Tag Archives: Barack Obama

EXCLUSIVE: Obama Appointed Islamic Society Official To Approve Russian Uranium Sale and Gulftainer Port Deal

Originally posted on Big League Politics:

The Obama administration placed Aimen Nabi Mir, former two-time president of the youth wing of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), into the top advisory position to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a national security post at the Treasury Department.

Aimen Mir was the CFIUS Staff Chairperson from 2009 until 2014. During that time, Aimen Mir played a key role in the CFIUS panel’s decision to approve the sale of Uranium One to Russia’s Rosatom. Mir also played a key role in the Treasury Department’s refusal to investigate the UAE’s Gulftainer 35-year cargo container terminal lease at Port Canaveral, a critical military infrastructure facility for U.S. naval and space operations. Both decisions severely damaged United States national security.

Aimen Mir helped set the table for Vladimir Putin to seize control of over 20 percent of U.S. uranium and was part of the decision that awarded control of Port Canaveral’s cargo container terminal to Saddam Hussein’s rogue nuclear weapons scientist and designated Iraq War enemy combatant, Dr. Jafar Dhia Jafar.  Dr. Jafar’s brother and business partner, Gulftainer co-owner Hamid Jafar, was under investigation by the Treasury Department and four congressional committees for his ‘Oil For Superweapons” scheme in concert with Saddam Hussein.

For starters, Aimen Mir’s ISNA connections are troubling. ISNA is one of the largest Muslim Brotherhood front groups in the U.S. and was named by the Department of Justice as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 2008 Holy Land Foundation HAMAS terror funding trial.

Further, Aimen Mir is the son of Kashmir-born physician Dr. Ghulam Nabi Mir, an ISNA Founders Committee member. Dr. Mir is also the president of the World Kashmir Awareness Forum (WKAF), an Islamic platform Dr. Mir uses to aggressively advocate for Kashmir’s secession from India in order to join Pakistan. WKAF’s Secretary General “Dr.” Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai, is a convicted felon, also from Kashmir, who served as a Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI) operativeinside the United States.

Fai was arrested by the FBI in 2011 for covertly operating as an unregistered foreign agent while receiving $3.5 million dollars in wire transfers from the ISI. Fai used some of that money to fund an elaborate lobbying operation pushing Kashmiri “independence” on unsuspecting U.S. officials who remained seemingly unaware that Pakistan was running the operation. In 2013, Fai was granted early release from U.S. federal prison by the Justice Department.

Like his father’s ISI partner Fai, Aimen Mir appears to have been running his own operation at CFIUS.

Aimen Mir was the CFIUS Staff Chairperson from 2009 until 2014. During Mir’s five years in the staff chairperson’s seat, CFIUS approved Russia’s 2010 purchase of Uranium One, effectively handing Vladimir Putin control of 20 percent of America’s uranium.  Also during Mir’s term, the Treasury Department refused to conduct two legally-required CFIUS investigations of Port Canaveral’s 2014 container terminal lease concession to the UAE’s Gulftainer.

The Gulftainer deal effectively placed Saddam Hussein’s nuclear weapons mastermind, Dr. Jafar Dhia Jafar, along with his longtime Russian KGB/SVR and Iranian regime associates and a UAE Emir inside the wire of a national-security sensitive U.S. port. Gulftainer misrepresented its true ownership; facts that Mir could and should have uncovered easily.

A World Bank International Finance Corporation (IFC) document (now scrubbed from the IFC website) proved that Gulftainer was owned in part by Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi, the Emir of Sharjah, UAE.  Under the Foreign Investment National Security Act of 2007 (FINSA), foreign government ownership of an acquiring entity automatically triggers a mandatory CFIUS review, regardless of whether the transaction is a purchase or a lease. Aimen Mir understood CFIUS and FINSA law and chose to ignore it, as did Treasury Secretary Jacob ‘Jack’ Lew and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker.

In 2014 the Treasury Department promoted Aimen Mir to Deputy Assistant Secretary for Investment Security after the Clinton Foundation-connected Uranium One and Gulftainer Port Canaveral deals closed. Mir’s LinkedIn profile and post-Trump administration inauguration postsshow he’s still at the Treasury Department, now as a career civil servant.

In Gulftainer’s case, the supposedly-rigorous CFIUS national security review process for direct foreign investment transactions was completely and stunningly bypassed. An email released by Wikileaks implicates Gulftainer and the Clintons in a pay-to-play operation involving the Port Canaveral deal.

Both Uranium One and Gulftainer have deep ties to Russian intelligence, nuclear weapons, and uranium enrichment. Gulftainer has additional ties to the Iranian regime and to the architects of Obama’s Iran Nuclear Deal.

Gulftainer executive board chairman Badr Jafar visited the White House in 2014, six weeks before the secretly-negotiated Gulftainer deal was announced, signed, and closed.

According to Aimen Mir’s LinkedIn profile, since graduating from Georgetown in 2000, he never served in any national security position before his CIFIUS chairperson appointment. Mir’s work experience was as an immigration attorney at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP (WilmerHale) representing people from the Middle East seeking asylum in the United States.

CFIUS staff members such as staff chairperson Mir wield tremendous power in the CFIUS process workflow. They conduct research and make recommendations to cabinet-level CFIUS board members or their designated representatives and, through omission, can conceal from those Cabinet members critical national security information about foreign companies looking to invest in U.S.-based operations.

If a CFIUS application is approved before advancing from the 30-day initial review to an additional 45-day investigation involving 16 U.S. intelligence agencies, dangerous deals like Uranium One and Gulftainer deals can fly under the radar of the intelligence community.

According to a 2015 Breitbart report on CFIUS review of the Uranium One deal, “surprisingly the 2009 Annual Report submitted to Congress by CFIUS inaccurately described this approved transaction by stating the company acquiring a minority interest was Canadian rather than Russian.” Breitbart contacted Aimen Mir at the time of that report to ask him if the Uranium One transaction was subjected to a secondary 45-day review but received no response.

The Committee of Foreign Investment in the United States 2015 Annual Report to Congress Public/Unclassified Version, released over a year late, reveals that between 2013 and 2015, there were no covered transactions in the transportation sector involving acquirers from the UAE. In other words, the Treasury Department determined that the Gulftainer deal was not a ‘covered transaction’ and therefore CFIUS did not conduct the required investigation of the deal. That determination was likely made by Aimen Mir and it kept Gulftainer and U.S.- designated enemy combatant Dr. Jafar off the intelligence community’s radar.

