THE RHODES TO HUFFPOST: Resources & Evidence
By Jon Sutz
This page consists of documentation that is cited in, and supports the SaveTheWest.com report, “The Rhodes to HuffPost,” and additional resources that will be helpful to those who are interested in learning more about the issues central to the Iran deal.
Bibliography: Special research areas
(1.1) Iran has been the #1 largest state sponsor of global terrorism
Since 1979, the U.S. government and its allies have listed Iran as the world’s most dangerous state sponsor of terrorism, and government officials from across the political spectrum have been firmly opposed to any kind of normalized diplomatic or financial relations with the terror state until and unless it ceases these activities. Here is a sampling of articles and reports that present the background of Iran’s involvement in global terror, and why so many officials were opposed to the deal to lift sanctions, release $100 billion in cash, and provide Iran with a path to nuclear weapons.
 State Department report finds Iran is top state sponsor of terror, by Ryan Browne, CNN, June 2, 2016. Excerpt:
Bipartisan Agreement: Iran is Leading State Sponsor of International Terrorism, by Zachary Leshin, CNSNews, December 8, 2015.
State sponsor of terror: The global threat of Iran, by Daniel L. Byman, The Brookings Institution, February 11, 2015.
Iran: The Most Active State Sponsor of Terrorism, by United Against Nuclear Iran.
Private Government Report: Iran Spending Billions to Pay Terrorist Salaries, by Adam Kredo, Washington Free Beacon, September 4, 2015.
Iran spending billions on terrorists’ salaries: report, By Kellan Howell, The Washington Times, Saturday, September 5, 2015.
U.S. Taxpayers Are Funding Iran’s Military Expansion, by Eli Lake, Bloomberg, June 9, 2016.
(1.2) Iran’s involvement in the 9/11 attacks, and its long-term support for Al Qaeda
Although it is not widely known, in 2011 and again in 2016, U.S. federal courts ruled that Iran played a direct, material role in the 9/11 attacks, and in providing ongoing support for Al Qaeda:
Judge: Iran, Taliban, al Qaeda liable for 9/11, CBS News, December 23, 2011 (at right).
9/11 Lawsuit: Federal Court Awards $7 billion in final judgment against Iran and Hezbollah, Winder and Counsel, PC.
Iran loses Manhattan skyscraper to terror victims, by Daniel Beekman, New York Daily News, March 31, 2014.
A special report about dramatic revelations that could change everything we knew about 9/11, by Ronen Bergman, YNet News, September 11, 2011.
The court ruling and related documents
Complete resources, exhibits, legal notes: http://iran911case.com/
Havlish v. bin Laden, et al, Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, United States District Court, December 22, 2011.
Continuation – more rulings in 2016
Iran Told to Pay $10.5 Billion to Sept. 11 Kin, Insurers, by Bob Van Voris, Bloomberg, March 9, 2016.
(1.3) Iran’s campaign of murder against U.S. soldiers
Iran Is Responsible for More Than 1,000 American Military Deaths Since 9/11, by David French, National Review, July 14, 2015.
Nuke Deal or Not, Iran Has Already Declared War on Us, by Lawrence A. Franklin, The Gatestone Institute, August 20, 2015.
Report: Iran pays $1,000 for each U.S. soldier killed by the Taliban, NBC News, September 5, 2010 (The New York Daily News also covered this story, here).
Nuke Deal Helps Qasem Soleimani, The Top Iranian General With ‘American Blood on His Hands’, by Shane Harris, The Daily Beast, July 14, 2015.
Killing Americans and their Allies: Iran’s Continuing War Against the U.S. and the West, By Colonel (ret.) Richard Kemp and Major (ret.) Chris Driver-Williams, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, March 2015.
Private Government Report: Iran Spending Billions to Pay Terrorist Salaries, by Adam Kredo, Washington Free Beacon, September 4, 2015.
Iraqi Shi’ite cleric tells followers to target U.S. troops fighting Islamic State, by Stephen Kalin and Peter Cooney, Reuters, July 19, 2016. Excerpt:
Powerful Shi’ite Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr instructed his followers on Sunday to target U.S. troops deploying to Iraq as part of the military campaign against Islamic State.
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Monday the Pentagon would dispatch 560 additional troops to help Iraqi forces retake the northern city of Mosul in an offensive planned for later this year.
Sadr, who rose to prominence when his Mahdi Army battled U.S. troops after the 2003 invasion, posted the comments on his official website after a follower asked for his response to the announcement.
“They are a target for us,” Sadr said, without offering details.
Iran Deal Was Worse Than We Thought, by Jonathan S. Tobin, Commentary, July 20, 2016.
German intelligence revealed earlier this month that Iran is not only violating, as the administration concedes, the spirit of the agreement but also its letter, too, by seeking to illicitly purchase nuclear material that can be used to build a weapon.
That latter revelation apparently wasn’t enough to make it into the New York Times’ article on the anniversary of the deal. But for those who are actually paying attention to reality rather than administration spin, it turns out the pact was even worse than we thought.
(1.4) Background on sanctions imposed on Iran by the U.S. and allies
- A Study of Iran’s Responses to U.S. Economic Sanctions, by the Rubin Center, September 1999.
- A Summary of Sanctions Against Iran, by Josh Levs, CNN, January 23, 2012.
- Obama’s tortured history with sanctions against Iran, by Philip Klein, The Washington Examiner, November 26, 2013.
- Video: Iran Sanctions: The Forgotten History, The Wall St. Journal, July 21, 2015. Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust Director Anne Bayefsky on the significance of the U.N. vote to lift international sanctions on Iran.
- Fact Sheets: The Failure of Sanctions Against Iran, by the Jewish Virtual Library.
(1.5) The false claim that Hassan Rouhani is a “moderate”
In the spring of 2013, certain groups within and outside of Iran claimed that Hassan Rouhani, a candidate for president, was a “moderate.” Analysts and bloggers on the ground in Iran posted evidence that Rouhani’s own public statements reveal him as an extremist, including an open threat he made against America, on May 8, 2013 – only five weeks before he was elected as Iran’s new president:
“Saying ‘Death to America’ is easy. We need to express ‘Death to America’ with action. Saying it is easy.” – Hassan Rouhani, at a May 8, 2013 campaign rally in the city of Karaj, as reported by the Iranian state-run Mehr News Agency.
“The beautiful cry of ‘Death to America’ unites our nation.” – May 1995
“If your definition of terrorist groups are Hezbollah* and Hamas, they are not terrorists. They are the kinds of groups who are fighting for the freedom of land.” – September 12, 2002 interview with ABC News. *Hezbollah is the Iran-funded terrorist group that murdered 241 U.S. Marines in 1983 in Beirut, Lebanon. Both it and Hamas have openly declared their intention to destroy America and Israel, and both are dependent upon Iran for a significant portion of their funding, arms and terrorism training.
“Iran has always been against terrorism, and has always fought against terrorism.” – September 12, 2002 interview with ABC News.
“We recognize Israel as a terrorist nation.” – September 12, 2002 interview with ABC News.
Rouhani Praises Iran’s Terror Reach, by Michael Rubin, Commentary, May 11, 2016.
See more of Rouhani’s statements at “Rouhani: In His Own Words,” by United Against Nuclear Iran. The domestic terror policies of Hassan Rouhani, since becoming Iran’s president
About That New ‘Moderate’ Iranian Cabinet, by Sohrab Ahmari, The Wall St Journal, August 7, 2013.
Number Of Iran Executions Higher Under President Hassan Rouhani Than Ahmadinejad, by Alessandria Masi, International Business Times, October 30, 2014.
Dozens of Iranian Students Given 99 Lashes Each for Dancing at Coed Graduation Party, The Tower, May 31, 2016.
Iran Executes Two for ‘Perversion’ [being gay]; Third dealt death sentence for ‘insulting the prophet,’ by Adam Kredo, Washington Free Beacon, March 3, 2014.
Iran’s long list of broken promises: Rouhani’s pledge to defend human rights should have been delivered with a cynical snicker, by Ilan Berman and Mollie Adatto, Washington Times, December 5, 2013.
WATCH: Iranians Demand “Death to Israel”; Rouhani Calls for “Liberating Palestine,” by TheTower.org Staff, July 1, 2016.
(1.6) Iran’s chronic violations of the “interim nuclear deal,” before mid-2015
5 Ways Iran Is Cheating on the Interim Nuclear Deal, by Joel B. Pollak, Breitbart News, January 25, 2015.
Iran Violates Past Nuclear Promises on Eve of Deal, by Adam Kredo, Washington Free Beacon, July 2, 2015.
Iran’s long list of broken promises: Rouhani’s pledge to defend human rights should have been delivered with a cynical snicker, by Ilan Berman and Mollie Adatto, The Washington Times, December 5, 2013.
