National Security Desk / January 22, 2016

Apparently, Paying Terrorists Isn’t a Big Deal Anymore

Congress is left trying to stop Obama’s stupidity, with little chance of it happening.

Let’s keep perspective here. The Obama administration freed a group of Americans held by Iran. And while there are some worrying precedents that Obama and his cronies are setting, we never leave an American hostage behind. The real problem is the nuclear deal with Iran, commentator Charles Krauthammer writes. We’ve given the mullahs billions of dollars. In turn, they say they can now grow their economy at 5% annually. They are within reach of becoming the region’s superpower. And the Obama administration admits that it cannot verify that the billions of dollars it’s giving the nation will not be used to fund terror. “I think that some of it will end up in the hands of the [Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps] or other entities, some of which are labeled terrorists,” Secretary of State John Kerry admitted Thursday. The James Bond movie “Casino Royale” was built on the premise that if 007 lost a high-stakes poker game, the government would have directly funded terrorism. But that plot point is lost on the Obama administration, apparently.

Obama and company brings this same perspective to prisoner swaps. On the same day that the Americans held prisoner left Iran, the U.S. wired Tehran $1.7 billion, implying that it paid ransom for the Americans. This sets a dangerous precedent. Perhaps North Korea wanted to cash in on its own Powerball ticket when it detained an American student for a “hostile act” against the state.

In response to Obama’s dealings, Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) introduced a bill Thursday that would bar Obama from using taxpayer money to pay Iran and make the payout contingent on Iran paying American victims of its terrorist attacks. Congress is left trying to stop Obama’s stupidity, with little chance of it happening.

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