“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” - George W. Bush

All The Best

THE ELEPHANT BAR IS CLOSED

I want to thank everyone who participated in the Elephant Bar over the past twelve years. We had millions of visitors from all around the World and you were part of it. Over the past dozen years, two or three times a night, I would open my laptop and some of you were always there. I will miss that.

My plans are to continue my work with technology and architecture. You know my interests and thoughts.

At times, things would get a little rough in the EB. To those of you that I may have offended over the years, I apologize. From all of you, I learned and grew.

An elephant never forgets.
Be well.

Deuce, 21 June 2018

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Obama-era State and Treasury Department officials discreetly issued a special license for the conversion to a major Omani bank and unsuccessfully pressured two U.S. banks to partake in the transaction, all while misleading lawmakers about the activities.

Obama hid efforts to aid Iran's windfall

Team approached U.S. banks for cash conversion after signing of nuclear deal


The Obama administration — despite repeatedly assuring Congress that Iran would remain barred from the U.S. financial system — secretly mobilized to give Tehranaccess to American banks to convert the windfall of cash it received from sanctions relief under the 2015 nuclear deal into dollars, an investigative report by the Senatehas revealed.

A copy of the report, obtained by The Washington Times, outlines how Obama-era State and Treasury Department officials discreetly issued a special license for the conversion to a major Omani bank and unsuccessfully pressured two U.S. banks to partake in the transaction, all while misleading lawmakers about the activities.
The document, compiled by the Senate’s Republican-led chief investigative subcommittee, began circulating Tuesday, just as the Trump administration issued its harshest warnings to date to foreign governments and companies to avoid doing business with Iran or find themselves in the crosshairs of Washington’s reimposition of sanctions as part of Mr. Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal.

“Companies doing business in Iran face substantial risks, and those risks are even greater as we reimpose nuclear-related sanctions,” said Sigal Mandelker, Treasury Department undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.

She also called on foreign governments to harden their financial systems against “deceptive” Iranian transactions that ultimately channel money to terrorists.
The Iranian government “uses shell and front companies to conceal its tracks” as part of an elaborate scheme designed to procure cash for the Quds Force of Iran’s militant Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which the U.S. designates as a terrorist organization, Ms. Mandelker said.

She issued the warnings in a speech at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies think tank as Iran announced Tuesday that it was formally moving ahead with preparations to increase its nuclear enrichment capacities — the sharpest response to date by the Islamic republic to Mr. Trump’s pullout from the nuclear accord.

Iranian officials said the increase, while provocative, does not violate its commitments under the nuclear accord.

The president sent shock waves around the world with his May 8 decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear pact and begin reimposing U.S. sanctions, which the U.S., Europe, China and Russia had collectively lifted in 2015 in exchange for Iran’s promise to curb its suspect nuclear programs and allow international inspections.

While Iran told the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency on Tuesday that it plans only to increase enrichment within limits set by 2015 deal, the announcement came with threats from a top Iranian official that the activities could be quickly expanded. The warning put fresh pressure on European leaders to keep the nuclear accord alive despite Mr. Trump’s withdrawal.

The head of Iran’s nuclear agency, Ali Akbar Salehi, said Tehran is prepared to dramatically increase its capacity for enrichment but that the work so far is limited to building a facility for assembling the centrifuges. He made the comment a day after Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, ordered the increase in capacity and vowed that Iran would preserve its nuclear program despite the U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 accord.

Congress out of the loop
The Senate report focuses new scrutiny on the lengths President Obama’s team was willing to go to ensure the deal’s success as it was still being negotiated.
The Senate Homeland Security Committee’s permanent subcommittee on investigations probe contends that the Obama administration went out of its way to keep U.S. lawmakers in the dark about calculated and secretive efforts to give Tehrana back channel to the international financial system and to U.S. banks, facilitating a massive U.S. currency conversion worth billions of dollars.
“Senior U.S. government officials repeatedly testified to Congress that Iranian access to the U.S. financial system was not on the table or part of any deal,” according to a draft copy of the document obtained by The Times. “Despite these claims, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, at the direction of the U.S. State Department, granted a specific license that authorized a conversion of Iranian assets worth billions of U.S. dollars using the U.S. financial system.

“Even after the specific license was issued, U.S. government officials maintained in congressional testimony that Iran would not be granted access to the U.S. financial system,” the report said.

Sen. Rob Portman, the Ohio Republican who chairs the subcommittee, is set to outline his panel’s findings Wednesday.

Under terms of the nuclear deal, Iran was given the right to reclaim billions of dollars in state assets and bank accounts frozen by international sanctions, but it remained “illegal for U.S. persons, entities, and financial institutions to do business with Iran or parties on behalf of Iran.”

The ban included any “intermediary” transactions by U.S. banks to convert currency for Iran — a development that would have elevated the value of the Iranian assets on the global market and allowed Tehran to more easily move the money through the international banking system.

