Yet one more instance of the Most Transparent Administration™ conducting itself in the era of Smart Diplomacy™: Launder $400 million in exchange for five hostages, refuse to call it a ransom, and then launder $1.3 billion more. Make sure it’s all in cash, à la Breaking Bad, load it in pallets, and fly it in, so you bypass the international banking system and Constitutional prohibitions.
The WSJ reports,
U.S. Transferred $1.3 Billion More in Cash to Iran After Initial Payment. First $400 million coincided with Iran’s release of American prisoners and was used as leverage, officials have acknowledged
The Obama administration followed up a planeload of $400 million in cash sent to Iran in January with two more such shipments in the next 19 days, totaling another $1.3 billion, according to congressional officials briefed by the U.S. State, Treasury and Justice departments.
The cash payments—made in Swiss francs, euros and other currencies—settled a decades-old dispute over a failed arms deal dating back to 1979.
On that arms deal, Stephen Green points out that
The arms deal “failed” because the government we had signed it with ceased to exist, toppled by the Ayatollah Khomeini — whose supporters attacked the US Embassy in Tehran and took 52 Americans hostage for 444 days.
To this day, Iran celebrates the anniversary of the Embassy attack with annual anti-U.S. rallies.
But back to the WSJ (emphasis added),
The Obama administration briefed lawmakers on Tuesday, telling them that two further portions of the $1.3 billion were transferred though Europe on Jan. 22 and Feb. 5. The payment “flowed in the same manner” as the original $400 million that an Iranian cargo plane picked up in Geneva, Switzerland, according to a congressional aide who took part in the briefing.
The $400 million was converted into non-U.S. currencies by the Swiss and Dutch central banks, according to U.S. and European officials.
The Treasury Department confirmed late Tuesday that the subsequent payments were also made in cash.
Must I remind you, Obama took to the airwaves last month and bare-faced lied to all, smirking,
“We announced these payments in January. Many months ago. Th-that wasn’t a secret; we announced them.”
Following the latest news,
Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) introduced legislation on Tuesday that would bar such payments to Iran in the future and seeks to reclaim the $1.7 billion for victims of Iranian-backed terrorism.
Good luck with that.
Last month Claudia Rosett reported that Treasury made thirteen equal payments of exactly $99,999,999.99 each to the State Department under the generic heading of settling “Foreign Claims.”
Rosett points to The Judgement Fund, which is used for bypassing the Constitution:
The Judgment Fund has long been a controversial vehicle for federal agencies to detour past one of the most pointed prohibitions in the Constitution: “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law.”
The Judgment Fund, according to a Treasury Department Web site, is “a permanent, indefinite appropriation” used to pay monetary awards against U.S. government agencies in cases “where funds are not legally available to pay the award from the agency’s own appropriations.”
And why were the 13 payments in amounts of one cent less than $100,000,000?
Who knows? Is there a rule or procedure which specifies that all payments of $100 million or more are referred to an official that would not have been agreeable to the transfer?
What we do know is that the Obama administration has laundered money for the Ayatollahs.
Parting question: Does that constitute an impeachable offense?
Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S, and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.