By: Brooks Agnew |
Seemingly violating the claim that America doesn’t negotiate with terrorists and hostage takers, reports have revealed that the Obama administration organized an airlift to transport $400 million in cash to Tehran which coincided with the January release of four Americans taken prisoner by Iran.
This is what part of the main stream media is trying to sell us. Reports say wooden pallets stacked and shrink-wrapped with a variety of currencies were loaded onto an unmarked cargo plane and flown to Iran. The Wall Street Journal reports that American officials procured the money from banks in Switzerland and the Netherlands. Actually, no bank would allow cash in such quantities to be deposited. International and US laws prohibit the movement of quantities of cash, specifically because it is not traceable to its source. But it gets worse than this. Circumventing laws designed to levy economic sanctions against America’s enemies is a felony.
You can’t make car payments in cash. You can’t make mortgage payments at the bank in cash. If you are caught with cash, law enforcement is authorized to confiscate it as though the cash itself committed a crime under civil forfeiture laws. Cash is the currency of crime.
The truth is that the Obama Administration has accumulated billions in unlaundered cash from the sale of, or permitting the sale of, illegal drugs. This cash sits in warehouses and is used to fund criminal activities and terrorism. It is used to buy influence. It is used to trade for arms, political favors, or for lives. One thing is universally well known. Cash is the currency of crime. It cannot be traced. It cannot be accounted for. Boxes or thick envelopes of cash shipped to government officials have purchased more elections than anything else.
The money was purportedly only the first installment of a $1.7 billion deal the Obama administration reached with Iran over an arms deal brokered with the Shah of Iran just before the Mullah’s took over in 1979. It makes sense that Iran would not accept US dollars, as they are notably the largest counterfeiter of US dollars on the planet. No one would trust Iran shipping stacks of dollars to pay for anything.
Valerie Jarrett is the Iranian co-president of the United States and has been feeding favors and preferential treatment to Iran since she has been in the White House. The planned excuse of old settlement payments was queued up in case the public pointed out that Iran was releasing Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, former U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati, Christian pastor Saeed Abedini, and Nosratollah Khosravi-Roodsari the same exact day that the cash arrived. It was actually Iranian official news sources that reported at the time that the prisoners were released in a “prisoner for cash” brokered by the Obama administration. The main stream news media kept this a guarded secret for more than seven months.
The administration also returned seven Iranian prisoners in exchange for the release of the Americans. Obama also dropped extradition proceedings against another 14 Iranians as part of the deal. Not only did the administration return seven Iranians but it was said Obama also agreed to drop U.S. sanctions against Iran as the nuclear deal was being crafted. The sudden January 2016 prisoner release was meant to keep Republicans from criticizing Obama’s nuclear deal. But the American people did not know Obama was paying a ransom for those hostages. They didn’t know he was digging into his stash of drug cartel money to keep that payment off the books. They didn’t know that Obama had just violated economic sanctions.
Mr. Obama is actually laughing at law enforcement, because he knows their network of corruption is tight and has been tested in public with the recent decision by the FBI not to prosecute Hillary Clinton, although the Director spent 14 minutes describing a litany of statutory violations. He clearly and publicly stated the facts of perjury before Congress. Still, because she is the Democrat nominee, no charges have been filed. It remains to be seen if the electorate decides to judge her in the court of public opinion.
“As we’ve made clear, the negotiations over the settlement of an outstanding claim … were completely separate from the discussions about returning our American citizens home,” State Department spokesman John Kirby told the Journal. “Not only were the two negotiations separate, they were conducted by different teams on each side, including, in the case of The Hague claims, by technical experts involved in these negotiations for many years.”
Arkansas Republican Senator Tom Cotton criticized the revelations accusing Obama of paying a “ransom to the ayatollahs for U.S. hostages.” A claim, it would seem, for which the main stream media has absolutely no interest whatsoever.
The truth is that Obama does not fear Miss Step-and-Fetch, the Attorney General. He does not fear the FBI Director, James Comey. And now, it is clear that he does not fear the American people.
At a press conference Thursday, Obama remarkably explained, “The reason that we had to give them cash is precisely because we are so strict in maintaining sanctions and we do not have a banking relationship with Iran.”
Really Mr. President? The whole point of sanctions is to prohibit and punish anyone — especially you, Mr. President — for violating them. Now, the sanctions at issue exclude Iran from the U.S. financial system by prohibiting Americans and financial institutions from engaging in currency transactions that involve Iran’s government. Period.
To this day, Iran remains on our government’s list of state sponsors of terrorism. Clinton’s state-of-emergency declaration has been annually renewed ever since. Obama has been renewing the state of emergency since 2009 — most recently, just five months ago.