U.S. Says Iran Broke Nuke Treaty, by Dan Collins, CBS News, September 12, 2003.
Promises Before and Results After Khomeini’s Islamists Took Over, by Elmer Swenson, Gems of Islamism, June 27, 2005.
(1.7) Iran’s threats against the U.S. and Israel
Quotes by Iran’s leaders, during these “negotiations,” that indicate they will only ramp up anti-American terrorism if the deal passes:
Iran’s Khamenei hails his people for demanding death to America and Israel: In vicious speech, leader says he hopes God will answer these prayers; vows nuclear deal won’t change Iran’s support for Palestine, opposition to America, by Times of Israel staff and AFP, July 18, 2015.
Iran’s supreme leader screams ‘Death to America’ amid ongoing nuclear talks, by Joe Tacopino, New York Post, March 23, 2015. Video below:
“Saying ‘Death to America’ is easy. We need to express ‘Death to America’ with action. Saying it is easy.” – “Moderate” president Hassan Rouhani, May 8, 2013
Iran endorses nuclear EMP attack on United States, by Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner, March 19, 2015.
Iran publishes book on how to outwit US and destroy Israel, by Amir Taheri, New York Post, August 1, 2015.
Iran Funding Hamas Preparations for War, by Jonathan S. Tobin, Commentary, August 11, 2015.
2016 updates – Iran’s continued threats, and funding of terrorism:
Iranian army: In 25 years Israel will no longer be on the map, by Elad Benari, Arutz Sheva, July 1, 2016.
WATCH: Iranians Demand “Death to Israel”; Rouhani Calls for “Liberating Palestine,” by TheTower.org Staff, July 1, 2016.
Iran pledges thousands of dollars for Palestinian terrorists, by Raoul Wootliff, Times of Israel, February 24, 2016.
Iran pledges $70 million to Palestinian Islamic Jihad: As Iran deal critics warned, Tehran continues to up its support for terrorism with sanctions relief money; Move seen as snub to Hamas, by Ari Soffer, Israel National News, May 26, 2016.
(1.8) Articles and reports in opposition to the Iran deal, mid-2015
A 90-second video by the Heritage Foundation lays out the basics:
Improving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, by Mark Dubowitz and Annie Fixler, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, August 2015.
Biden: ‘Totally Legitimate Argument’ That Iran Can Use Sanctions Relief to Fund Terror, by David Rutz, The Washington Free Beacon, September 3, 2015. Key quote (video below):
“Well, Joe, even if I believed you were able to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, you’re going to give them a whole lot of money, Joe Boy!” Biden said with a laugh. “And they’re going to go out and do more of the bad things they’re doing now, do it more efficiently and threaten our friends in an existential way because they’ll have so much more money and capacity. Totally legitimate argument and concern.”
Iran: Obama Admin Lying About Nuclear Deal for ‘Domestic Consumption’: U.S. downplays Iranian victory to ‘soothe’ fear over deal, by Adam Kredo, Washington Free Beacon, July 30, 2015.
We’ve been dealing with the consequences of an Iranian regime that was poor. Get ready for an Iranian regime armed with an economic boom, by Ryan Mauro, the Clarion Project, August 2, 2015.
Expert Tells Congress, Iran Deal May ‘Neuter U.S. Ability’ to Sanction Iran for Its Support of Terrorism, by Patrick Goodenough, CNSNews, July 31, 2015
UN-Iran deal will let Tehran inspect site where it allegedly worked on nukes, by the Associated Press (via Fox News), August 19, 2015.
Op-Ed: 20 Threats Made by Iran Against Israel in 2013: Rhetoric in the Rouhani era: Could the message be any clearer?, by Daniel Ruinstein, Arutz Sheva, January 3, 2014.
All Nuke Inspectors Require Approval From Iran’s Intelligence Agency, by Adam Kredo, Washington Free Beacon, August 17, 2015.
Obama’s Disastrous Iran Deal, by Richard A. Epstein, The Hoover Institution, July 20, 2015.
The Case for Deadline -Triggered Sanctions on Iran, by Mark Dubowitz and Annie Fixler, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, January 2015.
(1.9) Editorials by SaveTheWest.com founder Kenneth Abramowitz on why the Iran deal should be opposed (through August 2015)
(1.10) Articles that document the unraveling of the Iran deal (September 2015 onward; latest articles first)
“White House Partner Asked Soros for $750K to Fund Pro-Iran Deal ‘Echo Chamber’: Ploughshares Fund needed cash to spin media, pay off ‘validators’,” by Adam Kredo, Washington Free Beacon, August 18, 2016. Excerpt:
The money would be used to facilitate “mainstream and social media outreach by validators along with other public and private efforts to shape the debate in support of an agreement and continued diplomacy,” the request states. Ploughshares also hoped to “increase outreach by coalition members and validators to policymakers with focus on long-term impact of the deal on regional and global security issues where potential cooperation with Iran could be beneficial.”
[Ed.: The use of the term “validators” is important, in general, and because HuffPost refers to its ability to attract and inform “influencers.”]
Congress was right: The Iran deal is a travesty — and Obama is to blame
The terrible Iran deal, complete with a $400M payment, is proving to be the disaster Republicans predicted, by Carrie Sheffield, Salon, August 4, 2016. Excerpt:
Onlookers concerned about a nuclear Iran shouldn’t be surprised by a report from The Wall Street Journal that the Obama administration secretly apparently airdropped $400 million in foreign currency in exchange for the release of four Americans, a move that breaches U.S. protocol and amounts to ransom. Even more troubling, yet not surprising: new reports that Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is publicly backpedalling from President Obama’s prized nuclear deal.
On state-affiliated media, Khamenei reportedly blasted “the futility of negotiations with the Americans” and said the United States wasn’t keeping its promises under the nuclear agreement. The deal itself was signed under constitutionally questionable circumstances — it essentially amounted to a treaty, which would have required congressional approval–over the protests of Congress, including many Democrats like Sen. Chuck Schumer.
These latest developments undoubtedly confirm what conservatives and other pro-Israel activists have been arguing throughout this entire episode. They’re yet another reason why people who don’t like flawed GOP nominee Donald Trump will still have a hard time voting for Hillary Clinton, given her prominent role in helping usher in this flawed deal. They also tarnish President Obama’s legacy, despite his brag last week at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia that he’d “shut down Iran’s nuclear weapons program.”
More proof Iran Nuke Deal not about stopping a nuclear weapon, by David Gerstman, Legal Insurrection, July 25, 2016. Excerpt:
Emily Landau, head of the Arms Control and Regional Security Program at the Tel Aviv-based Institute for National Security Studies, told the The Jerusalem Post earlier this week, the document “proves that Iran’s enrichment program has been totally legitimized by this deal.”
This is an important point. Iran had multiple UN Security Council resolutions condemning it and sanctions imposed on it for failing to suspend its enrichment program. So the deal ensures that same activity that was duly punished by the UN and the international community is now allowed even without Iran coming into compliance with its responsibilities. For future proliferators this is a dangerous precedent. If you refuse long enough, your violations may be forgiven.
Obama Withheld from Congress Another Secret Side Deal with the Iranians, by Fred Fleitz, Family Security Matters, July 21, 2016. Excerpt:
What is news is that the Obama administration is a party to another secret side deal to the JCPOA that explicitly recognizes Iran’s plan to greatly expand its uranium-enrichment program. Other secret side deals include one that allows Iran to inspect itself on possible nuclear-weapons-related work and another that possibly weakened IAEA reporting on Iran’s nuclear program.
As with the previous secret agreements, withholding this deal from Congress probably violated the Corker-Cardin Act, which required the administration to provide all JCPOA documents – including side deals – to Congress before it voted on the deal last September.
According to Jahn’s report, “U.S. officials say members of Congress who expressed interest [in the document] were briefed on its substance.” Translation: The administration did not provide this side-deal document to Congress or mention it in committee briefings. Instead, the substance of this document was briefed only to members of Congress who asked about this issue.
So why haven’t we heard about this before now? Why didn’t representatives who were briefed on this secret side deal cry foul and demand that it be released before Congress voted on the nuclear deal last fall? I suspect the reason is that the administration briefed a handful of congressmen on the contents of this side deal without revealing the side deal’s existence. Also, this discovery forces us to ask: Are there more secret side deals to the CPOA that have not been made public or disclosed to Congress?
Surprise! The Government Lied About the Iran Deal: A trusty guide to the deal’s contradictions, by Liel Leibovitz, The Tablet, July 21, 2016. Excerpts:
— Surprise! Many of al-Qaeda’s senior leadership live in Iran and openly liaise with the Islamic Republic’s leadership.
