Fired up Levin SMOKES ‘despotic’ Obama for playing besties with terrorist Iran

obama jeeringConservative Review, by Phil Shiver, Aug. 25, 2016:

“Yes, I come to the microphone today FED UP over what’s happening to our country, and who’s doing it,” said Mark Levin during his radio program Wednesday night.

“This administration is so corrupt, so despotic, it operates in secret,” Levin exclaimed in reference to congressional investigators trying to uncover the trail of $1.3 billion in payments to Iran without aid from the Obama admin.

Obama allowing Iran to walk all over us shouldn’t surprise anybody, however. Playing besties with Iran has, in fact, been his most recognizable foreign policy achievement. “Obama from the beginning of his presidency tried to turn the country’s ruling clerics from foes to friends … it was an obsession,” read Levin citing Eli Lake of Bloomberg Politics.

Listen to the full clip of Levin tearing into Obama below:

But the Republican Party must take some of the blame, argues Levin, for “their failure to remove a lawless, dangerous man from the oval office out of nothing but sheer cowardice.”

Americans will be paying the consequences of that for a long time to come.

Phil Shiver is a writer for the CR Wire. His interests are Christian Ministry, Common Sense Politics, and anything active. Follow him on Twitter @kpshiver3.

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The administration claims the payment saved taxpayers; James Rosen has the details for ‘Special Report’

Also see:

Confirmed: That $400 Million in Pallets of Foreign Cash Was a Ransom Payment

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The President lied while wagging his finger at us.

CounterJihad, Aug. 19, 2016:

“In basic English, you’re saying you wouldn’t give them $400 million in cash until the prisoners were released, correct?”

That’s correct.”

With those words, State Department spokesman John Kirby confirmed two things about the $400 Million cash payment to Iran.  First, it was a ransom for hostages.  Second, the President directly lied to the American people about it.

Families “know we have a policy that we don’t pay ransom. And the notion that we would somehow start now, in this high-profile way, and announce it to the world, even as we’re looking in the faces of other hostage families whose loved ones are being held hostage, and saying to them ‘We don’t pay ransom,’ defies logic,” Obama added at the time.

As the New York Post reports, the President not only lied to the American people, he even lectured the press for raising the question.

Here at CounterJihad, we pointed out that the President broke US law and knowingly endangered American lives by this action.  Three days later, former Federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy spelled out the specific laws that President Obama violated in great detail.  Now it is clear that the President lied about it, too.

American officials would not permit the Iran Air officials to take possession of the money and depart for Iran until they received word that a Swiss Air flight on which the U.S. hostages were boarded in Iran was “wheels up.” Only after the American officials were notified that the hostages’ plane had taken off were the Iranians allowed to take custody of the money. As Senators Ted Cruz (R., Texas) and Mike Lee (R., Utah) have pointed out in pressing the administration for answers about this transaction:

Although the administration has denied there was any quid pro quo, the close temporal proximity of the payment to the release of the hostages suggests otherwise.  As the Justice Department is never remiss to point out in court, an illicit quid pro quo can be inferred from the timing of the quid and the quo

So, to recap, the President himself said that the US government has a policy of not paying ransom for hostages.  He explained the reasoning for this policy in that paying ransom for hostages endangers American lives by making it more likely that people will take Americans hostage.  He then undertook to pay a ransom for hostages, lying about it to the American people and even chiding the free press for having the gall to bring it up.

This is clearly an impeachable offense.  The President knew what he was doing.  He knew it was wrong.  He did it anyway, and he kept it secret from both Congress and the American People.  In doing so, he violated both the law and the basic rules of statecraft.  That violation of the law raises this to the level of ‘high crimes or misdemeanors’ necessary to justify an impeachment.  The endangerment of American lives makes it more than a harmless oversight.  More Americans since have been taken hostage by the regime in Iran, an effect so obvious and predictable that even Mr. Obama knew it was going to happen if he paid the ransom.

He did it anyway.

Also see:

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Another Example of the Obama Admin’s Dishonest Campaign to Sell Iran Nuke Deal

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Center for Security Policy, by Fred Fleitz, Aug. 18, 2016:

Over the last few months, a lot of new information has come out on how the Obama White House misled the American public, Congress and the news media about the nuclear deal with Iran before Congress voted on the agreement last September.

According to a May 5, 2016 New York Times profile of National Security Council Adviser Ben Rhodes, the Obama administration used false narratives to promote the nuclear deal and conducted a campaign to manipulate and mislead journalists as part of a media “echo chamber.”

Several liberal organizations helped facilitate this echo chamber.  One of the most notorious was the far-left Ploughshares Fund which sought and received funding from liberal philanthropist George Soros. This included an April 2015 request for $750,000 to use mainstream media to counter opponents of the nuclear deal and parrot White House talking points.

Congressman Mike Pompeo (R-KS) has called for an investigation on whether large payments by Ploughshares to National Public Radio slanted NPR’s coverage of the nuclear deal and kept congressmen who opposed the agreement off the air.

The latest disclosure on how Ploughshares funding may still be distorting the debate over the nuclear deal concerns a Washington Post contributor.

According to an August 16, 2016 Washington Free Beacon by Adam Kredo, Allen Weiner, a Standord law professor and Ploughshares-funded expert, recently penned a Washington Postop-ed defending the nuclear deal but the Post failed to mention that he is on the payroll of the Ploughshares Fund.  According to Kredo, Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation (where Weiner acts as a senior lecturer), received $100,000 from Ploughshares in 2015.  Weiner received a $15,000 payment from Ploughshares for a 2007 paper.

In an email to Kredo, Weiner denied speaking to anyone at Ploughshares about the nuclear deal or knowing the group’s position on the agreement.  Washington Post Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt disputed Kredo’s claim that Weiner is on the Ploughshares “payroll” and said he saw no conflicts of interest.

However, on August 11, 2016, the Washington Post ran an op-ed co-authored by Weiner that defended a $400 million payment to free four U.S. prisoners held by Iran as “American diplomacy at its finest.”  Many experts believe this payment amounted to ransom and have harshly criticized the Obama administration for concealing it from Congress.

The $400 million was secretly flown to Tehran from Geneva in an unmarked plane.  The payment was made in small denominations of euros and Swiss francs.  The plane transporting the American prisoners was not allowed to take off until after the planeload of cash landed.  Iran says this was a ransom payment.  The Justice Department opposed the timing of this payment because it looked like ransom.  Weiner ignored these facts and repeated the absurd Obama administration position that this was not a ransom payment but represented America repaying an old debt to Iran.

With the Obama administration under fire for the controversial $400 million it paid to Iran, I have no doubt someone recruited Weiner as part of its Iran deal echo chamber to draft his Washington Post op-ed defending its dubious rationale for this payment.  This op-ed did not appear out of thin air.

Was Weiner on the Ploughshares “payroll” to promote the Iran deal?  There’s no evidence of this (at least yet) and he denies it.  However, given the unusual timing of his piece mimicking administration talking points that the $400 million was not a ransom payment, it seems likely Weiner is part of the White House media echo chamber to mislead the American people and Congress about the Iran deal.