It is not just U.S. dollar transactions that are prohibited; foreign currency is also barred. Obama’s cash payment, of course, involved both — a fact we’ll be revisiting shortly. The US Treasury Statutes cite ITSR (Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations), the part of the Code of Federal Regulations that implements anti-terrorism sanctions initiated by President Clinton under federal law. You get that? This relates to anti-terrorism sanctions!
The specific provision cited is Section 560.204, which states: The exportation, reexportation, sale, or supply, directly or indirectly, from the United States, or by a United States person, wherever located, of any goods, technology, or services to Iran or the Government of Iran is prohibited. This Federal regulation goes on to stress that this prohibition may not be circumvented by exporting things of value “to a person in a third country” when one has “knowledge or reason to know that” such things are “intended specifically for supply, transshipment, or reexportation, directly or indirectly, to Iran or the Government of Iran.”
Obama admitted committing this high crime at his press conference. He admitted that he has full knowledge these sanctions are still in effect and that they applied directly to his $400 million pay-out to our terrorist enemies. But here’s the president’s problem: While he is correct that the sanctions barred him from sending Iran a check or wire transfer, that is not all they forbid — not by a long shot. They also make it illegal to do what he did. As noted above, the sanctions prohibit transactions with Iran that touch the U.S. financial system, whether they are carried out in dollars or with foreign currencies.
Obama ordered $400 million in unaccounted cash that was then converted to foreign currencies and delivered to Iran aboard an unmarked freighter. Both steps clearly violated the regulations with malice, which prohibit the clearing of currency of any kind if Iran is even minimally involved in the deal. In this case, Iran is the actually beneficiary of the deal. Although these regulations leave no room for doubt that their point is to prevent and criminalize things like sending $400 million in cash to the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism, the ITSR adds another reg for good measure.
Section 560.203 states: Evasions; attempts; causing violations; conspiracies: . . . Any transaction . . . that evades or avoids, has the purpose of evading or avoiding, causes a violation of, or attempts to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this part is prohibited. . . . Any conspiracy formed to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this part is prohibited. Obama is clearly guilty of conspiracy to violate the law.
By his own admission on national television, President Obama engaged in the complex cash transfer in order to directly violate sanctions that prohibit the U.S. from having “a banking relationship with Iran.” The point of the sanctions is not to prevent banking with Iran; it is to prevent Iran from getting value from or through our financial system — the banking prohibition is a corollary. And the point of sanctions, if you happen to be the president of the United States sworn to execute the laws faithfully, is to follow them — not pat yourself on the back for keeping them in place while you willfully violate them.
The president’s press conference is better understood as a confession than an explanation. Oh, and there is also Section 560.701, which makes clear that willful violations of the regulations constitute serious felony offenses under federal criminal law — punishable by up to 20 years’ imprisonment.
There are two more laws he violated. The first is the law against providing material support to terrorists, Section 2339A of the federal penal code. It says that anyone who provides resources — including “currency or monetary instruments” — to a person or entity with knowledge that they are to be used in the preparation or carrying out of terrorism offenses is guilty of a serious felony. As we note above, the Obama administration has just reaffirmed that Iran remains a state sponsor of terrorism. Moreover, as our editors recounted in Friday’s National Review editorial: [Secretary of State] John Kerry even admitted in January that funds channeled to Iran as part of the nuclear deal would “end up in the hands of the IRGC [Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps] or other entities, some of which are labeled terrorists.” Obama makes it more likely the $400 million will be used for terrorism, because it was all in untraceable drug cartel cash. In fact, we do not know if was only $400 million. It could have been more, or less. We don’t know who took “handling charges” along the way. What’s a million dollars here or there? Iran likes to deny its complicity in jihadist acts; so now, flush with cash, it can fund atrocities without leaving a paper trail.
The second law involves money laundering, criminalized by Congress in Section 1956 of the penal code. There are several prohibited varieties of money laundering. It can be a crime, for example, to conduct a financial transaction greater than $10,000 using cash. Once the money is accepted into Iran’s banking system, it then can be used for any purpose without a need to report its origin. Hence, the drug cartel cash was cleaned and ready to enter the economy the instant it arrived in Iran.
The administration has conducted a financial transaction which facilitated both currency transfers to Iran and Iran’s certain use of the money to support terrorism. Plus, the money was shipped outside the United States before being transferred to Iran. Money-laundering cases often boil down to proof of intent; but we have televised admission by president Obama or foreknowledge, motive, and opportunity to commit these high crimes.
The circumstances of Obama’s enormous cash transfer to our terrorist enemies means the president has deliberately violated the law with malice and forethought and must therefore be impeached and removed from office. Immediately.