— Surprise! After ten years, Iran would be able to install centrifuges up to five times as efficient as the 5,060 machines it can now use, which even the government’s go-to resource on Iran’s nuclear program, the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security, says “will create a great deal of instability and possibly even lead to war.”
— Surprise! We’re totally fine with the Russians selling advanced weapons to Iran, including long-range S-300 missiles.
— Surprise! The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will not be allowed to complete its investigation into just what kind of nuclear weapons work Iran did in its military complex in Parachin.
Iran Preparing to Reopen Prohibited Nuclear Sites; Leader: ‘Iran has no other option but to retaliate’, by Adam Kredo, Washington Free Beacon, July 21, 2016. Excerpt:
Top Iranian leaders have instructed the country’s atomic energy organization to prepare for the reopening of multiple nuclear sites that had been shuttered as part of last summer’s nuclear agreement.
Ali Larijani, the leader of Iran’s parliament, requested this week that the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization prepare a plan to reopen nuclear enrichment facilitates that had been shutdown as part of the effort to limit Tehran’s research into nuclear weapons technology, according to comments carried in Iran’s state-controlled media.
Iranian leaders are displeased with a recent United Nations report chastising the Islamic Republic for violating international agreements prohibiting the country’s work on ballistic missiles.
The U.N. described these repeated test launches as not consistent with international accords. Iranian leaders dismissed the report as “biased.”
Iran Deal Was Worse Than We Thought, by Jonathan S. Tobin, Commentary, July 20, 2016. Excerpt:
[G]erman intelligence revealed earlier this month that Iran is not only violating, as the administration concedes, the spirit of the agreement but also its letter, too, by seeking to illicitly purchase nuclear material that can be used to build a weapon.
That latter revelation apparently wasn’t enough to make it into the New York Times’ article on the anniversary of the deal. But for those who are actually paying attention to reality rather than administration spin, it turns out the pact was even worse than we thought.
Obama Admin Kept Lawmakers in Dark About Secret Iran Side Deals; Congressman: Disclosures invalidate entire nuclear deal, by Adam Kredo, Washington Free Beacon, July 20, 2016. Excerpt:
The Obama administration hid from Congress key information about a secret deal with Iran permitting it to maintain critical aspects of its nuclear program, according to a leading member of Congress, who exclusively told the Washington Free Beacon that these disclosures invalidate the entirety of last summer’s nuclear agreement with Iran.
The revelation of the secret deal is being described by congressional insiders as further proof the Obama administration misled lawmakers and the American public about the terms of last summer’s nuclear agreement, which was framed by top U.S. officials as the only way to stop Iran’s march toward a nuclear weapon. There “will be hell to pay” as a result of the disclosure, according to one senior congressional source apprised of the situation.
Newly obtained documents show the Obama administration negotiated a secret side agreement with Iran that removes key restrictions on its nuclear procurement efforts after a decade, paving the way for Tehran to build functional nuclear weapons within six months of the restrictions being lifted.
Iran’s FM extolls country’s ability to restore nuke program, Associated Press, July 19, 2016.
AP Exclusive: Document shows less limits on Iran nuke work, by George Jahn, Associated Press, July 18, 2016. Excerpt:
Key restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program imposed under an internationally negotiated deal will start to ease years before the 15-year accord expires, advancing Tehran’s ability to build a bomb even before the end of the pact, according to a document obtained Monday by The Associated Press.
The confidential document is the only text linked to last year’s deal between Iran and six foreign powers that hasn’t been made public, although U.S. officials say members of Congress who expressed interest were briefed on its substance. It was given to the AP by a diplomat whose work has focused on Iran’s nuclear program for more than a decade, and its authenticity was confirmed by another diplomat who possesses the same document.
Iran can fully restore nuclear program if JCPOA violated: Rouhani, PressTV.com (Iran’s official propaganda organ) July 13, 2016. Excerpt:
Iran can fully restore nuclear program if JCPOA violated: Rouhani, PressTV.com (Iran’s official propaganda organ) July 13, 2016. President Hassan Rouhani says Iran can restore all those aspects of its nuclear program that it has agreed to limit under a deal with six world powers if the agreement is violated by those countries.
Speaking at a ceremony in Tehran Wednesday to mark the first anniversary of the deal, Rouhani said Iran will remain committed to the accord but will also be able to quickly return the nuclear program to any desired level if the agreement is violated. […]
“If, some day, the P5+1 refuses [to fulfill] its commitments, we will be completely prepared, and, in terms of nuclear capabilities, we are at such a level so as to be able to reach our desired stage in a short period of time,” Rouhani said.
Truth Catches the Iran Deal: Obama trumpets an agreement that Tehran violates at every turn, by Bret Stephens, Wall St. Journal, July 11, 2016. Excerpt:
For the past year [the Obama administration] has developed a narrative—spoon-fed to the reporters and editorial writers Ben Rhodes publicly mocks as dopes and dupes—that Iran has met all its obligations under the deal, and now deserves extra cookies in the form of access to U.S. dollars, Boeing jets, U.S. purchases of Iranian heavy water (thereby subsidizing its nuclear program), and other concessions the administration last year promised Congress it would never grant.
“We still have sanctions on Iran for its violations of human rights, for its support for terrorism, and for its ballistic-missile program, and we will continue to enforce those sanctions vigorously,” Mr. Obama said in January. Whatever.
The administration is now weighing whether to support Iran’s membership in the World Trade Organization. That would neutralize a future president’s ability to impose sanctions on Iran, since WTO rules would allow Tehran to sue Washington for interfering with trade.
German Intelligence Report: Iran Stepping Up Efforts to Obtain Nuclear Technology Since Signing Deal With World Powers Last Year, by Ruthie Blum, The Algemeiner, July 7, 2016. Excerpt:
Iran has increased its efforts to obtain materials used for nuclear weapons since it signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with world powers on July 14 last year, Germany’s domestic intelligence agency warned last week, Israel’s i24 News reported on Thursday.
According to the report, the annual findings released by the German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) revealed that Tehran has been attempting to acquire illicit materials in Germany, “especially goods that can be used in the field of nuclear technology.”
The BfV also pointed to “a further increase in the already considerable procurement efforts in connection with Iran’s ambitious missile technology program which could, among other things, potentially serve to deliver nuclear weapons.
“Against this backdrop it is safe to expect that Iran will continue its sensitive procurement activities in Germany using clandestine methods to achieve its objectives.”
Not even Secretary Kerry can make sense of the Iran deal anymore, by Benjamin Weingarten, Conservative Review, July 6, 2016. Excerpt:
Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic’s frequently Obama-friendly muse on all things Middle East in general and Israel in particular, asked an admittedly difficult question of Sec. Kerry.
Paraphrasing him, Goldberg asked how Sec. Kerry could reconcile two seemingly contradictory positions: On the one hand backing the $25 billion sale of Boeing commercial aircrafts to Iran, while on the other recently reaffirming that Iran is the world’s primary state sponsor of terror, and one that has previously supplied the Assad regime — to which Sec. Kerry is particularly hostile — and Hezbollah with the very commercial aircrafts Iran stands to receive under the Boeing deal.
Sec. Kerry’s response was stunning in a sort of rambling, incoherent way.
The Iran deal at one year: Reality vs. the promises, NY Post Editorial Board, July 2, 2016. Excerpt:
To mark the first anniversary of President Obama’s deal with Iran, the folks at the Foreign Policy Initiative have just published a comprehensive compilation of promises vs. results. It’s a devastating roundup.
FPI’s Tzvi Kahn notes what Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and other top officials promised at the time would happen if the deal went through — in contrast with what we know now.
The level of willful deceit from Team Obama is horrifying. For example:
* Under the deal, Obama said, “We will, for the first time, be in a position to verify all of [Iran’s] commitments.” A year later, we have less information about Iran’s nuclear activities than we did before the pact.
* Washington will get full access to any military and “suspicious” location; Iran’s failure to allow it would result in a “snap back” of sanctions, said Kerry. Huh: The deal turns out to include an unprecedented arrangement that relies on Iran to “self-inspect” its Parchin military complex. Iran continues to deny access to Parchin and other key sites, citing the agreement to let it self-inspect.
* Kerry insisted the deal contained “the exact same language” as UN resolutions prohibiting ballistic-missile development. Iran has since revealed a loophole that allows such development — which it’s been exploiting, while Team Obama now says it isn’t a violation. Kerry says he wants a “new arrangement” on the issue but agrees Washington is “powerless” to stop the missile program.
Read the entire FPI report here:
FPI Analysis: What They Said Then, What We Know Now about the Iran Nuclear Deal, by Tzvi Kahn, Foreign Policy Initiative, June 30, 2016.
