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I asked our team to pause for family time this week before kids return to school. The homepage is updated daily. The Digest returns on Monday, August 2. —Mark Alexander

National Security Desk / May 18, 2016

Ben Rhodes’ Iran Propaganda Possibly Broke Law

Congress should use Rhodes’ public boasts as an excuse to stall the deal.

At the beginning of the month, Barack Obama’s adviser Ben Rhodes boasted in an interview that he created an elaborate deception to sell the Iran nuclear deal to the public, the media and Congress. Using multiple “experts,” he created an echo chamber that made the deal appear palatable. We all know what happened next: Iran, the state sponsor of terrorism, got billions of dollars in unfrozen assets and America’s blessing to run its nuclear program above ground, all for the assurance that somehow this will ensure peace. Obama got a foreign policy “win” based on a lie.

According former Pentagon adviser Michael Rubin, Rhodes’ little stunt possibly broke American law that forbade the U.S. government from making organizations that blast propaganda at the American people. Rubin told the Washington Free Beacon, “Rhodes essentially bragged about creating a propaganda operation. It wasn’t simply about spin, rather, it was about denying facts he knew to be true, feeding outright lies into the mainstream press through sympathetic enablers and supposed independent experts on the Ploughshares trough whom he knew were anything but independent.”

Rubin continued, “In effect, he was running a propaganda operation against the American public and other officials. There are laws against that. Unfortunately, it seems that Kerry himself — a person whom even staffers have described as too credulous — got caught in that web.”

In response, Republicans in Congress demanded Rhodes appear before them and answer questions about how he mislead America. That was a tactical blunder, commentator Charles Krauthammer argued: “There was no way you were going to get live testimony. I don’t think they should have attempted this because … it was turned by Democrats into a retrial and a revisiting of the Iraq War which is not to the GOP’s advantage.”

No matter what, Obama will protect his little sycophant and Democrats could use the proceedings as a way to derail the serious questions still remaining about the Iran nuke deal. Instead, Congress should use Rhodes’ public boasts as an excuse to stall the deal and ensure greater national security into the future.

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