPAYER FUNDS TO AN ORGANIZATION INVOLVED IN SUPPORTING TERRORISM RAISES QUESTIONS.
Middle East Forum, by Sam Westrop, October 16, 2018:
PHILADELPHIA – October 16, 2018 – An investigative report by the Middle East Forum has prompted the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to initiate an investigation into a 2014 decision by the Obama administration.
The U.S. Treasury Department listed the Islamic Relief Agency (ISRA, aka the Islamic Africa Relief Agency), a Sudanese organization in 2004 a “Specially Designated Terrorist Organization.” It did so because ISRA provided “direct financial support” to Osama bin Laden; “was responsible for moving funds to the Palestinian territories for use in terrorist activities”; and “serve[s] as a conduit to Hamas.”
The Forum’s Sam Westrop exposed in National Review that in 2014, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) approved a $200,000 grant to the Islamic Relief Agency (ISRA) in Sudan through World Vision, Inc.
The project was temporarily suspended in November 2014 after USAID and the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) were alerted to ISRA’s terror links.
However, after confirming ISRA’s status as a sanctioned entity, the Forum uncovered that OFAC nonetheless authorized a $125,000 transfer to ISRA in May 2015 after “close collaboration and consultations with the Department of State.” This done, Charles Wanjue, a USAID official exulted: “Good news and a great relief, really!”
The Forum’s findings – reported by Fox News, i24 News, Breitbart, the Daily Mail (UK), and many others – resulted from a successful Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against USAID, countless hours poring through documents, and working with an investigator in Khartoum.
“The Office of Foreign Assets Control’s role in the award of taxpayer funds to an organization involved in supporting terrorism raises questions,” said Rep. Steve Russell (R-OK), chairman of Oversight’s Subcommittee on National Security. Rep. Russell has requested details from U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and USAID Administrator Mark Green on USAID’s vetting procedures for grant recipients, a list of all USAID grants to groups suspected of involvement with terrorism, and copies of all documents and communications relating to ISRA.
“It is disturbing that the federal government would knowingly authorize payment to a designated Osama Bin-Laden funding charity,” said Cliff Smith, director of the Washington Project. “We welcome this investigation, which is necessary to hold government officials accountable and ensure such an outrage is not repeated.”
Rich Higgins is an expert on the nexus between theological doctrines and information age unconventional warfare, and has spent 20 years combating terrorism in a variety of senior positions within the Department of Defenses.
Higgins, an early supporter of President Trump, served as director for strategic planning in President Trump’s National Security Council (NSC).
That all changed when a memo that he had produced for President Trump on the political warfare that he was to face internally from the Deep State, and externally from the media and like-minded interest groups in collusion with the administrative state, leaked out to the public.
Higgins’ memo was dismissed as conspiratorial, and he was fired from the NSC.
What he foretold has risen to the forefront again in the wake of the unsigned New York Times op-ed detailing measures taken by Trump administration officials to “Resist” the president, and seek to sabotage his agenda.
I had Higgins on the podcast to discuss the “Deep State’s” efforts to subvert the president’s agenda, whether there was an effort to purge like-minded individuals from Trump’s national security and foreign policy team — and why, what can be done to reform the administrative state, the ramifications of the politicization and weaponization of our national security and intelligence apparatus and much more.
What We Discussed
Higgins’ reaction to the anonymous New York Times op-ed about the brazen Resistance within the Trump White House which seemed to confirm precisely what he warned of in his memo
How the litany of allegations being raised against Judge Brett Kavanaugh in his Supreme Court confirmation hearings plays into Higgins’ thesis
Whether there was a concerted effort to purge national security and foreign policy officials in the Trump administration who sought to advance Trump’s agenda, and what Higgins believes the establishment felt so threatened by that it would require such a purging
Why Higgins believes it isn’t the Deep State or Obama holdovers that are to blame for the sabotage of President Trump’s policies, but rather the Republican Party itself
Higgins’ believe that Resistance to Trump was largely driven by vested financial interests — specifically centered on China — and the belief Trump would upend the major investments of the last 30 years in restructuring the global financial architecture and economy, hurting said vested interests
How to reform the “Deep State”
The “whiff of tyranny” in the air over the ability for the intelligence community to use its surveillance powers against American citizens, up to and including spying on and seeking to undermine and bring down the president
Higgins’ view on protecting liberty in the face of powerful surveillance tools and the need to counter our adversaries
The imperative to bring back civics and reunite the country on the basis of shared values, principles and knowledge of and reverence for our Founding
What Higgins would add to his memo to the president if he had the chance today
The following transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.
Ben’s Opening Monologue
We’ve talked at length on this podcast about the determination of the national security and foreign policy establishment to thwart those who threaten their Wilsonian progressive agenda, and more importantly their self-interest and power, whether in crushing whistleblowers like Adam Lovinger or seeking to subvert the agenda of the president.
Another loyalist of this administration who was devoted to advancing President Trump’s vision in national security and foreign affairs – and was outspoken in sharing his views on countering “The Resistance” – was a Director for Strategic Planning at the National Security Council.
His name was Rich Higgins, and a memo he wrote to the president about the political warfare he was facing – seeking to destroy his presidency – was leaked out, precipitating his being booted from the National Security Council, along with many other like-minded colleagues.
That memo has proven particularly prescient in outlining the goals, tactics and strategies of those actors seeking to sabotage and collapse a presidency – actors who hail from both political parties.
The onslaught against President Trump from individual federal judges overruling lawful policies clearly within his power, to the limitless Mueller investigation – itself the fruit largely of a salacious and unverified dossier gleaned from second and third-hand Russian sources, used it seems to perpetrate a fraud on the FISA court – to the endless leaks of the most sensitive conversations, to insubordination among staffers and general resistance by Trump administration officials — in name only — has been unprecedented.
At the very least our visibility into them has been unprecedented.
Regardless of your views on the president, if you’re intellectually honest you should be gravely concerned about the long-term ramifications of these actions because they threaten the very core of our political system.
Here’s what Higgins wrote in his infamous memo dated May 2017:
Attacks on President Trump are not just about destroying him, but also about destroying the vision of America that lead to his election. Those individuals and groups seeking the destruction of President Trump actually seek to suffocate the vision of America that made him president. Hence, the end state is not just a delegitimized, destabilized, immobilized and possibly destroyed presidency; but also a demoralized movement composed of a large enough bloc to elect a president that subsequently become self-aware of its own disenfranchisement.
The recent turn of events give rise to the observation that the defense of President Trump is the defense of America. In the same way President Lincoln was surrounded by political opposition both inside and outside of his wire, in both overt and covert forms, so too is President Trump. Had Lincoln failed, so too would have the Republic.