The Treasury Department determined that a CFIUS review was not required for Gulftainer’s Port Canaveral deal, according to a 2015 Orlando Sentinel report:

“Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-San Diego, had asked for a formal Treasury Department review of security issues due to a foreign-owned company operating port facilities.

Port spokeswoman Rosalind Harvey said that never happened. “After extensive filing of all required paperwork to U.S. Treasury Department officials, the panel found that no review was required because the agreement was a lease and not a purchase of Port assets,” Harvey said.”

Unfortunately, there is more.

James Rickards, author and former advisor to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) Support Group of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), stated in an October 18, 2017 tweet that Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper “disbanded” the CFIUS DNI advisory group “before Uranium One.”

It is noteworthy that Director Clapper went before Congress to testify under oath that the NSA, CIA, and other intelligence agencies were not collecting massive amounts of telephonic and Internet metadata on hundreds of millions of innocent American citizens. Revelations by Whistleblower Edward Snowden proved otherwise.

Subsequently Director Clapper was found to have been untruthful and resigned on November 17, 2016, effective the day Donald Trump was sworn in, January 20, 2017. Clapper has not been prosecuted for perjury.

CFIUS rules are clear about what constitutes a ‘covered transaction’:

Considering the post-9/11 national meltdown over the UAE’s Dubai Ports World deal, it is inconceivable that the Gulftainer deal would have received approval without a thorough intelligence review. The Congressional enactment of the Foreign Investment National Security Act of 2007 (FINSA) was designed to heavily reinforce CFIUS in order to prevent a repeat of Dubai Ports world debacle.

The Gulftainer (GT USA) Port Canaveral 35-year concession is subject to CFIUS review because:

  • Gulftainer is responsible for safety and security and makes all substantial business decisions at the Canaveral cargo terminal;
  • Gulftainer oversees day-to-day operation of the Canaveral cargo terminal;
  • Port Canaveral is critical infrastructure for commercial maritime, military sealift, surface naval, submarine naval, commercial space, and military space operations;
  • Gulftainer’s cargo terminal is near four military bases: Two USAF, one USN, and one USCG;
  • Gulftainer’s cargo terminal is near NASA’s Kennedy Space Center;
  • Gulftainer’s cargo terminal is near the Eastern Range, critical for space missions and missile testing;
  • Gulftainer is partly-owned by a foreign government (Ruler of Sharjah, UAE), Iraqis involved in WMD production (Jafar family), possibly other “senior Iraqi military figures,” and in business with Russian Specially Designated Nationals (SDNs).

It is unclear how Aimen Mir was able to obtain a security clearance.

North Korean Crisis a Decades-Long Failure of Political Will

Originally posted at Breitbart.com

Center for Security Policy President for Research and Analysis Clare Lopez blamed political mismanagement stretching back for decades, rather than a failure of intelligence-gathering, for the shock of North Korea’s latest nuclear test on Monday’s special Labor Day edition of Breitbart News Daily.

“I suspect – and I don’t know, I’m on the outside, not the inside – that intelligence collection has been quite good,” Lopez told SiriusXM host Raheem Kassam. “What has been lacking in my opinion, over the last decades, in the United States has been a policy response to actually deal with what they were being told the North Koreans were developing, in terms of their nuclear weapons and their intercontinental ballistic missiles.”

Lopez said the disconnect between the urgency of the North Korean threat and the clarity of U.S. policy began in the Clinton administration.

“I think the intelligence was there. They knew what they were doing, but the will to confront it, to actually do something about it, was not there,” she said.

“Confronting North Korea of course means confronting, or at least working with, China, the Beijing government, because they hold such influence and power over really the survival of North Korea, which could not survive without Beijing’s support,” she continued.

“There’s been a reluctance to confront Beijing, but I think that’s now changing. We’re seeing the Trump administration alarmed, certainly, by this latest nuclear test, which appears to have been a hydrogen bomb or thermonuclear bomb test, now going to the extent of saying look – and they don’t specify China particularly – but those trading partners of North Korea, if you don’t cut off trade with them, we will cut off trade with you,” she said.

Lopez described President Trump calling for a trade embargo against any country doing business with North Korea as a “big deal.”

When Kassam asked if the United States could afford an embargo that could lock out both the vast Chinese market and a number of other nations that do considerable business with American companies, Lopez replied, “The question is not so much can we afford, can they afford?”

“Yes, of course we can,” she explained. “It wouldn’t be an easy thing to do. It wouldn’t be an easy step to take. But I think we do have to exhaust all of the other possibilities – diplomatic, commercial – before we go to any kind of a military option, which of course as General Mattis and the Pentagon yesterday made very clear, a military option is on the table. There are military options. They’re not good ones. They’re not the first ones. So we have to exhaust all of these others first.”

Lopez said the United States should try to work with its allies, especially fellow members of the U.N. Security Council, but “the bottom line is, North Korea now threatens the continental United States.”

“The United States of America does not need to have the permission of our allies to defend this country,” she declared. “I think that’s what General Mattis was making very clear. We would love to have the support of our allies and friends, certainly the U.N., the U.N. Security Council. There was a unanimous decision taken the last time, the last test, when the missile test was done, to impose harsher, stronger sanctions against North Korea. That’s all well and good. But when it comes right down to it, if that regime in Pyongyang is threatening the continental United States with deliverable nuclear weapons on the tip of an ICBM, then the United States defends itself.”

Kassam asked if it was embarrassing for the Trump administration to see North Korea proceeding with nuclear and missile tests after President Trump’s “fire and fury” warning.

“No, not at all, because we’re not there yet,” Lopez replied. “As I said, there is a whole series of possible measures beginning with the commercial, beginning with diplomatic, that can be ratcheted up as required.”

“We talked about that military option. That’s very clearly there. But it’s also very clearly not the first option, not the preferred option at all. But it’s there, it’s real, and according to General Mattis and the other senior officials in the Trump administration, that will be the final option if all of the others fail,” she said.