Weiner’s article also suggests this echo chamber is still being used to generate false narratives for the White House to defend the nuclear deal.  Further investigation by journalists may prove that the Ploughshares Fund is still funding these distortions.

Also see:

Obama Authorizes “Reckless” Release of 15 Dangerous Guantanamo Bay Detainees

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It’s difficult to argue that the release of hundreds of jihadists has helped combat radical Islam.

CounterJihad, by Bruce Cornibe, Aug. 17, 2016:

Former U.S. President George W. Bush’s “War on Terror” required unconventional tactics and methods for detaining terrorists or unlawful combatants that don’t follow the general laws of war.

This is one of the reasons that led to the creation of Guantanamo Bay Prison in Cuba – creating a system that does not give cold-blooded terrorists the same legal protections afforded to Americans under the U.S. Constitution while also considering their humanity by providing for their basic human needs.

Leftists like President Obama buy into the theory that Gitmo is a recruitment tool for jihadists. While Gitmo might provide some political fodder for jihadist videos it’s absurd to think that giving jihadists constitutional rights would help defeat Islamic terrorism.

It’s even more preposterous than the kind of reasoning that says providing jobs and economic assistance will stop radicalization. While things like increases in economic opportunity may provide extra incentives that help deter jihadist recruitment, they do not address the root causes of the problem – for example, the evil ideology.

So, keeping in line with his ideology and promises to close the facility President Obama has decided to release more Gitmo detainees.

Fifteen jihadists (twelve Yemeni and three Afghan nationals) have recently been released from Gitmo and transferred to the UAE – making it “the single largest release of detainees during the Obama administration[.]”

Monday’s release dwindles the prison’s population down to only sixty-one detainees. According to the New York Times over the years about 780 individuals “have been detained” at Gitmo, while 710 individuals “have been transferred” (nine individuals died in detention).

It’s difficult to argue that the release of hundreds of jihadists has helped combat radical Islam. In fact, we have seen the opposite with the emergence of killing machines in groups like ISIS and Boko Haram.

While the number of released Gitmo prisoners returning to battlefield is disputed, former CIA official Gary Berntsen suggests that at least one third of released detainees are back fighting – making for a high recidivism rate.

These kinds of moves put American troops and workers in serious danger of attack. In fact, a couple months ago The Washington Post reported “that at least 12 detainees released from the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have launched attacks against U.S. or allied forces in Afghanistan, killing about a half-dozen Americans[.]”

So, taking into account the recidivism rate we will unfortunately expect to see several of the fifteen recently released jihadists with alleged links to radical groups like Al-Qaeda and the Taliban back to waging jihad and possibly murdering more Americans. Until our leaders get serious about jihadists and their Sharia ideology we will continue to see the rise in Islamic terrorism.

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15 Guantanamo detainees sent to UAE in major transfer

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Fox News, Aug. 15, 2016:

Fifteen prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay detention center were sent to the United Arab Emirates in the single largest release of detainees during the Obama administration, the Pentagon announced Monday.

The transfer of 12 Yemeni nationals and three Afghans to the UAE comes amid a renewed push to whittle down the number of detainees held at the U.S. prison in Cuba that President Barack Obama wants to close.

The Pentagon says 61 detainees now remain at Guantanamo, which was opened in January 2002 to hold foreign fighters suspected of links to the Taliban or the Al Qaeda terrorist organization. During the Bush administration, 532 prisoners were released from Guantanamo, often in large groups to Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia.

The latest batch of released prisoners had mostly been held without charge for some 14 years at Guantanamo. They were cleared for release by the Periodic Review Board, comprised of representatives from six U.S. government agencies.

The UAE successfully resettled five detainees transferred there last year, according to the Pentagon.

Lee Wolosky, the State Department’s special envoy for Guantanamo’s closure, said the U.S. was grateful to the United Arab Emirates for accepting the latest group of 15 men and helping pave the way for the detention center’s closure.

“The continued operation of the detention facility weakens our national security by draining resources, damaging our relationships with key allies and partners, and emboldening violent extremists,” Wolosky said.

Obama has been seeking to close the detention center amid opposition from Congress, which has prohibited transferring detainees to the U.S. for any reason. The administration has been working with other countries to resettle detainees who have been cleared for transfer.

Naureen Shah, Amnesty International USA’s director of national security and human rights, said the transfers announced Monday are a “powerful sign that President Obama is serious about closing Guantanamo before he leaves office.”

According to Amnesty, one of the Afghans released to the UAE alleged that he was “tortured and subjected to other cruel treatment” while in U.S. military custody. The man, identified only as Obaidullah, was captured by U.S. special forces in July 2002 and allegedly admitted to acquiring and planting anti-tank mines to target U.S. and other coalition forces in eastern Afghanistan.

In clearing him for transfer, the review board said he hasn’t expressed any anti-U.S. sentiment or intent to re-engage in militant activities. However, a Pentagon detainee profile also said he provided little information and they had little “insight into his current mindset.”

One of the Yemeni men sent to the UAE was identified as Zahir Umar Hamis bin Hamdun, who traveled to Afghanistan in 1999 and later apparently acted as a weapons and explosives trainer.

A Pentagon profile from September 2015 said he expressed dislike of the U.S., which they identified as “an emotion that probably is motivated more by frustration over his continuing detention than by a commitment to global jihad.”

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Also see:

Predicting which detainees will become recidivists can be difficult. But JTF-GTMO assessed that all 15 of the detainees transferred to the UAE were “high” risks. And President Obama’s own task force considered most of them “too dangerous” to let walk.

McCarthy: Obama’s Iraq Policy Did Not Create ISIS

isis militants in RaqqaOur challenge in the Middle East is that sharia supremacism fills all vacuums.

National Review, by Andrew C. McCarthy, Au. 13, 2016:

The early Cold War wisdom that “we must stop politics at the water’s edge” has never been entirely true. In endeavors as human as politics, no such altruistic aspiration ever will be. But Senator Arthur Vandenberg’s adage does reflect a principle critical to effective national security: The United States is imperiled when partisan politics distorts our understanding of the world and the threats it presents.

We’ve been imperiled for a long time now. The most salient reason for that has been the bipartisan, politically correct refusal to acknowledge and confront the Islamic roots of the threat to the West. It has prevented us from grasping not only why jihadists attack us but also that jihadists are merely the militant front line of the broader civilizational challenge posed by sharia supremacism.

Inevitably, when there is a profound threat and an overarching strategic failure to apprehend it, disasters abound; and rather than becoming occasions for reassessment of the flawed bipartisan strategy, those disasters become grist for partisan attacks. From 2004 through 2008, the specious claim was that President Bush’s ouster of Saddam Hussein created terrorism in Iraq. Now it is that President Obama is the “founder of ISIS,” as Donald Trump put it this week.

The point here is not to bash Trump. He is hardly the first to posit some variation of the storyline that Obama’s premature withdrawal of American forces from Iraq led to the “vacuum” in which, we are to believe, the Islamic State spontaneously generated. Indeed, this narrative is repeated on Fox News every ten minutes or so.

