The Obama administration gave a free pass to Hezbollah’s drug-trafficking and money-laundering operations — some of which were unfolding inside the U.S. — to help ensure the Iran nuclear deal would stay on track, according to a bombshell exposé in Politico Sunday.

An elaborate campaign led by the Drug Enforcement Administration, known as Project Cassandra, reportedly targeted the Lebanese militant group’s criminal activities. But by tossing a string of roadblocks holding back the project, Obama administration officials helped allow the 35-year-old anti-Israel criminal enterprise to evolve into a major global security threat bankrolling terrorist and military operations, the report added.

“This was a policy decision, it was a systematic decision,” David Asher, who helped establish Project Cassandra as a Defense Department illicit finance analyst in 2008, told Politico. “They serially ripped apart this entire effort that was very well supported and resourced, and it was done from the top down.”

When Project Cassandra leaders, who were working out of a DEA’s Counter facility in Chantilly, Virginia, sought an OK for some significant investigations, prosecutions, arrests and financial sanctions, Justice and Treasury Department officials delayed, hindered or rejected their requests, according to Politico.


Watchdog: Feds paid Amtrak worker to spy on passengers

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration inappropriately paid an Amtrak employee more than $850,000 over 20 years to provide information on passengers who may be smuggling drugs, according a report from the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General.

The OIG also released a separate report saying the DEA arranged to pay a government airport screener to act as a confidential source. The screener, however, never provided information of any value to the DEA.

But the OIG’s problem with these arrangements wasn’t that transportation officials were reporting people’s actions to the DEA. Instead, OIG said it made no sense for the DEA to pay these people for information, as they are already required by law to offer it up for free.

“The OIG determined that over a period of 20 years, the DEA paid the Amtrak employee $854,460 as of January 2014 for information that was available at no cost to the government in violation of federal regulations relating to the use of government property, thereby wasting substantial government funds,” the OIG wrote.