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Obama trades hostages with Iran?

Remember that journalist who was arrested and sentenced, then freed in Iran?

In an amazing coincidence, Michael Ledeen reports (see second page of his report on Iranian protests) that we have freed five Iranian “diplomats” (i.e. officers in the Republican Guard) and are getting ready to free lots more lower-level terrorists. Let’s see … these must be the among the people Iran sent to Iraq to show them how to build the much more deadly IEDs than they were using previously, correct?

Meanwhile, in an appalling act of appeasement, we released five Revolutionary Guards officers in Iraq, so that they could go to Tehran (and I doubt they will join the nocturnal chanters). I got it from Washingtontv, which somehow accepted the official Iranian misidentification of these guys:

Washington, 9 July (WashingtonTV)—The US military on Thursday handed over five Iranian diplomats (NOT! ML. The mullahs claimed they were dips, but they were IRGC officers) it has held for over two years to Iraqi authorities, Iraqi and Iranian officials said.

Iran’s ambassador to Baghdad, Hassan Kazemi Qomi, said that the five men were handed over to Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, and that they would be handed over to the Iranian embassy in Baghdad after meeting al-Maliki, reports the official IRNA news agency.

The five diplomats, accused by the U.S. of funding and arming Shiite militants in Iraq, were arrested in the northern Iraqi city of Arbil on 11 January 2007.

The timing could hardly have been worse, and I’m sure the White House is roundly annoyed that this happened just on a day when the regime’s claws and fangs were so publicly exposed. The White House had set the release up for several days ago, but then the Almighty–in the form of intense sandstorms that made it impossible to fly in and out of Tehran–intervened.

If my information is correct–and I must say I have rarely had a story so vigorously denied by my own government–this is part of the deal for Roxana Saberi, who, you’ll remember, was miraculously released from an Iranian prison a couple of months ago. These IRGC commanders–with, I am told, hundreds of lower-level Iranian terror facilitators to come in the next days and weeks–were Iran’s price for freeing the American hostage.

I had inklings of this, and said so at the time. So I’ll take the opportunity to remind everyone who follows Iranian matters, that the mullahs’ hostages are never released for humanitarian motives. They are ransomed. The only question is the price.

When I asked some folks in the government, about a week ago, if we were preparing to release these people, they acted as if I’d asked if the Vice President were about to convert to Islam. But the releases have started.

It seems Obama overpaid, frankly. But then, we always do. Every president since Jimmy Carter has acted like a fool regarding Iran. So it’s business as usual.

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