If the Trump administration had let Fayad slip through the net of law enforcement, that would be a five-alarm scandal. And yet for Obama this was part of a pattern. Obama never asked Syria’s neighbors to deny fly-over rights to Russian aircraft in 2015, which could have slowed or prevented Putin from establishing air bases in Syria that were used to bomb civilians and aid workers.

Russia established those air bases less than two months after the end of the Iran nuclear negotiations. The chief of Iran’s Quds Force, Qassem Suleimani, also saw the close of the nuclear talks as a green light. He was soon on a plane to Moscow to iron out the tactical alliance between Russia and Iran in Syria as Obama went about trying to persuade more than a third of Congress to support the nuclear bargain.

Obama officials reached for comment disputed elements of Meyer’s reporting. Kevin Lewis, a spokesman for Obama, pointed to some European arrests of Hezbollah operatives after the implementation of the nuclear deal. But Meyer says officials with Operation Cassandra noted that these suspects were nabbed after the Obama Justice Department shot down efforts to prosecute these operatives in U.S. courts.