Obama, the terrorist financier

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By J. D. Heyes, editor-in-chief

(National SentinelUnprecedented: When he was running for his first term as president in 2007, then-Sen. Barack Obama delivered what was described at the time by ABC News as a “strikingly bold speech” about the “war on terror.”

In calling for withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq, the freshman Democratic senator from Illinois called for redeploying thousands of troops to Afghanistan and, if necessary, Pakistan.

“I understand that [then-]President Musharraf has his own challenges,” Obama told an audience at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, “but let me make this clear. There are terrorists holed up in those mountains who murdered 3,000 Americans. They are plotting to strike again. It was a terrible mistake to fail to act when we had a chance to take out an al Qaeda leadership meeting in 2005.

“If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will,” Obama vowed.

Granted, as president, the world looks different from the Oval Office, but does it look so different that it transforms a presidential candidate seeking to protect Americans from terrorism to a president who funds them?

Apparently so — at least, if you’re Barack Obama.

You may recall that as part of his ‘gotta have it at all costs nuclear deal’ with the Iranians, Obama authorized a payment of $400 million to the murderous theocrats who run the country, a payment that was literally delivered secretly, in the dead of night, on pallets stacked in a cargo plane.

As The Wall Street Journal noted at the time, the payment wasn’t made to the Iranians until four U.S. hostages were released — meaning that Obama reversed decades of U.S. policy against paying ransom to terrorist organizations (Iran is a state-sponsor of terrorism, making the entire regime a terrorist organization):

Wooden pallets stacked with euros, Swiss francs and other currencies were flown into Iran on an unmarked cargo plane, according to these officials. The U.S. procured the money from the central banks of the Netherlands and Switzerland, they said.

As outrageous as that was, there’s more to the story. The WSJ noted further:

The money represented the first installment of a $1.7 billion settlement the Obama administration reached with Iran to resolve a decades-old dispute over a failed arms deal signed just before the 1979 fall of Iran’s last monarch, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

“With the nuclear deal done, prisoners released, the time was right to resolve this dispute as well,” President Barack Obama said at the White House on Jan. 17—without disclosing the $400 million cash payment.

Next, the Obama administration authorized 13 payments of $99,999,999 on the same day to the Iranian regime for a total of around $1.3 billion — paid out of a secret fund run by the Treasury Department called the “Judgement Fund” that is used to pay monetary awards against the U.S. government. The payments were less than $100 each to avoid oversight (reporting requirements), according to the New York Sun.

Of course. We’re talking about the most corrupt regime in the history of our country, as we continue to learn each day.

For months after revelations surrounding the ransom payments, foreign policy realists predicted that Iran would use the monetary windfall to fund its terrorist proxies, which include Hamas and Hezbollah (rather than spend the money on its own people).

Those predictions were met with the usual derision and pompous dismissal by the pro-Obama commentariat and congressional Democrats.

Turns out those predictions were spot-on.

As Bill Gertz reported for the Washington Times, a U.S. government study has found that “Iran used the funds to pay its main proxy, the Lebanon-based terrorist group Hezbollah, along with the Quds Force, Iran’s main intelligence and covert action arm and element of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.

During his two terms in office, Obama did more to support terrorists aligned against America than he did to eliminate them as a threat. And now we know for certain.

What a guy.

A version of this story appears at NewsTarget.com.

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Trump slams North Korean leader as ‘rocket man’ at UN as experts praise ‘best ever’ speech

(National SentinelDirect Diplomacy: President Donald J. Trump’s first address to the United Nations General Assembly isn’t likely to be soon forgotten, especially by nations he singled out for bad behavior.

read-here-first-FO-160x600In addressing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s ongoing efforts to develop nuclear weapons, Trump made it clear what a grave threat the U.S. considers the program to be to itself and its allies. And characteristically, the president couldn’t resist adding a touch of bombast.

“Rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and his regime,” Trump told the gathered diplomats, referring to the nickname he gave Kim recently beginning with a tweet over the weekend.

Trump added that Pyongyang’s continued nuclear weapons development “threatens the entire world with unthinkable loss of human life,” the Washington Times reported.

“The United States has great strength and patience,” Trump said. “But if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.”

“The United States is ready, willing and able, but hopefully this will not be necessary.”

