Obama making secret deals with Iran

Obama’s secret dealings with the terrorist state of Iran keep leaking out.

Now we learn that — what a coincidence! — the first $400 million, supposedly of a $1.7 billion settlement that dates to 1979, was secretly airlifted in the form of cash on wooden pallets stacked with euros, Swiss francs and other currencies at precisely the same time in mid-January when four Americans were released by Iran, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Obama announced the release of the prisoners without any mention of the secret cash shipment.

“Iranian press reports have quoted senior Iranian defense officials describing the cash as a ransom payment,” WSJ relates.

Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian after being released by Iran following a secret $400 million cash airlift. (Reuters photo via WSJ)

The U.S. has a longstanding policy against paying ransom for the release of hostages/prisoners, lest it encourage the taking of more hostages. Since January the Iranians have arrested two more Iranian-Americans as well as several others with dual European citizenships.

Two years ago the family of a murdered American journalist was threatened with arrest if they had tried to pay ransom for his release. They said a military officer working for Obama’s National Security Council warned they could be charged with supporting terrorism if they paid a ransom to his Islamist captors.

 

Just a couple of weeks ago The Associated Press reported that a secret codicil to the Iranian nuclear deal will let the imams start building nukes years earlier than previously reported.

 

“The confidential document is the only text linked to last year’s deal between Iran and six foreign powers that hasn’t been made public, although U.S. officials say members of Congress who expressed interest were briefed on its substance,” AP reported. “It was given to the AP by a diplomat whose work has focused on Iran’s nuclear program for more than a decade, and its authenticity was confirmed by another diplomat who possesses the same document.”

Of the latest secret deal, Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton accused Obama of paying “a $1.7 billion ransom to the ayatollahs for U.S. hostages. … This break with longstanding U.S. policy put a price on the head of Americans, and has led Iran to continue its illegal seizures” of Americans.

Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Lankford added, “President Obama’s … payment to Iran in January, which we now know will fund Iran’s military expansion, is an appalling example of executive branch governance. … Subsidizing Iran’s military is perhaps the worst use of taxpayer dollars ever by an American president.”

Congress is working on legislation to prevent the Obama administration from making further cash payments to Iran.

The story did not warrant mention in today’s Las Vegas newspaper.

OK, before the defenders of Obama start coming to his defense with the excuse that others did it, too. Yes, Reagan did it, too.

 

What do you call someone who knowingly finances terrorists?

The law:

18 U.S. Code § 2339C – Prohibitions against the financing of terrorism:

(a)Offenses.—
   (1)In general.—Whoever, in a circumstance described in subsection (b), by any means, directly or indirectly, unlawfully and willfully provides or collects funds with the intention that such funds be used, or with the knowledge that such funds are to be used, in full or in part, in order to carry out—

   (A)

an act which constitutes an offense within the scope of a treaty specified in subsection (e)(7), as implemented by the United States, or
   (B)
any other act intended to cause death or serious bodily injury to a civilian, or to any other person not taking an active part in the hostilities in a situation of armed conflict, when the purpose of such act, by its nature or context, is to intimidate a population, or to compel a government or an international organization to do or to abstain from doing any act,
shall be punished as prescribed in subsection (d)(1). …
   (d)Penalties.—

   (1)Subsection (a).—

Whoever violates subsection (a) shall be fined under this title, imprisoned for not more than 20 years, or both.
The lawless:
DAVOS, Switzerland — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said some of the funds freed up by the implementation of the Iranian nuclear deal could end up in the hands of the hard-liner Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and wouldn’t rule out the possibility that they could be used for terrorism, but he insisted the money isn’t driving Iranian provocation in the region.

Republicans in Washington were quick to condemn Mr. Kerry’s comments, citing his acknowledgment in a television interview and a later meeting with reporters that the money could support terrorist activities. …

Mr. Kerry said on CNBC that the U.S. so far isn’t seeing “the early delivery of funds going to that kind of endeavor,” but added: “I’m sure at one point we will.”

Secretary of State John Kerry (AP photo)

See the video here.

‘Treaty’ with Iran still unconstitutional

Netanyahu and Obama (Getty Images)

“He (the president) shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur …” — U.S. Constitution

Obama’s meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in which he dismissed their disagreement over the U.S. nuke deal with Iran as a “narrow issue,” reminds us of just how perfidious the deal really was.

Congress brokered a deal with the administration t0 allow the Iran deal to be labeled an executive agreement, rather that the treaty it really is, thus ceding their constitutional responsibility and authority.

