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State Department: Okay Fine, We Basically Paid a Ransom for Those Iranian Hostages

Remember the Obama administration's preposterous spin on Iran's release of four American hostages on the exact same day that an unmarked cargo plane loaded with US-arranged cash landed in Tehran? That money wasn't a ransom, they insisted, and how dare you suggest otherwise? There was no quid pro quo, we were imperiously informed, and any allegation to the contrary was right-wing conspiratorial garbage, fomented by domestic "crazies" who make "common cause" with Iran's anti-American zealots.  "No linkage." The biggest problem with this insulting tale -- setting aside all of the hilariously obvious circumstantial evidence -- was that the Iranians were openly boasting about the payment as a ransom, and US officials were telling reporters that the money was connected to the "prisoner release," even though the negotiations weren't at all related. Or something.  Soon after, we learned that DOJ officials had objected to the payment because of the obviously sketchy timing, worrying that Iran would view the transaction as a ransom-for-hostages situation, which would only incentivize more hostage taking.  Those concerns were overruled, Tehran did in fact view it as a ransom, and they've imprisoned more Americans since.  Smart power, and all that.  Next came this revelation, which we mentioned earlier:


And finally, the pitiful, ignominious  surrender:

That is, by definition, a ransom:

The State Department's top spokesman keeps repeating the talking point from his binder that the negotiation tracks were entirely separate. But that story is demolished by US officials' own words and actions. The Iranians linked them, and we complied. A ransom payment. It's quite simple. No, no, the White House's amateur propagandists on social media still retort. We've owed Iran that payment for decades. That money was rightfully theirs. Wrong. We owed that money to an Iranian government that no longer exists because it was violently overthrown by a radical Islamist revolution -- one of whose first major acts was the storming of America's embassy, followed by the outrageous detention of hundreds of US citizens for more than a year.  A regime that to this day is the top exporter and financier of international terrorism, according to this administration. A regime that continues to illegally test-fire banned long-range missiles, in violation of international law. The notion that we "owe" this cabal anything is almost as ludicrous and insulting as the initial lie itself, which has finally come crashing down under its own prodigiously stupid weight. The Obama administration paid a cash ransom for American hostages, and other Americans are already paying the price. Those are facts, the new response to which is blaming the media, much of which credulously repeated the original falsehood.  Pathetic:


I'll leave you with this same spokesman also arguing that (a) after an investigation into this incident, the State Department has been unable to determine who was responsible for the video edit, and (b) they can't determine whether said edit was intended to deceive. The assembled reporters were having none of it.  James Rosen's questions, appropriately enough, are especially damning.  What a farce:

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