New York Post columnist Johah Goldberg writes:
One of my all-time favorite lines is from Henry Thoreau: “Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk.”
It came to mind this week when the White House and State Department insisted that the charge the US paid a ransom to get back American hostages was purely circumstantial.
The White House is adamant that, regardless of how it looked, the money delivered to Iran in an unmarked plane in the dead of night wasn’t a ransom at all (honest to God, cross my heart and hope to die). The ‘trout got in the milk for perfectly normal reasons.’
Anyone who believes that will believe anything.
It’s so obvious what was really going down there: If you don’t want the world to know that you’re paying a $400 million ransom to a regime like Iran, that hates your country and wants to kill everyone in it, with nukes you helped them build, you launder the money so as to make it untraceable and you deliver it in secret.
And if something goes wrong and the media gets wind of it, then you go to plan B and tell the world that what looked like a ransom, wasn’t a ransom at all. You were just letting the Iranians think it was a ransom.
What’s the harm in that?
Actually there’s major harm in that, whether you paid a ransom for real or just let them think it was.
Either way, they’re going to want to capture more Americans to propagate what they now see as a new lucrative source of income.
Should’ve been easy to figure that out?
Senior Justice Department officials figured it out and objected to the operation but were overruled by the State Department.
Also, the Justice Department knew that what the Obama administration was doing was illegal.
Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer reacted to the news on Wednesday and called it “illegal,” “money laundering,” and “scandalous.”
Krauthammer responded on Fox News’ Special Report on Wednesday, “Of course the Justice Department objected. It was illegal. It isn’t only the optics. It isn’t only that they are just looking ridiculous in denying that it was a quid pro quo. Obviously, it wasn’t a coincidence.”
“The reason that it was objected to by Justice, there is a statute that prohibits us from engaging in Iran, dealing with dollars. So, they had to print the money here, ship it over to Switzerland, turn it into Swiss francs and euros and ship it over to Iran. If a private company had done this, this is called money laundering,” the conservative commentator continued. “The CEO would be in jail right now.”
Krauthammer further elaborated on the odious nature of the payment: “The reason it was concealed is because it’s illegal. That’s why Congress wasn’t notified, because it’s scandalous for the administration to explicitly defy a law that says you can’t deal in American currency.”
“And the second thing is, it isn’t only that it encourages terrorism in the future, it’s that the money is in cash. Why in cash? ‘Cause that way you can’t trace it. It’s going to go straight to Hezbollah, straight to Hamas, straight to terrorists in Iraq. It will kill Arabs, it will kill Muslims, Jews in Israel, Americans and foreigners. That’s why it’s in cash,” he continued.
There’s a word for doing stuff like that.