On the day the nuclear deal was implemented in 2015, Tehran had some $5.7 billion worth of assets at Bank Muscat in Muscat, Oman, according to Senate investigators, who said Tehran moved quickly to request access to the U.S. dollar.
On Tehran’s request, Bank Muscat contacted the U.S. Treasury Department’s office of foreign assets control.

According to the Senate report: “Muscat sought to convert $5.7 billion in Omai rials into euros. [But] because the rial is pegged to the U.S. dollar, the most efficient conversion was with an intermediary step through a U.S. bank using U.S. dollars.”

Obama Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in July 2015 that Iran would “continue to be denied access to the [U.S.] financial and commercial market” under the proposed accord, but the Treasury office went ahead with attempts to quietly allow the currency transaction sought by Iran.
“On February 24, 2016, OFAC issued a specific license to Bank Muscat authorizing Iranian assets worth roughly $5.7 billion to flow through the U.S. financial system,” according to the Senate report, which claims the move was made “even though U.S. sanctions prohibited it.”

Even as office of foreign assets control officials directly “encouraged two U.S. correspondent banks to convert the funds,” the Treasury Department continued to deny it was working to facilitate the currency transaction, said the report, which cites a 2016 letter from the department to Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, and Sen. Mark Kirk, Illinois Republican, that contended the Obama “administration has not been and is not planning to grant Iran access to the U.S. financial system.”

The catch, according to Senate investigators, was that neither of the U.S. banks approached by the office of foreign assets control would take on the Iranian currency exchange — in part because of political concerns over the prospect of being found out to have secretly circumvented the remaining ban on U.S. transactions with the Islamic republic.

Despite the Obama administration’s efforts, Iran was ultimately forced to convert its Bank Muscat assets to euros in small increments using European banks and without accessing the U.S. financial system, the Senate investigators said.
Mr. Portman said in a statement Tuesday night that “the Obama administrationmisled the American people and Congress because they were desperate to get a deal with Iran.”

“Despite claims both before and after the Iran deal was completed that the U.S. financial system would remain off limits, the Obama administration issued a specific license allowing Iran to convert billions of dollars in assets using the U.S. financial system,” Mr. Portman said. “The only reason this transaction wasn’t executed was because two U.S. banks refused, even though the administration asked them to help convert the money.”

Such sanctions, he added, “are a vital foreign policy tool, and the U.S. government should never work to actively undermine their enforcement or effectiveness.”
Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.  

31 comments:

  1. Kenyatta, the most lawless president in US history.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Report: Andrew McCabe Seeks Immunity Deal for Testimony

    ReplyDelete
  3. Would not give to him without a direct link to Kenyatta.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Make him sweat. He is terrified about going to prison. He will plea down later for less time.

    ReplyDelete
  5. It does appear the only card McCabe has got is the spill your guts card.

    How best to manage his playing of that card I leave to others, but I certainly look forward to watching the play !

    ReplyDelete
  6. Off Topic

    The Plight of Indian-American Immigrant Children

    COMMENTARY

    By Vikram Aditya Kumar
    June 06, 2018

    The Plight of Indian-American Immigrant ChildrenAP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

    This is arguably the most prosperous time in history to be an American. Alternatively it is a particularly precarious time to be a child of immigrant parents in America, especially if your parents came here legally. That’s right, I said “legally.”

    “I wish I were an illegally arrived child instead of a legal one.” As a stand-alone statement those words are perplexing, but in present context it serves as the mantra of 200,000 Indian-American children who were brought here legally by their parents on H1-B or other work visas. Those children now face the real threat of self-deportation once they turn 21 years old due to the end of their H-4 dependent status and a seemingly endless backlog of green card dissemination. My community of Indian-Americans refers to this issue as DALCA, or Deferred Action for Legal Childhood Arrivals. The distinction from just plain DACA is that the sought-after pathway to citizenship only applies to children who were brought here illegally. The conspicuous absence of this status disparity from congressional discussions and in the media is a truly sad scenario that is leading to a brain drain in the United States. The DALCA voice is just not loud enough and it’s about time we turned the volume up.

    I was lucky enough to have been born in this country in the early ’80s to parents who came here from India in the late ’60s on student visas and who subsequently got their American citizenship. Compared to Indian immigrants today, my family and I are generationally lucky. The young people who are losing their legal status are no different than my siblings and I were. DALCA kids have been raised on Dorito’s, PlayStation and Coke just like we were and now they’re being forced to leave -- which benefits “Silicon Vancouver” and beyond. Each high-skilled worker who is forced to move is a loss for the U.S. and our future as a competitive tech country. Nearly a dozen Indian families in my friend circle alone have shipped off to Vancouver....

