Category Archives: Obama

White House admits lying to sell Iran deal

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BY STUART WINER///A senior official in the Obama administration acknowledged that the background to nuclear talks with Iran was misrepresented in order to sell the impression of a more moderate Iranian regime and thus gain greater American public support for an agreement.

The revelation came in a profile of Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes written by New York Times reporter David Samuels and published on Thursday.

In the same piece, former CIA head Leon Panetta speculated that whereas US President Barack Obama may once have been prepared to use military force to stop the development of an Iranian bomb, he doubts the same resolve exists today.

In conversations with Rhodes, Samuels learned how the administration claimed that key talks with Iran began in 2013, after the election of a seemingly more moderate Iranian government led by Hassan Rouhani, when in fact negotiations had begun and formed the basis of what was to become Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action months earlier in 2012 under the previous hard-line Iranian presidency.

In July 2015, Iran and world powers inked the JCPOA, in which Tehran agreed to dismantle weapons producing elements of its nuclear program in return for the lifting of severe economic sanctions.

Israeli officials, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as many in the Senate, fiercely opposed the deal, which they said did not go far enough in removing Iran’s ability to attain a nuclear weapons capability.

Rhodes explained how policies were considered in which reconciliation with adversaries trumped pleasing existing allies.

“We can do things that challenge the conventional thinking that, you know, ‘AIPAC doesn’t like this,’ or ‘the Israeli government doesn’t like this,’ or ‘the gulf countries don’t like it,’” Rhodes said. “It’s the possibility of improved relations with adversaries. It’s nonproliferation.”

Foreign ministers sit around the table at the Palais Coburg Hotel, where the Iran nuclear negotiations were being held in Vienna, Austria on July 6, 2015. (AFP/POOL/CARLOS BARRIA)

Foreign ministers sit around the table at the Palais Coburg Hotel, where the Iran nuclear negotiations were being held in Vienna, Austria on July 6, 2015. (AFP/Pool/Carlos Barria)

“The way in which most Americans have heard the story of the Iran deal presented — that the Obama administration began seriously engaging with Iranian officials in 2013 in order to take advantage of a new political reality in Iran, which came about because of elections that brought moderates to power in that country — was largely manufactured for the purpose for selling the deal,” Samuels wrote.

“Even where the particulars of that story are true, the implications that readers and viewers are encouraged to take away from those particulars are often misleading or false,” he continued.

According to the NY Times interview, the final proposal for an interim agreement that became the basis for JCPOA was completed in March 2013, three months before the “moderate” Rouhani took office as president.

Obama told the altered version to the world, including when saying, in a July 14, 2015 speech, “Today, after two years of negotiations, the United States, together with our international partners, has achieved something that decades of animosity has not.”

“The idea that there was a new reality in Iran was politically useful to the Obama administration,” Samuels writes. “By obtaining broad public currency for the thought that there was a significant split in the regime, and that the administration was reaching out to moderate-minded Iranians who wanted peaceful relations with their neighbors and with America, Obama was able to evade what might have otherwise been a divisive but clarifying debate over the actual policy choices that his administration was making.”

Samuels also interviewed Panetta, former head of the CIA and former secretary of defense for the Obama administration for his take on the Iran deal. Panetta admitted that at no point during the contacts with Iran did the CIA assess the Tehran regime as being divided into hard-line and moderate factions.

“There was not much question that the Quds Force [a special forces unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards ] and the supreme leader ran that country with a strong arm, and there was not much question that this kind of opposing view could somehow gain any traction.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, meets with the-then US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta in Washington DC, USA, March 06, 2012. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO/FLASH90)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, meets with then US secretary of defense Leon Panetta in Washington DC on March 6, 2012. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO/Flash90)

In his role as secretary of defense, Panetta was tasked with ensuring that Netanyahu and his then defense minister Ehud Barak didn’t launch a preemptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. A major point was whether or not Israel could rely on the US resorting to force if necessary to stop Iran from producing nuclear weapons. Whereas once it could, now Panetta said he was not so sure.

Netanyahu and Barak “were both interested in the answer to the question, ‘Is the president serious?’ ” Panetta said. “And you know my view, talking with the president, was: If brought to the point where we had evidence that they’re developing an atomic weapon, I think the president is serious that he is not going to allow that to happen.”

“Would I make that same assessment now?” Panetta continued. “Probably not.”

In Panetta’s opinion, Obama doubted the usefulness of large-scale military force, seeing such action as more likely to produce negative effects.

“I think the whole legacy that he was working on was, ‘I’m the guy who’s going to bring these wars to an end, and the last goddamn thing I need is to start another war,’” he said. “If you ratchet up sanctions, it could cause a war. If you start opposing their interest in Syria, well, that could start a war, too.”

Rhodes admitted the administration still has doubts over the reformative nature of Rouhani and others, such as Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who was a key negotiator in the hammering out the final nuclear deal.