Benghazi Report Shows Ben Rhodes Pushed False Video Narrative After Attack, by Helle Dale, The Daily Signal, June 30, 2016. Excerpt:
For the first time we know that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice was briefed by Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, and David Plouffe, President Barack Obama’s senior political adviser, which gave her statements the desired political spin:
Susan Rice’s comments on the Sunday talk shows were met with shock and disbelief by State Department employees in Washington. The Senior Libya Desk Officer, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, State Department, wrote: ‘I think Rice was off the reservation on this one.’ The Deputy Director, Office of Press and Public Diplomacy, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, State Department, responded: ‘Off the reservation on five networks!’ The Senior Advisor for Strategic Communications, Bureau of Near East Affairs, State Department, wrote: ‘WH [White House] very worried about the politics. This was all their doing.’ [pg. 132]
In Bed With a Terrorist State, by Jonathan S. Tobin, Commentary, June 29, 2016. Excerpt:
Several months into the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal, the arrangement seems to be working perfectly—for both Iran and the Western companies that joined the Tehran gold rush, that is. Iranian oil is being shipped again to European ports while Western firms are going all out to meet the needs of the Islamist regime and hoping to make a mint from the transactions.
As this profile occupies nearly 10,000 words, the following key excerpts will provide the newcomer with a quick grasp of its contents:
The Aspiring Novelist Who Became Obama’s Foreign-Policy Guru: How Ben Rhodes rewrote the rules of diplomacy for the digital age, by David Samuels, The New York Times Magazine, May 5, 2016. Key excerpts [emphasis added]:
“All these newspapers used to have foreign bureaus,” [Rhodes] said. “Now they don’t. They call us to explain to them what’s happening in Moscow and Cairo. Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.” […]
[R]hodes has become adept at ventriloquizing many people at once. Ned Price, Rhodes’s assistant, gave me a primer on how it’s done. The easiest way for the White House to shape the news, he explained, is from the briefing podiums, each of which has its own dedicated press corps. “But then there are sort of these force multipliers,” he said, adding, “We have our compadres, I will reach out to a couple people, and you know I wouldn’t want to name them — ”
“I can name them,” I said, ticking off a few names of prominent Washington reporters and columnists who often tweet in sync with White House messaging. Price laughed. “I’ll say, ‘Hey, look, some people are spinning this narrative that this is a sign of American weakness,’ ” he continued, “but — ” “In fact it’s a sign of strength!” I said, chuckling.
“And I’ll give them some color,” Price continued, “and the next thing I know, lots of these guys are in the dot-com publishing space, and have huge Twitter followings, and they’ll be putting this message out on their own.” […]
[R]hodes’s war room did its work on Capitol Hill and with reporters. In the spring of last year, legions of arms-control experts began popping up at think tanks and on social media, and then became key sources for hundreds of often-clueless reporters. “We created an echo chamber,” he admitted, when I asked him to explain the onslaught of freshly minted experts cheerleading for the deal. “They were saying things that validated what we had given them to say.” […]
“We had test drives to know who was going to be able to carry our message effectively, and how to use outside groups like Ploughshares, the Iran Project and whomever else. So we knew the tactics that worked.” […]
“I’d prefer a sober, reasoned public debate, after which members of Congress reflect and take a vote,” he said, shrugging. “But that’s impossible.”
Ed.: The evidence of what HuffPost did and failed to do, when correlated to these boasts by Rhodes and Price, reveal that it acted as the most influential online puppet for this cadre of political “ventriloquists.”
. (2) Chronology of select analyses and commentaries on the New York Times Magazine’s profile of Ben Rhodes
Below is a sampling of the torrent of articles in newspapers and on websites that provided excerpts of, and analysis of the Rhodes profile in the New York Times Magazine. They items are presented here in the order in which they were published (oldest to newest). HuffPost published none of these items, and has provided no substantive analysis of the core issues that the Times interview revealed, about the reality of the Iran deal, or the preceding negotiations.
Ben Rhodes, Liar: The man who creates the White House’s own reality, by Aaron MacLean, the Washington Free Beacon, May 6, 2016 4:59am EST.
Grand Deception: How Obama and Ben Rhodes Lied Us Into the Iran nuke deal, by David Gerstman, Legal Insurrection, May 6, 2016, 8:30am EST.
White House BRAGS about how it tricked reporters into cheerleading for Obama’s Iran nuclear deal by creating a media ‘echo chamber’, by David Martosko, Daily Mail, May 6, 2016, 13:38pm EST.
Obama’s Former Defense Secretary: Yeah, We Lied To The Israelis That We’d Stop Iran From Going Nuclear, by Hank Berrien, The Daily Wire, May 6, 2016.
Of pride, falls — and Obama’s foreign policy, by Richard Cohen, The Washington Post, May 9, 2016.
The Obama-Rhodes mind-meld: A foreign policy tale told by an idiot, by J.E. Dyer, Liberty Unyielding, May 11, 2016. Excerpt:
I have four tasks here. One, to take you briefly through the most important foreign-policy information the Samuels article conveyed. Two, to show how the Obama-Rhodes mind-meld framed our security priorities exactly backward from what they actually are. Three, to briefly address some significant changes that have already occurred in the Middle East because of Obama-Rhodes. And four, to disabuse your stubborn mind of the notion that there is a U.S. “military option” left against the Iranian nuclear program now.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry Meets With European Bankers in Iran-Business Push, by Felicia Schwartz and Margot Patrick, Wall St. Journal, May 12, 2016. Excerpt:
Mr. Kerry and other U.S. officials have crisscrossed the globe in recent weeks in an effort to meet with banking and business leaders to promote investment in Iran, a country with which the U.S. has no diplomatic ties. But many European banks have been wary of doing business involving Iran while U.S. sanctions are still in place and a ban remains on dollar-denominated transactions. “They [the Iranians] have an expectation that the sanctions that are supposed to be lifted are in fact lifted.” Mr. Kerry said Thursday.
Iran: U.S. Encouraging Islamic Republic to Keep Illicit Missile Tests Secret; State Department declines to respond, by Adam Kredo, The Washington Free Beacon, May 16, 2016, 1:56 pm ET.
Inside the Pro-Iran ‘Echo Chamber’: Private email list pushed pro-Iran message to journalists, think tankers, officials, by Alana Goodman, The Washington Free Beacon, May 16, 2016.
White House’s Pro-Iran ‘Propaganda Operation’ May Violate U.S. Law: Obama admin lambasted during investigation into Iran deal deception, By Adam Kredo, The Washington Free Beacon, May 17, 2016 2:15 pm.
White House cites executive privilege, keeps Obama adviser from testifying about Iran nuclear deal, By Stephen Dinan, The Washington Times, May 17, 2016. Excerpt:
Mr. Chaffetz then went on to play a clip of Mr. Rhodes from early 2015 saying the negotiations produced access to Iran’s nuclear facilities anytime and anywhere — then played a clip of Secretary of State John Kerry later that summer saying that was never a goal, and wasn’t part of the agreement. […] [I]nitially, when first asked last week about the possibility of Mr. Rhodes testifying, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said it “has nothing to do with executive privilege.” On Monday, Mr. Eggleston reversed that decision and did assert privilege.
The Obama administration’s smear campaign against Netanyahu: Testimony from former White House official Michael Dolan
VIDEO: How the White House Smeared Benjamin Netanyahu to Sell the Iran Deal, Mosaic, May 18, 2016. Excerpt:
Testifying before Congress, Michael Doran explains how the Obama administration worked to conceal its true intentions in making a deal with Iran, namely to realign the U.S. with the Islamic Republic and disengage from America’s historic allies in the region. The White House further obscured discussion of the deal’s merits by attempting to manipulate an all-too-pliant media; these efforts included what Doran terms a “venomous whisper campaign” to cast the Israeli prime minister “as the villain of the Middle East peace process, an arch-nationalist with unseemly ties to the Republican party who refuses to make the necessary compromises to bring about an historic reconciliation with the Palestinians.”
Michael Doran bio.
Transcript of Doran’s May 18, 2016 testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform here.
Former Senior US Official: White House Launched ‘Venomous Whisper Campaign’ Against Netanyahu to Sell Iran Nuclear Deal (VIDEO), by Lea Speyer, The Algemeiner, May 19, 2016. Excerpt:
As part of the Obama administration’s strategy to sell the Iran nuclear deal, the White House launched a smear campaign against one of the deal’s biggest critics, Israel’s prime minister, a former policy official told Congress on Tuesday. According to the congressional testimony of Michael Doran — Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute and a former senior director in the National Security Council (NSC) in the administration of President George W. Bush — the White House initiated a “whisper campaign” against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cast him “as the villain of the Middle East peace process, an arch-nationalist with unseemly ties to the Republican party who refuses to make the necessary compromises to bring about an historic reconciliation with the Palestinians,” he told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
Group that helped sell Iran nuke deal also funded media, by Bradley Klapper, the Associated Press, May 20, 2016. Excerpt:
A group the White House recently identified as a key surrogate in selling the Iran nuclear deal gave National Public Radio $100,000 last year to help it report on the pact and related issues, according to the group’s annual report. It also funded reporters and partnerships with other news outlets.
