The former Obama officials who manufactured a media “echo chamber” to sell the Iran deal are now working to undermine a bombshell report that revealed how former President Barack Obama’s administration derailed its own Drug Enforcement Agency’s efforts to stop Islamist terrorist group Hezbollah from developing a global narcotics syndicate.
The Obama administration gave Hezbollah a pass, according to a bombshell Politico piece, in order to protect the Iran deal — one of the few remaining pillars of Barack Obama’s legacy.
Two Republicans on the House oversight committee, Florida Rep. Ron DeSantis and Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan announced a congressional investigation into the scandal on Thursday, calling on the Department of Justice to release all documents on the subject.
Former Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes has spearheaded an effort to discredit the Politico report, attacking it as a made up right-wing conspiracy, even though Politico is a left-leaning news organization.
Other Obama officials, including former National Security Council officials Tommy Vietor and Ned Price, have mobilized to spin an exculpatory media narrative ahead of coming investigations into the scandal.
Organizations funded by the Ploughshares Fund, a left-wing donor group that helped the Obama administration manufacture positive Iran deal coverage, have pushed that same narrative smearing the Politico story.
There are many reasonable critiques of Obama’s foreign policy. The idea that he was soft on Hezbollah is not one of them. The story is so manufactured out of thin air that it’s hard to push back except to say that it’s a figment of the imagination of two very flawed sources.
— Tommy Vietor (@TVietor08) December 20, 2017
Rhodes, Vietor and Price have been “blatantly lying” about the story since it broke, Politico reporter Josh Meyer stated Wednesday night.
“I’m compiling a list of [questions] to post for you guys, and for the congressional hearings,” Meyer said. (RELATED: Israeli Politicians Demand Obama Forfeit Nobel Peace Prize After Hezbollah Report)
Rhodes bragged to the New York Times last year that he duped reporters who “literally know nothing” into helping him create an “echo chamber” around the Iran deal.
The Obama administration also used outside groups including Ploughshares to help create their echo chamber.
Ploughshares, it was revealed after the Iran deal was struck, funded media organizations and reporters as part of their efforts to manufacture a favorable media narrative. National Public Radio was among the complicit outlets and accepted $100,000 from Ploughshares.
Rhodes, Prince and Vietor have all remained in the public forum, attacking Trump and pushing pro-Iran deal talking points since leaving the White House. Rhodes’ attacks on Trump are often quoted in the media, while Prince is now an NBC contributor and Vietor co-hosts popular left-wing podcast Pod Save America.
Immediately after the Politico story broke, Ploughshares president Joe Cirincione, an MSNBC contributor, attacked it as a “shabby neocon hit piece.”
Ploughshares-funded members of the echo chamber have been pushing out the same talking points as the Obama officials in response to the Hezbollah scandal.
Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian-American council, wrote an opinion piece for HuffPost defending the Obama administration against the Politico report. Parsi insisted that Obama’s treatment of Hezbollah had nothing to do with the Iran deal and dismissed the Politico report as “based on a conspiracy theory.”
What Parsi’s column did not disclose is that Ploughshares has given his organization $263,000 in grants between 2013 and 2017 for work in support of the Iran deal, according to a Daily Caller review of Plougshares’ annual reports over that time.
Ilan Goldenberg, Middle East director at the Ploughshares-funded Center for New American Studies, similarly trashed the Politico report as as a “conspiracy theory.”
Meyer said Thursday that he is the target of “an orchestrated smear campaign which STILL hasn’t contested a single fact” in his story.
— Josh Meyer (@JoshMeyerDC) December 21, 2017
Ploughshares declined to comment on whether they have coordinated their response to the Hezbollah scandal with other groups.
Florida Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis told the Washington Free Beacon that the Obama administration’s actions toward Hezbollah may be the biggest Obama-Iran scandal yet. (RELATED: Here’s How $37 Million Of Obama’s Iran Ransom Could Go Straight To Funding Terrorism)
“I’ve long believed that the Obama administration could not have done any more to bend over backwards to appease the Iranian regime,” DeSantis said, “yet news that the Obama administration killed the investigation into a billion dollar drug ring that lined the terrorist group Hezbollah’s pockets in order to save its coveted Iran deal may very well take the cake.”
DeSantis said it would be “unconscionable for American policy to deliberately empower” Hezbollah, which he described as “a brutal terrorist group with American blood on its hands.”
Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse is also demanding an official investigation following the Politico report.
“If the Obama administration failed to use the authorities that Congress has authorized to stop Hezbollah terrorists and their associates from pouring cocaine onto our streets to fund terrorism and acquire weapons of mass destruction, it was a colossal mistake,” Sasse said in a letter to the Justice, Treasury, and State Departments.
“If the administration did so in order to shore up its foolish nuclear deal with Iran, it was a mistake of historical proportions, a mistake the consequences of which reach from the battlefields of Syria to the streets of Omaha and Scottsbluff,” Sasse said.
But even as congressmen demand an investigation into whether the Obama administration deliberately gave a pass to a global terrorist organization, the Obama echo chamber appear to be succeeding.
By the time this article was published Thursday evening — four days after the Politico report — The Washington Post, The New York Times and CNN and have combined for zero articles about the scandal.