Breitbart reported Saturday that among the many revealing and damning emails that WikiLeaks has revealed from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, one has “White House chief of staff Denis McDonough responding favorably to an email forwarded to him by Podesta from a leftwing ‘Catholic’ organization that said it was arranging meetings with Catholic prelates to urge them to press U.S. senators to vote for the Iran Treaty.”
This plan was apparently hatched by Fred Rotondaro, chairman of the far-Left and Catholic-in-name-only Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good (CACG), as well as a senior fellow with Podesta’s Soros-funded “Islamophobia” propaganda organ, the Center for American Progress.
Rotondaro wrote to Podesta and others in the Clinton camp:
I thought you might be interested in this report from the CACG exec director Chris Hale on efforts to have the Catholic org community promote the Iran Treaty. There is a tremendous amount of potential in these inter Faith orgs including the ability to reach some working class voters,
Hale wrote in his report:
Our advertisement began running on National Catholic Reporter and Commonweal yesterday. Right now, when you click the advertisement, the link takes you to MoveOn’s 60 Day to Stop A War Take Action website. From there, you are able to dial into your Member of Congress and request them to support the Iran Deal.
At some point today, that link will change to our own website, which will list all the groups’ names, simple talking points, and give people a chance to dial in three elected officials (their one US Representatives and two Senators). While the MoveOn site is very effective, ours will ensure that people calling into the offices identify as a person of faith, which is important in both our narrative creation (Catholics support the deal) and coalition building (the God Squad takes action).
Hale wrote about contacts with other legislators as well. According to Breitbart, “Podesta forwarded the report to McDonough at the White House, who responded to him, ‘Terrific.’”
Ironically, however, even as he apparently approved of this use of far-Left Catholic groups to lobby for the Iran deal, Podesta may not have been in favor of it himself. Podesta was forwarded this statement by Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL): “This agreement condemns the next generation to cleaning up a nuclear war in the Persian Gulf… This is the greatest appeasement since Chamberlain gave Czechoslovakia to Hitler.” To that, Podesta responded simply, “Yup.” Did he mean that yes, he was agreeing with Kirk that the Iran nuclear deal was a disaster, or was he simply noting that Kirk said that? In any case, he didn’t stop his shadowy work to try to sell the deal in Congress and to the American people.
In doing so, he and his cohorts no doubt found eager help among Catholic bishops in the United States. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) faithfully toes a Leftist line in its “social teachings.” It advocated in 2015 for the U.S. to take in 100,000 Syrian refugees that year alone. The USCCB may have an ulterior motive in this, as it received $79,590,512 in 2014 – that’s right, nearly 80 million dollars — from the federal government for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Migration Fund. Meanwhile, the USCCB is, as Ann Corcoran of Refugee Resettlement Watch points out, “NOT advocating to save the persecuted Christians of Syria through this program.” Persecuted Christians don’t pay nearly as well.
As for Iran, in January 2016 Pope Francis welcomed Iran President Hassan Rouhani to the Vatican for “cordial discussions.” The Vatican later said cryptically that “the parties highlighted the importance of inter-religious dialogue and the responsibility of religious communities in promoting reconciliation, tolerance and peace. Rouhani gave the Pope a Persian rug."
Given Pope Francis’ preoccupation with what he sees as peace and reconciliation even at the expense of security concerns, as exemplified by his insistence that Europe take in as many Muslim migrants as possible, and his waving away of jihad terrorism by equating it with Jesus’ Great Commission, it is likely that he looks warmly on the Iran deal as heralding a new era of peace. Podesta and company likely encountered no trouble at all finding Catholic prelates who were happy to put a word in with their Senators and Representatives, exhorting them to support this deal that coincided so nicely with the wishful thinking of everyone involved about how the world really ought to be.
The only problem with this wonderful instance of cooperation and mutual help on the part of the Obama administration, the Clinton campaign, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the Catholic Church is that Podesta’s misgivings about the deal, if that is indeed what his “Yup” expressed, were entirely on the money: the fantasies and fictions that the American people have been sold about the Iran deal are one day bound to blow up, perhaps literally, in their faces.
If and when that happens, and the suicidal folly of the Leftists and Churchmen and Leftist Churchmen is revealed, the only beneficiary will once again be the party in this whole sorry affair to whom everyone has been the most solicitous: the Islamic Republic of Iran. Unfortunately for its dupes in the West, that solicitousness is a one-day street. But that lopsidedness is a lesson that may only be possible to teach to Podesta, Pope Francis, and the rest by the sight of the smoking, radioactive ruins of Tel Aviv and, perhaps, of other cities closer both to the heart and to the comfortably-appointed apartments of the Roman Pontiff, the servant of the servants of God (or at very least the servant of the servants of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama).
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is The Complete Infidel’s Guide to Iran. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.