Even if you disagree with Higgins’ take, if you care about “the institutions” – no, not the bureaucracies themselves and the political leaders at the top of them, but the values and principles they are supposed to exist to further – then you have to defend not just this president, but the presidency itself against attacks on the real fundamental institutions: Separation of powers, checks and balances, consent of the governed and popular sovereignty, law and order and federalism.
The attacks on this administration are not politics as usual. They are antithetical to our system of government, and they are eviscerating these institutions.
And that’s why I believe and have long asserted that the real story of the Trump presidency is the exposure of the fact that our political establishment, our administrative state, in collusion with our media, are doing more to damage America than any foreign power could ever dream of – they are revealing the utterly corrupt and rotten nature of our political betters.
The consequences of the measures they’ve taken because they lost in 2016 – and never anticipated that their efforts might be exposed and their designs threatened — are going to last for decades.
In the wake of just in recent weeks the anonymous New York Times op-ed about the sabotaging of presidential policy by people supposed to serve him, and the revelations about Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein talking about wearing a wire to expose the president, and invoke the 25th Amendment to remove him in an effective coup, on top of the mountain of other egregious words and actions, in this episode, I talk with the man who foretold all of this – former director at the National Security Council Rich Higgins.
Ben Weingarten: Rich, earlier in September first there were revelations that came out from Bob Woodward’s book, and then seemingly coordinated following that was an unsigned New York Times op-ed, very unprecedented, laying out all the various ways that essentially members of the Trump administration — his subordinates — were doing things to make decisions on the president’s behalf, sabotaging him if you will. These revelations were followed with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who supposedly commented about potentially wearing a wire with the president, and talked about invocation of the 25th Amendment and on, and on and on.
All of these things seem to confirm a thesis that you wrote while you were in the National Security Council.
But first, I just wanna get your initial reaction…to what was revealed in that New York Times op-ed.
Rich Higgins: I think what the Times op-ed speaks to is just that we seem to be incapable of finding a bottom to the behavior of the bureaucracy. We just go lower, and lower and lower. And bureaucratic infighting — there’s nothing really new to that. Everybody who’s ever worked at the Pentagon or in any of the government agencies recognizes the old “pocket veto,” and other techniques like that — removing stuff from your boss’s desk. What’s not recognizable is the public flouting of it, and the public flouting of it is a sort of a reflection on the leadership capability of the president himself. That’s unprecedented.
And I think between that and the comments by Rosenstein and others, what we see is it’s a pattern of behavior emerging — not just by elements within the bureaucracy, but by the media itself — that is just hell-bent on destroying this president.
Ben Weingarten: Yeah and you speak about, in the memo that you wrote — and we’ll delve into some specifics on that in a minute — you speak about the fact that what is unprecedented, and what is fundamentally different, is that we are not witnessing politics as usual here. This is about actually not only trying to delegitimize, destroy and take down a presidency, but also completely eviscerate the vision, and really the constituency that that president spoke for. Does the last-minute blitz of allegations, accusations that we’ve seen thrown at Judge Kavanaugh fit into your thesis? So in other words, is this fundamentally different from what we’ve seen, say, in the case of “Borking,” or the Anita Hill smears against Justice Clarence Thomas?
Rich Higgins: My personal opinion is that what’s driving the allegations against Kavanaugh is a more concerted effort on the part of the establishment to bury the lede, if you will, on the potential revelations that have to do with the FISA abuses, and the FISA abuses specifically targeting the president.
Kavanaugh just seemed to fly right on through things until the president started inkling towards removing Rosenstein and releasing some of the FISA application documents, or declassifying at least portions of them. And instantly this sort of ambush crops up where it just dominates every single news cycle, every single talk radio show. The American public isn’t stupid. When you see every channel, 24/7, covering the same thing, you have to ask yourself “What is going on here, and what is being protected?”
My personal opinion on the Kavanaugh thing is, sure, it’s another instance where the Left gets to look like it’s opposing the president, but in reality, I think it is more a defensive action on their part to try and keep the headlines from the real story, which is the FISA abuses and the unprecedented weaponization of our intelligence community against the seated president, and really against the constituents, the 60 million people who voted for him.
Ben Weingarten: Early on in this presidency we saw that many of the folks in particular in the national security and foreign policy space who agreed with the president’s views as articulated during the 2016 election on a whole number of issues — the global jihad, Iran and its place in that jihad, Israel, China, Russia, any number of other issues were all summarily either sidelined or demoted, or thrown out of the administration altogether. And that includes yourself, someone who we interviewed previously Adam Lovinger, Monica Crowley, obviously General Flynn and many others as well. Do you believe that there was a concerted effort to purge people who sought to advance the president’s views? And if so, why?
Rich Higgins: Well, I mean, I think there are myriad reasons why. But remember, the president is… He’s not a politician…He’s not from the “Old Boy’s Club.” He came in as a businessman, a real estate developer, a production capitalist and he ran on issues that the establishment, both Republican and Democrat, was loath to address. And these constituents first form in the Tea Party in opposition to the socialist drift that was taking place in the country. And so the president comes forward, he puts forward some foreign policy positions — and I would prioritize the China angle to everything that we’re discussing because it really was the China angle that I think freaked out the financial masters of the universe, if you will, because so much of our foreign policy for the past 30 years has been governed by the peaceful rise of China. Well, the intelligence community was asleep at the switch on that, the Defense Department asleep at the switch on that, and now we finally have a president who recognizes that these aren’t just benign intentions, and that there is some threat there — to go along with just the abject disasters of the Obama administration. What can you say about his just pandering to the jihad, pandering to Iran, it was just, it was an embarrassment.
So when the president comes in with people who want to support his position, immediately the establishment which brought us to this position in the first place takes over his personnel shop. And I think Steve Bannon said it best — and I keep quoting this, but it’s true — in the “60 Minutes” interview he called it the “original sin” of the administration was believing that they could work with the Republican Party. And I think that’s the real issue is that the establishment Republican party decided that anybody who supported Trump during the campaign was fair game. And they took out Monica [Crowley], and they took out Mike Flynn and they took out Steve [Bannon] and all of the folks who actually were true Trump supporters throughout the campaign were off-ramped. Most of them never even made it into the administration. Some of us who struggled mightily made it in, but only to last for a few months, and it was absolutely a concerted effort.
But yeah, I don’t just blame the Obama holdovers, albeit they’re part of it. That type of stuff goes on in any administration turnover. What I couldn’t get past is the Republican Party’s betrayal of Trump who’d just won them the presidency, ensured the Supreme Court and prevented the Hillary Clinton disaster from taking place. The very people who supported him were the ones that were betrayed.
Ben Weingarten: In your memo, which was a memo essentially addressed to the president and those who actually believed in advancing his agenda, you talked about the fact that those opposed to him in the political establishment — and that covers any number of people with varying views at least ostensibly…And you said that they were going to wage political warfare in any number of different areas, primarily through advancing narratives that would ultimately delegitimize and again take down the president.