    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2018/06/06/the_plight_of_indian_american_immigrant_children__137199.html

    I believe the Hindu/Canadians are the largest minority group in Toronto, Canada, at something around 10%.

    Toronto has every type of human background one can imagine.

    The Hindu/Canadians are, I have read, also the most upwardly mobile.

    Our immigration system needs, desperately, some 'thoughtful improvement'.

    ReplyDelete
  7. dammit

    Democrats Avoid Lockouts in Key California Races

    By Caitlin Huey-Burns
    RCP Staff
    June 06, 2018

    Democrats Avoid Lockouts in Key California RacesAP Photo/Krysta Fauria

    Democrats are breathing a sigh of relief after California's “jungle” primary Tuesday, as their candidates made the ballot in competitive races that will help determine the balance of power in the next Congress.

    Faced with the complex problem of too many candidates and an open primary system that allows the top two candidates to advance, regardless of party, Democrats feared they could be shut out of contests that are critical to their calculus of winning the House of Representatives in the midterm elections.

    But with most of the results in, Democratic candidates have lived to fight another day....

    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2018/06/06/democrats_avoid_lockouts_in_key_california_races_137206.html

    ReplyDelete
  8. Obama-era license aimed to let Iran convert money in dollars

    By JOSH LEDERMAN and MATTHEW LEE


    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration secretly sought to give Iran access — albeit briefly — to the U.S. financial system by sidestepping sanctions kept in place after the 2015 nuclear deal, despite repeatedly telling Congress and the public it had no plans to do so.

    An investigation by Senate Republicans released Wednesday sheds light on the delicate balance the Obama administration sought to strike after the deal, as it worked to ensure Iran received its promised benefits without playing into the hands of the deal’s opponents. Amid a tense political climate, Iran hawks in the U.S., Israel and elsewhere argued that the United States was giving far too much to Tehran and that the windfall would be used to fund extremism and other troubling Iranian activity.


    The report by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations revealed that under President Barack Obama, the Treasury Department issued a license in February 2016, never previously disclosed, that would have allowed Iran to convert $5.7 billion it held at a bank in Oman from Omani rials into euros by exchanging them first into U.S. dollars. If the Omani bank had allowed the exchange without such a license, it would have violated sanctions that bar Iran from transactions that touch the U.S. financial system.

    The effort was unsuccessful because American banks — themselves afraid of running afoul of U.S. sanctions — declined to participate. The Obama administration approached two U.S. banks to facilitate the conversion, the report said, but both refused, citing the reputational risk of doing business with or for Iran.

    “The Obama administration misled the American people and Congress....

    https://apnews.com/27e8179cf10140dca7eb86b3488f01e2/APNewsBreak:-Secret-Obama-era-license-let-Iran-tap-dollars

    ReplyDelete
  9. Big News on Fox -

    Reporting that IG Report says Comey was 'insubordinate' when he let Hillary off the hook - 'no reasonable prosecutor would etc'...

    Also looks like Senate is not giving McCabe immunity....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seemed obvious to me at the time....he got up there and recited all the shit Hillary had done, then took it to himself to let The Witch off the hook....

      Delete
  10. They've lost me.

    Miss USA, or Miss America, which one is it ? - they are not going to be strutting their stuff in bikinis any longer.

    WTF ?

    They've lost me.

    And I can tell ya what's coming.....TRANSGENDERS !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here it is, folks:

      The end of the swimsuit competition is part of the war on heterosexual men - 6/6/18
      This change actually has little to do with women and is all about men. More


      https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2018/06/the_end_of_the_swimsuit_competition_is_part_of_the_war_on_heterosexual_men.html

      Delete
    2. ....Women with double-chins, big bellies, and giant face moles, and those over the age of 70, can now compete to be "Miss America."

      The beginning of the end can be seen when the Miss America Pageant appointed Gretchen Carlson, a former Miss America, to be its chairman. What business does a woman have being the chairman of an event that is supposed to appeal to men? Furthermore, Ms. Carlson has an axe to grind; she sued Fox News for supposed sexual harassment and walked away with 20 million dollars. This is the person who was chosen to lead the Miss America Pageant. Is it any surprise that beauty is no longer going to be a criterion?....




      Delete
    3. Some guy in the comments says they might as well run Miss America on the radio now.

      He's right.

      The Miss America pageant isn't going to last another 5 years.....

      Delete
    4. "Since it will now be based on wit there will be no more blondes."

      hehheh

      Delete
    5. AWWild • 9 hours ago
      Feminists, I think, hate men, but they hate women more.

      4
      •Reply•Share ›
      Avatar
      fivess AWWild • 9 hours ago
      They hate better looking women more.

      Delete
    6. Buy your tickets now: It's gonna be a sellout!