Other experts and one former ranking UN official from the United States praised Trump’s speech for its direct approach and its plain-spoken truths.

“It’s safe to say, in the entire history of the United Nations, there has never been a more straightforward criticism of the unacceptable behavior of other member states,” former UN Ambassador John Bolton said, praising Trump’s speech.

He noted that Trump threatened North Korea with “total destruction” if Pyongyang fails to abandon its nuclear weapons program — which it is unlikely to do.

Bolton also noted that Trump specifically called out the Obama administration over its so-called ‘nuclear deal’ with Iran.

“[He] said, as he has said many times before, it is one of the worst, most one-sided deals in American history, an embarrassment to the country, and we haven’t heard the last of it,” Bolton said, as reported by Fox News.

“I think these are about as clear an indication as a president can make that he’s not going to live with the kind of half-measures and compromises that frankly for 25 years have marked American policy and led us to the present desperate situation where both these countries are on the verge of getting deliverable nuclear weapons,” he added.

“The world is more dangerous than any time in my lifetime,” Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said. “President Trump sent the message that all sovereign nations must come together in a united effort to counter North Korea’s reckless behavior and the growing threats from Iran’s continued support of terrorist groups and human rights abuses.”

Matt Brooks, executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, also praised the president, while at the same time taking his own swipe at the Obama administration.

“The president was strong in his condemnation of Iran as a corrupt dictatorship, economically depleted, a destabilizing force in the Middle East, and a chief exporter of violence and terror,” he said, as reported by the Times. “Today’s speech was a strong affirmation of American leadership on the world stage, something that has been missing during the last eight years.”

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Trump administration not taking any more guff from Iran as its ‘put on notice’ following missile test

(NationalSentinel) The Trump administration has a message for the mullahs running Iran: Back off, or pay the price.

Though the Islamic republic was able to regularly violate its ‘nuclear deal’ agreement with the Obama administration by conducting ballistic missile tests, the Trump administration is having none of it.

09-02-16-03-17-18_promo_article_160x600-option-11After Iran’s latest missile test, in defiance of the agreement, ranking officials within the Tehran government then taunted the White House, saying Iran will not yield to “useless” U.S. threats from “an inexperienced person” over its ballistic missile program.

“This is not the first time that an inexperienced person has threatened Iran … the American government will understand that threatening Iran is useless,” Ali Akbar Velayati said, without identifying any U.S. official specifically in his comments.

If you’ve seen the movie “Dumb and Dumber,” you’re now watching how it would play out were it adapted to international relations.

In response to the provocation, National Security Advisor Michael Flynn warned Tehran in this way: “We are officially putting Iran on notice.” As reported by Breitbart, Flynn went on to say that Iran had been “emboldened” to pursue such provocative behavior by the “weak and ineffective” response of the Obama administration.

His warning came after an Iranian-backed suicide bomber attacked a Saudi naval frigate in the Red Sea, an attack that U.S. intelligence officials believe was either mistaken as an American warship or was a dress rehearsal for a future attack on a U.S. vessel.

The Trump administration’s response thus far has been praised by members of former U.S. administrations, including John Bolton, who was the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under George W. Bush.

“I think it’s the first time in eight years that anybody has really said to Iran what needs to be said,” Bolton told SiriusXM host Alex Marlow.

“I think it demonstrates a couple of things: Number one, that the Obama administration’s nuclear deal, agreed to in the summer of 2015, is in deep trouble. I think that’s what being put officially ‘on notice’ means. Because this latest ballistic missile launch by the Iranians was a violation of the agreement, although the wording is weak and ambiguous, thanks to John Kerry, there’s no doubt this is unacceptable behavior by Iran,” he said.

“It also sends the political signal to America’s allies, as well, that any notion that we will simply continue to accept this deal as written is something they need to dismiss,” he continued. “I think it’s the kind of straight-shooting that helps clarify the situation with friends and adversaries alike.”

No question about it. Iran, like the Washington political establishment and leaders around the world, does not understand Trump, obviously. Someday that will translate into a very painful lesson – for Iran.

Iran receives astonishing windfall of more than $10 billion, thanks to nuclear ‘deal’

President Obama and other world leaders may be responsible for financing the next Middle East war, thanks to the so-called “nuclear deal” they made with Iran.