The point is to try to understand what we are actually dealing with, how we got to this place, and what the security implications are. There is no denying that American missteps have exacerbated a dangerous threat environment in the Middle East to some degree. It is spurious, though, to suggest that any of these errors, or all of them collectively, caused the catastrophe that has unfolded.

The problem for the United States in this region is Islam — specifically, the revolutionary sharia-supremacist version to which the major players adhere. There is no vacuum. There never has been a vacuum. What we have is a bubbling cauldron of aggressive political Islam with its always attendant jihadist legions.

The question is always: How to contain the innate aggression? The fantasy answers are: (a) let’s convert them to Western democracy, and (b) let’s support the secular democrats. In reality, the region does not want Western democracy — it wants sharia (Islamic law), even if there is disagreement about how much sharia and how quickly it should be imposed. And while there are some secular democrats, there are far, far too few of them to compete with either the sharia-supremacist factions or the dictatorial regimes — they can only fight the latter by aligning with the former. At best, the secularists provide hope for an eventual evolution away from totalitarian sharia culture; for now, however, it is absurd for Beltway Republicans to contend that ISIS emerged because Obama failed to back these “moderates” in Iraq and Syria.

The fact that top Republicans use the term “moderate” rather than “secular democrat” should tell us all we need to know. They realize there are not enough secularists to fight either Bashar Assad or ISIS, much less both of them. For all their justifiable ridiculing of Obama’s lexicon, Republicans invoke “moderates” for the same reason Obama uses terms like “workplace violence” — to obscure unpleasant truths about radical Islam. In this instance, the truth is that the “moderates” they claim Obama should have backed include the Muslim Brotherhood and other anti-Western Islamist factions, including al-Qaeda. Of course, if they told you that, there wouldn’t be much bite in their critique of Obama’s infatuation with the Muslim Brotherhood . . . and you might even start remembering that, during the Bush years, the GOP couldn’t do enough “outreach” to “moderate Islamists.”

The Middle East is aflame because of sharia supremacism and the jihadism that ideology always produces. That was the problem long before there was an ISIS. The Baathist regimes in Iraq and Syria, like other Middle Eastern dictatorships, kept sharia supremacism in check by alternatively persecuting Islamist insurgents, turning them against each other, or using them to harass Israel and the West. In Iran, to the contrary, the shah was overthrown by a revolutionary Shiite jihadist movement that he failed to keep in check.

Bush, with what started out as bipartisan support, ousted the Iraqi regime without any discernible plan for dealing with Iran, Syria, and the wider war — delusionally calculating that Iran might actually be helpful because of its supposedly keen interest in Iraqi stability. Iran, of course, went about the business of fueling the terrorist insurgency against American troops. Saddam’s fall unleashed the competing Islamist forces that continue to tear Iraq apart. The thought that we could democratize the culture was fantasy; far from taming sharia supremacism, the government we birthed in Baghdad was converted by the Iran-backed Shiite parties into a mechanism for abusing Sunnis. Naturally, the Sunnis turned to their own sharia supremacists for their defense.

It is fair enough to argue that Obama should not have pulled U.S. forces out of Iraq just as the security situation was badly deteriorating in 2011. But a big part of the reason that Democrats thrashed Republicans in the 2006 midterms, and that Obama was elected in 2008, was mounting American opposition to maintaining our troops there. Critics, moreover, conveniently omit to mention that (a) the agreement with the Iraqi government to withdraw our troops on a timeline unrelated to conditions on the ground was made by Bush, not Obama, and that (b) Bush reluctantly made that agreement precisely because Iraqis were demanding that Americans get out of their country.

The war became unpopular in the United States because it seemed unconnected to U.S. security interests: so much sacrifice on behalf of ingrates, while Iran exploited the mayhem to muscle in. There was no public appetite for a long-range U.S. military presence. What would be the point, when Bush had given the increasingly hostile Iraqi government the power to veto U.S. military operations to which it objected, and had agreed that our forces would not use Iraqi territory as a base of operations against Iran, Syria, or any other country? (See 2008 Status of Forces Agreement, articles 4 and 27.) This was not post-war Europe or Japan, where the enemy had been vanquished. Most Americans did not see the point of further risking American lives in order to stop anti-American Shiites and anti-American Sunnis from having at each other, as they’ve been doing to great lethal effect for 14 centuries.

ISIS (now, the Islamic State) got its start as al-Qaeda in Iraq, the primary culprit (along with Iran) in the Iraqi civil war. ISIS thus long predates Obama’s presidency. Furthermore, the oft-repeated GOP talking-point that al-Qaeda in Iraq was defeated by the Bush troop surge is a gross exaggeration. Our jihadist enemies could not be defeated in Iraq, because Iraq was never their sole base of operations. Since we’ve never had a strategy to defeat them globally, we were never going to do more than temporarily tamp them down in Iraq. They were always going to wait us out. They were always going to reemerge, in Iraq and elsewhere.

One of the places in which they regrouped was Syria. That made perfect sense, because Syria — the client of al-Qaeda’s long-time supporter, Iran — was always a waystation for jihadists seeking to fight American and Western forces in Iraq. Meanwhile, there was an internal Syrian uprising against the Assad regime. To be sure, the revolt had some secular components; but it was thoroughly coopted by the Muslim Brotherhood (as analyst Hassan Hassan comprehensively outlined in Foreign Affairs in early 2013).

Notwithstanding the Republicans’ ISIS myopia, it was not the only jihadist presence in Syria — not even close. Al-Qaeda still had a franchise there (al-Nusrah), along with several other tentacles. Importantly, in its rivalry with breakaway ISIS, al-Qaeda has adopted the Muslim Brotherhood approach of ground-up revolution — the antithesis of the Islamic State’s top-down strategy of forcibly expanding its declared caliphate and implementing sharia full-scale.

As Tom Joscelyn perceptively explained in 2015 congressional testimony, al-Qaeda is attempting to spark jihadist uprisings in Muslim-majority countries while appealing to local populations with fundamentalist education initiatives. Like the Brotherhood, al-Qaeda leaders now preach a gradualist implementation of sharia, which is more appealing to most Middle Eastern Muslims than ISIS’s inflexibility and emphasis on sharia’s barbaric hudud penalties (mutilation, stoning, scourging, etc.). Understand: Al-Qaeda is just as anti-American as it has ever been. In Syria, however, its shrewd approach has enabled the network to insinuate itself deeply into the forces that oppose both Assad and ISIS. So has the Brotherhood.

These forces are the “moderates” that Republicans, apparently including Trump, claim Obama failed to support, creating the purported “vacuum” out of which ISIS emerged. The charge is doubly specious because Obama actually did provide these “moderates” with plenty of support. The GOP rap on Obama is that he failed to jump with both feet into the Syria civil war and take the side of “moderates.” But jumping in with both feet, at the urging of Beltway Republicans, is exactly what Obama did on behalf of the “moderates” in Libya. How’d that work out?

