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How Obama admin subverted plan to take down Taliban drug running, just like it shut down operation against Hezbollah

How Obama admin subverted plan to take down Taliban drug running, just like it shut down operation against Hezbollah

Operation Reciprocity against the Taliban met the same fate as Project Cassandra against Hezbollah, according to new report by Josh Meyer of Politico Magazine

In December 2017, investigative reporter Josh Meyer broke a story in Politico Magazine which exposed how the Obama administration allowed Hezbollah to run drugs, including into the U.S., for fear that a crackdown would upset Iran during the nuke deal negotiations.

We covered that report in Obama allowed Hezbollah cocaine running into U.S. in quest for Iran nuke deal:

In 2014, cocaine was second only behind heroin in U.S. drug deaths.

A major player in the cocaine traffic into the U.S. was the Iranian-sponsored terrorist group Hezbollah. For year it has been known that Hezbollah has infiltrated criminal gangs in South America and set up its own billion-dollar international criminal enterprise to finance its terror activities. None of this was a secret.

U.S. law enforcement came up with an aggressive plan to take down the Hezbollah international network and its key individuals. But it never happened. We now know why.

Politico Magazine has an amazing expose on how the Obama White House derailed the plans to take down the Hezbollah network, and to allow Hezbollah to continue drug-running into the U.S., in order to avoid upsetting the Iran nuclear deal.

The Politico article is so long, so detailed, and so powerful, it’s impossible for me to give a brief summary, so read the whole thing, The secret backstory of how Obama let Hezbollah off the hoo. The subheadline tells the story:

An ambitious U.S. task force targeting Hezbollah’s billion-dollar criminal enterprise ran headlong into the White House’s desire for a nuclear deal with Iran.

Despite a campaign by the Iran Deal echo chamber, no one ever proved any of the material allegations in Meyer’s report to be wrong:

The Mainstream media still is maintaining almost complete silence on the Politico story, as the Obama Iran Deal Echo Chamber attacks Meyer.

But as WaPo reported, when it finally covered the story through its media critic Eric Wemple:

“The pushback doesn’t cite any factual errors involving the story’s claims about shut-down investigations and the like.”

After Meyer’s report, DOJ agreed to investigate the shut down of Operation Cassandra.

Now Meyer has another report at Politico Magazine, this time focusing on the parallels between the shut down of Operation Cassandra against Hezbollah and Operation Reciprocity against the Taliban drug running operation that financed the Taliban war effort.

As before, the new Meyer report is so long and detailed, you need to read the whole thing. Here are some pertinent excerpts, The secret story of how America lost the drug war with the Taliban:

As Afghanistan edged ever closer to becoming a narco-state five years ago, a team of veteran U.S. officials in Kabul presented the Obama administration with a detailed plan to use U.S. courts to prosecute the Taliban commanders and allied drug lords who supplied more than 90 percent of the world’s heroin — including a growing amount fueling the nascent opioid crisis in the United States.

The plan, according to its authors, was both a way of halting the ruinous spread of narcotics around the world and a new — and urgent — approach to confronting ongoing frustrations with the Taliban, whose drug profits were financing the growing insurgency and killing American troops. But the Obama administration’s deputy chief of mission in Kabul, citing political concerns, ordered the plan to be shelved, according to a POLITICO investigation.

Meyer explained in a Twitter thread how this came to his attention:

Meyer explains how central this operation was to disrupting the Taliban war effort:

“This was the most effective and sustainable tool we had for disrupting and dismantling Afghan drug trafficking organizations and separating them from the Taliban,” said Michael Marsac, the main architect of the plan as the DEA’s regional director for South West Asia at the time. “But it lies dormant, buried in an obscure file room, all but forgotten.”

A senior Afghan security official, M. Ashraf Haidari, also expressed anger at the Obama administration when told about how the U.S. effort to indict Taliban narcotics kingpins was stopped dead in its tracks 16 months after it began.

“It brought us almost to the breaking point, put our elections into a time of crisis, and then our economy almost collapsed,” Haidari said of the drug money funding the Taliban. “If that [operation] had continued, we wouldn’t have had this massive increase in production and cultivation as we do now.”

