Aug. 21–“Oh, what a tangled web we weave
“When first we practice to deceive!”
That’s the once oft-quoted stanza from the epic 1808 Scottish poem “Marmion” by Walter Scott. Once upon a time, many parents and/or mentors would recite it on a regular basis to teach their children and/or charges about fundamental honesty.
Sadly, it appears Barack Obama never was afforded such a tutorial.
For the past 2 1/2 weeks, the president and his administration steadfastly denied that the United States’ Jan. 17 payment of $400 million to Iran was a ransom for the release of four American hostages on the very same day.
“We do not pay ransom,” Mr. Obama said on Aug. 4, the day after The Wall Street Journal broke the story of the nexus. “We didn’t here, and we won’t in the future.”
But that’s exactly what was done. And State Department spokesman John Kirby confirmed it on Thursday. The U.S. would not have paid that money — a settlement of a 40-year-old arms purchase dispute — until those hostages were released.
The rationale for not paying ransom for hostages is simple: It leads to more hostage-taking. And that’s exactly what has happened in this case. The Iranians have taken three new hostages and are demanding $2 billion.
The president lied. And because of his tangled web of deception, he has placed a price tag on the head of every American abroad.
(c)2016 The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Greensburg, Pa.)
Visit The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Greensburg, Pa.) at www.triblive.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
This content is published through a licensing agreement with Acquire Media using its NewsEdge technology.