Our challenge in the Middle East is that sharia supremacism fills all vacuums. It was this ideology that created ISIS long before President Obama came along. And if ISIS were to disappear tomorrow, sharia supremacism would still be our challenge. It is critical to be an effective political opposition to the Obama Left. But being effective means not letting the political part warp our judgment, especially where national security is concerned.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is as senior policy fellow at the National Review Institute and a contributing editor of National Review.

Here is another good opposing view:

Yes, Obama and Clinton are Responsible for the Birth of ISIS

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Center for Security Policy, by Fred  Fleitz, Aug. 12, 2016:

The mainstream media, liberal pundits and the Clinton campaign have lambasted Donald Trump this week for saying President Obama is the “founder” of ISIS and Clinton is the “co-founder” and ISIS’ most valuable player.  Trump also said ISIS is hoping Clinton wins the election

Suddenly CNN decided to be a stickler about campaign rhetoric.  Its on-screen chyron had an unusual editorial comment in parentheses disputing Trump’s claims.  (See above photo)  Mainstream reporters snickered about Trump’s ignorance, claiming it’s insulting to say the president of the United States started a terrorist organization and claiming ISIS was really founded in 2003 due to the invasion of Iraq by the Bush administration.

The press knew Trump’s comments were sarcastic but instead of focusing on the point he was making – that the disastrous Obama/Clinton foreign policy is responsible for the birth of ISIS – it instead decided to treat Trump’s comments as a blatant lie or evidence that he does not understand foreign affairs.

Far-left CNN reporter Peter Bergen tried to defend Clinton from Trump’s accusation by claiming ISIS was not formed until April 2013 – two months after she resigned as Secretary of State.  This is a dishonest argument since the bloodthirsty jihadist organizations which merged to formally become ISIS developed on Clinton’s watch.  Bergen knows the formal announcement of ISIS in April 2013 was a technicality and that four years of incompetent policies by Clinton were responsible for this announcement.

Trump is making the point that irresponsible policies by Obama and Clinton led to the resumption of sectarian violence in Iraq which allowed Al-Qaeda in Iraq to rise from the ashes and morph into ISIS.  I believe Trump is exactly right.  The Obama/Clinton decision not to leave behind a small contingent of U.S. troops in Iraq after 2010 and the power vacuum created by the administration’s failure to lead in the Middle East is why ISIS exists and why it has become a global threat.

In my view, Obama’s and Clinton’s incompetence are undoubtedly responsible for the birth of ISIS.

The mainstream media does not want to talk about this.  It knows ISIS did not exist when President Obama entered office.  It also knows that ISIS grew from zero affiliates in 2009 to 43 affiliates today in 18 countries.

CNN this morning is jumping on a tweet Trump sent yesterday clarifying that his claim about Obama and Clinton being the founder and co-founder of ISIS was sarcasm.  This makes me wonder how dumb CNN thinks the American people are – they obviously knew this.

One can argue that a presidential candidate shouldn’t be using sarcasm on such a dire national security issue, but by doing so Trump forced the mainstream media to talk about a subject it was purposely avoiding and encouraged Americans to think about whether Obama/Clinton policies are responsible for the birth of ISIS.

Maybe Donald Trump has a better understanding of foreign affairs and the news media that his Democratic and press critics realize.

Fact Check: Were Obama and Hillary Founders of ISIS? You Bet

AFP

AFP

Breitbart, by Kenneth R. Timmerman, Aug. 12, 2016:

Even the left-stream media is now acknowledging that Donald Trump “has a point” when he blasts Hilary and Obama for creating ISIS.

“Hillary Clinton is vulnerable. ISIS did gain strength during her time as Secretary of State,” said ABC News correspondent Martha Raddatz.

Conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt tried to give Mr. Trump an out. “I know what you meant,” he suggested. “You meant that he [Obama] created the vacuum, he lost the peace.”

“No,” Trump replied. “I meant, he’s the founder of ISIS. I do. He was the most valuable player. I give him the most valuable player award. I give her, too, by the way, Hillary Clinton.”

Trump is correct – and quite literally, so.

First, a document. Then some history.

Thanks to Judicial Watch, we now have an August 2012 defense intelligence report on the civil war in Syria and the situation in Iraq that openly states that the policy of the United States and its allies was to support the Salafist opposition to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

That opposition, at the time spearheaded by Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) and the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), soon morphed into the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, ISIS.

The report appears to have originated from U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) in Iraq, well before their intelligence product was tarnished by political interference from top commanders in 2014 aimed at diminishing the threat from ISIS.

Here’s what the report, originally stamped SECRET, actually says:

 AQI, through the spokesman of the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), Abu Muhammad al- Adnani… is calling on the Sunnis in Iraq, especially the tribes in the border regions (between Iraq and Syria), to wage war against the Syrian regime…

Opposition forces are trying to control the eastern areas (Hasaka and Der Zor) adjacent to the Western Iraqi provinces (Mosul and Anbar), in addition to neighboring Turkish borders. Western countries, the Gulf States and Turkey are supporting these efforts… [emphasis mine]

There is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in Eastern Syria (Hasak and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want…

It is no secret that the United States was supporting the Syrian opposition in 2012 and even until very recently. In December 2012, thanks in large measure to the active lobbying of Mrs. Clinton and U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford, Obama declared that the United States considered the opposition as “the legitimate representative of the Syrian people.”

What was secret until the release of this August 2012 defense intelligence report is that the United States knew that the Syrian opposition was dominated by al Qaeda in Iraq and the Islamic State of Iraq, groups that merged and morphed into what today we call ISIS.

So Donald Trump is literally correct. Obama and Hillary created ISIS. They figure among the founding fathers of the world’s most brutal terrorist organization. They deserve ISIS Most Valuable Player awards for their efforts.

Some of America’s enemies, such as Ayatollah Khamenei of Iran, have also accused the United States of creating ISIS – but as a tool for encroaching on Iran’s efforts to dominate the Muslim world. In fact, Obama and Hillary’s policies have simultaneously favored Iran and its rise to regional dominance, standing aside as Iran filled the vacuum in Iraq with its own militias and allowing Iranian troops and weapons to flow onto battlefields in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Libya and beyond.

Other documents obtained by Judicial Watch show that the United States was also complicit with arms shipments from Benghazi to the jihadi rebel groups in Syria.

These particular shipments were distinct from the more publicized case of al Entisar, a Libyan fishing vessel that arrived in Iskanderiyah, Turkey, crammed with weapons in late August 2012.

The shipments described in this recently declassified document were sent directly to small Syrian ports under rebel control and included RPG grenade-launchers, sniper rifles, and ammunition for 125mm and 155mm howitzers.

As I revealed two years ago, the U.S. backed arms shipments to ISIS and its allies in Syria appear to have been run out of the White House by then-counterterrorism advisor (and current CIA director) John Brennan. Running the clandestine arms shipments outside official channels allowed Obama and his allies – including Mrs. Clinton, who supported the arms shipments – to withhold that information from Congress.

Deflecting attention from these arms shipments is precisely why Obama and Hillary hatched their “blame-it-on-a-YouTube-video” narrative as the cause of the Benghazi attacks. It was a deliberate deception to trick the American people and cover-up their misdeeds.

