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Parsing Language
State Department Blows a Big Hole in Obama’s Iran Denial

Well well well:

The State Department says a $400 million cash payment to Iran was contingent on the release of American prisoners.

Spokesman John Kirby says negotiations over the United States’ returning Iranian money from a decades-old account was conducted separately from the prisoner talks. But he says the U.S. withheld delivery of the cash as leverage until the U.S. citizens had left Iran.

President Obama and Bill Clinton, both lawyers, seem to share a penchant for finely parsing the English language. Let’s go for a quick jaunt in the internet time machine, to two weeks ago:

“This wasn’t some nefarious deal,” Obama said.

“It’s been interesting to watch this story surface,” the president said. “Some of you may recall, we announced these payments in January. Many months ago. There wasn’t a secret, we announced them to all of you.”

“What we have is the manufacturing of outrage on a story that we disclosed in January,” he added later. […]

“We do not pay ransom for hostages,” he said. “And the notion that we would start now, in this high-profile way … defies logic.”

The payment was made in cash, Obama added, because the administration cannot send the rogue nation a check or wire transfer due to banking sanctions the U.S. and other nations have imposed on Iran.

“It is not at all clear to me why cash as opposed to a wire transfer has made this into a new story,” he said. “Maybe because it feels like some spy novel or some crime novel because cash was exchanged.” […]

“The issue is not so much that it was a coincidence as it is that we were able to have a direct discussion,” the president said. “[Secretary of State] John Kerry could meet with the foreign minister, which meant that our ability to clear accounts on a number of different issues at the same time converged.”

And most damning:

“We do not pay ransom for hostages,” he said. “The notion that we would start now and announce it to the world — even as we’re looking into the faces of other families whose loved ones are suffering — defies logic,” he said, his voice dripping with incredulity.

We suppose that’s true—depending on what the meaning of the word “ransom” is.

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  • M Snow

    It isn’t “parsing”; it’s lying.

  • adk

    Both Obama and Hillary/Bill had long decided they could get away with anything as far as MSM are concerned. Now Trump is wondering aloud why the same courtesy isn’t extended to him.

    • Jim__L

      He has an “R” by his name. Why is this so tough to understand?

      • adk

        Surely a question for Mr.Trump

  • Fat_Man

    Dane-Geld (A.D. 980-1016) by Rudyard Kipling

    It is always a temptation to an armed and agile nation
    To call upon a neighbour and to say: —
    “We invaded you last night–we are quite prepared to fight,
    Unless you pay us cash to go away.”

    And that is called asking for Dane-geld,
    And the people who ask it explain
    That you’ve only to pay ’em the Dane-geld
    And then you’ll get rid of the Dane!

    It is always a temptation for a rich and lazy nation,
    To puff and look important and to say: —
    “Though we know we should defeat you, we have not the time to meet you.
    We will therefore pay you cash to go away.”

    And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
    But we’ve proved it again and again,
    That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
    You never get rid of the Dane.

    It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation,
    For fear they should succumb and go astray;
    So when you are requested to pay up or be molested,
    You will find it better policy to say: —

    “We never pay any-one Dane-geld,
    No matter how trifling the cost;
    For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
    And the nation that pays it is lost!”

    • CosmotKat

      Thanks for sharing this old reminder from Kipling. True today as it was then.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    “President Obama and Bill Clinton, both lawyers, seem to share a penchant for finely parsing the English language.”

    Please, they are both proven liars, Bill even lost his license because he lies. All this Diplospeak is just another form of lying, just to be clear.

  • Blackbeard

    I saw Obama speaking on television on this issue recently. His arrogance, his condescension, his petulance, as he lies again and again is remarkable. And why shouldn’t he be angry? Hasn’t he been lying all along and hasn’t the media backed him every step of the way. And now, with only a few months to go, the media discovers that they have a spine and talk back? Now, when it doesn’t matter.

    Too late. Much, much too late. It doesn’t matter now, Hillary will still win, the Left will still win, we are too far down that road to stop now. But history will remember.

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