- - Wednesday, August 3, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

“This is a good day because, once again, we’re seeing what’s possible with strong American diplomacy,” President Obama told reporters following the release of four American prisoners this January who had been unjustly detained in Iran.

What came to be dubbed as the “prisoner swap” occurred almost simultaneously to the Obama administration reaching a $1.7 billion deal with Iran in what the State Department called a “fair settlement.”

Following reports of Iran requesting cash during negotiations with the United States, Mr. Obama was accused of using the $1.7 billion deal as ransom, accusations that he repeatedly denied.

“This break with long-standing U.S. policy put a price on the head of Americans,” said outraged Sen. Tom Cotton following the prisoner swap.

Little did we know, $400 million in cash, not appropriated by Congress, had already been flown on a discrete cargo plane to Iran just before the prisoners were released.

Denying any quid quo pro agreements, the Obama administration insisted that ransom was not paid and that the prisoner swap was a completely separate matter from the $1.7 billion legal settlement.

However, it is now clear that Mr. Obama and his administration chose to ignore long-standing American tradition and policy, instead granting Iran’s outrageous request and lying to the American people.

Mr. Obama’s decision to send $400 million in cash to Iran not only showed weakness on the part of the United States and his administration, but further emboldened an already out of control state-sponsor of international terrorism.

The money paid in January sent a clear message to Iran that the Obama administration is willing to negotiate and will, in fact, reward hostage takers.

Since then, Iran has attempted to gain even more leverage to negotiate with the United States through the illegal seizure of additional American hostages.

The worst part about this is that it is not an isolated incident.

Instead, the $400 million payment to Iran is just one event in a long string of foreign policy missteps of the Obama administration.

We are at a critical point in our nation’s history where we cannot afford to implement policies of servility and weakness, letting countries like Iran call the shots.

The same way the late great President Reagan won the Cold War, we can win the war against terrorism.

It is time to bring real strength back to the White House and win the war with policies that create peace through strength.

Madison Gesiotto is a staff editor for the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law. The author’s views are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law.

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