Obama’s disastrous withdrawal of U.S. combat forces from Iraq in December 2011 clearly enhanced the ability of AQI and ISI to seize control of large portions of Iraqi territory and certainly contributed to the birth of ISIS. It also opened the door for Iran to fill the vacuum.

But as the August 2012 defense intelligence report states, that was the plan all along. Obama and Hillary wanted to create an ISIS-controlled enclave in Syria, “in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).”

Donald Trump was right. Again.

Kenneth R. Timmerman is the author of Deception: the Making of the YouTube Video Hillary and Obama Blamed for Benghazi, released on July 19 and is now in its 4thprinting.

Also see:

The Trickle-Down Erosion of Honesty in Obama’s White House

ap_barack-obama-john-kerry_ap-photo-e1471008064574-640x480Breitbart, by  James Zumwalt, Aug. 12, 2016:

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) conducts fraud prevention training for U.S. businesses. Training focus is both internal and external—preventing fraud against the business as well as fraud by company employees against others.

An important standard taught is the tone set for ethical integrity leadership:

An organization’s leadership creates the tone at the top – an ethical (or unethical) atmosphere in the workplace. Management’s tone has a trickle-down effect on employees. If top managers uphold ethics and integrity so will employees. But if upper management appears unconcerned with ethics and focuses solely on the bottom line, employees will be more prone to commit fraud and feel that ethical conduct isn’t a priority. In short, employees will follow the examples of their bosses.

Obviously, the larger an organization, the more difficult to hold all within it accountable to this standard. However, when numerous examples of a lapse in an organization’s ethical conduct exist, the tone set at the top comes into question.

Next week, a five-month long investigative report will be released finding U.S. Central Command intelligence ISIS and al-Qaeda threat assessments were intentionally downplayed. While offering no definitive evidence President Barack Obama ordered it, determining whether he did or not creates a need to look at the tone set for truth-telling.

Recently, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) ordered more ethics training for its attorneys based on a judge’s findings he was misled by DOJ lawyers in a high-profile lawsuit initiated by 26 states opposed to Obama’s immigration policies.

Apologizing for any confusion, DOJ lawyers deny making intentional misstatements. But their soft-pedaling contrasts significantly with the judge’s finding, “The misconduct in this case was intentional, serious and material.”

A recent Hillary Clinton email release suggests DOJ may also have blocked a Clinton Foundation probe.

For those believing it unfair to pin transgressions of one wayward federal agency as an indictment of the president under whom it serves, let us turn to Obama’s executive branch staff—where he held the most direct influence.

Ben Rhodes is Obama’s foreign policy guru. He is credited with setting the tone for the Iran nuclear deal both via his interactions with the press and Congress. Throughout the process, he maintained a low profile.

However, with the deal concluded, it has been difficult for Rhodes to contain his successful deception of the media and Congress. In a New York Times interview, he boasted about doing exactly that. And, anyone who knows Rhodes, knows he and Obama enjoy a mind-meld mentality.

For Obama defenders still believing DOJ misconduct and one self-admitted lying foreign policy guru do not an unethical president make, we continue.

Concerning the Iran nuclear deal, Secretary of State John Kerry attempted to deceive Congress there were no side deals. We now know there were at least three.

As reported by the Associated Press, under one side deal, restrictions imposed by the known agreement “will ease in slightly more than a decade” rather than the 15 years originally claimed, thus reducing “the time Tehran would need to build a bomb to six months from the present estimates of one year.”

An aspect of the Iran deal making more recent headlines is the $400 million cash payment to Iran—sold to Congress at the time as a release of “Iranian” funds. Disclosures now suggest the fund release was actually a devious way for Obama to pay a ransom for Americans the mullahs held hostage. Senior DOJ officials objecting to the payment were overruled by Kerry.  Obama continues to deny it was ransom money despite evidence strongly suggesting Tehran viewed it as such.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential running mate, Senator Tim Kaine, also denying it was ransom, claims, “We don’t pay for hostages. We don’t negotiate for hostages, absolutely not. We’re a nation of laws…” Yet, the White House, admits some of the money paid Iran could go to fund terrorism—a clear violation of U.S. laws.

Tehran even boasts about Obama’s efforts to deceive Americans on the nuclear deal. The Iranians were told not to discuss their missile tests, conducting them in secret so as not to draw attention to a flawed deal.

Evidence has also come to light that the U.S. State Department manipulated data given to Congress, downplaying anti-Israel bias charges against the UN Human Rights Council.

But, enough about State Department lies. Let us now turn to other federal agencies.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) confirmed this month the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) had inappropriately targeted tea party and other conservative groups seeking non-profit status. As IRS targeting became an issue, it tried blaming it on “rogue agents.” However, internal documents reveal the tone was set at the agency’s top level.

Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper also suffered effects of the tone. In June 2013, he apologized to the Senate Intelligence Committee chairman for lying during a hearing. He had responded “No,” when asked specifically if NSA was spying on Americans. Only after Edward Snowden leaked classified documents revealing secretive U.S. government programs monitoring hundreds of millions of Americans did Clapper’s lie come to light.

The tone from the top includes misrepresenting facts tied to our national security and Muslim immigration.

The Senate Judiciary Committee determined in June 2016 the number of refugees arrested for terror in the U.S. was more than three times higher than what State Department reported.

Additionally, concerning criminal aliens in general, it was determined the number reported by Immigration and Customs Enforcement as released in 2014 who then went on to commit additional crimes was under-reported to the House Judiciary Committee by almost 90 percent. This led Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte to say Obama was creating “a sanctuary for tens of thousands of criminal aliens.”

The Secret Service also fell victim to Obama’s unethical tone, releasing a congressman’s personnel file in retribution for his disclosures about agent misconduct.

Obama’s unethical leadership has had a trickle-down effect. While 42 years ago such leadership caught up to a U.S. president, it appears Obama, inexplicably, will be spared a similar fate.

Lt. Colonel James G. Zumwalt, USMC (Ret.), is a retired Marine infantry officer who served in the Vietnam war, the U.S. invasion of Panama and the first Gulf war. He is the author of “Bare Feet, Iron Will–Stories from the Other Side of Vietnam’s Battlefields,” “Living the Juche Lie: North Korea’s Kim Dynasty” and “Doomsday: Iran–The Clock is Ticking.” He frequently writes on foreign policy and defense issues.

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How Hillary & Obama Brought Us ISIS

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Front Page Magazine, by Joseph Klein, August 12, 2016

Donald Trump is standing by his charge that President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are the “co-founders” of ISIS.

“In many respects, you know, they honor President Obama,” Trump said at a Florida rally on August 10th. “He’s the founder of ISIS. I would say the co-founder would be crooked Hillary Clinton.”

Commentators immediately ripped into Trump’s latest accusation against Obama as demonstrably false. They point out that ISIS’s predecessor organization was originally a part of al Qaeda in Iraq and was founded years before Obama became president. David A. Graham, a staff writer at The Atlantic, for example, wrote that the idea that Obama is “a founder of the group is plainly ridiculous.”