“Look, with Iran, in a weird way, these are state-to-state issues,” Rhodes said. “They’re agreements between governments. Yes, I would prefer that it turns out that Rouhani and Zarif are real reformers who are going to be steering this country into the direction that I believe it can go in, because their public is educated and, in some respects, pro-American. But we are not betting on that.”

Obama transfers $2 billion, artifacts back to Iran

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I suggest you not read this story until your breakfast is fully digested.

The Obama administration has been secretly returning artifacts in the possession of the U.S. back to Iran as part of a general “détente” with the terrorist regime.  They also transferred nearly $2 billion in taxpayer money to Tehran and are discussing more as part of a settlement dealing with Iran’s claims.  The information is contained in a letter from a State Department official obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

Absolutely no word on any U.S. claims regarding the appropriation of U.S. property, including our embassy, nor damages paid to American hostages for being held more than a year as prisoners.

Obama administration officials engaged in secret talks with Iran between June 2014 through at least January 2015 over a series of legal claims leveled against the United States by the Islamic Republic, the State Department disclosed in its letter.

“These discussions led to the settlement of claims for architectural drawings, which are now in the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, and for fossils, which are now in the possession of Iran’s Ministry of the Environment, and the parties also discussed the possibility of broader settlements,” the State Department wrote, in response to an inquiry launched in January by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.).

The Obama administration is seeking further settlements with Tehran to transfer assets, according to the State Department.

The administration’s latest admission about the backroom dealings with Iran were offered in response to a broader inquiry launched by Pompeo, who is seeking further information about the Obama administration’s payment of $1.7 billion in taxpayer funds to Iran, which many viewed as a “ransom payment” for Iran’s release of several U.S. hostages in January.

The administration’s official response to Pompeo was sent earlier this week, just days after a Free Beacon report detailing a months-long State Department effort to stall the lawmaker’s inquiry.

“After nearly two months of stalling, the State Department confirmed what I feared was true: the Obama administration is negotiating behind closed doors with the Islamic Republic of Iran and using taxpayer dollars to pay the regime,” Pompeo said in a statement on the letter. “Worse yet, more of these payments are likely coming.”

“Secretary Kerry still refuses to answer whether the $1.7 billion U.S. payment to Iran was related to the release of American hostages held by Iran,” Pompeo continued. “While we celebrate the return of these hostages, this administration could be setting a dangerous precedent, as innocent Americans continue to be held in Iran. I will not stop until we have all of the answers and will do all in my power to stop the Obama administration’s dangerous Iran policy.”

I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised at this nauseating groveling by the Obama administration.  The Iranians kidnap our diplomats, trash the embassy and turn it into a museum, and financed terrorist attacks against the U.S., including the bombing of our Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983.  Meanwhile, Obama genuflects before the mullahs and unilaterally parts with cash and artifacts.

I don’t think even Hillary Clinton would stoop so low.  She, at least, has a far more realistic view of Iran and doesn’t see the Iranians as the benign holy men Obama sees.  But the damage done is irreparable.  We are trapped by a treaty that is impossible to police, and by the time anyone gets into office who could alter it, most of Iran’s frozen assets will have been returned.

Barack Obama’s final campaign to destroy the Jewish State is underway #Israel

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Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.

On March 9, 2010, the headlines were chocked with outrage over Netanyahu’s “snub” to Obama. Six years later, almost to the day, the same rerun is playing on news networks across America.

The White House is outraged, shocked and infuriated by Netanyahu’s “snub.” Obama is depressed at the snub and gorging on a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Brownie Batter to get over the pain of a skipped meeting with the Israeli prime minister. Obama-Netanyahu meetups convey all the joy of a root canal and yet we’re supposed to believe that Obama was looking forward to this particular session with Netanyahu.

Obama and his media allies are assuming that everyone forgot the last time they put on the same production of “Fake Outrage Theater” on this same date for the same exact reasons. Like the PLO, Obama keeps picking fights with Israel while trying to make it look like he’s the real victim.

If you remember that Obama and Hillary Clinton put on their best fake outrage over a fake snub six years ago, then the latest fake snub headlines look ridiculously fake.  Suddenly you can see that the actors on stage are just acting, the background is just cardboard, the puppets have strings and the magician is stuffing the colored handkerchiefs up his sleeve. It’s not Pallywood. It’s Obamawood.

Last month I predicted that Obama would stage another fake incident with Israel and then play the victim. Administration sources were broadcasting warnings through the media to Israel not to “offend” Biden during his visit. Those were the equivalent of a drunk barging into a bar looking to pick a fight and shouting, “No one better make me mad.” But with Biden in the air on the way to Israel and no committee approving the construction of Jewish homes, the pretext for the last big fake “snub” back in ’10, Obama was forced to fall back to Plan B of inventing drama in Mean Girls Politics.