As for China, Lopez said Beijing “needs to understand that the continued development by the North Koreans of deliverable nuclear weapons, and now possibly a thermonuclear weapon, an H-bomb,” is an unacceptable threat to American and regional security.

“They’ve already demonstrated the ICBM capability to reach the United States,” she pointed out. “By the way, I don’t know if most Americans know this or others either, North Korea already right now has two satellites orbiting over the United States on a south polar trajectory,” she added. “One went up in 2012, one last year, 2016. We don’t know what’s on board those satellites. They are of a size that could potentially hold an EMP electromagnetic pulse weapon that could potentially, possibly, be detonated remotely with a radio signal at a time of Pyongyang’s choosing,” she warned.

“So if these threats continue, Beijing needs to understand that the United States will defend ourselves, and this will be far worse in consequence for China, for the people of China, than were they to take steps right now to help us rein in the Pyongyang regime,” said Lopez.

“Obviously China fears destabilization, a refugee flow across their borders from North Korea,” she acknowledged. “Those threats are far less of concern than what would happen if we get to the point that the United States has to actually make good on its pledge to defend the American people from a North Korean military threat, from a nuclear threat.”

On North Korea, ‘Strategic Patience’ Has Enabled Strategic Blackmail

Originally posted at Breitbart.com

When Barack Obama handed off to his successor the presidency of the United States, he impressed upon Donald Trump that his greatest worry was North Korea.

The intervening months have made clear why – with dictator Kim Jong-un’s incessant ballistic missile tests of ever-more-formidable weapons, his sixth underground explosion on Sunday apparently of a thermonuclear weapon and his escalating threats, which now include explicitly an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack on America’s vulnerable electric grid.

Equally apparent is the fact this witches’ brew of trouble is befalling the United States on President Trump’s watch because the Obama administration basically did nothing to attenuate the danger. Instead, it dressed up inactivity and passivity in the face of the metastasizing danger as “strategic patience.”

Even before the North Koreans’ latest intercontinental missile launches, nuclear test, and threat of an EMP attack, Mr. Trump and his senior subordinates have properly signaled that the era of strategic patience is at an end. Unfortunately, in the absence of urgent course corrections on several fronts, the period now dawning is likely to be one of strategic blackmail.

While fecklessness towards the emerging North Korean threat characterized the Clinton and Bush ’43 administrations, we find ourselves needlessly exposed to its present magnitude in no small measure because Obama’s so-called strategic patience was characterized by inaction on two, vital fronts: advancing the U.S. missile defense capabilities and protecting the grid against electromagnetic pulse and other perils.

Barack Obama and his subordinates brought to office a visceral enmity towards missile defense, born of an ideological attachment to the obsolete Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with the Soviet Union, which prevented the United States from having any effective anti-missile systems. While George W. Bush formally withdrew us from the ABM Treaty in 2002, the capabilities of such defenses as have been put into place have been deliberately limited – so much so that they were reportedly not up to the task of shooting down the ballistic missile Pyongyang fired over Japan last week.

Similarly, Team Obama was convinced that it would rid the world of nuclear weapons and so declined to take seriously, let alone do anything appreciable about, the danger that one or more detonated outside the atmosphere over the United States could destroy our most critical of critical infrastructures: the electric grid. Late in his presidency, Mr. Obama did evince concern about a similar, nation-ending effect being caused by intense solar storms, but did little to make the grid resilient against that source of destructive electromagnetic pulses, either.

If Mr. Trump is to avoid being held hostage by North Korean blackmail or, worse yet, seeing Kim Jong Un act on his oft-stated determination to destroy our country, the President must immediately undertake two steps:

  • First, in May, Rep. Trent Franks advised the President of the availability of a predictive algorithm that – based upon years of testing, including on the Army’s classified PAC-3 anti-missile simulator – could promptly and significantly enhance the capabilities of existing, as well as future, anti-missile systems. Confirming the effectiveness of this software, known as the Hypersonic Intercept Technology, and bringing it to bear against both North Korean threats and those now emerging from Russia and China (which include advanced hypersonic and maneuvering missiles designed to defeat our present missile defenses) must be given the highest priority.
  • Second, the President has already pledged to upgrade America’s critical infrastructure. The imperative of protecting the nation’s bulk-power distribution system, better known as “the grid,” must now take precedence over other improvements. The U.S. military has known for decades how to “harden” electrical and electronic gear from EMP. These techniques must now be applied on an emergency basis to ensure that the civilian grid – upon which both our armed forces and our population and economy critically depend – is made as invulnerable as possible to enemy action.

A first step would be to extend the life of the Congressional EMP Threat Commission – the nation’s foremost authorities on the sorts of menace now explicitly posed by the North Korean government. As things stand now, its existing mandate will end in less than a month and the Commission’s expertise is needed now more than ever. The next step is to implement, at last, the recommendations this panel has been making for 13 years concerning practical, near-term and affordable steps to enhance the resiliency of our electric infrastructure.

This is a moment when the Congress must stand united with President Trump in resisting the inevitable blackmailing to come from North Korea by doing everything practicable to defeat Pyongyang’s missile threats and deny Kim Jong-Un his ultimate instrument of extortion by securing our grid.

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. acted as an Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Reagan administration. He is President of the Center for Security Policy.

Team Trump and Iran: Obama and the ‘swamp’ have just scored a huge win

Despite Donald Trump’s insistence during the presidential campaign that the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran – the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – was the “worst deal ever” and Iran’s failure to fully comply with this agreement, the Trump administration Tuesday certified to Congress that Iran is in compliance with the agreement and will continue to receive sanction relief.  The administration added, however that the agreement is under review.

Make no mistake: this is a huge win for the Obama administration and the permanent foreign policy bureaucracy – the so-called swamp – who desperately want to protect this flawed and dangerous agreement at all costs.

The certification probably indicates the outcome of the Trump administration’s review of the JCPOA is a forgone conclusion just like a similar review in 2001 by the Bush administration of a deeply-flawed nuclear agreement with North Korea.

