Friday, August 19, 2016

A Ransom Is a Ransom by Any Other Name
I am enjoying  the State Department’s and Obama administration’s explanation of why the $400 million  given in exchange for the release of 4 American Iranian held prisoners was not a ransom.
Instead the $400 million in cold hard cash which arrived by plane while the prisoners waited for their release was a “highly leveraged contingency” mechanism springing them loose from their imprisonment.   The $400 million was an installment on  $1.7 billion deal that  had been negotiated years before in a court at the Hague in 1981, 
 The $400 million was not “ransom,” but a move calculated  to save American taxpayers interest on an internationally agreed up deal.  The fact that the plans landed on the same day was strictly “ coincidental ,”  and had nothing to do with the prisoners’ release, unless you factor in the current State Department admission  about the release  being “highly leveraged” to spring the hostages.
It may not make any difference who is right here.   The point is that  the money and the prisoner release were closely related and are viewed by political opponents,  the Iranians,  and the world at large as a ransom, which is defined at the release of a prisoner or kidnapped person for a price paid or demanded.  In other words,  if it looks like a ransom,  works like a ransom, smells like a ransom, and releases prisoners like a ransom,  it’s a ransom and can used a precedent for future ransoms.

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