Wednesday, May 16, 2012

GOP wants answers from the Obama administration on Hezbollah leader's release

'Republicans on Capitol Hill are furious over the Obama administration’s handling of a purported Hezbollah commander, who was connected to the killing of five U.S. soldiers in 2007 and now is set for release by an Iraqi court', Fox News reported on Wednesday. Florida Rep. Allen West sent a letter to President Obama Wednesday questioning why Ali Musa Daqduq was turned over to Iraq in December 2011.

'US-led forces captured Daqduq in 2007', the AFP reported. 'At the time, the United States accused Iranian special forces of using the Shiite militant group Hezbollah to train Iraqi extremists and of planning the 2007 attack.'

Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta last week. The letter suggests that 'the administration waited until Daqduq was in Iraqi custody before filing murder, terrorism and other charges.,' Fox News reported. '[The letter] also states the administration intentionally kept information from Capitol Hill lawmakers, who learned about the purported charges and Daqduq’s ordered release through New York Times stories.'

' "Now an Iraqi court has cleared Daqduq of any criminal charges under Iraqi law and, as we and many other observers had feared, may be set free without being held to account for his crimes against the United States and its soldiers," ' they wrote.

“Eight pages of charges ... appears to indicate that either the administration was purposefully withholding information from Congress or it had not done the due diligence required to file charges,” the letter states.

'The Jan. 20, 2007, killings reportedly occurred when a convoy of SUVs that looked like one belonging to U.S. forces cleared several checkpoints to reach a government compound that include an American security team. Once inside the base, the vehicle occupants, in U.S. uniforms, fatally shot one soldier and kidnapped four others, who were later killed. Daqduq was reportedly captured about a month later in Basra.' - Sources - Fox News & the AFP

In June of 2009, Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General, Sheikh Naim Qassem revealed that US officials close to the Obama administration had been reaching out to Hezbollah and seeking to initiate a dialog with the terrorist organization.

"Several US officials at different levels and more or less close to the administration have asked to speak with [us], but we have refused," said Qassem.

In August of 2009, during a question & answer session with reporters at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan, offered up effusive words of praise for Hezbollah:

"Hezbollah started out as purely a terrorist organization back in the early ’80s and has evolved significantly over time," he said. "And now it has members of parliament, in the cabinet; there are lawyers, doctors, others who are part of the Hezbollah organization... And so, quite frankly, I’m pleased to see that a lot of Hezbollah individuals are in fact renouncing that type of terrorism and violence and are trying to participate in the political process [in Lebanon] in a very legitimate fashion. " Heh.......

In June of 2009, the Washington Times revealed that the Obama administration had "sent a letter to [Iran's] supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, calling for an improvement in relations." Likewise, earlier this year, Iranian officials revealed that President Obama had called for direct talks with the Iranian regime, in a letter to Khamenei. The White House acknowledged that the letter had been sent, but refused to comment specifically on the contents of the letter.

Hossein Ebrahimi, the deputy head of Iran's parliamentary committee on national security and foreign policy, said Obama’s letter proved that the United States had become afraid of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s might..., and therefore Obama had softened his tone when speaking about the Islamic Republic of Iran.

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