The State Dept Used $400 Million As “leverage” to Ensure Prisoners Were Returned

That sounds like ransom

State Dept. Spokesman John Kirby taking question about Iran payment during daily press briefing

With one word, the Obama State Department has blown the doors off of their defense against the claims of quid pro quo concerning the $400 million in cash handed over to Iran during the time American hostages were released.

During the daily press briefing Thursday, State Department Spokesman John Kirby placed himself and his bosses in a compromising situation. When asked if he “disputed” anything the Wall Street Journal wrote in their article about the claims of the money being paid as ransom, Kirby answered with the following:

“we deliberately leveraged that moment to finalize these outstanding issues nearly simultaneously. It’s already publicly known that we returned to Iran its $400 million in that same time period as part of The Hague settlement agreement. With concerns that Iran may renege on the prisoner release given unnecessary delays regarding persons in Iran who could not be located as well as, to be quite honest, mutual mistrust between Iran and the United States, we, of course, sought to retain maximum leverage until after American citizens were released. That was our top priority.”

His answer substantiated what many already condemned the administration for, a ransom payment in exchange for American hostages. Nevertheless, the administration claims it did not pay a ransom.

If that were the case, why didn’t Obama and his officials divulge in the beginning what they’re expressing now? When the story first broke in the beginning of August, Obama and a host of top officials denied any direct connection between the release of hostages and $400 million in cash being paid to Iran.

The administration now avows the only link between the cash payment to Iran and the hostages’ return transpired at the end of negotiating both deals separately.

For this purpose, the administration wants Americans to understand the United States used the money as “leverage” to ensure the safe return of hostages. That is to say, it was negotiated the plane with the money would depart once the plane with the hostages was off the ground. This is quid pro quo.

Supporters of the administration’s actions claim since the money was sent after the hostages were already en route from Iran, the US did not partake in ransom payments in any way. They maintain ransom is money being paid, then the release of hostages occurring.

Since the administration and supporters are using this definition of ransom to deny they have paid such, let’s take a look at the definition of quid pro quo:

The fact is, and the State Department now concedes, money was exchanged for prisoners. It can be called “leverage” or anything besides ransom, but the simple truth is cash was traded for American hostages.

Ransom is ransom. It doesn’t matter how someone tries to explain the word and action away. Without doubt, if money or anything is exchanged in any form for people, a ransom payment has occurred.

Whether all Americans come to agree on this topic or not, nations hostile to America will surely take this as a ransom payment. Even worse, the Tehran is describing this payment as such.