You said that the president came in as a businessman, not as a politician. He was cast by the media during the election, and of course to this day, as someone who is incompetent, someone who was not a self-identified Tea Party conservative, so presumably someone that the establishment might have thought they could have co-opted. What was it about the President that made him be perceived as such a threat to their prerogatives, that it requires an unprecedented level of political warfare that you predicted?
Rich Higgins: I think the underlying threat that he represents is to the financial capitalist system. The president is a production capitalist guy, and at the international finance level, he is seen as a return to America’s manufacturing core. And in so being, he represents something that is anathema to every investment that these international financiers have made for the past 30 years, where you were going to have an ascended manufacturing base in China, a consumer market economy in North America. And Trump, driving around, or flying over or visiting places like in Ohio and Pennsylvania, he spoke to the working class of America, and said “We’re not just gonna die a slow, quiet death while China takes over our production capacity.
And we can get deep into the ideological aspects of it, although it’s probably beyond the scope of this interview, but it really dives into the control of the means of production. What were the Marxists always about? And I think Trump’s seen as somebody who wanted to return America to its essence, and that is not where the international money has been for the past 25, 30 years.
The second thing, I think, and it’s not too often spoken about, but it probably is worthy of some research is, the media helped create President Trump, particularly in the Republican primary, where I think they thought that Trump would be the easiest target for Hillary, right?
And if you remember, he was getting billions of dollars in earned media. Billions of dollars. And he basically became the nominee on the back of the media — he’s the media’s own creation, who then turned and consumed their darling in Hillary. And I think that’s part of the reason you see this just vitriolic hatred coming out of the media. It’s almost personal at a level where they feel responsible for having made him in the first place.
Ben Weingarten: How can what’s been termed the Deep State — and we can view it as a part of the administrative state, it just so happens that it’s perhaps been most brazen in law enforcement and national security and foreign policy — how can it ever be cleaned out, reformed, put back into a box essentially, when people at the top, the political leaders within each of these bureaucracies, are so committed to perpetuating their self-interest, their power, their jobs, their livelihoods?
Rich Higgins: I think that the Deep State can be brought to heal very quickly. The speaker, Speaker Ryan, if he would stop bungling these budgets and just hold these agencies and departments to account for their individual budgets instead of these omnibus bills where he pushes through the funding for ten, or 11 or 12 different departments and agencies at once, you could basically say, “Justice Department — we are not funding you, or the FBI, until…The House of Representatives has one real power: That is the power of the purse. And so far, they’ve chosen not to use that power.
And I think I’ve said this in the past, everything that we see happening to President Trump and to Kavanaugh is happening under Republican leadership, right? It’s not Democrats that are doing this. It’s not the Deep State. It is the Republican leadership that is allowing this stuff to happen, and they need to be called to task for allowing it.
When Clarence Thomas was beat to death over his nomination process back in the early ’90s, it was a Democrat-controlled Senate. It was not what we have today, which is Mitch McConnell and the theater that we have.
When the intelligence community got out of control, in the past, you didn’t have senators like [Sen. Richard] Burr standing around and watching it happen.
And I think until Congress decides to fulfill the mandate that its voters have given to it, and it’s Article One responsibilities, the Deep State is gonna continue to do what it does. I don’t think it’s doing anything that any bureaucracy doesn’t do.
I think that the politicized utilization of our intelligence capabilities during the last election cycle, and going into this presidency, was a reflection of the Obama administration’s just utter lawlessness and post-Constitutional order, which the president’s candidly been elected to fix, and has had very little help from the Justice Department or Congress in doing so.
Ben Weingarten: One of the silver linings of the drip-drip of revelations on any number of issues, whether it’s just unprecedented leaks that themselves threaten national security, whether it is potentially the perpetuation of a fraud on the FISA court, the double standard in the treatment of the Clinton email investigation versus Trump-Russia — which is then used as a pretext to investigate everything essentially related to Trump is that this just vitriolic, overwhelming counter-reaction by those who really loathe the president has exposed that they’re willing to take actions well beyond what is even remotely legal in order to protect their power. And that’s a silver lining that the president himself has even alluded to in a recent interview — he talked about the fact that he thinks one of his crowning achievements may be revealing the corruption, the deep rot within our system. So it’s being exposed. Do you believe there will be any justice?
Rich Higgins: Without getting too spiritual on you, I think the American people can reclaim their government.
Will we ever see justice? I don’t know what that is. I think we will see some people held to account for their actions, and their decisions.
What I worry more about, and this…This is the long-term damage that’s done, right, is when the next turnover occurs between administrations, are Trump administration employees, is the Trump intelligence community, gonna do this to its opponents? I mean, the danger here is that we’ve created this cyclical disrespect, and this polarization inside of the country that’s very hard to fix. And the confidence of the American public in their government, in their intelligence community with these massively powerful surveillance tools, and the possibility for the abuse of those tools…And candidly, if they’re willing to abuse their power and authority to oppose the president, then how’s a regular, everyday “Joe Citizen” supposed to feel safe? And that’s the trendline I think that I find most alarming in all of this is that…There’s a whiff of tyranny in the air, and we see that with John McCain’s staff guy and the IRS targeting of the Tea Party groups, we see it in Fast and Furious, we see it in the denials of the truth regarding Benghazi, we saw it in the extra-Constitutional treaty creations with countries like Iran that the Obama administration tried to do where it was basically a presidency or administration by executive order.
And we’re at real danger of moving into a post-Constitutional phase of our country. And the country will not survive that.
So I…as far as justice goes, I guess that the “small j” justice — we’ll find out when they bring in Comey and these others, and finally get them to start talking in front of a grand jury, hopefully. As far as the longer-term concerns though, the country’s hurting, and I hope we take it with a level of seriousness and reverence, candor that it’s gonna take to fix it.
Ben Weingarten: You talk about the abuse of things like surveillance tools, and all the sophisticated technologies that we have, and it’s a very scary thing to the average citizen to think that essentially, we could be living in something that is trending towards something like the kind of intelligence dictatorship that we’re seeing more and more reveal itself in a place like China. On the other hand, those tools, if they’re put in the hands of the right people, can be used to infiltrate terrorists, jihadist networks and other criminal networks as well, to actually help keep us safe. And you’ve spent the bulk of your career focusing on keeping the American people safe. So how do you think about — and I think that it is sort of a strawman argument — but the idea of liberty versus security? How are we going to balance the idea that you need certain tools to keep the homeland safe, but on the other end, if those tools are turned against their citizens, it’s game over for Constitutional liberties?
Rich Higgins: Yeah, I guess in that one respect in terms of my national security portfolio I’m more of a libertarian. I don’t believe we get as much utility from using those surveillance tools domestically as we may believe. Maybe there are incidents that I’m not aware of. I doubt that. The thing that concerns me most is that we’ve only really had these capabilities in place since post-September 11th attack, and only 10 or 15 years into having these capabilities in place — and they are improving every year — we’re already seeing them being abused on a massive scale for political reasons. Where will we be in 50 years?
