“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Cash is King

White House Rejects Charges It Paid Iran Ransom To Free Prisoners

Source: RFE/RL

The White House has rejected a charge from Republican leaders that it secretly paid Iran $400 million in cash in January as ransom for the release of imprisoned Americans.

The payment, which settled a decades-old reimbursement claim by Tehran for a cancelled U.S. arms deal, was delivered a day after five American prisoners in Tehran were released on January 16 as part of a prisoner exchange.

The Wall Street Journal reported on August 3 that the administration secretly airlifted the money in cash in multiple currencies to Iran -- a revelation that prompted Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and other GOP leaders to charge that the payment amounted to a ransom for the prisoners.
"The United States, under President [Barack] Obama, has not paid a ransom to secure the release of Americans unjustly detained in Iran," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said on August 3. “It is against the policy of the United States to pay ransom for hostages."

Earnest did acknowledge, however, that the administration secretly airlifted the cash to Tehran. He said the payment was made in cash because the United States does not have a banking relationship with Iran.

The administration said in January that the five American prisoners who were freed on January 16, including Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, were released in exchange for seven Iranians held in the United States for sanctions violations. 

The prisoner exchange and the $400 million claims payment also came at the same time as the lifting of international sanctions against Tehran on January 17.
At the time, the United States said the payment settled a long-standing Iranian claim at the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal in The Hague for reimbursement of $400 million in military weapons ordered by the shah of Iran that were never delivered after the shah was deposed by the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

As part of a negotiated settlement of The Hague case, the United States also agreed to provide Iran with another $1.3 billion in interest at a future date.
Republicans, including Trump, seized on the the paper's revelation about the secret airlift of cash as evidence that the payment was a ransom for freeing prisoners, however.
Senator John McCain said the timing of the payment suggested it was a ransom that has now incentivized more bad behavior from Iran.

"If true, this report confirms our long-standing suspicion that the administration paid a ransom in exchange for Americans unjustly detained in Iran," House Speaker Paul Ryan said. “It would also mark another chapter in the ongoing saga of misleading the American people to sell this dangerous nuclear deal."

Representative Jason Chaffetz, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, demanded that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry appear before his panel to explain the payment.

Trump sought to tie the payment to his Democratic opponent in the White House race, saying in a tweet, "Our incompetent Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, was the one who started talks to give 400 million dollars, in cash, to Iran. Scandal!"
Moreover, Trump sought to tie the payment to Iran’s release of 10 American sailors who had veered off course in the Persian Gulf and been taken prisoner for one day by Iran's Revoluationary Guards on January 12 -- five days before the payment was delivered.

"It looks like we paid $400 million for the hostages," Trump said."When they took our sailors, they forced them to their knees and the only reason we got them back is that we hadn't paid the money yet. And that's the only reason we got 'em back. Otherwise, they would've had to wait until I became president."
Trump added that he believes the “terror money airlift [will] undoubtedly find its way into the hands of terrorists."

While there have long been questions about the timing of the $400 million payment, one Iranian concern was that the Obama administration could face too much domestic political criticism if it delayed acting on The Hague settlement.
Moreover, U.S. officials argue that they had to make the payment in euros, Swiss francs, and other currencies due to restrictions on providing Iran with U.S. dollars under U.S. sanctions targeting Iran's support for terrorist groups.
With reporting by Reuters, AP, dpa, and AFP

Copyright (c) 2016 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
... Payvand News - 03/25/16 ... --


  1. Ruf's HERO, O'bozo, paid them off then lied directly to the American People about it.

    Some HERO

    Some Doofus

    Now Doofus is all het up bout voting for the Queen of Corruption, who wants to raise taxes on the middle class, and owns Libya....

    The only optimistic thing to say is Doofus is the only one here who would vote for the Queen of Corruption, and Sexual Ash, perhaps.

    If we all felt like Doofus we might as well 'cash it in' on the idea of a Republic....

  2. Rufus celebrates Submission of the USA to Corruption and Islam.

    If his polls turn out to be true, we will have voted to destroy freedom in America.


    (Says Rufus)

  3. Krauthammer Slams WH's Iran Ransom Deal: It's Money Laundering and Will Finance the Killing of Muslims, Jews, and Americans

    Charles Krauthammer said on Fox News Wednesday that the White House’s $400 million ransom payment to Iran amounted to money laundering since it had to be doled out in different currencies to avoid violating U.S. law.

    “Of course the Justice Department objected. It was illegal, it isn’t only the optics, it isn’t only that they look ridiculous in denying that it was a quid pro quo, obviously it wasn’t a coincidence,” Krauthammer said.

    “The reason that it was objected to by Justice, there is a statute that prohibits us from engaging in Iran dealing with dollars. So they had to -- they had to print the money here, ship it over to Switzerland, turn it into Swiss francs and euros and ship it over to Iran. If a private company had done this, this is called money laundering.
    The CEO would be in jail right now."

  4. We owed them the money, and we paid them.

    I know this is a novel concept to some, but . . . . . .


  5. It's kind of like a guy calls you up, and says he wants to do some business;

    you say, "well, why don't you square up your account, and we'll talk."

    You can call it what you want, but most of us would just call it "business."

    1. It's kind of like a guy...

      The Millionaire Mullahs, Obama, and the Millionaire Corrupt Clintons are just like me and my neighbors.


    2. Seems to be a re-occurring theme with Iran. Iran-Contra comes to mind.


  6. President Jimmy Carter was the last Liberal Left president to attempt with the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini what President Barack Obama is now attempting to do with Iranian President Hasan Rouhani: negotiate.

    Rouhani, a Shi’a cleric, has learned his lessons well from Khomeini.

    When Carter entered the political fray in 1976, America was still riding the liberal wave of anti-Vietnam War emotion. Carter was persuaded that the Shah was not fit to rule Iran. In his anti-war pacifism, Carter never got it that Khomeini, a cleric exiled to Iraq, was preparing Iran for revolution. His weapon of choice was not the sword but the media. Using tape cassettes smuggled by Iranian pilgrims returning from the holy city of Najaf, he fueled disdain for what he called “gharbzadegi” (the plague of Western culture).

    Carter pressured the Shah to make what he termed human rights concessions by releasing political prisoners and relaxing press censorship. Khomeini could never have succeeded without Carter. The Islamic Revolution would have been stillborn.

    Under Carter’s predecessor, Richard Nixon, the U.S. had enacted what became known as the “Twin Pillar Doctrine.” His approach was to establish American military substitutes in various regions, especially in Iran and Saudi Arabia, to deter the Soviet Union and provide protection for U.S. interests. Iran received such a designation and was thus guaranteed access to U.S. arms in abundance.

    Carter perceived Khomeini as a religious holy man in a grassroots revolution than the founding father of modern terrorism. