Thomas Gallatin / August 19, 2016

Obama’s Not-Ransom Ransom

The administration admits it paid for hostages, but still rejects that it was a ransom.

When is a ransom not a ransom? Well, according to Barack Obama and his officials, it’s only a ransom if they call it such — otherwise it’s simply “leverage.” On Thursday the Obama administration admitted that the $400 million payment to Iran was in fact conditioned on the release of four American hostages. In other words, it was a ransom payment. John Kirby a spokesman for the State Department said, “If you’re asking me was there a connection in that regard, at the endgame, I’m not going to deny that. We took advantage of leverage that we felt we could make sure that they got out safely and efficiently.”

What is ironic is just how little trust the administration demonstrated toward Iran in making the ransom deal, while at the same trusting Iran, the number one state sponsor of terrorism worldwide, to honor the nuclear deal. According to the administration, the money was not released until they had confirmation that the American hostages were on the plane and in the air headed back home. And Obama tells Americans to trust him, that he has made a deal that will prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon for at least the next 10 years. Our question is, on what basis do we trust either him or Iran?

Remember the reason given for the $400 million payment was to refund an arms deal from 1979 that never occurred due to the Iranian revolution. Well, after that plane load of cash landed, the administration soon afterward made another cash payment of $1.3 billion to cover the interest on the original deal. We suppose we’ll just have to “trust” Obama on that too.

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