A new report has unearthed the fact that the Obama administration refused to crack down on Hezbollah out of fear that doing so would ruin their chances at forging an agreement with Iran.
According to Politico, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) established a program called Project Cassandra to gather evidence on Hezbollah’s criminal activity, which included drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering. The DEA was even able to link the illegal activity “to the innermost circle of Hezbollah and its state sponsors in Iran.”
But when the DEA attempted to nail key Hezbollah members with criminal charges, the Departments of Justice, State and Treasury all “undermined” the DEA’s efforts, allowing these terrorists to walk free. Among them include Ali Fayad, who “reported to Russian President Vladimir Putin as a key supplier of weapons to Syria and Iraq,” as well as a mysterious operative known as “Ghost,” who is “one of the world’s biggest cocaine traffickers” and “a major supplier of conventional and chemical weapons for use by Syrian President Bashar Assad against his people,” per the report.
The administration’s reluctance to crack down on Hezbollah may have had broader repercussions, as the terror group’s criminal activities can be traced to Assad, Putin and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
Some former Obama officials defended the administration’s actions as ways to avoid compromising counterintelligence efforts conducted by the U.S. allies, but others were skeptical that the DEA would have been in the dark about it. Those worked on Project Cassandra believe that the administration undermined their work in order to ensure a nuclear deal could be reached with Iran, noting that Iran requested the administration lay off Hezbollah, and the administration seemed more than willing to grant their request in order to get their deal.
“The closer we got to the [Iran deal], the more these activities went away,” Project Cassandra member David Asher told Politico. “So much of the capability, whether it was special operations, whether it was law enforcement, whether it was [Treasury] designations — even the capacity, the personnel assigned to this mission — it was assiduously drained, almost to the last drop, by the end of the Obama administration.”
Read the full report here.