The publicly known reasons that Iran is not in compliance with the JCPOA include:

  • Iran is not allowing International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors access to military sites.  If Iran is engaged in covert nuclear weapons work, this is where it is taking place.  As long as Iran refuses to allow the IAEA unfettered access to all military sites, it is not in compliance with the JCPOA and the international community cannot be confident that Iran’s nuclear weapons program has been halted.
  • According to a March 3, 2017 report by the Institute for Science and International Security, Iran has produced and stockpiled more heavy-water than it is allowed under the JCPOA and is storing some heavy-water outside of Iran. Heavy-water is a proliferation concern because it can be used in a nuclear reactor design that produces large amounts of plutonium, a nuclear weapons fuel.
  • The Institute report also said that although a February 2017 IAEA report claimed Iran was in compliance with a commitment to limit its stockpile of reactor-grade uranium to 300 kg, it only met this cap because the JCPOA’s Joint Commission granted Iran exemptions to exclude several quantities of enriched uranium from the cap. Concerning the IAEA’s reporting on this issue, the Institute report said the IAEA was being forced to use “convoluted and potentially deceptive language.”

In his press conference Wednesday, Sean Spicer seemed to contradict an earlier statement by the State Department that it determined Iran is in compliance with the agreement. Both Spicer and State are ignoring violations like those listed above that should have caused the Trump administration to declare Iran in noncompliance with the JCPOA months ago.

Although the above violations are serious, it is worth stressing that Iran can continue making progress in its nuclear weapons program without violating the JCPOA since the deal allows it to enrich uranium with over 5,000 centrifuges, develop and test advanced centrifuges and construct a plutonium-producing heavy-water reactor.

As Israeli Ambassador to the United States put it in an April 14, 2017 Wall Street Journal oped, the JCPOA “is so inherently flawed that Tehran doesn’t even have to break it. Honoring it will be enough to endanger millions of lives.”

As I explained in my book “Obamabomb: A Dangerous and Growing National Security Fraud,” the Obama administration was fully aware of these concerns but agreed to the JCPOA anyway because it desperately wanted a legacy Iran nuclear deal for President Obama and probably did not view Iran’s nuclear weapons program as a serious threat.

Foreign policy careerists – the swamp — share the Obama administration’s views on the Iran deal and are working hard to protect it. They are claiming the only alternative to this agreement is war with Iran and that withdrawing from the deal would isolate the United States. In a November 2016 article I explained why these arguments are false and why it is urgent that the Trump administration kill or substantially renegotiate the fraudulent Iran deal.

Unfortunately, it appears that some Trump officials have been convinced to stick with the deal.

A major reason for this is because almost all foreign policy posts responsible for the Iran deal are staffed by Obama administration holdovers due to the failure of the Trump administration to fill jobs at the State and Defense Departments.

When Secretary of State Tillerson certified Iran was in compliance with the JCPOA on Tuesday, he added that U.S. Iran policy “is under review.”

Wednesday, Tillerson tried to respond to conservative criticism of his compliance finding by stating that Iran remains a state sponsor of terror and the JCPOA is an incredibly flawed agreement.

I don’t take any comfort from these statements because they remind me of the 2001 review by the Bush administration of the disastrous nuclear deal with North Korea – the Agreed Framework – which allowed North Korea to keep its nuclear weapons and was violated by Pyongyang while the ink was drying on the agreement.

The 1994 Agreed Framework was also strongly opposed by congressional Republicans and was supported by the foreign policy establishment which claimed there was no alternative to this deeply flawed pact.

The Bush administration repeatedly said North Korea was in compliance with this deal even though it wasn’t and completed a policy review in June 2001 that kept the deal but promised tougher enforcement.

The Agreed Framework collapsed when the U.S. presented North Korea with evidence that it had a covert uranium enrichment program that violated this agreement.

North Korea used the time and huge concessions it gained from the Agreed Framework to accelerate its nuclear weapons and missile programs. It conducted its first of five nuclear tests in 2006.

I fear history is about to repeat itself.

Tuesday’s certification that Iran is in compliance with the JCPOA and statements by some Trump officials may indicate the Swamp will once again convince a Republican administration to keep a deeply flawed nuclear agreement with a rogue state negotiated by a prior Democratic administration.

Meanwhile, I believe Iran’s nuclear weapons program continues, probably in close coordination with North Korea.

Fortunately, there is still time for President Trump to get this right and fulfill his campaign promises to tear up, or substantially renegotiate, the fraudulent nuclear deal with Iran.

The first thing he should do is to tell Secretary Tillerson to immediately start filling State Department jobs that deal with the Iran deal with appointees who support the president’s position on this issue. — Tillerson also must be told to stop declaring that Iran in compliance with this agreement.

Most importantly, President Trump must publicly restate his strong opposition to the JCPOA to make it clear to his appointees and the Swamp that he will not tolerate a nuclear agreement with Iran unless it actually halts Tehran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and also addresses Iran’s missile program, support of terrorism and its efforts to destabilize the Middle East.

Was Obama’s White House Politicizing Intelligence To Influence The 2016 Elections?

Although there are strong indications the Obama administration abused intelligence collection by U.S. agencies to gather information on the Trump campaign to leak to the news media, it also appeared to abuse another U.S. intelligence mission: intelligence analysis.

Congressional Democrats and the mainstream media consider it gospel truth that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies unanimously concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election to help Donald Trump win. But should we treat this assessment as true in light of major errors in U.S. intelligence analysis in the past and its politicization? Is something gospel truth just because U.S. intelligence agencies say it is?

The truth is that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies did not conclude that Russia tried to interfere in the election or help Trump win. Not even close.

What Intelligence Has Really Confirmed About Russia

U.S. intelligence agencies issued two assessments on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. The first was an October 7 statement by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that said WikiLeaks disclosures of Democratic emails during the election were “consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts” but did not say there was any evidence of Russian involvement.

Moreover, although this statement said the U.S. intelligence community held this position, the memo was issued by only two agencies, and was called a “Joint DHS and ODNI Election Security Statement.” Hillary Clinton seized on this statement in the last presidential debate on October 19 by inaccurately claiming “We have 17, 17 intelligence agencies, civilian and military who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyber attacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin.”

The fact that this memo was not an intelligence community document issued by all agencies with equities in this issue was very unusual. It also was suspicious that an unclassified intelligence analysis so advantageous to one presidential candidate was issued just before the election and only two weeks before the last presidential debate. In my view, this looked like looked like a clumsy attempt by the Obama White House to issue an intelligence assessment to boost Clinton’s presidential campaign and hurt the Trump campaign.

