The story about how the Obama administration’s Middle East policy went off the rails, primarily due to political considerations, has slowly started to leak to the media. Politico is reporting how the former president obstructed a DEA investigation into a drug and Gun Running operation conducted by Hezbollah, a terrorist group. The Washington Times reported that the Obama White House would leak classified information about terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda for political gain.

The Hezbollah connection

Officials at the Drug Enforcement Agency were shocked at the efforts by the Obama Justice and State Departments to obstruct at every turn an attempt to take down a Hezbollah drug and gun running operation that extended into the United States.

The reason that the Obama administration wanted a Blind Eye turned toward these criminal activities that placed the lives of Americans in peril stemmed from an unwillingness to offend Hezbollah’s sponsor, Iran. Hezbollah is a terrorist group operating in Lebanon, supported by Iran, that conducts the occasional rocket attack against Israel and otherwise does the bidding of the Islamic Republic.

The problem is that at the time the Obama administration was anxious to sign a nuclear weapons deal with Iran at all costs. Further, former President Obama entertained fantasies of a Nixon to China moment in which he would bring Iran back into the community of nations from which it has been estranged since the Islamic Revolution. The subsequent nuclear weapons deal, which featured midnight payoffs of planeloads of cash, has been compared to the 1938 Munich agreement that led to World War II.

Leaking intelligence about Al Qaeda

In the meantime, the Obama White House engaged in the systematic leaking of secret information about Al Qaeda, even going so far as to lie about what it knew. The first instance involved the case of a terrorist named Abdullah al-Shami, high up in the Al Qaeda leadership and responsible for the murder of seven CIA operatives in Afghanistan in 2009. The CIA had Al-Shami located and was waiting for the White House to give the kill order.

Instead, the Obama administration leaked Al-Shami’s name and the fact that the CIA had him in their sights to the media. Al-Shami immediately went into the wind and was subsequently suspected of being involved in another terrorist attack that injured American officers.

The problem was that Al-Shami was the nomme de guerilla of a man named Muhanad Mahmoud al-Farekh, an American citizen. After the uproar over the Al-Awlaki case, the Obama administration was skittish about the official assassination of another American citizen and thus deliberately derailed the operation.

From the distorted leaks of terrorist intelligence meant to affect the outcome of the 2012 election, to the illegal unmasking of Trump transition officials who had been in contact with Russian government members, the Obama administration engaged in a systematic campaign of leaks for political purposes. At best the practice was corrupt and unethical. At worst it was illegal. Whether anyone will be held accountable for their actions is open to question.