* * *

The plan, code-named Operation Reciprocity, was modeled after a legal strategy that the Justice Department began using a decade earlier against the cocaine-funded leftist FARC guerrillas in Colombia, in concert with military and diplomatic efforts. The new operation’s goal was to haul 26 suspects from Afghanistan to the same New York courthouse where FARC leaders were prosecuted, turn them against each other and the broader insurgency, convict them on conspiracy charges and lock them away….

The document — a 240-page draft prosecution memo and 700 pages of supporting evidence — was the result of 10 years of DEA investigations done in conjunction with U.S. and allied military forces, working with embassy legal advisers from the departments of Justice and State. In May 2013, it was endorsed by the top Justice Department official in Kabul, who recommended it be sent to DOJ’s specialized Terrorism and International Narcotics unit in Manhattan. After agents flew in from Kabul for a three-hour briefing, the unit enthusiastically accepted the case and assigned one of its best and most experienced prosecutors to spearhead it.

This video (click on link if video does not load or size properly) tells the story:

In the end, the Operation Reciprocity was died a death of neglect, while Project Cassandra had been deliberately shut down:

The Afghanistan team members said there are striking parallels between their case and Project Cassandra, the DEA code name for the Hezbollah investigations, as well as nuclear trafficking cases disclosed in another POLITICO report as being derailed because of the Iran deal. Taken together, they said, the cases show a troubling pattern of thwarting international law-enforcement efforts to the overall detriment of U.S. national security….

* * *

One senior Obama-era Pentagon counternarcotics official told POLITICO that high-level administration officials, at the National Security Council and elsewhere, did, in fact, undermine the plan to indict Taliban leaders. “The NSC was aware of it, [and] it ran headlong into the issue of engagement” with the Taliban, he said.

Operation Reciprocity, like some Hezbollah cases before it, died from a lack of political support, the official said, rather than an organized conspiracy to shut it down. Even so, the result was the same. “You can kill things by not moving it,” he said. “If DEA is waiting for approval and someone says no, you have to pause, that’s pretty much it.”

Meyer’s reporting on Project Cassandra and Operation Reciprocity should be headlines on the front page of every major media publication.

But these reports of Obama administration malfeasance and neglect are ignored because they are inconvenient in a media environment focused exclusively on demonizing Trump.


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CountMontyC | July 10, 2018 at 9:46 pm

Liberals are still running with the CIA created the crack epidemic(movies and tv series have been made promoting the theory) despite several investigations proving it false. These same liberals will just ignore actual evidence of a president allowing drug running into the USA

Protecting us from enemies from within, and without.
Nice job, Barry. ????????????????

G. de La Hoya | July 10, 2018 at 11:30 pm

I have always wondered why it seemed that heroine was becoming more prevalent in the U.S. more so after our heavy presence in Afghanistan. Job well done, Josh Meyer. I wonder if Politico will keep him on board after his obviously racist hit piece 😉

This is why we must decriminalize all drugs. Yes, people will make bad choices, but people making bad choices is a good measure if you are free.
Our government has repeatedly used drug laws it to fund and lubricate policy goals at the expense of citizens. The non-violent incarceration rate we have is insane, and after a few hard years, no one is non-violent.

    ss396 in reply to Reverett. | July 11, 2018 at 10:06 am

    Before decriminalizing all these drugs, you might want to inquire as to why they were criminalized in the first place.

      KakarotWasTaken in reply to ss396. | July 11, 2018 at 8:49 pm

      Disturbingly often, you would find that some one, somewhere was worried that someone might be able to have a good time.

      Yeah, people would yell about addiction, and crime, and similar things, but most of those are weak reeds.

      Addiction can be treated, if people want to quit. If people don’t want to quit, and the drug of choice is readily available, fine. Lots of people have trouble making it through the day without a jolt or three of caffeine. Cigarettes are still legal, and with e-cig’s available, the cancer risk is much less, if it exists at all.

      Crime is a problem because of addicted people having troubles getting their fix. Legalize things, and costs should drop, and supply would be much more stable, and probably safer.

      Give the local liquor store a corner for cocaine, LSD, and similar buzzes, and extend the same age restrictions. Don’t want to jump off the cliff all at once? Try a state or two, and see. That was part of the point of having states in the first place, from what I understand. (May I suggest California as a nice test state? If it works, fine. If there are problems, who would notice?)