In a recent speech at Hillsdale College Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton explained why this matters … or should matter and probably will matter in the near future

“This is a major arms-control agreement with a mortal enemy — an enemy with the blood of thousands of Americans on its hands, and for whom ‘death to America’ is a foreign-policy bedrock,” Cotton said. “And the agreement goes to the heart of the gravest threat facing the world: a terror-sponsoring state armed with nuclear weapons. It is precisely the type of agreement that the Founders intended to be tested and refined by the treaty process. It is precisely the type of agreement implicating matters of war and peace that must be supported by a widespread consensus of the American people.”

Asked why the deal was not a treaty, Secretary of State John Kerry told Congress:

“Well Congressman, I spent quite a few years trying to get a lot of treaties through the United States Senate, and it has become physically impossible.

“That’s why. Because you can’t pass a treaty anymore. It has become impossible to schedule, to pass, and I sat there leading the charge on the Disabilities Treaty which fell to basically ideology and politics. So I think that is the reason why.”

Treaties are supposed to be difficult. Treaties are supposed to have widespread support and not be subject to political expediency and party politics at the risk of national security.

Tom Cotton

Cotton calls this flippant disregard for the Constitution “dangerous and nearly unprecedented.” He said executive agreements are for the little technicalities not nuclear arms deals.

The senator notes that historically major arms deals have all been treaties … except one. That was the Agreed Framework with North Korea negotiated during the Clinton administration in 1994. That was intended to prevent North Korea from becoming a nuclear power. How did that work out?

“I doubt President Obama would like to cite the North Korea case as precedent — although it surely is a precedent in its contempt for Congress, and likely in its failure as well,” Cotton said, calling Obama’s skirting of the Senate the height of hubris.

“The nuclear deal with Iran is a travesty, one that betrays our close friend Israel, provides billions for Iran’s campaign of terror, and paves the way for Iran to obtain nuclear weapons capability,” Cotton observed.

Today Sen Harry Reid, prior to a scheduled meeting with Netanyahu, came out in continued support of the Iran deal. “In short, no matter how Republicans misrepresent the Iran nuclear agreement, the agreement brought about the long-sought goal of preventing Iran from having a nuclear weapon,” Reid said. “The agreement does nothing more, nothing less. It prevents Iran from having a nuclear weapon.” Just like the deal with North Korea did.

Obama and Reid can try to be dismissive but the Constitution matters more than their egos and partisanship.

 

 

Congress appears unable to block Iran deal … and that is troublesome

Michael Ramirez cartoon (IBD)

On the day before the Sept. 11 anniversary of the attack on U.S. soil by Islamic jihadists, Democrats in the Senate blocked an attempt to derail Obama’s deal that guarantees a nuclear armed Iraq in a matter of years. A procedural vote fell two short of the 60 needed to break a Democratic filibuster.

This came the day after Ayatollah Ali Khamenei predicted there will not be an Israel in 25 years.

Nevada Rep. Cresent Hardy, fresh off a trip to Israel, sent out an op-ed to state newspapers concluding that the Obama deal if upheld will mean, “Iran needs to ‘play by the rules’ for 10 or 15 years until they can have an internationally approved nuclear research program. Iran will then be a mere three months away from building a nuclear weapon. For an ideological war that has been waging for centuries, 15 years is no time to wait at all.”

That’s assuming they don’t cheat.

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani writes in The Wall Street Journal:

As we reflect on the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, we must remind ourselves that all the wickedness underlying those attacks still exists and has expanded. We may very well be in more jeopardy now than before 9/11. Attacks such as those at Fort Hood, the Boston Marathon and similar incidents in Europe and around the world reveal that many enemies, not just one, are united in purpose: the destruction of our way of life. Each of these attacks may be more limited than the coordinated terrorist assault on Sept. 11, but they are frequent and hard to anticipate, causing widespread fear, the ultimate goal of terrorism. …

The Obama administration appears likely to get its nuclear deal with Iran—even though it gives the ayatollahs access to hundreds of millions of dollars that will be used to sponsor terrorist acts against us and our allies, and puts the regime on the road to becoming a nuclear power. The deal makes war, either conventional or nuclear, more likely.

Rep. Hardy asks: “In reviewing the nuclear accord, Americans should ask: If we were neighbors with Iran, would I feel safe with this agreement?”

The Las Vegas Sun quoted Harry Reid as saying, “The Senate has spoken with a clarion voice and declared that the historic agreement to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon will stand. Our fellow Americans, allies and negotiating partners around the world should know that today’s outcome was clear, decisive and final: there is now no doubt whatsoever that the United States Congress will allow this historic agreement to proceed. Efforts by opponents to derail this agreement were soundly rejected by a margin much larger than anyone thought achievable as recently as a few days ago.”

When was the last time Harry was right about anything?

Will no one bring up the fact this is a treaty and requires two-thirds of the Senate to approve, not just 41 votes to filibuster?