As reported by The Wall Street Journal, the latest windfall tally in the form of cash and gold Iran has received from around the world in the three years since sanctions were gradually lifted as part of the deal: $10 billion.

Worse, no one is really able to adequately track how that money is being spent. Per the WSJ:

In the three years since a preliminary nuclear deal was struck with Iran, Tehran has received more than $10 billion in sanctions relief from around the world in the form of cash and gold, according to current and former U.S. officials.

The large shipments of gold and cash, from oil funds unfrozen in numerous countries, represent the kind of financial relief that made Iran’s leaders eager to complete the international nuclear accord. Some of the cash and gold went to Iran while the U.S. and other world powers negotiated with Tehran on a final nuclear deal. More shipments took place after final deal went into effect last January.

This tallying of the sanctions relief to date includes payments previously announced and others that haven’t been. In one previously unreported payment, the U.S. authorized Iran to receive $1.4 billion in sanctions relief between when the final deal was struck in July 2015 and when it took effect, according to the U.S. officials.

Some U.S. lawmakers and Middle East allies contend that the shipments of cash and gold, a highly liquid form of money, can be used to fund Iran’s allies in the region, including the Assad regime in Syria, the Lebanese militia Hezbollah and the Houthi political movement in Yemen.

“Forking over cash and gold to the world’s leading state sponsor of terror is incredibly dangerous,” said Rep. Ed Royce (R., Calif.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, who sponsored a House-passed bill to ban such payments.

Dangerous…and stupid, given Iran’s constant threats against Israel and it’s known associations with global terrorist organizations.

Perhaps now it is much easier to understand why Obama has treated Israel with such disdain throughout his presidency: He prefers to assist with Tel Aviv’s enemies instead.

When Israeli–and, perhaps, American and European–blood is spilled in an effort to defeat Iranian aggression in the future, Obama won’t be held responsible for any of it. But he should be, since it was his “deal” that has helped finance the future conflict.

Iran risking war with the U.S. after Trump takes office

(NationalSecurity.news) A top Iranian general says his country’s air defenses have “warned off” more than a dozen aircraft and drones during military drills the country is currently conducting, according to state media which, naturally, is nothing more than a propaganda arm for the government. Still, the claim bears some consideration, because it fits a pattern of increasingly aggressive behavior by Tehran since the Obama administration essentially paid the country off over a bogus “nuclear deal” so President Obama could have a “legacy.”

Behavior that, ultimately, will not end well for Iran, given the foreign policy and military team President-elect Donald J. Trump is assembling.

As reported by The Associated Press:

An Iranian general said Wednesday that his country’s air defenses have warned off several fighter jets and drones during an ongoing military drill.

“In the past three days of military drills, the air defense has given warnings to 12 aircraft of trans-regional countries to stay away from the country’s airspace.” Gen. Abbas Farajpour was quoted as saying by the semi-official Tasnim news agency. Tasnim, which is close to Iran’s military, said the aircraft included U.S. fighter jets and drones.

Calls to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, based in Bahrain, rang unanswered Wednesday. In recent months, the 5th Fleet has complained about interactions with Iran’s military at sea and in the air.

Add to these confrontations the fact that the Obama administration did not punish Iran for its blatantly illegal capture of U.S. sailors in January, paid what was essentially a ransom to get back four American hostages (setting a terrible precedent in the process), and has made a “deal” that sees Iran keeping its nuclear infrastructure in place over the long term, and you can begin to understand why the mullahs running the Islamic republic feel emboldened to act out against American forces.

But this acting out will come at a terrible price under a Trump administration, if Iran continues to push and goad U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf and throughout the Middle East. Trump’s Cabinet selections for secretary of defense, the State Department and national security team give every indication he won’t be, shall we say, as accommodating to the Iranians as Obama has been. In fact, Trump has said he’ll rip up the Iranian “nuclear deal” (though top Israeli defense officials may want to talk him out of that).

We’ve said it before and will say it again: The Iranians are playing with fire, betting that Trump is the buffoonish cartoon character the political Left has made him out to be. He isn’t. And if the mullahs make one wrong calculation, they’re going to find out just how wrong they were by paying a terrible price.