The Ploughshares Fund’s mission is to “build a safe, secure world by developing and investing in initiatives to reduce and ultimately eliminate the world’s nuclear stockpiles,” one that dovetails with President Barack Obama’s arms control efforts. But its behind-the-scenes role advocating for the Iran agreement got more attention this month after a candid profile of Ben Rhodes, one of the president’s top foreign policy aides.
In The New York Times Magazine article, Rhodes explained how the administration worked with nongovernmental organizations, proliferation experts and even friendly reporters to build support for the seven-nation accord that curtailed Iran’s nuclear activity and softened international financial penalties on Tehran.
“We created an echo chamber,” said Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser, adding that “outside groups like Ploughshares” helped carry out the administration’s message effectively.
J-Street officials met with Ben Rhodes at White House to strategize on pro-Iran policy, by Elder Of Ziyon, May 22, 2016. Excerpt:
J-Street’s Jeremy Ben Ami was a frequent visitor to the White House in the months leading up to the Iran deal. White House records show that Ben-Ami has been a frequent guest, with 12 visits between 2012 and 2014. While some of these visits were as a guest in lavish White House parties with hundreds of other guests, some of the meetings were more intimate, with top White House officials. […]
Ben-Ami’s private access to top White House officials continued after that. He met one-on-one with Philip Gordon, Special Assistant to the President and White House Coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa, and the Persian Gulf Region, in February 2015, and had another one on one meeting with Robert Malley, Gordon’s successor, in May. Shortly thereafter, J-Street launched a website, Iran Deal Facts, that slickly lied about what the deal meant. It took serious money to create it. The site is no longer there, perhaps because it is so easily found to have been nothing but pro-White House propaganda.
J-Street has also publicly aligned with the National Iranian American Council, the unofficial pro-Iran lobby in the US, in pushing the Iran nuclear deal. NIAC’s head Trita Parsi also enjoyed some intimate meetings with White House officials in 2014, mostly with Rumana Ahmed, the While House Muslim advisor, and also with Jewish liaison Matt Nosanchuk.
The Secret History of the Iran-Deal ‘Echo Chamber’, by Eli Lake, Bloomberg.com, May 24, 2016. Excerpts (emphasis added):
The problem, according to [Ploughshares Fund’s] Hurlburt and Ferenbach, was that in 2011 a succession of news stories on Iran, ranging from reports of progress on the country’s nuclear program to the Treasury Department’s designations that accused Iran of colluding with al Qaeda*, had put progressives on defense. “We are left in the position of responding to the news headlines and parrying the negative commentary that follows,” they wrote.
[*Ed. note: In 2011, a U.S. federal court ruled Iran was partially liable for the 9/11 attacks, and ordered to pay the victims $7 billion. Iran refused to comply, and as a result a NY skyscraper was seized by the U.S. government and auctioned off. Further, the court ruled that Iran’s leaders had a long-term working relationship with Al Qaeda.]
Among the authors’ recommendations was that the Iran Strategy Group attack conservatives who advocated military strikes. “On a messaging note, it would be best to describe them as ‘pro-war,’ and leave it to them to back off that characterization of their position,” they wrote. […]
After a critical story from the AP last week on Ploughshares grants to National Public Radio, Cirincione went on the attack. In a column for Huffington Post suggesting the AP story was part of a campaign from opponents of the Iran deal to discredit him and his organization, he wrote, “Neoconservatives are furious that their efforts to trick the country into another unnecessary war in the Middle East failed.”
Oops! NPR admits it did cancel interview with Iran-deal critic, by John Sexton, HotAir, May 24, 2016. Excerpts:
National Public Radio admitted Monday that it did cancel an interview with Rep. Mike Pompeo, a congressional critic of the Iran deal, despite having told the Associated Press last week that it had no record of contact with him.
Last week the AP revealed that National Public Radio had taken $100,000 in 2015 from the Ploughshares Fund, a group that White House adviser Ben Rhodes said was helpful in setting up a media “echo chamber” to pass the deal. NPR flatly denied that the donation had any impact on their coverage of the deal. […]
Let’s just state the obvious here. NPR took money ($700,000 over a period of several years) from a group that the White House has identified as part of the Iran deal echo-chamber. NPR says that money didn’t influence coverage, and yet one of the outspoken critics of the deal had his interview canceled and, a month later, had his 2nd approach to the network rebuffed. It has all the appearance of bias. For that matter, NPR’s decision to host Ploughshares Fund president Joseph Cirincione on two occasions to offer positive (and partisan) political spin for the deal looks a lot like pay-for-play.
The deep meaning of Ben Rhodes, by Scott Johnson, Powerline.com, May 25, 2016. Excerpt:
You may recall that White House flack Josh Earnest asserted that committee member Ken Buck and others were lying about the deal because they asserted Iran would receive a (non)signing bonus of $100 or $150 billion in connection with the deal. Yet the administration’s friends in the Iranian regime support this widely reported fact, as the Washington Post noted in “Iran claims $100 billion now freed in major step as sanctions roll back?
NPR: We probably shouldn’t have taken funding from Ploughshares Fund to cover Iran deal, by John Sexton, HotAir, May 31, 2016. Excerpts:
National Public Radio’s ombudsman published a response to the government funded news channel’s decision to accept money from the Ploughshares Fund to cover the Iran deal in 2015. […] And where did all those positive voices come from? Well, as NPR now admits, many of them came from the group of pro-Iran deal voices assembled by the Ploughshares Fund:
[NPR Ombudsman] Where I found more cause for concern — and where both Oreskes and Mohn agree that there was a breakdown, at least in internal processes and disclosure — is in the large number of Ploughshares-funded analysts and experts who made it on the air to talk up the deal, without any acknowledgment of that by NPR.
The coalition that Ploughshares assembled to push the deal was astonishing, and it would likely have been almost impossible to cover the story without talking to those sources.
. Addendum: The Administration removed a key clip from a State Dept. video, which confirmed that Obama lied about when discussions with Iran began
Background: During the last presidential debate of 2012, Obama vehemently denied that discussions were underway with Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, Iran’s madman president:
SCHIEFFER: Let me ask both of you, there — as you know, there are reports that Iran and the United States a part of an international group, have agreed in principle to talks about Iran’s nuclear program. What is the deal, if there are such talks? What is the deal that you would accept, Mr. President?
OBAMA: Well, first of all those are reports in the newspaper. They are not true.
After the Ben Rhodes scandal broke in May 2016, several enterprising reporters tried to dig up a key State Dept. briefing from 2013 in which spokeswoman Jen Psaki confirmed that discussions had been underway with Iran, before the election of the “moderate” president Hassan Rouhani in June 2013. They found that that isolated segment of the video had been removed, but the rest of the briefing video was intact. The following is the chronology of these reporters’ efforts to discover the truth.
State Dept. blames ‘glitch’ for missing Iran video, by Pete Kasperowicz, The Washington Examiner, May 10, 2016. Excerpt:
The State Department said Tuesday that a “glitch” led a video on its website to be altered in such a way that it removed comments from a spokeswoman who seemed to admit in 2013 that the government lied about when the Iran nuclear talks started. “There was a glitch in the State Department video,” spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau told reporters.
Ed.: Three weeks later, on June 1, the State Department admitted that this was no “glitch,” but rather, was a deliberate action by an employee, at the request of an unknown employee.
State Dept. admits intentionally altering video of Iran press conference, by Pete Kasperowicz, The Washington Examiner, June 1, 2016. Excerpt:
The State Department admitted Wednesday that a 2013 press briefing video was purposefully altered to remove a portion of a discussion about the Iran nuclear talks, after an unknown State Department official asked that it be edited out. […]
Kirby said he asked the Office of the Legal Adviser to look into the issue, and that officials “learned that a specific request was made to excise that portion of the briefing. We do not know who made the request to edit the video, or why it was made.”
Kirby insisted that the person who made the edit only remembers that he or she got a call from someone at the State Department, who was passing on a request from the departments’ Public Affairs Bureau. But he said the person who received the call didn’t remember who the caller was, and doesn’t know who in that bureau made the request.
Tapper Lays Out Multiple Lies by State Department Over Video Deletion: ‘It Should Outrage Every American’, by David Rutz, The Washington Free Beacon, June 2, 2016. Excerpt:
CNN host Jake Tapper used the “buried lead” of his show Thursday to blast the State Department for its deception surrounding an intentional video deletion from a December 2013 briefing, saying it should “outrage every American.” […] “It’s literally someone at the State Department trying to bury something, hiding it from you,” Tapper said. “In this case, it was an acknowledgment by the Obama administration of having lied to reporters, a scrubbing of the public record, and it should outrage every American.”