I have no confidence in man. I’m a student of Hobbes. And I think the Founding Fathers recognized that a standing army was the greatest threat to the Republic. I think they probably agree with me that a standing intelligence community spying on its own citizens is a huge threat to the Republic. The Founding Fathers would not support it at all.
So yeah, that’s one libertarian perspective on it. I guess that’s probably my only libertarian thread, but it’s just, I think it’s just too tempting, it’s too powerful to be left unchecked.
Ben Weingarten: And you talk about, in a sense, the challenges that we have in terms of polarization, and really at its core social cohesion — do we as a country, share the same set of values and principles, or not? And the memo that you wrote where you lay it out, essentially, all of the goals tactics and strategies of those engaged in political warfare against this presidency is really the practical application of the broader idea of at its highest level using narratives and meta-narratives to cause dissent within the body politic and then essentially capitalize on the chaos that will follow. How do we as a nation grapple with these poisonous narratives that are tearing us apart?
Rich Higgins: I think the number one thing we can do, and I’ll say some stuff that I don’t normally talk about: I think we need to recognize, number one, that the conservative movement as it’s understood in America today has failed. And I think it, it’s accepting the fact that whether Newt Gingrich’s “Contract with America,” or the Bush years…it has failed.
And we need to recognize that the Left in this country is currently unopposed. What we see happening in the Democratic Party right now is…they’re becoming the Bolsheviks in front of our eyes. Seated U.S. senators can’t go out to dinner in Washington, D.C. Seated cabinet secretaries can’t go out to dinner in Washington, D.C. without being fully harassed and threatened.
And I think we are in a pre-violent phase, which could very likely drift into violence. And I think that we’re not seeing this because…Again, the Republicans have been the target of a hundred years of Marxist-Leninist if you will, multiculturalist indoctrination. And because the Republicans adhere to these politically correct narratives, they are far more concerned about being labeled a sexist — for example, with this Dr. Ford-Kavanaugh allegation — they’re far more concerned about being labeled a sexist than they are about fidelity to the Constitution, or executing the responsibility as a senator to the point where they’ve allowed…Judge Kavanaugh to be dragged through the mud with his family, his two small children, and just smeared ferociously by what are just cheap, salacious allegations by a person who admits having been intoxicated at the time they ginned them up. I mean it’s insane.
And so…looking forward what do we do about it? I think it’s time to reconstitute the conservative movement that is inclusive of an educational component where we bring back civics; where we begin to teach people about the founding of America. We removed the Bible from the classroom in the 1950s. We removed civics from the classroom in the late ’60s and early ’70s, and replaced them with social studies. And you now see generations — what the former KGB officer Bezmenov would’ve called “demoralization” — we now have generational demoralization, where we have an entire generation of people under the age of 40 who are not versed in the American founding political philosophy, and that’s a really, really dangerous place to be.
And Reagan faced these same issues back in the ’80s, but he was dealing with folks like Tip O’Neill, and the World War II Greatest Generation guys who were still serving, who all saw themselves as Americans, and part of the same country. And we’re reaching the point right now where we’re not just one country. We’re two countries, and we’re two countries in conflict with one another.
Ben Weingarten: Lastly, if you were to write an addendum to your memo to the president today, having witnessed what we’ve witnessed over about the last year and a half since you put that memo out, what would your message be to the president?
Rich Higgins: Number one with a bullet would be get control of this personnel shop. Personnel is policy. And number two would be, I think…even in the campaign, the president is a fantastic student. He makes some mistakes here and there, it is true, but as somebody who was an early supporter of his, supported him all through the campaign, and then have continued to support him, I think…He’s learning how to operate at the international political level. And we saw in his speech at the United Nations, the most full-throated defense of America, and the idea of America, since probably Ronald Reagan. And it was a…It’s an amazing speech. If your listeners haven’t seen it, they should go and they should really sit down and take in and listen to what he’s talking about because he’s casting a vision for the future of America, that I’m proud to share with my children.
The Middle East Forum has discovered that the Obama administration approved a grant of $200,000 of taxpayer money to an al-Qaeda affiliate in Sudan — a decade after the U.S. Treasury designated it as a terrorist-financing organization. More stunningly, government officials specifically authorized the release of at least $115,000 of this grant even after learning that it was a designated terror organization.
The story began in October 2004, when the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated the Khartoum-based Islamic Relief Agency (ISRA), also known as the Islamic African Relief Agency (IARA), as a terror-financing organization. It did so because of ISRA’s links to Osama bin Laden and his organization Maktab al-Khidamat (MK), the precursor of al-Qaeda.
According to the U.S. Treasury, in 1997 ISRA established formal cooperation with MK. By 2000, ISRA had raised $5 million for bin Laden’s group. The Treasury Department notes that ISRA officials even sought to help “relocate [bin Laden] to secure safe harbor for him.” It further reports that ISRA raised funds in 2003 in Western Europe specifically earmarked for Hamas suicide bombings.
The 2004 designation included all of ISRA’s branches, including a U.S. office called the Islamic American Relief Agency (IARA-USA). Eventually it became known that this American branch had illegally transferred over $1.2 million to Iraqi insurgents and other terror groups, including, reportedly, the Afghan terrorist Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. In 2010, the executive director of IARA-USA and a board member pled guilty to money-laundering, theft of public funds, conspiracy, and several other charges.
ISRA’s influence also spread to Washington. Former U.S. congressman Mark Siljander (R., Mich.) pled guilty in 2010 to obstruction of justice and acting as an unregistered foreign agent after prosecutors found that IARA-USA had paid him $75,000 — using misappropriated USAID grant money — to lobby the government, in an attempt to remove the charity from the government’s terror list.
Despite this well-documented history, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in July 2014 awarded $723,405 to World Vision Inc., an international evangelical charity, to “improve water, sanitation and hygiene and to increase food security in Sudan’s Blue Nile state.” Of these funds, $200,000 was to be directed to a sub-grantee: ISRA.
Responding to a Middle East Forum (MEF) inquiry, a USAID official explains that World Vision had alerted it in November 2014 to the likelihood of ISRA being on the terror list. USAID instructed World Vision to “suspend all activities with ISRA” and informed the State Department, OFAC, and USAID’s Office of the Inspector General. USAID and World Vision then waited for OFAC to confirm whether ISRA was designated or not.
USAID emails obtained by the Middle East Forum reveal that in January 2015, World Vision was growing unhappy while waiting for OFAC’s assessment. Mark Smith, World Vision’s senior director of humanitarian and emergency affairs, wrote to USAID, stating that the Islamic Relief Agency “had performed excellent work” for World Vision in the past, and that “putting contractual relationships in limbo for such a long period is putting a significant strain” on World Vision’s relationship with the Sudanese regime. Smith also revealed that World Vision had submitted a notice to OFAC indicating its “intention to restart work with [ISRA] and to transact with [ISRA]” if OFAC did not respond within a week.
