The weekend’s depraved attack by Iran-sponsored Hamas terrorists on Israel reportedly blindsided US and Israeli intelligence. How could that be?
Any postmortem of what went wrong has to include:
- The Biden administration’s preoccupation with its diabolical Iran nuclear deal, the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action launched by the Obama administration, scrapped by Trump’s, and reanimated by President Biden and his Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
- The recent bust of an Iranian spy ring said to reach into the highest levels of the State Department and the Pentagon.
- The crackdown on anti-Iranian dissident group, MEK, in Albania in June.
1. APPEASEMENT: The same Biden-Blinken brain trust responsible for the debacle in Afghanistan has done nothing but appease the terrorist regime in Tehran since day one.
They just released an additional $6 billion to Iran, have eased off on sanctions enforcement, pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into Gaza and betrayed Iranian dissidents, all to curry favor with Tehran.
There are inadvertent favors, too, like the US weapons left behind in Afghanistan which found their way to Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip, according to a Newsweek report in June.
Biden also has struggled to hide his disdain for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose government he has called “extremist.”
Administration flacks insisted over the weekend that the $6 billion returned to Iran was only to be used for “humanitarian purposes and medicine” and was strictly monitored. Sure.
That’s not what Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi told NBC’s Lester Holt last month.
“This money belongs to the Islamic Republic of Iran,” said Raisi, “and naturally we will decide to spend it wherever we need it.”
Every dollar of the $6 billion Iran spends domestically on “medicine” frees another dollar to give to terrorist proxies like Hamas.
2. SPY RING: The Biden administration’s hand-picked, virulently anti-Israel Iran envoy Robert Malley was quietly removed without pay in June and had his security clearance suspended pending an investigation by the FBI for security breaches.
The State Department has been tight-lipped about the scandal, but Lee Smith wrote in Tablet last week that Malley allegedly had helped “fund, support, and direct an Iranian intelligence operation designed to influence the United States and allied governments” and helped to infiltrate an Iranian agent of influence “into some of the most sensitive positions in the US government — first at the State Department and now the Pentagon.”
The reporting is based on thousands of emails between Iranian diplomats and analysts obtained by Iran International, a London-based émigré opposition media outlet, and shared with Semafor.
Malley previously was the Obama administration’s top negotiator on the initial 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. One of Biden’s first actions upon becoming president was to name Malley as his special envoy for Iran.
What effect did Malley’s alleged activities on behalf of Iran have on US intelligence capabilities going into Saturday’s attack on Israel?
3. MEK RAID: On June 20, the Albanian government raided the headquarters of the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq or MEK, the exiled Iranian opposition group that previously had been resettled in Albania from Iraq under the protection of the United States government. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former Vice President Mike Pence were among the MEK’s most high-profile supporters in the Trump administration.
But it seems that US protection was withdrawn last November, when the State Department declared that “the United States does not see the MEK as a viable democratic opposition movement that is representative of the Iranian people.”
Malley was quickly fingered as being behind the about-face by a bipartisan group of 23 high-profile former US lawmakers, and pro-Israel intellectuals, including former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Sen. Joe Lieberman and Professor Alan Dershowitz, who issued a statement denouncing the State Department’s disavowal of the MEK.
They criticized Malley for what they described as a “flagrant betrayal” of the Iranian people:
“Desperate to revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), US Envoy Robert Malley has sought to appease the Iranian government by publicly discrediting one of the regime’s primary opposition groups. . . . What further acts of appeasement does Mr. Malley intend to offer to get his Iranian counterparts back to the negotiating table?”
‘A terrible betrayal’
Soon after the MEK raid, former Albanian president Sali Berisha, a thorn in the side of the Albanian government, told me it was “a terrible betrayal” of the Iranian resistance by Biden-backed Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, an intimate of Alex Soros. The ramifications for dissidents inside Iran were catastrophic.
Berisha pointed to the 230 MEK computers seized by Albanian authorities during the raid which he claimed were handed over to the Iranians.
While Albanian police denied Berisha’s claims, Iranian authorities appeared to confirm them.
Two weeks after the raid, Iran’s Information Council head, Sepehr Khalaji, boasted on X (formerly Twitter), that “some of the hard drives and PC towers have arrived. [We are] currently retrieving the data [and] results so far are encouraging.”
Khalaji’s boast followed a statement from Iran’s intelligence ministry thanking Albanian authorities for raiding the MEK camp and announcing that it had arrested four people in northern Iran allegedly linked to the MEK, and had identified another alleged MEK operative in Tehran.
The MEK’s network of dissidents in Iran had just had their cover blown, less than four months before Hamas’ attack on Israel. How much damage was done to Israel and US intelligence gathering capabilities in Iran?
Any honest postmortem will have to include a damning judgment of the bumbling fools who currently control US foreign policy.