A conservative radio show host, Hugh Hewitt, tried during an interview with Trump to offer him some wiggle room.  “You meant that he created the vacuum, he lost the peace,” Hewitt said, in attempting to clarify for the audience what Trump really meant. At first, Trump did not back down from his use of the term “founder” when describing Obama’s relationship to ISIS. He responded, “No, I meant he’s the founder of ISIS. I do. He was the most valuable player. I give him the most valuable player award. I give her, too, by the way, Hillary Clinton.” But then, Trump explained, “I mean, with his bad policies, that’s why ISIS came about. If he would have done things properly, you wouldn’t have had ISIS.” Hewitt agreed with Trump’s explanation, but said he would not have used the phrase “founder of ISIS” to communicate it.

A debate over the precise semantics should not be allowed to obscure the underlying truth of Trump’s observation. Obama’s policies, in which Hillary Clinton participated in their formulation and early implementation, created the conditions that allowed ISIS to rise and become the global threat that it represents today.

ISIS (or the Islamic State, as it likes to call itself) emerged from the remains of the al Qaeda organization in Iraq, which was founded by the late Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Zarqawi was killed during the second term of George W. Bush’s administration. The al Qaeda organization itself was defeated as a result of Bush’s “surge” policy, which Obama and Hillary Clinton, as U.S. senators, opposed. On October 22nd, 2007, Osama bin Laden admitted in an audio tape, entitled “Message to the people of Iraq,” that al Qaeda was losing the war in Iraq because it had made mistakes and no longer had the allegiance of Sunni insurgents who had switched sides. When Barack Obama became president on January 20, 2009, the war in Iraq against ISIS’s predecessor group was essentially won.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who would later declare himself the caliph and leader of the Islamic State, had been detained in 2004. The date of his release is not certain. He may have been released a few months after his arrest along with other prisoners who were deemed to be low-level at the time. However, according to one account, he was released from a U.S. detention camp in 2009, declaring to U.S. reservists “‘I’ll see you guys in New York,’” according to Army Col. Kenneth King, who was the commanding officer of Camp Bucca.

What we do know for sure is that there was no serious threat posed by any organized ISIS fighting force when Obama took office in 2009. It was President Obama’s decision to withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq in 2011, rather than follow the military’s advice to leave a residual force behind, which turned the smoldering embers of the once defeated al Qaeda-backed insurgency into the raging out-of-control conflagration that the newly constituted ISIS, under al Baghdadi’s leadership, created in the entire region. In that sense, ISIS became a newly spun off start-up under Obama’s watch, which launched successfully and expanded because of the power vacuum that Obama’s misguided policies created.

Just as entrenched dominant companies have often ignored upstart challengers until it was too late, Obama indulged in the idea that ISIS’s expansion posed no serious threat. In early 2014, as ISIS was racking up military victories, Obama said, “If a JV team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.”

Hillary Clinton was no longer Secretary of State in 2014. But looking back at Obama’s JV comment in November 2015 as she campaigned for the Democratic presidential nomination, she rejected any suggestion that Obama’s trivialization of the ISIS threat was ill-advised, “from the perspective of what they had accomplished at the time.”

Even as Obama began to take the ISIS threat more seriously, he chose to counteract it with little more than a reactive, incrementalist approach, which Hillary Clinton would continue if elected president. What is needed is the use of overwhelming military power to completely destroy ISIS’s nerve center and major satellite operations.  General George Patton’s maxim holds true today: “There is only one tactical principle which is not subject to change. It is to use the means at hand to inflict the maximum amount of wound, death, and destruction on the enemy in the minimum amount of time.”

ISIS came to life in the first place because of the Obama-Clinton policy of precipitous withdrawal from Iraq. ISIS rapidly gathered steam during its building stage because Obama underestimated the fierce determination of its leaders, the attractiveness of its jihadist ideological message to lure many new recruits, and its highly sophisticated methods. ISIS has metastasized into a global terrorist network because Obama failed to apply the maximum amount of military power at hand to utterly destroy ISIS at its heart in the minimum amount of time.

Donald Trump is telling the cold hard truth. Obama and Clinton in effect created the space for ISIS’s success.

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Dr. Sebastian Gorka: Trump Is Right, Obama and Clinton ‘Facilitated the Growth of ISIS Into the Most Powerful Jihadi Insurgency the World Has Ever Seen’

“I’m not his spokesman, I’m not part of his campaign, so let him talk for himself,” Gorka said of Trump. “But if he means that the Obama Administration and Hillary Clinton facilitated the growth of ISIS into the most powerful jihadi insurgency the world has ever seen, he is absolutely right.”

“Let’s just look at the facts,” he continued. “In 2008, when this Senator from Illinois became the President, and afterwards appointed Hillary as his Secretary of State, at that moment in time, ISIS didn’t exist. Al Qaeda in Iraq, the forerunner of ISIS, was one regional franchise inside Iraq. When we withdrew our troops – when we started to cook the books on intelligence, as you hear from the CENTCOM analysts – then we facilitated the rise of ISIS. With these false red lines in Syria that meant nothing, all the things were put in place by this Administration to help this former al Qaeda franchise become a trans-regional insurgency with more than 80,000 fighters today. That’s facts.”

Obama Former Top Intel Official: ISIS Is Already in America

Michael Flynn / AP

Michael Flynn / AP

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, Aug. 9, 2016:

Affiliates of the Islamic State terror organization are already residing in the United States, though exact numbers are unclear due to the Obama administration’s efforts to downplay and hide information about this threat from the American public, the former director of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency told the Washington Free Beacon in a wide-ranging interview.

Gen. Michael Flynn, an adviser to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump who served as a top intelligence official under the Obama administration, warned that “they are here” when asked by the Free Beacon to characterize the threat posed to Americans by undercover ISIS adherents.

“They are here,” Flynn said, disclosing that he is aware of roughly 1,000 instances in which ISIS members have been caught plotting in the United States.

“The director of the FBI has said it,” Flynn explained. “There are dozens and dozens and dozens, and I think the number I’ve heard is 1,000, but I don’t know the exact numbers. But I do know there are a lot of cases against members inspired or directed by the Islamic State in this country.”

Information about these individuals is not well known to the American public due to efforts by the administration to downplay and suppress news relating to these terror plots.

“There should be more publicity about what we’ve discovered,” said Flynn, co-author of the book Field of Flight: How We Can Win The Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies. “We ought to expose it, expose its [ISIS’s] weaknesses, expose its dangers to the American public. We’re a tough crowd. The American public is tough. We can take the truth.”

Scores of foreign-born individuals residing in the United States have been arrested on various terror charges in the past few months, multiple Free Beacon investigations have discovered.

Flynn has taken issue with the Obama administration’s refusal to describe these terrorists as adherents to a radical brand of Islam.

The goal of ISIS and other radical terrorists is to slowly infiltrate the West, according to Flynn, who said this is already happening across the United States.

“This is an enemy that actually sees our way of life as something that is not acceptable,” he said. “They’re infiltrating, and their campaign plan is to basically dominate the world essentially through letting Islam bloom.”

Leaders in the United States refuse to acknowledge this reality and are actively downplaying the threat, Flynn said.