World Vision’s statement stunned USAID officials, who complained that World Vision’s behavior “doesn’t make sense.” USAID official Daniel Holmberg emailed a colleague: “If they actually said that they wanted to resume work with ISRA, while knowing that it was 99% likely that ISRA was on the list then I am concerned about our partnership with them, and whether it should continue.”
On January 23, OFAC confirmed that ISRA was a sanctioned entity and denied World Vision “a license to engage in transactions with [ISRA].” Mark Smith and World Vision’s country program director in Sudan expressed their disappointment, stating that they were in discussions with ISRA as well as the Sudanese regime’s Humanitarian Aid Commission, which regulates the activities of international charities in Sudan.
Despite OFAC’s ruling, in February, World Vision wrote to OFAC and Obama-administration official Jeremy Konyndyk (who then served as director of USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance) to apply to OFAC for a new license from USAID to pay ISRA “monies owed for work performed.” According to Larry Meserve, USAID’s mission director for Sudan, World Vision argued that if they did not pay ISRA, “their whole program will be jeopardized.”
While World Vision waited for a decision, on February 22, a pro-regime Sudanese newspaper, Intibaha, reported that the Sudanese political leaders had requested that World Vision be expelled from Sudan’s Blue Nile state. USAID disaster operations specialist Joseph Wilkes and World Vision’s Mark Smith speculated that this was “punishment” for the cancellation of the grant with ISRA, which a USAID official noted is “well connected with the [Sudanese] government.”
Then, incredibly, on May 7, 2015 — after “close collaboration and consultations with the Department of State” — OFAC issued a license to a World Vision affiliate, World Vision International, authorizing “a one-time transfer of approximately $125,000 to ISRA,” of which “$115,000 was for services performed under the sub-award with USAID” and $10,000 was “for an unrelated funding arrangement between Irish Aid and World Vision.”
An unnamed World Vision official described the decision as a “great relief as ISRA had become restive and had threatened legal action, which would have damaged our reputation and standing in Sudan.” Senior USAID official Charles Wanjue wrote to colleagues: “Good news and a great relief, really!” In August 2015, USAID official Daniel Holmberg even told a State Department official that he had been approached by the executive director of ISRA, and requested guidance on helping ISRA remove itself from the U.S. government’s terror list.
Obama-administration officials knowingly approved the transfer of taxpayer dollars to an al-Qaeda affiliate, and not an obscure one but an enormous international network that was often in the headlines.
How was this prominent terror funder initially approved to receive American taxpayer funds ten years after it had been placed on the “Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons” terror list?
Existing measures to prevent the payment of government monies to designated terrorist organizations include: first, a requirement that all grantees and sub-grantees of U.S.-government grants register for a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number; and second, a requirement that all government vendors register with the government’s System for Award Management (SAM) database. A designated organization should not be able to acquire a DUNS number, and any designation is explicitly recorded in the SAM database with a note that the designated organization is excluded from government grants.
However, ISRA was in fact assigned a DUNS number — as recorded at the government’s USAspending.gov website — which matched no organization in the government’s SAM database. The only listings for “Islamic Relief Agency” or “ISRA” in the SAM database are the designated Sudanese al-Qaeda affiliate and its branches.
Whoever approved this grant to ISRA either failed to check the government’s database of designated groups or did so and then chose to disregard it. Both explanations are alarming. And neither answer explains how ISRA acquired a DUNS number.
Most important: Now we know that the government deliberately chose to transfer at least $115,000 to ISRA after confirming that it was on the terror-designation list. In other words, an al-Qaeda front received taxpayers’ money with the apparent complicity of public officials.
It is no secret that the Obama administration sought to downplay the threat of Islamism, and even to coopt some Islamist movements to promote its agenda. In its foreign policy, the administration expressed support for Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt, while domestically, the White House invited Islamists to design the government’s Countering Violent Extremism program. It is difficult to argue that these efforts were the product of anything but great naïveté and political dogma. Is it possible that this combination extended to deliberately funding an al-Qaeda affiliate?
Congress must investigate this question and, more broadly, where USAID is sending taxpayers’ money, for ISRA might not be the only example. The House’s Foreign Affairs, Oversight, and Financial Services Committees, along with the Senate Finance Committee, must examine how a designated group came to qualify for government monies, why OFAC and the State Department authorized the transfer of funds after learning of ISRA’s terror ties, and which bureaucrat or political appointee was responsible for this mess.
If you believe recent media accounts, the former Democratic president has suddenly transcended the political fray. It’s as if a newly “Zen-like” Barack Obama is content to just write his memoir and let Donald Trump and Republicans write the next chapter of history.
In a cover story asking “Where is Barack Obama?” for example, New York magazine concluded that the 44th president has “virtually disappeared” from the political scene and is sitting idly by as his legacy is dismantled piece by piece. From an exclusive interview, the periodical concluded Obama was “modeling his political engagement out of office after George W. Bush’s” — that is, staying out of the rough-and-tumble of politics, maintaining distance from his former office and resigning himself to be an elder statesman fading into the sunset.
Don’t buy it.
Obama is doing far more to shape the political landscape than is visible. In fact, for an ex-prez, he’s taking an unusually active role in politics, including helping radical protest groups fight Trump and his policies and devising a scheme to flip the GOP majority in the House and permanently turn red seats blue.
From his sprawling DC office not far from the White House, where he oversees a full-time staff of 20, Obama has held regular meetings with Democratic lawmakers, as well as DNC chief Tom Perez, whom he personally helped install to run the Democratic Party. Obama has also met with his attorney general, Eric Holder, to craft a strategy to redraw congressional district maps in Democrats’ favor, according to Politico. Holder now runs the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, which Obama helped his old friend launch.
Obama, who maintains a home in Chicago, originally said he only planned to stay in Washington temporarily, until his youngest daughter, Sasha, now 17, finished high school there. But the family is clearly putting down deeper roots. They recently bought their DC rental home and erected a massive security wall around the property, which includes offices, and are installing a swimming pool.
While it may be true Obama does not want to engage directly in Washington politics, including personally protesting Trump’s policies, he is using a political-organizing group he founded to do that for him.
That nonprofit — Organizing for Action — is not exactly a household name. But it is no less than the organizing and training hub of the anti-Trump resistance.
Most recently, OFA helped stage rallies across the country against the administration’s border policies, which it has decried as “cruel and inhumane.” OFA describes itself as a “nonpartisan grass-roots-driven organization,” but it clearly has a pro-Obama agenda. In fact, it’s run almost entirely by alums from Obama’s campaign and White House, including Jon Carson and Jim Messina, who co-chair the group, and Katie Hogan, who serves as its executive director, according to recent tax filings by the nonprofit.