      Add in the additional feature that groups like the drug cartels would lose a major funding source.

        Arminius in reply to KakarotWasTaken. | July 12, 2018 at 10:16 pm

        “That was part of the point of having states in the first place, from what I understand.”

        You understand wrong. Which pretty much sums up your entire comment.

        “Add in the additional feature that groups like the drug cartels would lose a major funding source.”

        Riiiiight. Intellectual vacuousness, thy name is KakarotWasTaken.

        “Legal, illegal marijuana sales coexist in Colorado

        By Sadie Gurman
        Associated Press

        …While no one expected the state’s first-in-the-nation recreational sales would eliminate the need for dangerous underground sales overnight, the violence has raised concerns among police, prosecutors and pot advocates that a black market for marijuana is alive and well in Colorado.

        “It has done nothing more than enhance the opportunity for the black market,” said Lt. Mark Comte of the Colorado Springs police vice and narcotics unit. “If you can get it tax-free on the corner, you’re going to get it on the corner.” ”

        Drug enthusiasts like you hallucinate that you’re going to put a dent in the illegal drug trade (it’s even in the article I cited, that Colorado is in a “transition period” and at some hazy point in the future the illegal drug trade will dry up). The cops know better. People whose brains aren’t addled by drugs know better. Anyone with the briefest association with economics knows better.

        But as I said your entire comment was like this. Fact free and devoid of any understanding of how the real world works.

          KakarotWasTaken in reply to Arminius. | July 14, 2018 at 2:29 pm

          And cheapshots, thy name is Arminius.

          There isn’t much to respond to beyond that. You make a lot of claims, with little evidence to support any of them.

          But if Colorado has priced their legal pot higher (price, guys, higher PRICE) than what the illegal stuff is going for, someone better research supply & demand.

    Arminius in reply to Reverett. | July 12, 2018 at 10:37 pm

    Our non-violent incarceration rate is insane? Only if you’re insane enough to believe the excrement vomited forth by #BlackLivesMatter types. We have an actual non-violent offender rate of three percent at most. Which means that ninety seven percent of the prison population is in fact violent.

    And of the three percent who weren’t convicted of violent crimes most in fact made plea bargains. So while the crime may have been violent, they plea bargain dropped the charge.

    How do I know this? Because #BlackLivesMatter has in fact made concrete demands for a reduction in the prison population. They exploit people’s ignorance that somehow we lock up huge numbers of non-violent offenders. But the fact of the matter is it would be impossible to reduce the prison population by even five percent without releasing felons convicted of violent crimes. And, as I said, just because someone agrees to a plea bargain that doesn’t include a crime of violence that doesn’t mean the crime wasn’t violent or they didn’t have a gun on them. It only means they got a shorter sentence when the prosecutors offered to drop some of the charges.

Reverett, people who abuse drugs aren’t only hurting themselves.

I have direct experience, as a child of two adult alcoholics. And alcohol is one of the legal ones.

Why haven’t the Republican House and Republican Senate not investigated these Obama outrages?

He said an Obama admin official shut down the investigation, code-named Operation Reciprocity, partly because it wanted to negotiate a peace deal with the Taliban.

This doesn’t make much sense. If the administration really wanted to negotiate a peace deal, surely the first step would be to put the screws to the other side, so as to make them desperate for a deal, and so as to negotiate from a position of strength. It should therefore have jumped on this chance rather than stopping it. Stopping it is more consistent with an intention of negotiating from as weak a position as possible, so as to justify a surrender.

    G. de La Hoya in reply to Milhouse. | July 11, 2018 at 2:27 am

    I fail to find any sense concerning anything about the Obama presidency.

    Virginia42 in reply to Milhouse. | July 11, 2018 at 6:44 am

    Milhouse–that’s not how the Obamunists operated. They usually didn’t plan things–“we just react to stuff,” a friend of mine with dealings with the NSC was told. They also took “We surrender” as their baseline for many of their “negotiations.” So this doesn’t surprise me at all. Obama and his FP advisers were clodpoles at best when it came to this sort of thing.

    When did Obama ever negotiate with a foreign entity from a position of strength? He only negotiated from a position of strength will Republicans.

    KakarotWasTaken in reply to Milhouse. | July 11, 2018 at 8:52 pm

    Combining ‘logic’ & ‘Obama’ in the same idea? Good luck.