The second intelligence assessment on this question, issued on January 6, 2017, I believe represents a serious instance of a presidential administration manipulating U.S. intelligence analysis to issue a politicized analysis to sabotage an incoming president from a different political party. The January 6 analysis found that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election and hurt Hillary’s candidacy to promote Trump. The assessment said this interference came at the direction of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

What About All the Missing Intelligence Agencies?

Like the October memo, congressional Democrats and the news media have said this was the unanimous conclusion of all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies. But also like the October memo, this was not the case. The January 6 assessment was an “Intelligence Community Assessment.” Such analyses are usually issued and cleared by most if not all U.S. intelligence agencies and have a statement on the first page that usually reads “this is an IC-coordinated assessment.”

The January 6 Intelligence Community Assessment lacked such a statement because it reflected the views of only three U.S. intelligence agencies: Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and National Security Agency. The CIA and FBI concluded with high confidence that Russia intervened in the election to help Trump win. NSA concluded this with moderate confidence.

Why did other U.S. intelligence agencies with major equities in this issue not participate in the January 6 assessment? Why were the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security part of the October assessment but not the January one? Where were the Defense Intelligence Agency, the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, and the military intelligence agencies?

The January assessment also was very unusual because it was such a conclusive analysis of a very controversial subject with no dissenting views. Based my CIA experience, this is unprecedented and makes me wonder whether intelligence agencies that may have dissented were deliberately excluded.

There also is the question as to whether this assessment was written to conform to a predetermined conclusion by the Obama White House to undermine the Trump administration. The U.S. intelligence community has played political games like this before with interagency assessments to promote political agendas. One of the most notorious examples of this was the controversial 2007 National Intelligence Estimate on Iran’s nuclear program that was intended to undermine President Bush’s Iran policy.

There Are Indications Intelligence Has Been Politicized

CIA Director John Brennan’s role in approving this assessment raises serious questions about whether it was manipulated for political reasons. Brennan has been heavily criticized for politicizing intelligence for the Obama administration. This includes the role he played in the 2012 CIA talking points on the Benghazi terrorist attacks. He also has been openly and extremely hostile toward Trump before and after the election.

Given FBI Director James Comey’s statements at a recent House Intelligence Committee hearing that the conclusion in the January 6 assessment that Russia intervened in the election to help Trump was based on logic and not evidence, it is hard to believe this was not a pre-cooked conclusion driven by the highly partisan Brennan.

I strongly believe that if there were any evidence that Russia intervened in the election to help Trump win, or that Russia and the Trump campaign collaborated to affect the outcome of the election, this intelligence would have been leaked by Obama holdovers in government and the so-called “Deep State” to The New York Times long ago. The fact that Comey could not point to such evidence and this information has not been leaked suggests there is no such evidence because this didn’t happen.

The current congressional investigations of possible Russian interference in the election and the Obama administration’s misuse of U.S. intelligence collection to surveil the Trump campaign must also include whether intelligence analysis was politicized to damage Trump’s candidacy and presidency. These investigations must look at how the above analyses were drafted, who drafted them, and why some agencies did not participate. The committees also need to uncover any evidence of the White House trying to influence the outcome of these assessments or excluding certain agencies from participating.

It is time to call out Democrats and reporters who portray the idea that Russia intervened in the election to help Trump win as established truth because it is the unanimous assessment of all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies. I expect the congressional investigations will conclude this claim is false and actually represented a deliberate effort to manipulate intelligence analysis to undermine the Trump presidency.

Center’s Fred Fleitz discusses instances of the Obama administration abusing US intelligence

The Center’s Senior Vice President for Policy and Programs Fred Fleitz was interviewed on Fox and Friend this morning to discuss other instances of the Obama administration abusing US intelligence for domestic spying.  In this interview,  Fleitz refers to his December 30, 2015 National Review Online article “Did the White House use the NSA to spy on Congress about the Iran deal?”  Click HERE to read this article.

‘Putting Iran on Notice’ Means Restoring American Credibility

After declaring that “Iran is on notice” for a recent ballistic-missile test and for missile attacks against a Saudi ship by Houthi rebels, and then announcing new U.S. sanctions against Iran on Friday, the Trump administration met with predicable criticism from Democrats and the foreign-policy establishment, who objected that the president was provoking Iran and risking war by threatening the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA).

In fact, it was President Obama’s Iran policy that made the Middle East much less stable, as his appeasement of Iran and “leading from behind” approach emboldened Tehran and did little to stop it from pursuing nuclear weapons and building ballistic missiles to carry them. The Obama administration did absolutely nothing in response to Iran’s sponsorship of terrorism and its backing of the Houthi rebels in Yemen. Even worse, Obama officials during the nuclear talks gave Iran a green light to expand its role in Iraq and Syria. It’s no accident that Iran sent ground troops into Syria shortly after the JCPOA was announced.

The Obama administration claimed that the JCPOA would lead to an improvement in Iranian behavior and in U.S.–Iran relations. This did not happen. Iran has conducted at least a dozen ballistic-missile tests over the past two years. Some of these missiles had the words “Israel must be wiped off the map” written on the sides. Iran captured ten U.S. sailors and held them at gunpoint on the day of President Obama’s last State of the Union address. There has been a sharp increase in Iran’s harassing and threatening ships in the Persian Gulf, including U.S. Navy vessels. Houthi rebels, probably with Iranian assistance, fired anti-ship missiles at American and United Arab Emirates ships in the Red Sea last fall. Iran also has taken more American citizens and green-card holders prisoner since the JCPOA was announced and after five U.S. prisoners were released in January 2016.

Trump’s initial moves on Iran mark the beginning of an effort to reverse Obama’s disastrous Iran policy. The administration, actually addressing the threats Iran poses to global security, is holding Iran accountable for its actions and reasserting American power.

It’s no secret that no one believed President Obama when he said “all options are on the table,” drew red lines, or issued ultimatums after belligerent acts by Iran, North Korea, ISIS, the Syrian army, and Russia. The world knew that the use of American military power was never on the table for Obama and that his words were just empty rhetoric. They knew that Obama would never back up his red lines and ultimatums. While the Obama administration sometimes responded to rogue state actions with sanctions, they were usually weak and in every case ignored.