Though Obama has no official or legal role in OFA, he features the group along with his foundation on his post-presidency Web site and rallies its foot soldiers, who wear blue T-shirts with big white “OFA” letters, in conference calls. After Trump won, for example, he phoned to “fire up” Carson and his team and told them not to worry, that they would “cook up all kinds” of strategies to reclaim the agenda, according to a Nov. 14, 2016, White House transcript of his OFA conference call. More recently, Obama sent an e-mail to “OFA supporters” urging them to “keep going in 2018,” because “there’s simply too much at stake this year.” Obama has tweeted from OFA’s account before and after leaving the White House, and while he was in the White House, he let OFA control his Twitter account, according to The Atlantic.
Earlier this year, moreover, he met with Hogan to discuss how the group can flex its muscles during the midterm campaign to help Democrats recapture the House, according to The New York Times. To that end, OFA plans to train and deploy organizers in 27 Republican-held congressional districts, many with heavy Latino populations, that could be key to a Democratic takeover of the House. With offices in DC and Chicago, OFA has already trained more than 40,000 leftist agitators in person or by webinar, according to tax records.
“We’ve seen grassroots organizing make a big difference this past year, it will again in November,” Hogan recently tweeted.
Meanwhile, OFA has formally partnered with one of the angriest resistance groups, Indivisible Project, which has been criticized for using overly aggressive protest tactics against Republicans at town-hall meetings. Indivisible plans to deploy OFA-trained agitators to storm Republican districts during the Fourth of July recess, starting this weekend, to shout down “Trump’s racist policies,” according to its Web site.
OFA brings in between $6 million and $14 million in donations a year, and is funded in part by Democracy Alliance, which is connected to the radical group that dispatched agitators to march outside Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s Virginia town house, blaring an audiotape of crying immigrant children and chanting “No justice, no sleep!” The group, CREDO Action, also held signs calling Nielsen a “child snatcher” and shouted, “You’re a modern-day Nazi!’
With the help of 40 full-time staffers, OFA trains volunteers in the hard-core tactics popularized by the late Chicago radical Saul Alinsky, including smearing and intimidating opponents and mobilizing angry mobs to convey the appearance of a mass movement that enjoys a good deal of public support.
Alinsky trainers schooled Obama in these same tactics when he was an organizer in South Side Chicago.
Meanwhile, Hogan and OFA have partnered with Obama and Holder’s gerrymandering project to manufacture future Democrat victories.
Republicans are so alarmed by Obama’s permanent presence and political interference they are raising money from donors based on these fears, warning in a recent fund-raising newsletter about “his scheme to interfere in the 2018 midterms,” according to a June 22 e-mail from House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.
In public, Obama has skillfully kept his distance from recent anti-Trump protests and politicking. But behind the scenes, he really may be coordinating the resistance — and acting as its organizer in chief.
Paul Sperry is a former Hoover Institution media fellow and author of the bestseller “Infiltration.”
This is an interview Paul Sperry did a while back with Lou Dobbs on the subject:
That was the question that the White House’s cybersecurity coordinator was asked after Susan Rice, Obama’s national security adviser, issued a stand down order on Russia.
Testimony at the Senate Intelligence Committee hearings on Russian interference in the election once again raised the central paradox of the Russia conspiracy theory. If Russian interference in the election represented the crisis that we are told it did, why did Obama fail to take any meaningful action?
The White House’s own cybersecurity people wanted an aggressive response before being told to stand down. Obama issued a bloodless warning to Russia while his people deliberately crippled our offense.
Democrats and the media blamed the Russian hacking on Trump. But it was Susan Rice who had told the cybersecurity team to “knock it off” and Obama’s people who hadn’t wanted him to be “boxed in” and forced to respond to Russian actions. Was this just the usual appeasement or was there more to it?
Why didn’t Obama and his team want to stop Russian hacking? Because they needed the Russians.
The 2016 election is really the story of two deep state intelligence operations that dovetailed neatly with each other. One was an ongoing Russian operation that took advantage of a weak president to sow chaos in America and Europe. The other was a domestic political operation utilizing counterintelligence resources in the United States and Europe to spy on, undermine and try to bring down Trump.
Contrary to claims made by Obama operatives, the Russian operation was not new. Russian hackers and spies had done enormous damage to America’s intelligence community. But they had succeeded so well because the mission of the intelligence community had shifted from deterring foreign adversaries to suppressing domestic political opponents. And this new mission made the Russians attacks irrelevant.
The Russian attacks on the formerly formidable NSA were so easy to accomplish because it was no longer countering the Russians. Instead Obama viewed it as a police state tool for spying on pro-Israel activists, members of Congress and Trump campaign officials. The NSA’s opposite numbers in Russia, posing as rogue hackers, were no longer hammering rivals, but a twisted and crippled organization.
Obama didn’t want to fight the Russians, but the Russian attacks were very useful because they justified the NSA’s powers, which he was abusing not to go after the Russians, but after American political rivals. And the Russian election hacks played perfectly into his hands by justifying the counterintelligence investigations supposedly aimed at the Russians, but really aimed at domestic political opponents.
The Mueller investigation is only the latest of these disguised counterintelligence police state gimmicks.
Without the Russians, Obama’s people would have just been nakedly abusing their powers to spy on Americans. But as long as the Russians were active, his deep state had the excuse that it needed.
The two intelligence operations, the Russian one and the Obama one, were interdependent. Their deep state symbiosis was possible only because neither side threatened the core interests of the other.
The Russians were a national security threat, but Obama’s people didn’t care about national security. And Obama’s counterintelligence operation was aimed at domestic political opponents rather than the Russians. It’s still unknown if the Russians and Obama’s people actively colluded in these operations, but it’s likely that seasoned professionals on both sides had a quiet understanding of their respective roles.
The Russians had not set out to alter the outcome of the election. Nor did they have that capability. Their attacks followed the pattern of the Dulles Plan, a fictional piece of Soviet propaganda which attributed any anti-Soviet activity to an American conspiracy to undermine Communism. The KGB veterans running Russia as an actual deep state sought to undermine the American political system by feeding extremism, creating panic and discrediting elections. And that also fit the Obama agenda.
Obama’s people had spent eight years dismantling political norms and undermining America. The KGB deep state conspirators in Russia and their leftist counterparts in Washington D.C. had emerged from the same ideological school. Their aims and allegiances had diverged, but the ex-Communists in Moscow and Adams Morgan Socialists in Washington D.C. shared a common hatred for America and its values.
There was no reason to interfere with the Russian interference. Obama and his people did not believe that the Russians would significantly affect the election. But if his efforts to eavesdrop on Trump officials came to light, the Russians had provided him with an alibi. Susan Rice, as national security adviser, was at the center of the eavesdropping effort and had every reason to protect the Russian operation.