It makes sense, especially viewed with how Obama worked with the Iranians to protect them to get them to the table.

Secondly your problem is trying to view anything Obama did as having anything to do with rational actions. Nothing Obama did was rational!

Rational adults would have turned the screws to get others to be more receptive to a certain outcome. Not Obama! All he is interested in is how something makes him look.

All i can day is thank fuck adults are back in charge!

He said an Obama admin official shut down the investigation, code-named Operation Reciprocity, partly because it wanted to negotiate a peace deal with the Taliban.

This implies there were other rationales for this bizarre behavior. I wonder what they were.

Obama is merely soros’ organ grinder monkey. He just does what he’s told.

He and his fake wife are bad contrivances on a hillary klintonian scale.

Thank God for The Donald.

So the Obama twice refused to allow efforts to stop an illegal drug trade in America that netted our enemies millions of dollars a year that went to support our enemies war effort against us. This was all done in an effort to obtain a deal with Iran that gave Iran enormous sums of more money which was then used against the world by supporting terrorism, a deal that was negotiated in secret, and sealed without any real benefit to the US and without any support by the Senate.
If this is not the very definition of traitorous behavior, then what is? Never before has a president sold out his own country so completely as has Obama. I have always refused to use words like “traitor” in discussing the behavior of Obama and other Democrats, but in this case I can think of no other word that begins to describe Obama’s behavior. What shocks me even more is the absence of outrage among so many at what Obama has done. Is there anything the Left will not tolerate from this man?

    Milhouse in reply to Cleetus. | July 11, 2018 at 10:10 am

    As I have written several times in the past, I don’t believe this technically fits the definition of treason as given in the constitution, but only because the founders couldn’t imagine this sort of thing ever happening.

    The constitution says that there are only two kinds of treason: (1) taking up arms against the US, or (2) adherence to an enemy, combined with an overt action, witnessed by two people, which helps that enemy. Note that merely helping the enemy is not treason, it must be motivated by adherence to that enemy; helping an enemy for any other reason is not treason, because it’s not the help that’s treasonous but the adherence that motivated it. This is black-letter law, not subject to dispute.

    In 0bama’s case there is no reason to suspect him of adherence to any enemy of the USA, except perhaps Cuba. He certainly did not adhere to the causes of either Iran or the Taliban. Rather, he seems to have been motivated by hostility to the USA, so that he would help any of their enemies indiscriminately, not to make the enemies stronger but to make the USA weaker. I think if the founders could have imagined such behavior they would have expanded the definition of treason to include it, but they didn’t. In their world a person was capable of loving some other country more than their own, but not of simply hating their own country for its own sake. An 0bama was not something they thought could ever happen.

St. Obama the Infallible could be revealed to have trafficked young kids as sex slaves, and, his Leftist lemming-worshippers would still rationalize his conduct and canonize him.

And, of course, despite a litany of revelations demonstrating the stunning egotism, arrogance, callousness, lawlessness and rank incompetence of St. Obama, it is Trump who is the alleged reprobate.

Maybe St. “At a certain point, I think you’ve made enough money” Obama can produce a Netflix documentary on the subject of his Administration’s lawless obstruction of anti-narcotics operations.

smalltownoklahoman | July 11, 2018 at 7:12 am

More proof that Obama was a defacto traitor and that his actions in office damaged, and will continue to damage, us for years to come!

[…] guess he was afraid it’d be hard times for his Choom […]

bobinreverse | July 11, 2018 at 9:11 am

Barry was obviously most down with the cause prez ever. He also brought this to foreign stuff. He had total support for any group / country that was sticking it in the US ear. Basically whitey. If he had been around longer he would have returned nukes to Cuba and SA and would have given secret nukes to the Palis.

And with changing US demographic in US. next Dem prez will double or triple down on Barry policies. IE Kamala Cory etc

Libya-ISIS, Afghanistan-Taliban, and now Iran-Hezbollah. Then there is the gun running in America and Mexico in an anti-civil rights push.

Obama protected no one. Drugs and Nuke deal all about him and his personal agenda. If we had an effective DOJ, they would now, find some charges and go after Obama. Follow the money and subsequent drug trail and drug related deaths.