- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 3, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

President Obama didn’t disclose a $400 million cash payment to Iran delivered the same weekend four Americans detained in the Islamic country were freed.

At the time, a top Iranian military commander said the payment was indeed ransom. Iranian Basij Commander Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naqdi said it showed “that the U.S. doesn’t understand anything but the language of force.”

“This money was returned for the freedom of the U.S. spy and it was not related to the [nuclear] negotiations,” he said, according to state-controlled Fars News Agency.

But there’s nothing to see here, folks.

“We just don’t pay ransom, it is not our policy,” said John Kirby, the State Department’s spokesman on Fox’s “America’s Newsroom” Wednesday morning. “This was not ransom, any suggestion that it had anything to do with ransom is absolutely and utterly false.”

This is the same State Department that admitted it intentionally deleted a terse exchange about the Iranian nuclear deal in its public online video archives. This is the same Iranian deal that Ben Rhodes, one of Mr. Obama’s national security advisers, bragged to the New York Times Magazine about conning the American people into believing the administration was actually negotiating with moderates in the Iranian regime in order to get the deal passed.

Mr. Rhodes said to the Times, “The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. … They literally know nothing.”

Therefore, Mr. Rhodes was able to spin the press into writing his desired narrative — to heck with the truth. He also bragged of using nongovernmental think tanks and organizations to repeat the administration’s message, to create an “echo chamber” of their story.

Mr. Rhodes was also instrumental in crafting the Obama administration’s false anti-Muslim online-video narrative that they blamed for the Benghazi attack. According to the Benghazi Report, Mr. Rhodes helped concoct the false narrative, outlining in an email one of the “goals” in the administration’s strategy in handling the attacks was to push the video angle.

It was all a lie. Manipulation.

As Lee Smith wrote in the Weekly Standard of the Iranian high jinks: “For the last seven years the American public has been living through a postmodern narrative crafted by an extremely gifted and unspeakably cynical political operative whose job is to wage digital information campaigns designed to dismantle a several-decade old security architecture while lying about the nature of the Iranian regime. No wonder Americans feel less safe — they are.”

And now, here we are.

The Wall Street Journal breaks the story of an unmarked cargo plane, loaded with wooden pallets stacked with Swiss francs and other hard currencies — monies that Iran could easily use to fund terrorists or funnel into whatever nefarious activity they had planned — being delivered on the same weekend of the landmark U.S.-Iranian nuclear deal, and the release of prisoners, is just a coincidence.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday the timing of the transaction was a fluke and that the cash was “their money,” owed from the old arms deal.

“This all came to a head at the same time because we were addressing and resolving longstanding concerns about Iranian behavior,” he said. “This $400 million is actually money that the Iranians had paid into a U.S. account in 1979 as part of a transaction to procure military equipment.”

Never mind that the payment was never disclosed.

Not only did Mr. Earnest say there nothing to see — but he somehow implied it was the GOP that was being dangerous.

Republicans accusing the administration of paying ransom for the released Americans are making common cause with Iranian leaders, he said.

This is the Obama administration, folks — purely political, fallacious, with no defense of their reckless policies but to attack the other side with unhinged accusations.

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