Protecting the Russians also protected the Obamas.
Nor did the Obama deep state have any particular allegiance to Hillary Clinton’s campaign. The Obamas and the Clintons loathed each other. Though both factions were leftists, their approaches were as much at variance as Bolsheviks and Trotskyists. Obama had been forced to make a deal with the Clintons to secure his hold on the Democrat operation. But his support for Hillary Clinton was only an endorsement of the lesser evil. Her defeat left him and his political allies in total control of the Democrat operation.
And the chaos and violence of his anti-Trump resistance achieved his goal of radicalizing the Democrats.
The Russians didn’t hack the election. That conspiracy theory remains wishful thinking. But the allegation proved very useful in enabling everything from the pre-election eavesdropping on political opponents to the post-election sabotage of the Trump administration to the move away from electronic voting to paper ballots which enable the old-fashioned kind of Democrat ballot stuffing.
But like an iceberg, the most troubling development of the Russian conspiracy is mostly underwater.
After 9/11, the intelligence community was revived with a new purpose. That purpose was fighting Islamic terrorism. During Obama’s two terms, the intelligence community was compromised, crippled and transformed into a domestic deep state aimed at suppressing the political opposition. Tragically, it came to resemble the KGB, with its domestic surveillance and investigation of political opponents.
This transformation of law enforcement and intelligence agencies did not emerge out of thin air.
The Founders were rightly cautious of the power of a strong central government. And a national law enforcement and intelligence infrastructure was always ripe for the worst big government abuses.
The FBI’s record of political tampering under Hoover was no secret. And it didn’t end there. Everything in Washington D.C. is political. Especially the apolitical. Its engine of careerism runs on networking and connections. The apolitical bureaucracy is a buzzing hive of ambition and backstabbing. Every agency has its own Machiavellian subcultures with courtiers, saboteurs, spies and manipulators. And every agency culture has a leftist ideological component, among its other agendas, some more than others.
The Obama years politicized everything from the food you ate to the clothes you wore. Certainly no arm of government survived those terrible two terms without being substantially transformed.
As the cold winter sun set on another year in Washington D.C., the deep state was reborn.
The Democrats have spent two years accusing Republicans of colluding with Russia. But as usual they were accusing their political opponents of their own crime. Republicans had not undermined national security. The Democrats did. A Republican president hadn’t sat across from Putin’s agent and assured him that he would have more flexibility to make deals after the election. A Republican president hadn’t let the Russians hack our national security secrets to provide a casus belli for targeting his opponents.
That was all Obama.
Barack Obama and Susan Rice sabotaged efforts to stop the Russians because their deep state domestic spying program depended on Russian collusion, both the reality and the allegation. Everything from the original allegation, Clinton campaign opposition research which drew on claims by a Russian intelligence operative, to the Mueller counterintelligence investigation, which has done nothing to actually stop the Russians, but has gone after Republican campaign pros, needed the Russians as its stalking horse.
Russian hacking didn’t change the election. But Obama’s exploitation of Russian hacking nearly did. We still don’t know what materials were gathered by the eavesdropping operation. Or who saw them. Information is the ultimate weapon in national security and election campaigns. Obama used the former to tamper with the latter. And all these years later, we still don’t know what damage was done.
While Mueller prowls around pursuing Hillary Clinton’s conspiracy theories, those crimes remain unexplored. But we do know that the Russians didn’t do anything that Obama didn’t allow them to do.
Any serious effort to investigate Russian election hacks must begin with the man who let them to do it.
On September 4, 2001, Robert Mueller took over the FBI. At his confirmation hearings, fraud had overshadowed discussions of terrorism. And as FBI Director, Mueller quickly diverged from the common understanding that the attacks that killed 3,000 people had been an act of war rather than a crime.
In 2008, Abdullah Saleh al-Ajmi, who had been unleashed from Guantanamo Bay, carried out a suicide bombing in Iraq. Al-Ajmi had been represented by Thomas Wilner who was being paid by the Kuwaiti government.
Wilner was a pal of Robert Mueller. And when the families were having dinner together, Mueller got up and said, “I want to toast Tom Wilner. He’s doing just what an American lawyer should do.”
“I don’t know what he was doing from inside the government. I’d like to find out,” Wilner mused.
We know some of what Mueller was doing. The same official who paved the way for raiding the president’s lawyer, who illegally seized material from the Trump transition team and whose case is based in no small part on illegal eavesdropping, fought alongside Comey against surveilling terrorists. Materials involving the Muslim Brotherhood were purged. Toward the dawn of the second Obama term, Mueller met with CAIR and other Islamist groups and a green curtain fell over national security.
But the surveillance wasn’t going anywhere. Instead it was being redirected to new targets.
Those targets were not, despite the wave of hysterical conspiracy theories convulsing the media, the Russians. Mueller’s boss was still quite fond of them. Barack Obama did have foreign enemies that he wanted to spy on. And there were plenty of domestic enemies who could be caught up in that trap.
By his second term, the amateur was coming to understand the incredible surveillance powers at his disposal and how they could be used to spy on Americans under the pretext of fighting foreign threats.
Two birds. One stone.
While the Mueller purge was going on, Obama was pushing talks with Iran. There was one obstacle and it wasn’t Russia. The Russians were eager to play Obama with a fake nuke deal. It was the Israelis who were the problem. And it was the Israelis who were being spied on by Obama’s surveillance regime.
But it wasn’t just the Israelis.
Iran was Obama’s big shot at a foreign policy legacy. As the year dragged on, it was becoming clear that the Arab Spring wouldn’t be anything he would want to be remembered for. By the time Benghazi went from a humanitarian rescue operation to one of the worst disasters of the term, it was clearly over.
Obama was worried that the Israelis would launch a strike against Iran’s nuclear program. And the surveillance and media leaks were meant to dissuade the Israelis from scuttling his legacy. But he was also worried about Netanyahu’s ability to persuade American Jews and members of Congress to oppose his nuclear sellout. And that was where the surveillance leapfrogged from foreign to domestic.
The NSA intercepted communications between Israelis and Americans, including members of Congress, and then passed the material along to the White House. Despite worries by some officials that “that the executive branch would be accused of spying on Congress”, the White House “believed the intercepted information could be valuable to counter Mr. Netanyahu’s campaign.”
The precedent was even more troubling than it seemed.
Obama Inc. had defined its position in an unresolved political debate between the White House and Congress as the national interest. And had winkingly authorized surveillance on Congress to protect this policy in a domestic political debate. That precedent would then be used to spy on members of the Trump transition team and to force out Trump’s national security adviser.
National security had become indistinguishable from the agenda of the administration. And that agenda, like the rest of Obama’s unilateral policies, was enshrined as permanent. Instead of President Trump gaining the same powers, his opposition to that agenda was treated as a national security threat.
