As you should know by now, the Wall Street Journal reported…
“The Obama administration secretly organized an airlift of $400 million worth of cash to Iran that coincided with the January release of four Americans detained in Tehran, according to U.S. and European officials and congressional staff briefed on the operation afterward.
Wooden pallets stacked with euros, Swiss francs and other currencies were flown into Iran on an unmarked cargo plane, according to these officials. The U.S. procured the money from the central banks of the Netherlands and Switzerland, they said.
The money represented the first installment of a $1.7 billion settlement the Obama administration reached with Iran to resolve a decades-old dispute over a failed arms deal signed just before the 1979 fall of Iran’s last monarch, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi….Senior U.S. officials denied any link between the payment and the prisoner exchange. They say the way the various strands came together simultaneously was coincidental, not the result of any quid pro quo….But U.S. officials also acknowledge that Iranian negotiators on the prisoner exchange said they wanted the cash to show they had gained something tangible….Iranian press reports have quoted senior Iranian defense officials describing the cash as a ransom payment. “
Isn’t this, then, the equivalent of paying ransom for hostages?
Sure it is, and the Administration’s predictable denials are technically accurate but not germane to the issue. The WSJ also reported yesterday that..
“…Senior Justice Department officials objected to sending a plane loaded with cash to Tehran at the same time that Iran released four imprisoned Americans, but their objections were overruled by the State Department, according to people familiar with the discussions. After announcing the release of the Americans in January, President Barack Obama also said the U.S. would pay $1.7 billion to Iran to settle a failed arms deal dating back to 1979. What wasn’t disclosed then was that the first payment would be $400 million in cash, flown in at the same time…The timing and manner of the payment raised alarms at the Justice Department, according to those familiar with the discussions. “People knew what it was going to look like, and there was concern the Iranians probably did consider it a ransom payment,’’ said one of the people.”
As law professor Ann Althouse deftly explained,
We’re supposed to be happy our prisoners got free and to see the bargaining over the old claim as an independent deal, one that is advantageous to us because $1.7 billion is so much less than $10 billion. The other side made the deal, we’re told, because they need the money and they get $400 million right away, in cash, without the delays and complications they’d have getting the money through the arbitration. But they get one more thing: They can portray the payment as ransom for the prisoners. My question is: How can they get the ability to boast that they got cash for the prisoners but we’re not supposed to see it as cash for prisoners? Either it looks like ransom or it does not. How can it look like ransom for their purposes, in their propaganda, but not look like ransom in our propaganda?…the reason to want a reputation for not paying ransom is to deter the capturing of Americans for ransom. If it is believed that we pay ransom — even if we did not — that deterrence is lost.
As always, the integrity-light Obama enablers will deny reality, and the news media will bury it, but the continuing incompetence and weakness of this administration–and its arrogance while being so incompetent and weak—is the stuff of satire.