A million-dollar campaign against the international nuclear deal with Iran was kicked off today (video below).
The group behind the campaign, Veterans Against The Deal, is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit group that does not reveal its donors, notes BloombergView.
It's a national campaign, but is primarily aimed at states that are represented by members of Congress who are on undecided about the deal, which President Obama supports.
The group claims that if Iraq's assets are unfrozen, per the deal, that money will be spent on terrorism.
In the first video released by the group, (Ret.) Staff Sergeant Robert Bartlett says he was "blown up by an Iranian bomb" while serving in the Iraq War in 2005, but doesn't say how he knows it was an Iranian bomb.
Bartlett adds: "They kidnap little kids from neighboring villages and put bullets in their heads and killed them in front of the villagers and said, 'We're gonna run our bombs out of here.' That's who we are making a deal with."
However, in an interview with NationalJournal.com in 2008, Bartlett never mentioned Iran once and referred to those who killed children in Iraq as insurgents:
We had a lot of insurgents that would kidnap kids and take them to a village and kill them to instill fear so they could operate in the village. [In] Salman Pak, these guys kidnapped seven kids and put guns to their head and assassinated them in front of the village and said "Your kids are going to be like this [if you don't cooperate with us]."
Michael Pregent, the executive director of Veterans Against the Deal, told BloombergView:
Our main argument is that veterans know Iran better than Washington, D.C., does. You’ve got a lot of veterans out there who are pretty upset about this, so we are looking to capture their voices and make sure they are heard.
Pregent didn't say exactly how veterans knew Iran better than active U.S. Intelligence.
The Veterans Against The Deal website states: "The Iranian regime murdered and maimed thousands of Americans," but doesn't cite any evidence. However, the group may be counting dead Americans from decades ago who were not killed by Iran.
Pregent told BloombergViews that his group is recruiting U.S. soldiers who were victims of the 1983 bombing in Beirut, which was funded by the terrorist group Hezbollah.
Pregent's campaign will also feature family members of U.S. soldiers who died during the invasion and occupation of Iraq.
The Veterans Against the Deal's board reportedly includes Pete Hegseth, CEO of the Concerned Veterans for America, which is part of the Koch brothers political donor network, noted The Washington Post in 2014.
Hegseth is also a Fox News contributor and fill-in host who accidentally hit a West Point marching band member with an axe earlier this year.
Even though the U.S. has never been in a war with Iran, Pregent told BloombergView:
These guys want to be heard. They know this enemy. They have a constant reminder of permanent loss because of Iran. If someone said to me, "Aren’t you exploiting these veterans and families?" I would say, "No, aren’t you ignoring these veterans and families?"
Congress is expected to vote on the deal next month.