 

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Last time, Netanyahu was accused of “snubbing” Biden in Israel, even though Tehran Joe was the one who sat in his room for an hour refusing to come to the party held in his honor and then ended up making a scene when he did go down. Then Hillary yelled at Netanyahu over the phone for two hours.

This manufactured drama, barely worthy of a Kardashian, filled the media for a few days. Politicians sputtered with outrage at the presumptuousness of an obscure Israeli building committee signing off on one stage of many bureaucratic stages of a project which, six years later, has yet to actually be built.

Biden captured the fake mountain-molehill outrage best, “I condemn the decision by the government of Israel to advance planning for new housing units.” A decision by a building committee to “advance planning” while Biden was in the country was, according to Hillary Clinton, “insulting not just to the Vice President who didn’t deserve that… but it was an insult to the United States.” Unlike Iran’s loving abduction and humiliation of American sailors at gunpoint on video which was a diplomatic success.

But if you understand why the episode of “Fake Outrage Theater” happened back then, you know why it’s in reruns on every news network now.

The March visit was meant to set the stage for pressuring Israel to make concessions to terrorists later in the fall. Before the visit, senators from both parties had warned Obama to back off the campaign against Israel. The fake snub was invented to turn Obama into the victim and increase pressure on Israel. By April, even Senator Schumer was disgusted by the escalation of the White House campaign.

It’s the same story all over again now. Biden isn’t visiting Israel for his health. Or for Israel’s health.

Obama is planning to deal a final blow to Israel. The Wall Street Journal reports that a variety of options are being considered by the White House including a UN resolution that would impose the framework of a deal on Israel. France’s failed left-wing government has been pushing just such a resolution. Kerry, ever the obedient Francophile, had drafted his own version of the pro-terrorist resolution.

Such a resolution would impose the borders of a PLO terror state on Israel while passing off all other concerns, including Israel’s security against terrorism, as topics to be eventually negotiated. It would amount to an 800-pound thumb on the scale of the peace process by giving the PLO everything it wants, giving Israel nothing, and essentially calling the ethnic cleansing of hundreds of thousands of Jews.

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It would be BDS’ biggest gift and begin an unprecedented pressure campaign against Israel.

Last year, Samantha Power, who had once suggested using force to occupy Israel, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that Obama would not necessarily veto a statehood resolution. That means the stick and the bigger stick are in place. This fall, the climax of the plot against Israel will take place.

Biden’s trip to Israel and Netanyahu’s meeting with Obama, the Journal story and the fake outrage over Netanyahu’s non-visit are all part of the opening of a pressure campaign against the Jewish State.

Netanyahu tried to avoid giving Obama any excuses to manufacture another incident by skipping the trip, only for Obama to build that up into its own drama.

According to reports, Obama wants to impose a solution on Israel before he leaves office to set the stage for his successor. Taking an anti-Israel position and making it official policy, ratified by the UN, will make it harder for a future pro-Israel president. While it is now highly unlikely that the next president will be pro-Israel, it’s doubtful that Obama will back off his final plot against the Jewish State.

Under those conditions, it makes sense for Netanyahu to avoid Obama. Obama signed off on a nuclear Iran. He’s even pivoted to a regional alliance with the Islamic terror state. The only purpose of such a meeting would be for Obama to pressure Netanyahu into carving up Israel into smaller pieces for the terrorists while banning Jews from living in their own towns and cities in a politically correct Apartheid.

Netanyahu can’t escape those demands by staying in Jerusalem, but neither does he have any interest in allowing Obama to berate him in public. Seeking to escape Obama’s drama machine, Netanyahu wandered into it anyway. The latest fake snub has been manufactured and will be chewed over by the media for the rest of the week. But it’s still probably better than whatever ugliness was waiting in D.C.

If Netanyahu had met with Obama without agreeing to his terms, the White House would have called that a snub and an insult. If he had met with Republican candidates on top of that, he would have been accused of interfering in the election. Anything Netanyahu did would have been characterized as an attack on Obama. So Netanyahu chose to stay away and was accused of snubbing Obama.

You can’t win with a narcissist. It’s Catch 22. All you can do is minimize your contact with him.

This latest manufactured drama is a distraction. Obama is disguising his attack on Israel by trying to make it look as if Netanyahu picked a fight with him. Behind these reality TV theatrics is a very real plot by Obama to damage the Jewish State as much as he can before he loses all his power.

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Like Haman, Obama has cast his lot and seeks the right date to announce his new decree against the Jewish State. And like that ancient Amalekite, frustrated that the proud Binyaminute, the “Ish Yemini”, man of the right, would not bow to him, he complains that he has been snubbed and disrespected.

On Saturday, January 21, Netanyahu will likely still be Prime Minister, while Obama will be nobody.  On some level that is eating away at him. Obama’s last plan to force out Netanyahu failed. Israel’s left-wing opposition is a disorganized mess and no amount of Obama people seem to be able to change that.

We are witnessing the beginning of Obama’s final campaign against Israel.

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