 

Reid now says he is undecided about the Iran nuke deal

Harry Reid during Sun interview that was not worthy of being printed in the Sun section in the morning paper. (Sun photo)

Sen. Harry Reid took the opportunity Wednesday to sit down with both the Review-Journal and the Sun to discuss issues.

He told the R-J he is undecided about how to vote on the Iran nuclear deal crafted by the Obama administration, while the Sun simply quoted him as saying: “It’s a difficult deal.”

The Sun posted its interview online at 2:59 p.m. Wednesday and the R-J posted its story an hour later, along with a dozen videos from the interview. Today Reid’s interview was the banner in the R-J, but the Sun, as is typical, printed not a word of its interview.

Only July 14, Reid effusively stated:

“Today’s historic accord is the result of years of hard work by President Barack Obama and his administration. The world community agrees that a nuclear-armed Iran is unacceptable and a threat to our national security, the safety of Israel and the stability of the Middle East. Now it is incumbent on Congress to review this agreement with the thoughtful, level-headed process an agreement of this magnitude deserves.”

But now he tells the R-J, “I just have to work through some of my personal issues, because when it all boils down to it, it’s a question of conviction. It’s not a (Long pause as he appeared to search for the right word or struggled with the fact that he uttered the word “conviction.”) political calculus for me anymore,” adding, “If Israel weren’t involved, it would be much easier for me.” The printed version delved no deeper into the matter or any specifics, but in a video Reid said there were certain people he felt he needed to talk to about the deal.

Chuck Schumer, Reid’s expected leader of the Democrats in the Senate, has come out against the deal, and has been smeared by the political calculators on the left for doing so.

Reid’s new-found conviction comes on the heels of his blasting Republicans in February for daring to demand a vote on sanctions to pressure the Iranians to negotiate, accusing Republicans of injecting “partisan politics into the mix.”

In March, Reid called a letter — penned by 47 Republicans to Iranian leaders reminding them of Congress’ role in any deal — a “hard slap in the face” of the United States, as well as a “juvenile” attack and an attempt to undermine Obama “purely out of spite.”

“Before this compromise (on the Iran deal) even came to the floor, certain Senate Republicans were determined to destroy it,” Reid said on the Senate floor in May. “A number of Senate Republicans are prioritizing presidential politics over national security. Others are simply trying to undermine President Obama.”

This appears to be the first time, Reid has shown anything but partisan political calculus on this topic. That did not appear to warrant a mention in either newspaper.

For some reason the Sun, which usually trumpets anything to do with Israel and positively worships the ground on which Reid walks, gave the Iran deal short shrift toward the bottom on the story. The Sun’s lede as about Reid criticizing NV Energy for opposing additional rooftop solar panels in Nevada. The Sun online has numerous photos of Reid but no video.

The comments under the stories at both websites included a number questioning Reid’s integrity in pithy language.

Henry Payne cartoon

 

If you disagree with Obama, you are a fool or a knave

The Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens has aptly summed up Obama’s petulant speech defending his Iran nuclear deal: If you oppose it you are either a fool or a knave, no possibility of a rational alternative point of view.

“And so before the ink was even dry on this deal — before Congress even read it — a majority of Republicans declared their virulent opposition,” Obama said. ” Lobbyists and pundits were suddenly transformed into arm-chair nuclear scientists, disputing the assessments of experts like Secretary (of Energy Ernest) Moniz, challenging his findings, offering multiple — and sometimes contradictory — arguments about why Congress should reject this deal.”

His expert Moniz is the same fellow who praised the EPA’s futile and job-killing Clean Power Plan.

Stephens questions the certitude of someone with Obama’s track record. Al Qaeda is not on the run. Assad’s days are not numbered. You could not keep your doctor or your insurance. There is no reset with Russia. And Yemen was not an anti-terrorism success story.

This was the speech in which Obama compared Republicans to Iranian hardliners, you know, the people he just negotiated the deal with.

“In fact, it’s those hardliners who are most comfortable with the status quo.  It’s those hardliners chanting “Death to America” who have been most opposed to the deal,” Obama said. ” They’re making common cause with the Republican caucus.” The White House transcript indicates this was met with laughter and applause. Nice.

But now there are reports that the U.S. secretly agreed to a nuclear Iran back in 2011.

According to Israel Hayom:

The U.S. government began secret nuclear talks with the Iranian regime in 2011, when Holocaust-denying firebrand Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was still president, rather than after supposed “moderate” Hassan Rouhani was elected in 2013, as the Obama administration has claimed. This revelation was made public by Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in a speech delivered on June 23.

Reportedly, Secretary of State John Kerry had relayed a letter to the Iranian regime recognizing Iran’s enrichment rights.

Who is comparing whom to hardliners?

Obama playing golf Monday (AP photo)