...Obama saw Flynn as a signal threat to his legacy, which was rooted in his July 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran—the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Flynn had said long before he signed on with the Trump campaign that it was a catastrophe to realign American interests with those of a terror state. And now that the candidate he’d advised was the new president-elect, Flynn was in a position to help undo the deal. To stop Flynn, the outgoing White House ran the same offense it used to sell the Iran deal—they smeared Flynn through the press as an agent of a foreign power, spied on him, and leaked classified intercepts of his conversations to reliable echo chamber allies.Read more here.
...for Obama the purpose of Russiagate was simple and direct: to protect the Iran deal, and secure his legacy.
...As former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon’s spy service, and a career intelligence officer, Flynn knew how and where to find the documentary evidence of the FBI’s illegal spying operation buried in the agency’s classified files—and the FBI had reason to be terrified of the new president’s anger.
...Flynn told friends and colleagues he was going to make the entire senior intelligence service hand in their resignations and then detail why their work was vital to national security. Flynn knew the USIC well enough to know that thousands of higher-level bureaucrats wouldn’t make the cut.
Flynn had enemies at the very top of the intelligence bureaucracy. In 2014, he’d been fired as DIA head. Under oath in February of that year, he told the truth to a Senate committee—ISIS was not, as the president had said, a “JV team.” They were a serious threat to American citizens and interests and were getting stronger. Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Michael Vickers then summoned Flynn to the Pentagon and told him he was done.
“Flynn’s warnings that extremists were regrouping and on the rise were inconvenient to an administration that didn’t want to hear any bad news,” says former DIA analyst Oubai Shahbandar. “Flynn’s prophetic warnings would play out exactly as he’d warned shortly after he was fired.”
...Evidence that Tehran was coordinating with a terror group that had slaughtered thousands in Manhattan and at the Pentagon would make it harder to convince American lawmakers of the wisdom in legitimizing Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
...“Al-Qaeda was working on chemical and biological weapons in Iran.”
...In return, Obama confronted Iran Deal skeptics in his own party with a hard choice—either support the deal, or you’re out. There would be no room in the Democratic Party for principled disagreement over the keystone of Obama’s foreign policy legacy. Opponents were portrayed in harsh, uncompromising terms: They had been bought off, or were warmongers, or Israel-firsters.
...In 2012, the administration began secret negotiations with Iran. At the same time, the administration called off a multi-agency task force targeting the billion-dollar criminal enterprise run by Iran’s Lebanese ally, Hezbollah. The administration told Congress that the nuclear deal would not grant Iran access to the U.S. financial system, but a 2018 Senate report showed how the Obama White House lied to the public and was secretly trying to grant Iran that access. The Obama administration had misled Congress about secret deals it made regarding verification procedures, and then secretly shipped $1.7 billion in cash for Iran to distribute to its terror proxies.
...Obama was simply bribing the Iranians with hundreds of billions of dollars in sanctions relief and hundreds of billions more in investment to refrain from building a bomb until he was safely gone from the White House, when the Iranian bomb would become someone else’s problem. The Obama team thought that even the Israelis wouldn’t dream of touching Iran’s nuclear program so long as Washington vouchsafed the deal. They called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “chickenshit.”
...In June 2015, a month before the deal was struck in Vienna, Michael Flynn was on Capitol Hill testifying about Iran and the deeply flawed deal on the table. He described Iran’s destabilizing actions throughout the region, how the regime killed American troops in Iraq and later Afghanistan. He warned about Iran’s ties to North Korea, China, and Russia. Flynn emphasized that Iran’s “stated desire to destroy Israel is very real.” He said Obama’s Iran policy was one of “willful ignorance.”
...The two hit it off and Flynn traveled with the candidate regularly. He was vetted for the vice presidency, but Trump decided instead on Mike Pence, a congressman from Indiana who could help win both the evangelical and the Midwestern vote. Still, outside of Trump’s own family, Flynn was his closest adviser. The foreign policy initiatives he articulated were the president-elect’s and when he spoke to foreign officials, he was speaking for Trump.
...Notably, Russia weighed in on the Obama team’s side. It would be “unforgivable,” according to the Russian Foreign Ministry, if the incoming Trump administration forfeited the JCPOA. The White House agreed to let Russia export more than 100 tons of uranium to Iran—enough to make more than 10 bombs, according to some estimates. “The point was to complicate any effort to tear up the deal,” says a senior U.S. official involved in the fight over the JCPOA. “It gave Iran an insurance policy against Trump.”
...Sure, John Kerry told the Iranians not to worry about sanctions, but what could the Obama team do to counter Trump if he was planning to restore them?
...Russiagate was not a hoax, as some conservative journalists call it. Rather, it was a purposeful extension of the Obama administration’s Iran Deal media campaign, and of the secret espionage operation targeting those opposed to Obama’s efforts to realign American interests with those of a terror state that embodies the most corrosive forms of anti-Semitism.
It’s not hard to see why the previous president went after Flynn: The retired general’s determination to undo the Iran Deal was grounded in his own experience in two Middle Eastern theaters of combat, where he saw how Iran murdered Americans and threatened American interests. But why Obama would choose the Islamic Republic as a partner and encourage tactics typically employed by third-world police states remain a mystery.
Thursday, May 21, 2020
"...why Obama would choose the Islamic Republic as a partner and encourage tactics typically employed by third-world police states remain a mystery."
In Tablet, Lee Smith writes in part,