In step-by-step fashion, Tapper laid out to viewers three different lies told by members of the agency.
(3) About the Huffington Post – and its claims that it is a nonpartisan, professional “news” organization
The Huffington Post, or ‘HuffPost,’ claims it has nearly 130 million readers per month, making it “the largest news site in the U.S.” One traffic analysis site claims that with its fifteen international editions, HuffPost is now the #1 most-popular political website in the world. It is owned by AOL, which in turn is owned by Verizon. AOL publicly tells the prospective advertisers (screencap) that:
“HuffPost is the new model for media organizations.”
HuffPost’s banner claims its first mission is to “inform” its readers: According to its founder and editor-in-chief, Arianna Huffington, this means “informing” readers in an nonpartisan and fearless way:
“[T]oo many reporters have forgotten that the highest calling of journalists is to ferret out the truth, consequences be damned.” (Source)
“The editorial stance of the Huffington Post is to debunk the right-left way of thinking, which has become completely obsolete.” (Source)
“[HuffPost is] increasingly seen … as an Internet newspaper, not positioned ideologically in terms of how we cover the news.” (Source)
HuffPost ‘s claim that it has “rigorous editorial policies and standards… to ensure that we maintain the highest level of journalistic integrity.”
HuffPost’s senior editors jointly wrote this sentence, to defend it against charges that it wrongfully suspended a journalist for plagiarism – and after she claimed that she was only doing what Huffington and her editors “taught and told [us] to do”:
“The Huffington Post has in place rigorous editorial policies and standards that we expect all editors, reporters and newsroom staff to follow. If they do not, senior editors take appropriate action on a case-by-case basis to ensure that we maintain the highest level of journalistic integrity.”
Huffington’s claim that the media’s chief responsibility is to hold public figures to account when they lie.
In 2011, she excoriated the New York Times and other major news organizations for not acting as vigilantly as she felt they should have, to correct an ad by the Mitt Romney campaign that she insists was inaccurate:
“It’s like when a toddler looks right at you and slowly and deliberately spills a glass of milk. The child wants to see the reaction. It’s a test of boundaries. If there’s no reaction, then the message is that it’s OK. [T]here is an objective reality, and it is the media’s job to present it unequivocally.”
See other quotes by Huffington asserting her website’s alleged nonpartisanship at:
The reality of HuffPost
Contrary to HuffPost’s claims, it has been exposed repeatedly as a radical leftist propaganda vehicle, that has abandoned any pretense of nonpartisanship, or of upholding even the most basic tenets of professional journalism. In the words of CAMERA, one of the legendary Middle East media watchdog organizations, HuffPost’s claims “have been laid to waste.” Most recently, SaveTheWest.com produce two documentary videos that demonstrates these facts:
This report further exposes the reality of HuffPost’s chronic lies, deceptions and attacks not just on actual journalism, but on America and
. (4) HuffPost’s silence in the wake of this growing scandal, contrasted to its “journalistic jihads” on other matters
For the first three days of the Rhodes scandal, HuffPost published nothing about it on its front page or World page, despite the dozens of substantive analyses that appeared in the hours after it broke (5:00am on May 6). Finally, just before 2:00pm on May 9, HuffPost published the following article, mid-way down its front page – the only “news” item that it has dedicated to this scandal (as of this writing, May 29). HuffPost then removed the article less than 18 hours later – in contrast to how it leaves “news” articles about the Kardashians on its front page for two, three or more days in a row.
Journalists Dispute Claim They Helped Sell White House Iran Deal, by Michael Calderone, The Huffington Post, May 9, 2016, 1:56 pm ET.
Ed: This “news” article focuses primarily on journalistic disputes and practices, but ignores the crucial aspects of Rhodes’s disclosures, and their implications for U.S., Israeli and global security.
Then, on May 18, HuffPost published the following commentary by Rep. Jan Shakowsky (D-IL), a reliable ally of the Obama administration, on its front page, where it remained for four days:
Ben Rhodes and the ‘Echo Chamber’ of Facts On Iran, by Rep. Jan Schakowsky, The Huffington Post, May 18, 2016. Excerpt:
[The NYT’s profile] accuses the Obama Administration with using the Iran deal to “effectively begin the process of a large-scale disengagement from the Middle East.” What the American people saw was the truth of the message that Ben Rhodes and an entire community of experts articulated, a “choice between peace and war” and an opportunity to “disengage” from the real possibility of yet another in the region, this time, nuclear war. Ben Rhodes acknowledges that he did “create an echo chamber,” but far from the fiction Samuels crafted, it was an echo chamber of facts.
What HuffPost decided to publish instead on its front page So what kinds of “news” stories did HuffPost decide its global audience should be made aware of, from May 6-31, rather than anything substantive concerning this scandal of potentially world-changing importance? Here is a sampling:
Examples of HuffPost’s “headline jihads” Contrast the above facts to the following examples of what HuffPost does when it decides a story is so important, that it effectively goes on a “headline jihad,” often from multiple angles, and with regular updates:
The following documentation exposes in detail how, since 2013, HuffPost consistently employed the following tactics to help Rhodes’s “war room” to sell the Iran deal:
This documentation also exposes the fact that public statements by Ms. Huffington and HuffPost’s senior editors, about its supposed nonpartisanship, and “rigorous editorial policies and standards” to ensure that it “maintains the highest level of journalistic integrity,” are demonstrably untrue.
HuffPost consistently published top-of-the-front page splash “news” stories that were based on what it knew or should have known were incendiary lies. Most often, these lies were based on the accusation that those who criticized or opposed the Iran deal were doing so only because they wanted the U.S. to go to war with Iran. The Ploughshares Fund, a charitable organization that worked with Rhodes’s “war room,” recently admitted that it had conjured up this narrative in 2011-2012, even before the formal discussions over the Iran deal began:
“On a messaging note, it would be best to describe them as ‘pro-war,’ and leave it to them to back off that characterization of their position.” Excerpt from: The Secret History of the Iran-Deal ‘Echo Chamber’, by Eli Lake, Bloomberg News, May 24, 2016.
HuffPost put this lie-filled narrative on steroids, before its global audience of 130 million monthly readers. Here is a sampling of top-of-the-front-page splash headlines, that projected this false narrative, presented in chronological order:
Other examples of HuffPost’s lies regarding the deal include:
- Rouhani the “moderate”: In June 2013, HuffPost published a splash headline that falsely claimed that Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, is a “moderate.” At the time, he was a well-documented anti-American and anti-Semitic extremist. In the three years since he was elected, Rouhani’s extremism has become more pronounced, ranging from Iran’s violations of international accords, to its dramatically increased rate of executing gays. Yet HuffPost has published only favorable depictions of him. (Details here)
- Sen. Schumer is “disingenuous”: In April 2015, HuffPost published a front-page story that falsely claimed that Sen. Charles Schumer was “disingenuous” when he claimed that, contrary to what the Senate was promised, the deal did not provide for “anytime, anywhere” inspections of Iran’s most suspicious weapons facilities. In fact, Schumer’s allegations had been proven true weeks earlier, by Ben Rhodes and Secretary of State Kerry – on video. (Details here)
- Iran’s “hardliners” are just like those in West (especially Jews): In October 2013, one year after Obama set the baseline that only Iran’s complete dismantling of its nuclear program would prevent the U.S. and its allies from taking stronger actions, HuffPost published a front-page “news” analysis article that claimed “Iran’s hardliners are just like their Western counterparts.” Its “journalist” smeared Western leaders, with special focus on Israel and Jews, as insisting that Iran give up its nuclear program – but made no mention of the fact that it was Obama, not them, who set that standard. (Details here)
See the complete documentation at:
HuffPost gave top, sustained coverage to news stories about, and editorials by “experts” whom it depicted as being nonpartisan, and enabled to viciously attacked critics of the Iran deal. It did this even though it knew or should have known that these “experts” were neither nonpartisan, nor credible. Examples of these “experts” include:
- A group that was proven in a U.S. court, more than a year before HuffPost started touting them as nonpartisan “experts,” to be a front group for Iran’s rulers. Further, this group had been informally and formally lobbying Congress to support the deal.(Details here)
- A convicted pedophile, who had been publicly revealed years earlier for serving time in prison, for repeatedly soliciting sex from underage girls online. He later testified that he’d done it only hoping he’d get caught – yet he ran from police after the last incident. In one of his front-page blog articles at HuffPost, it enabled him to claim “the myth of an Iranian nuclear threat has been debunked.” (Details here)
See the complete documentation at:
Despite its repeated claims of being a “nonpartisan” news organization, throughout the debate over the Iran deal, HuffPost employed a consistent bias:
- It gave top, sustained positioning to anything it could find (or create) that supported the Iran deal, and/or attack its critics or opponents, even when false
- It ignored anything that exposed its claims or articles to be false, or validated the concerns of critics of the Iran deal.