And once Obama was out of office, Comey and other Obama appointees would protect that agenda.
We still don’t know the full scope of Spygate. But media reports have suggested that Obama officials targeted countries opposed to the Iran sellout, most prominently Israel and the UAE, and then eavesdropped on meetings between them and between figures on the Trump team.
Obama had begun his initial spying as a way of gaining inside information on Netanyahu’s campaign against the Iran deal. But the close election and its aftermath significantly escalated what had been a mere Watergate into an active effort to not only spy, but pursue criminal charges against the political opposition. The surveillance state had inevitably moved on to the next stage, the police state with its informants, dossiers, pre-dawn raids, state’s witnesses, entrapments and still more surveillance.
And the police state requires cops. Someone had to do the dirty work for Susan Rice.
Comey, Mueller and the other cops had likely been complicit in the administration’s abuses. Somewhere along the way, they had become the guys watching over the Watergate burglars. Spying on the political opposition is, short of spying for the enemy, the most serious crime that such men can commit.
Why then was it committed?
To understand that, we have to go back to 9/11. Those days may seem distant now, but the attacks offered a crossroads. One road led to a war against our enemies. The other to minimizing the conflict.
President George W. Bush tried to fight that war, but he was undermined by men like Mueller and Comey. Their view of the war was the same as that of their future boss, not their current one, certainly not the view as the man currently sitting in the White House whom they have tried to destroy.
Every lie has some truth in it. Comey’s book, A Higher Loyalty, his frequent claims of allegiance to American ideals, are true, as he sees it, if not as he tells it. Men like Comey and Mueller believed that the real threat came not from Islamic terrorists, but from our overreaction to them. They believed that Bush was a threat. And Trump was the worst threat imaginable who had to be stopped by any means.
What Comey and Mueller are loyal to is the established way of doing things. And they conflate that with our national ideals, as establishment thugs usually do. Neither of them are unique. Washington D.C. is filled with men and women who are registered Republicans, who believe in lowering taxes, who frown at the extremities of identity politics, but whose true faith is in the natural order of government.
Mueller and Comey represent a class. And Obama and Clinton were easily able to corrupt and seduce that class into abandoning its duties and oaths, into serving as its deep state against domestic foes.
Quis custodiet ipsos custodies? It’s the old question of who watches the watchmen that no society has found a good answer to. And the answer is inevitably that the watchers, watch themselves and everyone else. What began as national security measures against Islamic terrorism was twisted by Obama and his deep state allies into the surveillance of the very people fighting Islamic terrorism.
Spygate was the warped afterbirth of our failure to meaningfully confront Islamic terrorism. Instead, the political allies of the terrorists and the failed watchmen who allowed them to strike so many times, got together to shoot the messengers warning about the terror threat. The problem had never been the lack of power, but the lack of will and the lack of integrity in an establishment unwilling to do its job.
After 9/11, extraordinary national security powers were brought into being to fight Islamic terror. Instead those powers were used to suppress those who told the truth about Islamic terrorism.
The Washington Free Beacon reported Wednesday that “the Obama administration skirted key U.S. sanctions to grant Iran access to billions in hard currency despite public assurances the administration was engaged in no such action, according to a new congressional investigation.”
And it gets even worse: “The investigation, published Wednesday by the House Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, further discloses secret efforts by top Obama administration officials to assure European countries they would receive a pass from U.S. sanctions if they engaged in business with Iran.”
This revelation comes after the news that came to light in February, that, according to Bill Gertz in the Washington Times, “the U.S. government has traced some of the $1.7 billion released to Iran by the Obama administration to Iranian-backed terrorists in the two years since the cash was transferred.”
There is a law that applies to this situation. U.S. Code 2381 says: “Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.”
In a sane political environment, Barack Obama would be tried for treason.
Barack Hussein Obama has planted seeds that will be bearing bitter fruit for years, and probably decades, to come. He is, without any doubt, the worst President in American history. Fillmore, Pierce, Buchanan? Yes, the doughface Presidents made the Civil War inevitable, but worse came later. Grant? Blind to corruption and out of his depth, but there have been worse than he as well. Wilson? That black-hearted Presbyterian bigot arguably gave the world Hitler and World War II, so he is definitely in the Final Four. Harding? Nah: his tax cuts and return to “normalcy” got the American economy, and the Twenties, roaring. FDR and LBJ gave us the modern welfare state and dependent classes automatically voting Democrat; the full bill on the damage they did hasn’t yet been presented. Nixon? A crook and an economic Leftist, who betrayed Taiwan for the People’s Republic; his record certainly isn’t good. Carter? Nothing good can be said about his four years of sanctimony and incompetence.
But there is one thing Barack Obama has on all competitors: treason.
He showered hundreds of billions of dollars on the Islamic Republic of Iran. There are those who say, “It was their money. It belonged to the Iranian government but was frozen and not paid since 1979.” Indeed, and there was a reason for that: not even Jimmy Carter, who made the Islamic Republic of Iran possible, thought that money, which had been paid by the Shah’s government in a canceled arms deal, belonged to the mullahs who overthrew the Shah. Likewise Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush all thought that the Islamic Republic was not due money that was owed to the Shah.
Only Barack Obama did.
The definition of treason is giving aid and comfort to the enemy. The leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran order their people to chant “Death to America” in mosques every Friday, and repeatedly vow that they will ultimately destroy the United States of America and the state of Israel. How was giving them billions and helping them skirt sanctions applied by the U.S. government not treason?
Other Presidents have been incompetent, corrupt, dishonest, but which has committed treason on a scale to rival the treason of Barack Obama?
The Iranians also operate a global network of jihad terror organizations, one of which, Hizballah, is quite active in Mexico now, with the obvious ultimate intention of crossing the border and committing jihad massacres of Americans. Obama has given a tremendous boost to these initiatives, as well as to Iran’s nuclear program, with his nuclear deal that has given the Iranians hundreds of billions of dollars and essentially a green light to manufacture nuclear weapons, in exchange for absolutely nothing.
There is no telling when the worst consequences of Obama’s aid and comfort to the Islamic Republic of Iran will be felt. But they likely will be felt in one way or another. Even as President Trump moves swiftly to restore sanctions and put Iran on notice that its nuclear activity and global adventurism will not be tolerated, those billions cannot be recovered, and the Iranians have already spent a great deal for their jihad cause.
However this catastrophe plays out, there is one man who will suffer no consequences whatsoever: Barack Obama. That’s Leftist Privilege. It’s good to be a powerful Leftist in Washington nowadays. Laws? Pah! Laws are for conservatives.
Agents of Influence: Obama and his advisers, now seeking to shape his legacy, say they are proud they ditched the ‘Washington playbook’ and decided to stay out of the Sunni-Shia conflict in the Middle East. Only they didn’t. They intervened on behalf of Iran.