“Is this something that is acceptable to our current leadership? Because this is something the enemy says it’s doing. They have declared war on us.”

“They are doing a variety of things. Some are tactical attacks that you’ve seen. Some is just infiltrating into sort of what I call the bloodstream of main street America. That’s just the way they’re going to do it,” he added.

America’s difficulties in facing down ISIS are the result of the Obama administration’s failure to clearly define our enemy, Flynn said.

“Warfare 101 is know your enemy, know yourself, you’ll win 1,000 battles,” he said. “This president, who is also wearing the hat of commander-in-chief, has shown really a level of incompetence when it comes to clearly understanding and clearly defining the enemy we are facing. This is a political problem. We face political incompetence at this point.”

The next U.S. leader, Flynn said, must take steps to clearly define the enemy and the threat it poses to Western values.

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More than incompetence in Benghazi

Illustration on the real factors behind the Benghazi facilities attack by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Illustration on the real factors behind the Benghazi facilities attack by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Washington Times, , August 8, 2016:

Trey Gowdy’s recently released Special Committee on Benghazi report, followed by the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi report, provide new insights into the tragedy that cost the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. This catastrophe goes much deeper than our failure to respond to multiple, well-coordinated attacks on our Benghazi facilities on the night of Sept. 11, 2012. The genesis for the attack was actually the “Outreach to Muslims” speech by President Obama on June 4, 2009, in Cairo with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood leadership prominently seated in the front row. When he declared that it was part of his responsibility as president of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam, wherever they appear — that said it all.

Therefore, when al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood-controlled militias launched their revolt against the Moammar Gadhafi regime in February 2011, the Obama administration showed where its true sympathies lay. It switched sides in the global war on terror and allied with the Islamic jihadists. This dramatic change in U.S. policy can most likely be attributed to the fact that Mr. Obama made an ideological commitment to support the expansion of Muslim Brotherhood power throughout the Middle East and North Africa. This commitment is substantiated by the 2010 Presidential Study Directive 11, which solicited proposals and instructed key government agencies to collaborate on the formation and execution of a plan for enabling Muslim Brotherhood expansion by way of regime change in Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Yemen and other Middle East countries.

Based on newly released emails, there is no question that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama knew they would be supporting Islamic jihadists — our sworn enemy — with funding, training and weapons, as well as facilitating the flow of arms to rebels in Syria, including those that morphed into the Islamic State.

 Mrs. Clinton then ignored all military advice not to intervene militarily in the Libyan civil war. The decision turned out to be a catastrophic disaster that transformed Libya into an Islamic jihadi safe haven. When Gadhafi entered into truce negotiations with Gen. Carter Ham of United States Africa Command, and sent signals that he was willing to abdicate, the indications are that it was Mrs. Clinton who terminated those negotiations. Her political aide Jake Sullivan said it all when he wrote in August 2011 that Mrs. Clinton had “leadership/ownership/stewardship of [Libya] policy from start to finish.” This alone should raise serious questions about her judgment and leadership qualifications.

According to the Gowdy Select Committee report and new evidence, there was never a humanitarian crisis in Benghazi, which was the stated reason for the intervention. It appears Mrs. Clinton, the Clinton Foundation and unscrupulous individuals’ real motivation for intervention was money. Incredible.

After the fall of Gadhafi in October 2011, chaos reigned in Benghazi. In Egypt, Mohammed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood government was firmly in control. With the Brotherhood penetration of U.S. government agencies and carte blanche entry into the White House, Egypt enjoyed unprecedented relations with America. Mr. Morsi’s No. 1 objective was to attain the release of Omar Abdel-Rahman (the Blind Sheikh).

Repeated requests by Ambassador Stevens for increased security were either denied or unanswered. Security forces that were in country were deliberately withdrawn, e.g., Lt. Col. Andy Woods’ 16-man team stationed in Tripoli was removed. On Aug. 11, Stevens called the security situation unpredictable. On Aug. 16, he sent a cable stating that the Special Mission Compound could not withstand a coordinated attack.

On Aug. 29, the Libyan government placed Benghazi under a “state of maximum alert” due to attacks on foreigners and other acts of violence. According to the CIA annex security team, there were multiple warnings of an impending attack against our facilities in Benghazi. For reasons that remain unanswered, these warnings were ignored.

Read more

James A. Lyons, a retired U.S. Navy admiral, was commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and senior U.S. military representative to the United Nations.

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More Obama Doublespeak on Iran

obama-big-brotherGingrich Productions, by Newt Gingrich, August 5, 2016:

The Obama administration has instructed us that Obamacare’s tax is not a tax, that its policy of not enforcing immigration law is “prosecutorial discretion,” and that hundreds of American military personnel on the ground in Iraq and Syria are not “boots on the ground.” So it’s not surprising to hear from the President this week that money paid in exchange for hostages is not a “ransom”.

The administration insists that’s not what we should call the planeload of $400 million in cash that arrived in Iran at the same time as four American hostages were released in January.

Thankfully, the facts are in less dispute than the definition of the word.

In negotiations that led to the release of the hostages, the Wall Street Journal reports, “The Iranians were demanding the return of $400 million” sent to the U.S. in 1979, and “they also wanted billions of dollars as interest accrued since then.”

Since it would be a violation of U.S. law to pay the regime in U.S. dollars however, the Journal reports that the Treasury Department asked European central banks to change its payment into Euros and Swiss Francs before loading the notes on a plane and flying them to Iran.

There, one of the hostages involved told Fox News, the Iranian captors told the Americans they were “waiting for another plane” before they would be released.

So to review: the Iranians made a demand for $400 million in exchange for releasing the hostages. The U.S. government went to extraordinary lengths to deliver $400 million to Iran. And as a result, the hostages were released. But this wasn’t a ransom situation?

“No, it was not,” says White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest. “It is against the policy of the United States to pay ransom for hostages.”

“We do not pay ransom,” President Obama echoed. “We didn’t here, and we won’t in the future.”

In his famous essay, “Politics and the English Language,” George Orwell describes words for which “the person who uses them has his own private definition, but allows his hearer to think he means something quite different.” Perhaps President Obama’s own private definition of “ransom” requires the use of a paper bag–or U.S. dollars.

Whatever the President’s beliefs about what he’s done, however, clearly he has sent a signal to Iran that the regime can take hostages and extract concessions. The $400 million in cash will likely endanger more Americans and result in more false imprisonments.

It is worth remembering that prisoners whose stories are known to the public had done absolutely nothing wrong, and should never have been imprisoned to begin with. No payment should have been required to secure their release. And yet the same administration that recently arrested a police officer who tried to send $245 to ISIS has now sent hundreds of millions to the world’s leading state sponsor of terror.

That Iran would take innocent Americans hostage for ransom is a reminder of how untrustworthy and dangerous a regime the Obama administration is dealing with on nuclear weapons. Such actions are one of the reasons there are sanctions on the country in the first place.

Indeed, those restrictions made the $400 million in cash an even sweeter deal than it might seem. It solved a serious problem for the regime.

