Be sure to file this one under, “Tell us something we don’t know.”
Remember that $400 million payment to Iran that President Obama said wasn’t a ransom payment, but rather a payment of a past debt?
President Obama’s team used a $400 million cash payment as “maximum leverage” to get Iran to release American hostages, a State Department official confirmed.
“The payment of the $400 million was not done until after the prisoners were released,” State Department spokesman John Kirby confirmed to reporters on Thursday.
Of course, “ransom” isn’t the word they want to be floating around, in reference to the transaction.
After all, there are a lot of bad actors on the world stage. If they get the idea that the American government is willing to pay big sums to have their citizens freed, what is the likely outcome for Americans traveling abroad?
“We, of course, sought to retain maximum leverage until after American citizens were released, and that was our top priority,” Kirby said. “If your top priority is to get your Americans out and you’re already having some issues about locating some of them, [then] you want to make sure that that release gets done before you complete that transaction.”
The U.S. has had a long standing policy of not paying ransom, in order to discourage other kidnapping or hostage attempts with American citizens.
President Obama, even after eight years, continues to show he lacks even the most basic ability to maintain the protocol of the office he holds.