Ret. Lt. Col. Ralph Peters weighs in on the Wall Street Journal's report that the U.S. sent cash to Iran as detained Americans were freed. Peters also reacts to Ret. Rear Admiral John Kirby, spokesman for the State Department, denying the dropoff of money was not connected to a ransom payment, but for something else. He called the timing, though simultaneously done, "all coincidental."
"This administration has been profoundly dishonest with a consistency unparalleled in American history," Peters said Wednesday morning. "This was supposed to be the most open administration in history. Instead, it's been most secretive and duplicitous."
RALPH PETERS: I have to feel sorry for John Kirby. His job is to convince us that sewage is champagne. Drink it if you want to. There is no question in my mind. I have been in Washington a long time. Too long perhaps. This was definitely a ransom or a bribe if you prefer to call it that.
I can even tell you how it happened. When you walk into a car dealership and you haggle with the car dealer and finally you think you've agreed on a price, and the salesman disappears into the back room and you are excited about that car and the contract comes out and it's $800 higher than you agreed on. He says that's just a dealer prep charge. And if you are a fool, as John Kerry was with the Iranians, you agree to the higher charge.
It was clearly a sweetener to get the deal through and get the Americans released. The problem is that we did pay ransom. That's how it looks to the rest of the world. It encourages to take more Americans prisoner as the Iranians have already done. And it makes it hard for to us take the moral high ground with our allies like the French and say you shouldn't pay ransom. It just plain stinks...
This administration has been profoundly dishonest with a consistency unparalleled in American history. All administrations have their side deals. They all have their secrets. But this was supposed to be the most open administration in history. Instead, it's been most secretive and duplicitous. What this really reminds me of, the patterns there, was the Bergdahl deal. Where we basically paid ransom and released a small multitude of Guantanamo prisoners in order to get a deserter back.
The Obama administration says again and again they don't pay ransom, blah, blah, blah, but they do. If this is above board. If this is all perfectly honest, why was it done in the dead of night with an unmarked cargo plane with Swiss Francs and euros to get around the U.S. law that you can't traffic in dollars? It smells to high heaven, but it's business as usual for the Obama administration.