Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Global View: The Hezbollah Hustle

Gershon Burstyn

How Obama gave a free pass to Hezbollah’s narco-terror nexus

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

 Mishpacha image


W ell, it’s clear someone is reading my column.

In mid-December, I quoted Andrew McCarthy of the National Review suggesting (almost tongue-in-cheek) that the Trump administration should investigate Obama-era dealings with Iran, including whether the previous administration disclosed all its side deals with the terror regime and whether that crates-of-cash ransom payment to the mullahs was legal.

Days later, Politico, a center-left magazine and website that covers American politics, published a three-part, 14,000-word dismantling that detailed how the Obama administration derailed efforts by the Drug Enforcement Agency to take down persons and break up networks affiliated with Hezbollah, the terror group cum political organization cum global drug dealer and criminal syndicate that acts as Iran’s proxy militia in Lebanon and Syria and daily threatens Israel with annihilation.

The reason the Obama folks didn’t want to arrest certain Hezbollah operatives and break up drug smuggling operations that bring an estimated $1 billion to the terror group annually? The Iran nuclear deal, of course, that “legacy” foreign policy achievement that granted a full-scale nuclear weapons program to the biggest state sponsor of terror in the world, along with billions of dollars in sanctions relief.

It boggles the mind. According to Politico, over eight years, the DEA’s Project Cassandra uncovered how Lebanon-based Hezbollah shipped narcotics from Colombia and Venezuela to the United States, then laundered proceeds of $200 million in monthly sales through a network of 300 or so used car dealerships across the US. Those cars would then be shipped for sale to Benin, on Africa’s west coast, where they would be sold.

The proceeds from those sales were then smuggled back to Lebanon, where Hezbollah would spend the money on such dainties as precision missiles and IEDs to kill American soldiers in Iraq. More recently, the money was disbursed to pay the salaries of its soldiers, who have participated in the slaughter of 500,000 combatants and civilians in Syria. The DEA agent who headed the investigation, David Asher, told Congress that the narco-terror nexus Hezbollah had created represented “the largest material support scheme for terrorism operations” in the world. But when the DEA and partner agencies brought their cases to the Justice Department, the investigations went nowhere. Drug dealers continued dealing, arms dealers continued smuggling. Says Asher: “This was a policy decision, it was a systematic decision. [The Obama White House] serially ripped apart this entire effort that was very well supported and resourced, and it was done from the top down.” Or, as one national security analyst put it: “When it looked like the [nuclear] agreement might actually happen, it became clear that there was no interest in dealing with anything about Iran or Hezbollah on the ground that may be negative, that might scare off the Iranians.”

How exactly do former Obama administration officials defend themselves against charges that the White House let a terror group go about its business to sweeten the Iran deal? They don’t — they deny and obfuscate. Ben Rhodes, the vainglorious creator of the media “echo chamber,” simply dismissed months of reporting by Politico journalist Josh Meyer as “non-fact-based anti-Iran deal propaganda.” Former Obama administration spokeswoman Marie Harf called the story (which included dozens of sources) “just false” with “no evidence” to back up its allegations. In an interview on Fox News, Meyer called Harf’s comments “ridiculous” and challenged Team Obama to produce evidence to refute his findings.

Cue the chirping crickets.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has launched a Justice Department investigation into whether the president and his underlings jammed up the wheels of justice as they pursued a nuclear deal. Methinks we haven’t heard the last of this story. (Excerpted from Mishpacha, Issue 692)

Related Stories

Washington Wrap: Sophomore Slump or Breakout Year?

Omri Nahmias

Agenda 2018: New year, new goals for President Trump

Inside Israel: What He Said. What He Meant

Tzippy Yarom

Program to boost chareidi employment runs aground on the rocks of bureaucracy

Is the IDF Ready for the Next War?

Gedalia Guttentag

“As far as international opinion goes, it’s totally different from 2006. Many Arabs would be more th...

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

The Fortunes of War
Rabbi Moshe Grylak We’re still feeling the fallout of the First World War
Some Lessons, But Few Portents
Yonoson Rosenblum What the midterms tell us about 2020
Vote of Confidence
Eyan Kobre Why I tuned in to the liberal radio station
5 out of 10
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Top 5 Moments of the Kinus
Day in the Life
Rachel Bachrach Chaim White of KC Kosher Co-op
When Less is More
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman How a good edit enhances a manuscript
It’s My Job
Jacob L. Freedman “Will you force me to take meds?”
They’re Still Playing My Song?
Riki Goldstein Yitzy Bald’s Yerav Na
Yisroel Werdyger Can’t Stop Singing
Riki Goldstein Ahrele Samet’s Loi Luni
Double Chords of Hope
Riki Goldstein You never know how far your music can go
Will Dedi Have the Last Laugh?
Dovid N. Golding Dedi and Ding go way back
Battle of the Budge
Faigy Peritzman Using stubbornness to grow in ruchniyus
The Challenging Child
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Strategies for raising the difficult child
Bucking the Trend
Sara Eisemann If I skip sem, will I get a good shidduch?
The Musician: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer "If she can't read she'll be handicapped for life!"