and no clue who edited Iran video, flood response
State Department spokesman John Kirby confirmed to reporters Thursday that the $400 million cash payment made to Iran in January was used as “maximum leverage” to get Iran to release American hostages. Further, he made it clear that “the payment of the $400 million was not done until after the prisoners were released.”
In other words, it was essentially a ransom:
Kirby tried to avoid using the term “ransom” to describe the payment, but he conceded that the payment was “connected” to the release of the hostages. The payment was originally touted as the first step in resolving a long-standing dispute about money owed to Iran dating back to a failed weapons deal agreed to before the 1979 revolution.
“We, of course, sought to retain maximum leverage until after American citizens were released, and that was our top priority,” Kirby said. “If your top priority is to get your Americans out and you’re already having some issues about locating some of them, [then] you want to make sure that that release gets done before you compete [sic] that transaction.”
Earlier this month, State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau said “there was no timing that was associated between” the $400 million payment and the prisoners’ release. We now know that was a lie.
It wouldn’t be the first time the State Department lied about Iran.
President Obama’s team used a $400 million cash payment as “maximum leverage” to get Iran to release American hostages, a State Department official confirmed Thursday.
That admission contradicts one of Kirby’s colleagues, who insisted that there was “no timing” that connected the cash payment to the prisoner release. “There was no timing that was associated between the two,” State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau told reporters on August 8th. “I’m not going to get into a tick-tock. What I do, though, want to disassociate the idea — that you haven’t said but has been in the public narrative — that there was some sort of tie between the two.”
But a spokesman for House Speaker Paul Ryan, said Kirby’s comments essentially admit it was a ransom payment.
“In January, House Republicans raised concerns about what appeared to be a ransom payment for the release of Americans unjustly imprisoned by Iran,” said spokesman Doug Andres. “For months, the president and his spokespeople denied that he had reversed decades of U.S. policy by ransoming the freedom of American citizens.”
“Today, State Department spokesmen John Kirby finally admitted it,” he added. “As the president once acknowledged, paying ransom ‘risks endangering more Americans and funding the very terrorism that we’re trying to stop.’ He owes the American people a full and honest accounting of the ransom payment made in January.”
President Obama announced in January that U.S. and Iranian negotiators, upon the conclusion of the Iran nuclear agreement, had also arranged the release of four American hostages. The United States, he said, granted clemency to six Iranian-Americans and one Iranian who were serving jail sentences at a time.
Obama described that decision as a “reciprocal humanitarian gesture.” Only then did he turn to the dispute about the money owed to Iran. “With the nuclear deal done, prisoners released, the time was right to resolve this dispute as well,” Obama said.
Louisiana’s largest newspaper on Friday blasted President Obama for not showing his face in the state after a flood that has killed 13 people and forced thousands of people out of their homes.
The Baton Rouge Advocate published an editorial titled “After Louisiana flood, President Obama goes AWOL” that said other presidents made a point of visiting the state after floods.
“Last week, as torrential rains brought death, destruction and misery to Louisiana, the president continued his vacation at Martha’s Vineyard, a playground for the posh and well-connected,” the editorial board wrote Friday.
The board noted that Obama himself railed against President George W. Bush after Bush was criticized for neglecting New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. But it said Obama so far has failed to act in the way he wanted Bush to act.
State Dept. shrugs shoulders, has no clue who edited Iran video
Earlier this summer, Fox News reporter James Rosen discovered that a 2013 briefing video of then-State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki had been edited to remove footage of Psaki alluding that the Obama administration had misled the public about the timeline of the Iran nuclear talks. In short, Rosen asked Psaki at that 2013 briefing if government officials ever lie to the public to protect national security interests. Psaki responded:
“James, I think there are times where diplomacy needs privacy in order to progress. This is a good example of that.”
However, when Rosen went looking for the footage this summer, he discovered that the crucial exchange had disappeared — and in its place was a mysterious white flash. The State Department initially blamed the lost footage on a technical glitch before admitting that the video had been edited on purpose. However, after a months-long investigation, officials threw up their hands Thursday and declared that they couldn’t uncover who edited the video or why:
source–conservative liberty news, katies O, elazabeth trudeau, joel gehrke, doug sndres, baton rouge advocate, jeh johnson, jamie mcintrye, jacqueline klimas,