Did the Obama Administration Withhold Documents That Could Have Undermined the Iran Deal?

Earlier this week, the CIA made public hundreds of thousands of documents from Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound. The trove, obtained during the raid in which he was killed, contains extensive evidence of the depth of al-Qaeda’s relationship with Iran—which sheltered many of the organization’s operatives in its borders, supplied it with funds, and gave it operational support. With the publication of these documents, writes Michael Rubin, it is now clear why the Obama administration struggled so long to hide them from the public eye:

President Obama and his CIA heads . . . released only [those few documents that] upheld and affirmed Obama’s tenuous theories about Iran. Had the U.S. public known about the Iranian leadership’s outreach to, and association with, al-Qaeda, even Democratic congressmen might have been far less willing to tolerate the trust which Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry placed in their Iranian counterparts. . . .

Indeed, the refusal to declassify documents not out of fear that sources and methods might be exposed but rather to enable the White House and State Department to avoid calibrating their own policy goals to reality and in pursuit of Obama and Kerry’s goals appear to be both an abuse of classification and textbook politicization of intelligence.

It’s time to ask under oath and in public hearings what senior officials—including every former CIA director from the time bin Laden was killed—knew about the Iran-al-Qaeda partnership, when they knew it, and why they believed they needed to cover up that information.

To bury proof of an enemy’s culpability with a terrorist group purposefully, to leave that rogue regime with an industrial-scale nuclear program and enough centrifuges to build an arsenal, to provide billions of dollars in untraceable cash under the guise of sanctions relief and ransom payments, and to acquiesce with a nod and a wink in a no-inspections policy in the same military bases that sheltered al-Qaeda operatives is, to put it mildly, policy malpractice.

Read more at Washington Examiner

More about: Al Qaeda, Barack Obama, CIA, Iran, Osama bin Laden, Politics & Current Affairs


The Right and Wrong Ways for the U.S. to Support the Palestinians

Sept. 29 2023

On Wednesday, Elliott Abrams testified before Congress about the Taylor Force Act, passed in 2018 to withhold U.S. funds from the Palestinian Authority (PA) so long as it continues to reward terrorists and their families with cash. Abrams cites several factors explaining the sharp increase in Palestinian terrorism this year, among them Iran’s attempt to wage proxy war on Israel; another is the “Palestinian Authority’s continuing refusal to fight terrorism.” (Video is available at the link below.)

As long as the “pay for slay” system continues, the message to Palestinians is that terrorists should be honored and rewarded. And indeed year after year, the PA honors individuals who have committed acts of terror by naming plazas or schools after them or announcing what heroes they are or were.

There are clear alternatives to “pay to slay.” It would be reasonable for the PA to say that, whatever the crime committed, the criminal’s family and children should not suffer for it. The PA could have implemented a welfare-based system, a system of family allowances based on the number of children—as one example. It has steadfastly refused to do so, precisely because such a system would no longer honor and reward terrorists based on the seriousness of their crimes.

These efforts, like the act itself, are not at all meant to diminish assistance to the Palestinian people. Rather, they are efforts to direct aid to the Palestinian people rather than to convicted terrorists. . . . [T]he Taylor Force Act does not stop U.S. assistance to Palestinians, but keeps it out of hands in the PA that are channels for paying rewards for terror.

[S]hould the United States continue to aid the Palestinian security forces? My answer is yes, and I note that it is also the answer of Israel and Jordan. As I’ve noted, PA efforts against Hamas or other groups may be self-interested—fights among rivals, not principled fights against terrorism. Yet they can have the same effect of lessening the Iranian-backed terrorism committed by Palestinian groups that Iran supports.

Read more at Council on Foreign Relations

More about: Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror, U.S. Foreign policy