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Dennis Ross
Dennis RossRepublican, FLCurrent Position:Congressmansince January 01, 2011
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Political Article

Fact-Based Article
FOREIGN POLICY: It’s Time for the Justice Department to Hold Hezbollah Accountable

Last month, a Politico investigation ignited a firestorm by charging that the Obama administration deliberately undermined Project Cassandra, an ambitious effort by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to stop Hezbollah from trafficking drugs into the United States and Europe. Veterans of the Obama administration fired back, saying the charges were categorically false and politically motivated.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has now seized on the Politico report to order a review of decisions made by the Obama Department of Justice. On Jan. 11, he announced the establishment of an interagency task force entrusted with combating Hezbollah’s terrorism finance. Likewise, multiple Republican congressmen have demanded a probe of how the department handled Project Cassandra.

The Politico piece asserts that these investigations, which started in 2008, uncovered an inconvenient truth: Hezbollah’s highest authorities approved and coordinated large-scale criminal activities in which their operatives were involved, including the facilitation of drug cartels’ shipments of large quantities of cocaine around the globe and the laundering of revenues from cocaine sales. But as investigators exposed more details of Hezbollah’s involvement in these global criminal activities, the political implications of their findings increasingly inconvenienced the Obama administration. At the time, President Barack Obama and his administration were not only seeking a nuclear deal with Hezbollah’s main patron, Iran; they also believed a nuclear detente with Tehran could be a prelude to transforming Iran into a stabilizing factor in the region. Exposing Hezbollah, and by extension, its Iranian patron, as a transnational criminal enterprise intent on helping narcotraffickers sell cocaine and launder money, including escalating indictments against Hezbollah’s higher-ups, was bound to undermine the administration’s political efforts to chart a new course with Tehran.

Read more here: http://foreignpolicy.com/2018/01/19/its-time-for-the-justice-department-to-hold-hezbollah-accountable/  

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