BUYING OFF THE GOVERNMENTS WHO SUPPORT THEM …
If you can break through the wall-to-wall coverage of GOP presidential Donald Trump‘s latest offensive saying, there’s a major scandal brewing within the administration of Barack Obama.
It involves cash payments of $1.7 billion made from the United States to the government of Iran in exchange for the release of five hostages.
Originally reported back in January, the cash payments were portrayed as settlement money related to a 1981 international court case involving the sale of military equipment. Obama’s administration agreed to pay back $400 million placed in a trust fund by Iran to purchase weapons from the United States – as well as $1.3 billion in “interest” payments.
America froze the $400 million way back in 1979.
This controversial deal was cut in the aftermath of Obama’s widely-criticized nuclear agreement with Iran – which allowed the radical Islamic nation’s nuclear program to move forward and unfroze approximately $150 billion in assets.
This week, The Wall Street Journal revealed the true purpose of the $1.7 billion payoff – purchasing the release of four American hostages held in the Iranian capital.
“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,” the paper reported this week.
A fifth American hostage was released separately in connection with the payments – which were sent to Iran via a secret, taxpayer-subsidized airlift.
The scandal provoked an immediate response from Trump.
“Iran was in big trouble, they had sanctions, they were dying, we took off the sanctions and made this horrible deal and now they’re a power,” the GOP nominee said at a campaign rally in Florida. “We paid $400 million for the hostages – such a bad precedent was set by Obama. We have two more hostages there right? What’s are we going to pay for them?”
“What we’re doing is insane,” Trump added.
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton had a decidedly different take on the matter, referring to it as “old news.”
“It was first reported about seven or eight months ago, as I recall,” she told a Colorado television station. “And, so far as I know, it had nothing to do with any kind of hostage swap or any other tit-for-tat. It was something that was intended to, as I am told, pay back Iran for contracts that were canceled when the Shah fell.”
We wonder: Is that Clinton talking? Or is she speaking on behalf of her corporate cronies – who have benefited financially from the Obama administration’s appeasement of Iran?
Meanwhile the Obama administration continued to insist there was no payoff.
“It’s against the policy of the United States to pay ransom for hostages,” a White House spokesman said.
Of course in the very next breath the spokesman acknowledged that the broader negotiations with Iran “included securing the release of five American citizens who had been unjustly detained.”
Translation: Iran’s government is in direct communications with radical Islamic terrorist organizations.
We wonder: What is the terrorists’ cut of this $1.7 billion?
And how on earth do we justify this sort of expense under any circumstance, let alone our country’s current fiscal position?
Even liberal establishment “Republicans” recoiled at the Obama administration’s payoff.
“Paying ransom to kidnappers puts Americans even more at risk,” said U.S. Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois. “While Americans were relieved by Iran’s overdue release of illegally imprisoned American hostages, the White House’s policy of appeasement has led Iran to illegally seize more American hostages.”
Kirk is correct … but it’s important to remember that he and his party are complicit here, too.
This website has never breathed fire when it comes to Iran’s nuclear program, but the process by which the Obama administration’s nuclear deal cleared the U.S. Congress was highly suspicious.
With “Republicans” controlling both the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate, Obama’s deal with Iran should have easily gone down in defeat.
Thanks to a bill by U.S. Senator (and Obama golfing buddy) Bob Corker, though, a guaranteed defeat became a guaranteed victory.
Corker’s bill effectively reclassified Obama’s deal as normal legislation instead of treaty – and guaranteed that it would go into effect unless Congress explicitly rejected it. As a result, Obama only needed to secure 41 votes (the total necessary to sustain a filibuster) as opposed to the 67 votes he would need to pass a treaty.
Astoundingly, Corker’s reclassification bill passed the U.S. Congress with only one dissenting vote.
Again, though, the big news here isn’t the nuclear deal – it’s the revelation that Iran’s government is playing the role of “middle man” in negotiations between the federal government and radical Islamic, hostage-taking terrorists.