Did the Obama administration shut down attempts to stop Hezbollah’s arms and drug operations, including into the US? An in-depth report from Politico’s Josh Meyer has members of Congress interested in getting an answer to that question, and potentially the people who will have to answer it. Free Beacon’s Adam Kredo reports that the House has ordered the Department of Justice to submit all documents relevant to Project Cassandra, and whether Obama-era officials allowed the Iranian proxy a free hand in exchange for the deal on nuclear-weapons development:
Congress instructed the Department of Justice on Thursday to turn over all documents and communications that may be related to newly disclosed efforts by the Obama administration to handicap an investigation into the terror group Hezbollah and its Iranian benefactors, according to a letter sent to Attorney General Jeff Sessions obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. …
Congressional leaders have begun a formal investigation into the matter and petitioned the DOJ to hand over “all documents and communications” that may shine light on “interference with the DEA’s law enforcement efforts against Hezbollah,” according to a letter sent by Reps. Ron DeSantis (R., Fla.) and Jim Jordan (R., Ohio.).
“We have a responsibility to evaluate whether these allegations are true, and if so, did the administration undermine U.S. law enforcement and compromise U.S. national security,” the lawmakers wrote to Sessions, according to a copy of the letter obtained by the Free Beacon.
The lawmakers are requesting the DOJ hand over to Congress all materials relating to a DEA operation known as Project Cassandra, which Politico first reported was part of an effort to investigate Hezbollah’s drug activities across Latin America.
Sessions has a heavy workload over the Christmas season, no? Just to refresh the memory, Meyer summed up his blockbuster exposé at the beginning:
The campaign, dubbed Project Cassandra, was launched in 2008 after the Drug Enforcement Administration amassed evidence that Hezbollah had transformed itself from a Middle East-focused military and political organization into an international crime syndicate that some investigators believed was collecting $1 billion a year from drug and weapons trafficking, money laundering and other criminal activities.
Over the next eight years, agents working out of a top-secret DEA facility in Chantilly, Virginia, used wiretaps, undercover operations and informants to map Hezbollah’s illicit networks, with the help of 30 U.S. and foreign security agencies.
They followed cocaine shipments, some from Latin America to West Africa and on to Europe and the Middle East, and others through Venezuela and Mexico to the United States. They tracked the river of dirty cash as it was laundered by, among other tactics, buying American used cars and shipping them to Africa. And with the help of some key cooperating witnesses, the agents traced the conspiracy, they believed, to the innermost circle of Hezbollah and its state sponsors in Iran.
But as Project Cassandra reached higher into the hierarchy of the conspiracy, Obama administration officials threw an increasingly insurmountable series of roadblocks in its way, according to interviews with dozens of participants who in many cases spoke for the first time about events shrouded in secrecy, and a review of government documents and court records. When Project Cassandra leaders sought approval for some significant investigations, prosecutions, arrests and financial sanctions, officials at the Justice and Treasury departments delayed, hindered or rejected their requests.
The economic operations of Hezbollah alone, as Meyer depicts them, should have Congress alarmed. According to Meyer, Hezbollah has hundreds of car rental operations in the US, operating them as fronts to move money through legal channels for illegal purposes. They also run cocaine into the US to boost their revenue, feeding the addictions of Americans as means for funding terrorism. And every time the DEA and FBI got close to shutting down these operations, the Obama-era DoJ found ways to stall them or obstruct their progress.
It’s a good thing that Congress is getting curious about these actions. So far, most of the national media has barely covered Meyer’s stunning report, let alone the implications of it on national security, crime, addiction, and terrorism. The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board addressed it today, calling for a formal congressional investigation:
Would 100 years in prison be too easy for Obama for all his crimes he has commited?
@Spurwing Plover: It would be enough for the truth to be revealed.