- HuffPost ignored Vice President Biden’s admission, on video, that critics’ and opponents’ concerns about the Iran deal were “totally legitimate.” Instead, its front page featured stories in the following days that focused on penis sizes, sex toys, and gossip about the Kardashians. (Details here.)
- HuffPost ignored numerous reports that Iran had repeatedly violated the terms of the “interim agreement,” and previous deals. Instead, it featured a “news” story entitled, “I Live With My Ex-Wife And Her New Wife — And Our Kids Are Better For It,” and more Kardashian gossip, on its front page. (Details here)
- HuffPost gave voice to some U.S. rabbis who supported the deal – but ignored twice as many who opposed it. Specifically, HuffPost published on its front page a news story about 340 U.S. rabbis who signed a letter urging Congress to support the Iran deal. One week later, however, nearly 800 U.S. rabbis signed a letter urging Congress to reject it – but HuffPost completely ignored them. (Details here)
HuffPost ignored, then downplayed and quickly removed the Ben Rhodes expose’ – in contrast to its “headline jihads”
The climax of this bias was when HuffPost featured no substantive reporting about the Ben Rhodes expose’ in the first three days after the first reports about it emerged. The only “news” item it published concerning this scandal was this article, on the fourth day, positioned mid-way down the front page, which ignored the substance of this official betrayal, and its implications for U.S., Israeli and global security. Instead, it focused primarily on journalistic squabbling. HuffPost then removed the article less than 18 hours later. (Details here) This rapid deletion stands in sharp contrast to how HuffPost routinely leaves “news” articles about the latest doings regarding the Kardashians on its front page for two, three or even four days in a row. Also contrast HuffPost’s treatment of this official betrayal to the top-of-the-front page “headline jihads” that it regularly embarks upon, regarding issues it believed should be exposed before its global audience – sometimes on a day-after-day basis:
Instead of anything substantive about the Ben Rhodes expose, in the following days and weeks HuffPost featured on its front page “news” stories about bizarre sex practices, Kardashian gossip, and a plethora of public statements by Arianna Huffington. (Details here.) See the complete documentation at:
While HuffPost consistently published incendiary lies about critics of the Iran deal, it went on a special, extra-vitriolic “jihad” of lies against three of its most prominent Jewish critics: Benjamin Netanyahu, Sen. Charles Schumer, and the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). One former White House official recently testified before Congress that the Obama administration had initiated a “venomous whisper campaign” against Netanyahu specifically, to both discredit his opposition to the deal, and subvert his chance to be re-elected as Israel’s Prime Minister. HuffPost also published editorials and “news” stories that continued its long-standing pattern of inciting hate against Israel and Jews, using classic anti-Semitic libels and stereotypes, while whitewashing and even legitimizing Islamist terrorists, who’ve sworn to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth. Examples include:
- Falsely claiming that Netanyahu blindsided Obama in re his speech to Congress: In the lead-up to Mr. Netanyahu’s speech to Congress in March 2015, HuffPost published an incendiary splash headline that perpetuated the lie that he had insulted the Obama administration, and upset White House protocol, by accepting Congress’s invitation to speak, before Obama had been notified. It also inserted a false quote from him into its headline. HuffPost did this despite the fact that one month earlier, the New York Times admitted that the Obama had been notified in advance, and that its original story (sourced from the White House) was incorrect. (Details here)
- Falsely claiming, in a “news” headline, that Netanyahu said nothing of value: After Netanyahu’s speech, HuffPost used a Yiddish slur to claim, in a “news” story headline, that he said nothing of importance to Congress about the Iran deal(details here). Yet at the same time, and for years prior, it quoted Iran’s rulers accurately, whitewashed their overt threats against Israel, and engaged in de facto PR for the terror state. (Details here and here)
Selectively publishing editorials that advanced anti-Semitic libels: In early 2015, HuffPost gave prominent space on its front page to a variety of anti-Semitic editorials, against both Mr. Netanyahu and Israel, and in support of the Iran deal (details here.) Yet when Elie Wiesel, the Holocaust survivor and world-renowned human rights activist authored an open letter to Obama and Congress, and took out full-page ads in the New York Times and the Washington Post, expressing his opposition to the Iran deal, HuffPost completely ignored him. (Details here)
- Ignoring Iran’s funding of Hamas’s preparations to attack Israel: In August 2015, just before the final climax of the debate over the Iran deal, HuffPost ignored the proof that Iran was funding Hamas’s preparations to instigate a new war against Israel. As shown in SaveTheWest’s recent documentary, when Hamas-led terrorists engaged in near-daily attacks on Israeli Jews in the coming weeks, HuffPost all but ignored the victims – while whitewashing and even legitimizing the terrorists’ narrative. (Details here)
See the complete documentation at:
About the National Iranian American Council (NIAC)
Here is how the National Iranian-American Council (NIAC) describes itself on its website:
The National Iranian American Council is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the voice of Iranian Americans and promoting greater understanding between the American and Iranian people. We accomplish our mission through expert research and analysis, civic and policy education, and community building.
Dr. Parsi is the President of the largest Iranian-American grassroots organization in the US.
However, contrary to its claims of being a nonpartisan, grassroots organization, numerous deeply-researched reports, and a drawn-out federal lawsuit that the NIAC filed against an investigative journalist, reveal the reality:
- The NIAC is the Iranian mullahs’ informal front group in America.
- The NIAC has engaged in vitriolic, lie-filled attacks against critics of the Iran deal.
- The NIAC was instrumental in helping to advance the “war room” that Ben Rhodes established, to “sell” the Iran deal.
Many of these facts were established via the NIAC’s lawsuit against Hassan Daioleslam, and an array of follow-up investigative reports.
Hassan Daioleslam’s investigative research into Iran, and the NIAC
Hassan Daioleslam is an Iranian-American investigative journalist, and advocate of human rights reforms in Iran. Throughout the early 2000s, “Dai,” as he is known, began producing detailed exposes’ about Iran’s human rights abuses and support for terrorism around the world, and its propaganda efforts to conceal these activities to the West. He also produced several video documentaries about these matters:
“Hezbollah: Iran’s Global Henchmen”: Iran’s relationship with Hezbollah, one of the most violent Islamist terror groups, which was responsible for murdering 241 U.S. Marines in 1983, in Lebanon.
“Iran’s Proxy Militias in Iraq”: An expose’ on Iran-trained and -equipped Shia militias, some of whom staged attacks against U.S. soldiers in Iraq.
“Iran’s export of Islamic Fundamentalism: Al Mustafa global training centers”: This religious university has 120 branches in 60 countries, and has produced tens of thousands of mullahs, who spread Iran’s ideology, defend its terrorism, and recruit new followers around the world.
Dai also exposed what he alleged is Iran’s propaganda operations in the U.S., much of which he claimed is led by the National Iranian American Council (NIAC). Dai compiled his research on a dedicated website: “In Search of Truth: Reports on Mullahs’s lobby in US.” This video is part one of an eight-part series that Dai produced, which lays out what he alleges is the NIAC’s role in advancing Iran’s interests in America:
The NIAC’s lawsuit against Hassan Daioleslam
In April 2008, Parsi and the NIAC filed suit in a U.S. federal court against Dai, alleging that he had libeled and defamed them via his website. The following is an excerpt from one of Dai’s exposes’ on a later version of the site, IraniansForum.com, which explains the Iran-NIAC relationship – and the outcome of the NIAC’s lawsuit against him (emphasis added):
The Washington based organization “National Iranian American Council” (NIAC) led by Trita Parsi. The Governmental press in Iran considers NIAC as the “Iran lobby” in Washington. (Read NIAC fact book) Between 2007 and 2008, the NIAC and its president Trita Parsi were faced with growing criticism from the Iranian-American community that questioned the NIAC’s ties to the Iranian regime and its lobby in favor of Iranian rulers. NIAC launched a campaign (of intimidation against) journalists, activists and media outlets. Their hope was to silence all opposition but this campaign failed. Finally, in April 2008 NIAC decided to file a defamation lawsuit against one of its main critics, Hassan Daioleslam, to break him under the financial burdens of the lawsuit and as a result, to send a message to other critics. On September 13, 2012 U.S. District Judge John Bates dismissed the lawsuit and in a second ruling, sanctioned NIAC and Trita Parsi for discovery abuses including false declaration to the court and ordered them to pay $184000 for defendant’s legal expenses. (Read More: NIAC lost defamation lawsuit and was punished for legal abuses) The lawsuit obliged NIAC to release part of its internal documents that revealed the organization’s toes to Tehran and some of its illicit activities. Some of these documents show that NIAC defrauded IRS, lied to the court, defrauded NED Congressional funds, coordinated its lobby with Iranian ambassador to the UN and collaborated with two individuals named by US Congressional report as the agents of the Iranian intelligence ministry. Court documents also show that in 2002-2003, while president of NIAC, Parsi profited from his presence inside Congress and his close relationship with Congressman Bob Ney to prepare reports about the latest developments regarding Iran and sent these reports to Atieh Company in Tehran. Atieh paid Trita Parsi for his work. Parsi continued to send reports about his lobby activities to Atieh director in Tehran.