The Trump administration’s recent warning to Iran indicates that all options really are on the table when it comes to America’s responding to actions by rogue states and actors that endanger our security and the security of our friends and allies. The sanctions imposed today against 13 individuals and twelve companies involved in Iran’s missile program are long overdue and make clear that America will not look the other way while Tehran develops nuclear-weapons delivery systems.

Iranian leaders do not know whether or when President Trump will order military action against their nation. This uncertainty, coupled with tough rhetoric against Iran by Trump and most of his national-security team, should give Iran’s ruling mullahs pause before approving future provocations.

Although President Trump does not want war with Iran, he and his advisers are probably weighing appropriate and limited military options. At a minimum, the Trump administration needs to consider military action if Iran continues to threaten the free flow of commerce and freedom of navigation in the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea.

The Trump administration should also be weighing a broad set of international sanctions targeting Iran’s nuclear program and Iranian entities that sponsor terrorism. These sanctions should be imposed outside of the United Nations so that China and Russia cannot veto or water them down. The Trump administration should support several efforts by Congress to impose new sanctions on Iran, including the Iran Non-Nuclear Sanctions Act sponsored by Senators Todd Young (R., Ind.), John Cornyn (R., Texas), and Marco Rubio (R., Fla.). This bill would impose severe financial and economic sanctions targeting Iran’s ballistic-missile violations, human-rights abuses, and support for terrorism.

I regret that that President Trump has not torn up the JCPOA. I hope he still will — possibly when Prime Minister Netanyahu visits the White House on February 15. As I’ve explained here at NRO, that is the best way to deal with a fraudulent agreement that allows Iran to continue to pursue nuclear weapons: While the agreement is in effect, it permits Iran to enrich uranium, develop advanced centrifuges, and operate a plutonium-producing reactor. The JCPOA also has very weak verification provisions that Iran refuses to fully comply with.

I believe that the JCPOA was an American surrender to Iran’s nuclear-weapons program and that President Trump should renounce it. During the campaign, he sometimes indicated that he would tear up the agreement but usually said he would renegotiate it to get a better deal. I am okay with renegotiation, because I am confident that a Trump negotiating team making reasonable demands to “fix” the JCPOA would cause Iran to back out of this deeply flawed agreement.

The latest approach to the JCPOA being promoted by some Trump officials and outside experts is “strict enforcement” of the deal. Under this approach, Iran could be declared in noncompliance owing to several instances of failing to meet its JCPOA obligations or secretly cheating on them. I explained some of these concerns at NRO last July. The Institute for Science and International Security discussed recent compliance concerns in a November 2016 report.

There are several problems with this approach. First, under the JCPOA, the United States agreed to a process under which the parties to the agreement (U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Russia, China, and Iran) must vote to reimpose sanctions because of Iranian noncompliance. I see little chance that the United States could convince a majority of JCPOA parties to punish Iran for noncompliance, because they fear Iran would carry out its threat to withdraw from the agreement if nuclear sanctions were reimposed. Moreover, it would be hypocritical for the United States to unilaterally sanction Iran as part of a policy of strictly enforcing the JCPOA, given that the pact requires that sanctions must be reimposed multilaterally and only by a vote of JCPOA parties.

However, a more serious problem with a strict enforcement policy by the Trump administration is that it would be legitimizing President Obama’s fraudulent nuclear agreement with Iran. It is important for Trump officials to realize that the threat from Iran’s nuclear program is not due to current Iranian noncompliance. Iran can easily advance important aspects of its nuclear-weapons effort and still be in full compliance with the JCPOA. Iran also can engage in nuclear-weapons-related work that violates the agreement and go undetected because verification provisions of the JCPOA are so weak and Iran refuses to allow inspections of military facilities.

Supporters of the nuclear deal often argue that since it is the best agreement possible and its detractors have no alternative to replace it with, the United States must stick with this deal. What they are really arguing is that a bad deal is better than no deal. I disagree. No nuclear deal with Iran is far preferable to an agreement that legitimizes its nuclear program, allows it to continue to develop nuclear-weapons-related technology, and will result in Iran’s having an industrial-scale nuclear program in ten to 15 years. If Iran will not agree to a nuclear pact that actually prevents it from developing nuclear weapons, the Trump administration should work with America’s allies to impose strict nuclear sanctions, including barring all transfers of nuclear technology. This may not completely halt Iran from pursuit of nuclear weapons, but it would probably result in a much better outcome than the JCPOA.

With President Trump in office only two weeks, it is hard to foresee how his administration will ultimately come down on the nuclear deal with Iran and how aggressive it will be in responding to Iranian belligerence and provocations. Moreover, regardless of whether President Trump tears up the JCPOA, Iran may back out of it anyway, since the flow of additional concessions from the Obama administration has ceased.

Putting Iran on notice is significant because it signals the return to the global stage of a strong and decisive United States prepared to reinstate the successful national-security strategy of President Ronald Reagan: “peace through strength.” Such a jolt to the international order could convince rogue states such as Iran and North Korea to dial back their destabilizing behavior and possibly agree to talks to address regional concerns about their missile and weapons-of-mass-destruction programs. Let’s hope it does not take military action by the Trump administration to convince these states to recognize that Trump is changing the global order and that the days of U.S. appeasement of its enemies and “leading from behind” are over.

Educating John Kerry and Barack Obama on Islam’s Denial of Israel’s Right to Exist, in One Minute

John Kerry, and Lame Duck POTUS Barack Obama, who have shamefully rationalized U.S. failure to veto an odious U.N. resolution condemning Israel’s legal right to build settlements in its ancestral homeland should consider two complementary fatwas, one written January 5, 1956, by then grand mufti of Egypt, Sheikh Hasan Ma’moun, and another January 9, 1956, signed by the leading members of the Fatwa Committee of Al Azhar University—Sunni Islam’s Vatican—and the major representatives of all four Sunni Islamic schools of jurisprudence. I elucidated the gist of those simultaneous fatwas in a one minute clip from a December 27, 2016 interview with Tom Trento, embedded below:

These rulings elaborated the following key initial point: that all of historical Palestine—modern Jordan, Israel, and the disputed territories of Judea and Samaria, as well as Gaza—having been conquered by jihad, was a permanent possession of the global Muslim umma (community), “fay territory”—booty or spoils—to be governed eternally by Islamic law.