      Delete
  11. First DOJ Leak on IG Report Reveals Obama AG Loretta Lynch Tried to Hide Evidence of Hillary’s Wrongdoing Before Election

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2018/06/first-doj-leak-from-ig-report-reveals-obama-ag-loretta-lynch-tried-to-hide-evidence-of-hillarys-wrongdoing-before-election/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The wheels are acomin' off the Scooby Van.

      Delete
  12. The Justice Department's internal watchdog has concluded that James Comey defied authority at times during his tenure as FBI director, according to sources familiar with a draft report on the matter.

    One source told ABC News that the draft report explicitly used the word "insubordinate" to describe Comey's behavior. Another source agreed with that characterization but could not confirm the use of the term.

    ...

    In an interview in April, ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos asked Comey: "If Attorney General Lynch had ordered you not to send the letter, would you have sent it?"

    "No," Comey responded. "I believe in the chain of command."

    ...

    "There are so many horrible things to tell, the public has the right to know. Transparency!" Trump said in his Twitter message on Tuesday.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Canada legalizes it

    All eyes on Canada as first G7 nation prepares to make marijuana legal

    From crime to health to business, Canada’s decision to legalize marijuana is a grand progressive experiment that promises to answer a host of questions

    Selena Ross in Montreal
    Wed 6 Jun 2018 02.00 EDT Last modified on Wed 6 Jun 2018 17.00 EDT

    Marijuana legalization could affect Canada’s crime patterns, health and countless other factors.

    When Canopy Growth opened its first cannabis factory in an old chocolate plant near Ottawa four years ago, it did so predicting a bright future. Canada had already legalized medical marijuana, and Canopy predicted full legalization for recreational use to be next.

    What the company hadn’t predicted, however, was the sudden flood of foreign visitors. Politicians and police authorities from Jamaica, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Greece and Australia have all come knocking, as well as doctors from New Zealand, Brazil and Chile, along with groups of corporate investors and bankers – so many that Canopy now sometimes splits up the groups according to their birthdays.

    “We knew we’d have to give a lot of tours, so we just cut a window into the wall,” said the company spokesman, Jordan Sinclair. “We put windows in all of the doors.”


    Everything you wanted to know about cannabis legalization … but forgot to ask
    Read more

    Canada will be thrust even more directly under the international microscope on Thursday, when a vote in the Senate is expected to ratify Bill C-45, effectively making Canada the first G20 nation to legalize recreational marijuana.

    “It’s going to be a bit of a science fiction experience for a while,” said Benedikt Fischer, an expert on substance use at Toronto’s biggest psychiatric hospital. “It’s unique in the world, because it’s happening for the first time in a wealthy country. It’s not like in the US, where there are these state experiments. Most people kind of ignore Uruguay. And so the world is really looking at this.”........

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/06/all-eyes-on-canada-as-first-g7-nation-prepares-to-make-marijuana-legal


    Soon the mentality of the entire country will resemble that of Ash.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Rosenstein is working overtime redacting the IG Report.

    From what I read he's the guy charged with looking it over.

    Good Grief

    ReplyDelete
  15. 18-year-old met by gun when he tried to rape friend's mom at sleepover, police say

    MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -
    An 18-year-old is behind bars accused of sexually assaulting his friend's mother.

    Jordan Corter, 18, was arrested and charged with attempted rape and sexual battery.

    Investigators said Corter was invited to spend the night at a friend's house.

    Around 2:30 a.m., he began knocking on his friend's mom's bedroom door. She told investigators that she opened the door to see what was wrong, and he pushed her to the bed.

    She fought back, kneeing him in the groin before grabbing her pistol, pointing it at his head, and ordering him to get out.

    Investigators who went to Corter's home to arrest him said the 18-year-old cried and said he should not be forgiven for what he'd done.

    http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/38354001/18-year-old-met-by-gun-when-he-tried-to-rape-friends-mom-at-sleepover-police-say

    ReplyDelete
  16. AWOL Attorney General Jeff Sessions REFUSES to Bring Charges Against Pakistani Awan Brothers (VIDEO)

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2018/06/stunning-awol-attorney-general-jeff-sessions-refuses-to-investigate-pakistani-awan-brothers-video/

    ReplyDelete
  17. Deuce:
    Great Di Genova interview about 1/2 hour in:

    https://www.podcastone.com/The-Laura-Ingraham-Show-Podcast

    ReplyDelete
  18. Great Di Genova interview about 1/2 hour in. Good catch Doug.
    An excellent analysis on Trey Goudy, actively interviewing with CNN. Scathing review on Jeff "MIA" Sessions.

    ReplyDelete
  19. The corruption in the FBI and DOJ is far worse than anyone thought. The only thing that will fix this is prison sentences for all those part of the cabal. Unfortunately, we have Jeff Sessions. Trump has to get rid of him.

    ReplyDelete
  20. The simplest solution is to cut the agencies down in size, removing the rot at the top of the pyramid.

    ReplyDelete