September 2015: The NIAC began overt, public lobbying to get the U.S. Congress to stop all opposition to the Iran deal
September 1, 2015 brought an important victory for advocates of the Iran deal: they had secured the 34 Senators needed to block any resolution condemning it. In response, the NIAC’s president, Trita Parsi, published the following editorial at HuffPost:
Obama’s Real Achievement With the Iran Deal, by Trita Parsi, Huffington Post, September 1, 2015.
The very next day, September 2, 2015, Parsi sent out the following fundraising email, for the purpose of enabling it to pressure 7 more U.S. Senators to support the deal. Emphasis is added on certain passages, to highlight its clear lobbying objectives:
From: Trita Parsi [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, September 2, 2015 10:26 AM
Subject: We’ve hit 34 votes to seal the deal!
You did it! Thanks to you, we just took a giant leap forward in sealing the Iran deal! Senator Mikulski (D-MD) will announce her support for the deal this morning, giving us the 34 Senate votes needed to protect the President’s veto of a resolution of disapproval of the Iran deal! Barring the unforeseen, this historic victory means that the deal will officially withstand Congressional rejection. But we can’t celebrate just yet.
We need 41 votes in the Senate to win the vote outright, preventing the President from having to resort to a veto. A deal protected merely by the President’s veto pen faces an uphill battle in future administrations. A different president can use the same pen to kill the deal.
We must be ready to double down our efforts on the remaining 7 Senators to ensure we seal this deal without a veto. As we speak, AIPAC and Congressional hawks are working to implement new sanctions aimed at destroying the deal. Draft bill language circulating throughout Congress now shows a clear aim to kill the deal and pave the way for war. Opponents want to force the President to use his veto to diminish the credibility of the deal. We must be ready to counter these diplomacy-killing efforts in the long-term. This is not the time to sit back. This is the time to be counted. Join our efforts to defend the deal in Congress by making a contribution online today!
Our goal is to raise $150,000 in the next few weeks to mobilize Americans of all walks of life to help secure the historic chance for peace we now have within our reach.
With your help, we can do it!
Trita Parsi Board Member, NIAC Action
NIAC 1411 K St NW, Ste 250 Washington, DC 20005 USA
Help advance peace and the Iranian-American community. Contribute today.
Additional reporting on the NIAC, its legal troubles, and its actions as an informal lobby for Iran’s mullahs
The following articles and reports are presented in chronological order:
Public Radio Pay to Play: Ploughshares Fund gives millions to slant coverage on Iran, by Adam Kredo, The Washington Free Beacon, February 13, 2012. Excerpt:
The Ploughshares Fund opposes military action against Iran and has funded organizations that share this goal, including… the pro-Tehran National Iranian American Council […] NIAC received $125,000 in November, “to shape the debate among policymakers and in the media on credible, non-military approaches to resolving the impasse over Iran’s nuclear program.”
Iranian Regime Loses to Legal Project in Federal District Court, The Legal Project, Sep 18, 2012. Excerpt:
PHILADELPHIA, September 14, 2012 – Federal District Court Judge John B. Bates for the District of Columbia yesterday granted summary judgment for Seid Hassan Daioleslam, editor of the English Iranian Lobby website “In Search of Truth: Reports on Mullahs’s lobby in US,” the defendant in a defamation suit brought by Trita Parsi and the National Iranian American Council (NIAC). Judge Bates also ordered sanctions against Parsi for failure to comply with the discovery phase of the litigation. The Legal Project coordinated and financed the defense of Mr. Dai; Sidley Austin LLP represented him pro bono.
Trita Parsi sued Seid Hassan Daioleslam for defamation in April, 2008 after Mr. Dai’s investigative reporting exposed Parsi’s and NIAC’s deep and incontrovertible ties to high-level agents of the Iranian regime. The suit went through 53 months of litigation that included 24 months of discovery and over 30 court motions. These ultimately confirmed the accuracy of Mr. Dai’s investigative reports.
The case reached national prominence when Parsi’s e-mails (produced during discovery)… confirmed his ties to the mullahs.
Victory for Free Speech Against Lawfare Proponents – Court Orders National Iranian American Council (NIAC) to Pay $183,480.09 to Iranian American Author Hassan Daioleslam, The Lawfare Project, April 12, 2013.
April 12, 2013 – NEW YORK – This past Tuesday, April 9, in a major victory against lawfare proponents, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ordered the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) and its president, Trita Parsi, to pay $183,480.09 to Iranian American Hassan Daioleslam, editor of the website “In Search of Truth: Reports on Mullahs’s lobby in US.” This follows years of litigation, beginning in 2008 when NIAC and Parsi filed a frivolous libel suit against Daioleslam in response to his reporting of Parsi’s and NIAC’s linkages with the Iranian regime, a state sponsor of terrorism.
In fall 2012, the same court granted summary judgment for Daioleslam, dismissing the libel suit. Judge John Bates held that the plaintiffs failed to adduce evidence that Daioleslam “actually harbored any doubts about the correctness of his writings, or willfully blinded himself to the truth,” such that their defamation claim must fail. The court also dismissed the plaintiffs’ false light claim due to their failure to demonstrate that Daioleslam’s statements were made with “actual malice.”
Huffington Post Serves as Promoter for Iranian Front Group, The Algemeiner, December 26, 2013.
The Ayatollah’s Lobby on K Street?, By Jordan Schachtel, American Thinker, March 5, 2014.
Pro-Iran NIAC Found Liable to Pay Judgment for Disobeying “Multiple Court Orders,” by TheTower.org Staff, May 6, 2015.
Obama’s Iran Adviser Worked for Pro-Tehran Regime Lobby? Investigative report reveals NSC Iran Director who briefed Obama on talks used to work for NIAC, thought to be Iranian mouthpiece, by Ari Yashar, Arutz Sheva, April 1, 2015. Excerpt:
As Iran nuclear talks reached a deadline that was blithely extended by the US on Tuesday, an investigative media report indicates that one of US President Barack Obama’s top Iran advisers may have worked for a pro-Iranian regime lobbying group in the recent past. The White House released a list of the top National Security Council (NSC) officials who held a video conference with Obama late Tuesday to update him on the talks with Iran in Switzerland’s Lausanne. On the list, which was published by The Daily Beast, the name Sahar Nowrouzzadeh stands out alongside the title “NSC Director for Iran.”
Meet the Iran Lobby, by Lee Smith, The Hudson Institute, September 1, 2015. Excerpt:
Trita Parsi, the Iranian-born émigré who moved to the United States in 2001 from Sweden, where his parents found refuge before the Islamic Revolution, should be the toast of Washington these days. As I argued in Tablet magazine several years ago, Parsi is an immigrant who in classic American fashion wanted to capitalize on the opportunity to reconcile his new home and his birthplace. And now he’s done it: The founder and president of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), the tip of the spear of the Iran Lobby, has won a defining battle over the direction of American foreign policy. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action not only lifts sanctions on Iran, a goal Parsi has fought for since 1997, but also paves the way for a broader reconciliation between Washington and Tehran across the Middle East.
The Shady Family Behind America’s Iran Lobby, by Alex Shirazi, The Daily Beast, September 15, 2015. Excerpt:
When the world’s major powers struck a deal over Iran’s nuclear program in Vienna in July, it represented a victory not just for the Islamic Republic, which has now been granted international legitimacy as a nuclear threshold state, but also for a small but increasingly influential lobby in America, one which has long sought rapprochement between Washington and Tehran and now seeks to leverage a successfully concluded nuclear deal as a means to that end.
This Iran lobby, publicly represented by the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), has become a staunch institutional ally of the White House selling the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the nuclear deal is known. But while NIAC has done the heavy-lifting—the ad-buying, the leafleting, and congressional meet-and-greets, all designed to sell lawmakers on the Iran deal—its political efforts also underwrite the economic interests of one very well connected but low-profile Iranian family, the Namazis, who played a key role as intellectual architects of NIAC.
The National Iranian American Council: Tehran’s Best Friend in Washington, by Sean Durns, Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, November 24, 2015.
Presenting the Iranian regime as a victim, NIAC’s new pro-Tehran campaign, by IranianAmerican.org, Jan 28th, 2016.