Muslims cannot conclude peace with those Jews who have usurped the ter­ritory of Palestine and attacked its people and their property in any manner which allows the Jews to continue as a state in that sacred Muslim territory. [As] Jews have taken a part of Palestine and there established their non-Islamic government and have also evacuated from that part most of its Muslim inhabitants. . . . Jihad . . . to restore the country to its people . . . is the duty of all Muslims, not just those who can undertake it. And since all Islamic countries constitute the abode of every Muslim, the Jihad is impera­tive for both the Muslims inhabiting the territory attacked, and Muslims everywhere else because even though some sections have not been attacked directly, the attack nevertheless took place on a part of the Muslim territory which is a legitimate residence for any Muslim… Everyone knows that from the early days of Islam to the present day the Jews have been plotting against Islam and Muslims and the Islamic homeland. They do not propose to be content with the attack they made on Palestine and Al Aqsa Mosque, but they plan for the possession of all Islamic territories from the Nile to the Euphrates.

Although free of eschatological references, i.e., that Jews, per the prophet of Islam, Muhammad’s diktat in the “traditions” of the creed (Sahih Muslim, Book 41, Number 6985), must be annihilated to usher in Islam’s “messianic age,” the January 1956 Al Azhar fatwas’ language and arguments—pronounced from Sunni Islam’s most esteemed religious teaching institution—are otherwise indistinguishable from those employed just over three decades later by Hamas (in its 1988 covenant), revealing the same conjoined motiva­tions of jihad, and conspiratorial Islamic Jew-hatred.

Recent polling data indicate that these traditionalist Islamic views—espoused, in our era, across a continuum of 61 years by Al Azhar University, and Hamas—resonate with the Palestinian Muslim population. American pollster Stanley Greenberg performed what was described as an “intensive, face-to-face survey in Arabic of 1,010 Palestinian adults in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.” As reported in July, 2011 these data revealed that seventy-three percent of Palestinian Muslims agreed with the dictates of the apocalyptic hadith (Sahih Muslim, Book 41, Number 6985; included in the 1988 Hamas Covenant, and repeated in 2012 by the “moderate” Palestinian Authority Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, who serves under “moderate” PA “President” [For Life?]Mahmoud Abbas) calling for the annihilation of the Jews, to bring on the messianic age. Eighty percent supported the destruction of Israel by jihad, and the need to recruit the entire global Muslim community, or “umma” in this quintessential Islamic cause.

Israel re-settling its ancient homelands in Judea-Samaria, in full accord with the post-World War I League of Nations Mandate for Palestine—all of it—being a recognized homeland for the Jews, is no “obstacle” to a “peace” never obtained despite two existing Sharia states in 80% of that Mandate, i.e., Jordan (78% of it), and Gaza/Hamastan (another 2% of it). The annihilationist jihadism and conjoined Islamic Jew-hatred of so-called Palestinian Muslims, and the global Muslim umma, sanctioned by Islam’s highest religious authorities, including the Al-Azhar “spiritual” leaders of Sunni Islam, remain the true obstacle to just peace.

Ransom Payment Highlights Hillary’s Ownership of Disastrous Iran Deal

Amid recent scrambling by President Obama and his senior officials to deny that a secret planeload of foreign currency worth $400 million sent to Iran in January to win the release of four innocent Americans was a ransom payment, there also has been maneuvering by Hillary Clinton’s campaign to insulate her from any blowback from the nuclear deal with Iran.

We saw this last week when Clinton surrogates and their media allies argued that although Clinton supports the agreement, which she claims “put a lid” on Iran’s nuclear program, she can’t be held responsible for the so-called ransom payment because she left the State Department in early 2013 and the Iran nuclear deal was negotiated between 2013 and 2015.

This circling of the wagons has included attacking Donald Trump for saying Clinton was responsible for the nuclear talks that resulted in the ransom payment. Trump expressed this in an August 3 tweet, “Our incompetent Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, was the one who started talks to give 400 million dollars, in cash, to Iran. Scandal!”

Glenn Kessler, in an August 3 Washington Post ‘Fact Checker” column, quickly awarded Trump four “Pinocchios” for this tweet for being false, explaining that:

Clinton stepped down as secretary of state in early 2013. The deal involving the American detainees — including The Washington Post’s Jason Rezaian — was announced in January this year, three years after the end of her tenure. Clinton did initiate negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program — though substantial talks with Iran did not take place until after she left.

I have been in touch with Kessler to dispute his article because it suggests the nuclear agreement with Iran (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA) and the ransom payment are mostly the result of a separate set of negotiations that occurred after Clinton left office. This is not true.

I explain in my new book on the JCPOA Obamabomb: A Dangerous and Growing National Security Threat that Clinton owns the nuclear deal as much as Obama does because the major decisions and concessions that produced this agreement were made while she was Secretary of State. This included naming the negotiators for the nuclear talks and approving two major U.S. concessions to Iran in 2011 – guaranteeing Iran the right to enrich uranium and agreeing to close the IAEA’s investigation of Iran’s past nuclear weapons work.

These concessions led to an extremely weak nuclear accord that allows Iran continue increasing its capability to make nuclear weapons by letting it enrich uranium, develop advanced uranium centrifuges and operate a plutonium-producing reactor. Iran also received over $150 billion in sanctions relief as part of the deal that it likely is using to fund terrorism and its WMD programs.

In addition, despite promises by the Obama administration that the nuclear deal would improve U.S.-Iran relations and Iran’s behavior, this obviously has not happened. Iran’s behavior has grown worse since the nuclear deal was announced with its ballistic missile tests, increased support to terrorists and the Assad regime and threats to shipping in the Persian Gulf. And let’s not forget the 10 U.S. sailors who Iran detained and humiliated last January.

Clinton has tried to claim credit for setting stage for the JCPOA by saying she and President Obama brought Iran to the negotiating table with a “dual track” strategy of sanctions and diplomacy. This is untrue, since Clinton and Obama actually fought hard to prevent Congress and the EU from imposing sanctions on Iran before later backing these sanctions when they could not stop them.

Moreover, after the administration decided to support sanctions imposed by Congress, it repeatedly weakened them with waivers. This undermined America’s negotiating position in the nuclear talks.