As a senior U.S. official explained to the Wall Street Journal, “Sometimes the Iranians want cash because it’s so hard for them to access things in the international financial system. They know it can take months just to figure out how to wire money from one place to another.”

In other words, Iran got more than its money’s worth out of the plane full of cash. And what did the regime do with it? As Bloomberg reported, the funds are going straight into their war chest: “Iran’s Guardian Council approved the government’s 2017 budget that instructed Iran’s Central Bank to transfer the $1.7 billion [the ransom plus interest] to the military.”

So the Obama administration hasn’t just struck a deal with Iran that will allow it to obtain nuclear weapons. In paying the ransom money, the U.S. has also funded the military that could seek to use those weapons against us.

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English version of Iranian documentary on hostage swap dated 2/16

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OBAMA LIED! US Iranian Hostage Says Iran Would Not Let Plane Leave Until Ransom Plane Arrived

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Obama: Islamic State Will Be Defeated ‘Inevitably’

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Meanwhile, in case you are having trouble keeping track of ISIS related arrests here in the United States, here is the list at Threat Knowledge Group. CURRENT COUNT: 109

Breitbart, by Charlie Spiering, Aug. 5, 2016:

President Barack Obama tried to talk down Islamic State terrorism during his press conference at the Pentagon, insisting that it would be defeated “inevitably.”

“ISIL turns out not to be invincible,” he said. “They’re, in fact, inevitably going to be defeated.”

Obama met with his national security advisers at the Pentagon to discuss his ongoing war against ISIS, citing the importance of freeing Mosul and Raqqah from their control.

But he failed to outline any significant changes to his strategy, citing an ongoing commitment to supporting partners on the ground.

“What we’ve learned from our efforts to defeat al Qaeda is that if we stay on it, our intelligence gets better and we adapt as well,” he said. “And eventually, we will dismantle these networks also.”

Obama pointed out that two years ago, ISIS was making gains and threatening Baghdad, but argued that as a result of his efforts, they had lost territory.

“Even ISIL’s leaders know they’re going to keep losing,” he said. “In their message to followers, they’re increasingly acknowledging that they may lose Mosul and Raqqah. And ISIL is right. They will lose them.”

Obama urged Americans to “keep our eye on the ball and not panic” in spite of a series of ISIS attacks on civilians around the world.

“We have to understand that as painful and as tragic as these attacks are that we are going to keep on grinding away, preventing them wherever we can, using a whole government effort to knock down their propaganda, to disrupt their networks, to take their key operatives off the battlefield, and that eventually we will win,” he explained.

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Jim Hanson: Obama Is a ‘Dismal Failure’ in Fighting Global Jihad

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Obama Admin Hid Details of Multi-Million Dollar Cash Payout to Iran From Congress

John Kerry and Javad Zarif / AP

John Kerry and Javad Zarif / AP

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, Aug. 4, 2016

The Obama administration took steps to withhold from lawmakers the details of a $400 million cash payout to Iran and continues to rebuke inquiries from Congress for information about how another $1.3 billion in taxpayer funds was awarded to the Islamic Republic, according to multiple conversations with congressional sources apprised of the matter.

U.S. officials familiar with the recent transfer of $400 million in hard currency to Iran withheld details of the exchange from Congress during briefings in classified and unclassified settings, the Washington Free Beacon has learned.

The disclosure threatens to complicate efforts by the administration to downplay new reports detailing how U.S. officials used an unmarked aircraft to transfer $400 million in “pallets of cash” to Iran on the same day it freed several U.S. hostages.

Lawmakers and others have claimed for months that the payment was part of a “ransom” aimed at securing the release of the hostages. The White House denies this claim and has said the payment was part of a settlement to resolve decades-old legal disputes with the Islamic Republic.

Nearly eight months after congressional officials demanded a formal accounting of this payment–which amounted to $1.7 billion in total–the administration is still declining to provide lawmakers with the full story, sparking outrage on Capitol Hill.

“It has been seven months since President Obama announced that he was giving the Islamic Republic of Iran almost $2 billion,” Rep. Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, told the Free Beacon on Wednesday.  “And we are just now finding out damning details about how $400 million, which is less than half of the total, was sent to Iran using foreign aircraft and foreign currencies.”

Pompeo led several unsuccessful inquiries into the cash payout. He said the administration has been stonewalling efforts to obtain a full readout of the exchange in both classified and unclassified settings since January.

Pompeo expressed anger that the administration is “totally stonewalling congressional inquiries,” while leaving it to the press to unearth the details of the exchange.

“That is far too long of a timeline, especially as it is in the face of the Obama administration totally stonewalling congressional inquiries into this matter since January,” Pompeo said.

“We still do not know how the other $1.3 billion was sent, and we still have three Americans sitting in prisons in Iran,” Pompeo said, explaining that the bulk of the cash to Iran remains shrouded in mystery.

Congressional sources with knowledge of the situation told the Free Beacon that the State Department and other administration officials withheld details regarding the payment for more than three months–and only then provided a barebones accounting of the payout that omitted all mention of the secret cash delivery.

Sources who spoke to the Free Beacon said this was an intentional effort by the administration to keep lawmakers in the dark and prevent them from receiving a full accounting of the $1.7 billion payout.

A timeline centered around these inquires reveals that administration officials stonewalled Congress for months before providing responses that omitted any mention of the hard currency transfer.

Pompeo launched an inquiry seeking further details in January, when the legal settlement was first announced.

By mid-March, the State Department still had not responded, as was first reported by the Free Beacon.

The State Department informed Pompeo later that month in a hand-delivered letter that the information he was seeking was classified.

A classified briefing was held in late April. Sources familiar with the briefing told the Free Beacon that administration officials made no mention of the $400 million cash delivery. This information was only made public when the Wall Street Journal reported it late Monday.

One congressional source working on the issue said that the Obama administration could now spend funds set aside for American victims of terrorism on further payments to Iran.

“This just makes you wonder how far President Obama is willing to go to appease the Iranians,” the source said. “Iran keeps taking American citizens hostage because it knows the administration will cave. It wouldn’t surprise me if the president has authorized negotiations with Iran over the $2 billion that is meant to go to the families of the victims of Iranian terror.”

“Every action this administration has taken toward Iran has been in furtherance of the regime’s interests and at our expense,” the source added. “What else is currently being negotiated between the administration and Iran? The American people deserve to know and they should demand full transparency.”

A second congressional source involved in the issue told the Free Beacon that obfuscation by the administration has become a pattern and practice when it comes to Iran.

“Congress continues to press the Obama administration on every change and new policy regarding Iran,” the source said. “At every turn, we are met with ‘no comment’ and further secrecy, which is why the American people do not like this deal and understand it does not make them safer.”

Another source familiar with the administration’s thinking said that administration efforts to downplay the latest disclosures do no comport with the reality that this payment was part of a secret negotiation.

“The Obama admin is hoping to convince people that there’s nothing new in this scandal,” the source said. “But they can’t convince members of Congress because members know that they weren’t told all the details about this cash payment for hostages. For instance, the administration has refused to fully disclose all the ways in which it has transferred money to Iran all of the time.”

The White House declined on Wednesday to offer further details to reporters.

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