According to the Clinton campaign website, if elected President, Hillary Clinton will “vigorously enforce the nuclear agreement and implement a broader strategy to confront Iran’s bad behavior in the region, particularly the threat it poses to Israel.” These are empty promises because the verification provisions of the Iran deal are exceeding weak and Tehran has placed military sites off-limits. Iran also has promised to withdraw from the nuclear agreement if sanctions are reimposed.

There is already evidence of massive Iranian cheating on the nuclear agreement and indications that Tehran may be planning to withdraw from it. Obama and Clinton are ignoring this evidence so they can claim the nuclear deal is a success because Iran is in full compliance. By turning a blind eye to evidence of Iranian cheating on the nuclear deal, Clinton reiterated her complicity in this agreement.

The best way for the next president to deal with the fraudulent nuclear deal with Iran is to tear it up on his or her first day in office and begin negotiations on a new agreement which actually addresses the nuclear threat from Iran.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has said if he wins the 2016 presidential election he will renegotiate the Iran deal because it is one of the worst international agreements ever negotiated. My book Obamabomb has ten steps to guide such a re-negotiation by Mr Trump if he wins the election.

If Clinton wins in November, she is certain to keep the Iran deal in place and continue the Obama administration’s appeasement of Iran that led to this agreement.  This means the security situation in the Middle East will significantly worsen under a Clinton presidency as Iran gets closer to producing a nuclear weapons arsenal.

Before Congress, Experts Undermine Admin’s Iran Deal

Tuesday appeared to be Iran Day on Capitol Hill with two major hearings for the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. The first hearing, “Iran Nuclear Agreement: The Administrations Case” had three witnesses, Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew, and Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz. Before skeptical politicians, the three cabinet secretaries sought support for the Iran nuclear deal before Congress votes. Despite Kerry and his fellow peer’s attempts to clarify so-called “misunderstandings” in relation to the deal, their testimonies and responses to questions left politicians seeking answers more questions than they had going into the hearing.

Later on in the day a joint hearing for House Foreign Affairs subcommittees for on the Iran-North Korea Strategic Alliance, explored the relationship between the two rogue states, with witnesses Ilan Berman, Claudia Rosett, Larry Niksch and Jim Walsh. All but Walsh stressed the important role Iranian-North Korean cooperation plays in nuclear weapons development. The second hearing directly contradicted much of the previous testimony by Kerry, Lew and Moniz.

Kerry’s prepared remarks on the Iran Nuclear Agreement were fairly run of the mill. In his formal testimony, he stressed that the deal is a good one that greatly sets back the Iranians’ timetable of developing nuclear weapons, and that there is no tangible alternative to his prized deal. Kerry became discernibly flustered and frustrated as the questioning went on through the four-hour hearing, declaring multiple times that rather than complaints he wanted to hear an alternative option from the opponents of the deal.

However, when unable to utilize his scripted responses to various Representatives’ grilling questions, Kerry faltered.  When Representative Brad Sherman (D-California) probed Kerry about what would happen if Congress overrode President Obama’s presidential veto to block the deal, asking, “Will you follow the law even though you think it violates this agreement clearly and even if you think it’s absolutely terrible policy?” Kerry sat in silence for a few seconds, struggling to compose an answer. He finally responded with, “I can’t begin to answer that at this point without consulting with the president.”

Understandably, Sherman was surprised by the Secretary of State’s response, saying, “So you’re not committed to following the law?”

Kerry’s inability to answer a simple question of whether he would follow the law or not if the deal is blocked highlighted his and his peer’s overall incoherence when it comes to the repercussions this deal has on the United States’ own national security, and the security of our allies.

Despite Kerry’s claims yesterday that it is “much easier to push back against an Iran that doesn’t have a nuclear weapon,” witnesses in the joint subcommittee hearing on the Iran-North Korea Strategic Alliance pointed out that there is nothing keeping Iran from purchasing nuclear weapons or to move forward with their program on North Korean territory. Rosett pointed out that according to Chinese estimates, North Korea has a substantial amount of nuclear warheads, arguably more than they truly need. She furthered her analysis by suggesting it wouldn’t be impossible for North Korea to sell their surplus weaponry to Iran, who will now be in a financial position to do so. While Kerry assured lawmakers in his statements that he was convinced this deal successfully closed of any pathways Iran had to a nuclear bomb he completely ignored the significance of Iran’s close relations with North Korea.

Secretary of Treasury Lew stated in his testimony from the earlier hearing that, “should Iran violate its commitments once we have suspended sanctions, we have the mechanisms ready to snap them back into place. For U.S. sanctions, this can be done in a matter of days.”Claudia Rosett explained however that that snapback sanctions could actually make it easier for Iran to cheat on the deal as it provides disincentives for the US to utilize such snapbacks.

Any snapback sanctions must come from the United Nations Security Council, which as Rosett noted could take years to implement. Under the terms of the deal, Iran has the ability to remove itself from any commitments while still pocketing any gains it already has and walk away. Iran has cheated on every other nuclear agreement they have ever had, and there is no reason to believe this agreement will be any different. The flaw in the snapbacks, and the US’ resistance to penalize Iran for failing to uphold agreements, has already be foreshadowed earlier this month when it was widely reported that Iran was not following the terms of the interim agreement and the Administration turned a blind eye in order to continue negotiations.

The final claim, that of Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, in which, “environmental sampling can detect microscopic traces of nuclear materials even after attempts are made to remove the nuclear material,” remains true, however fails to take into account the fact that Iran could utilize its relations with North Korea to continue its nuclear weapons program with no detection. The nuclear deal lays out terms of the IAEA’s ability to suspicious sites in order to test for nuclear material. While that sounds good in theory, it fails to consider what if the Iranians use North Korean territory to test weapons. North Korea has not been shy in the past with its tests of ballistic missile technology, and there is speculation a new launch is planned in North Korea in October. Rosett pointed out in her testimony such a test is a prime example of how Iran could test its own technology in plain sight.

The two hearings on Capitol Hill on Tuesday in relation to the Iran nuclear deal proved there are still many unknowns in relation to the deal. What is not unknown is that the Administration remains extraordinarily hesitant to openly discuss key elements of the deal, and that the more that is learned about it, the worse it sounds for the US.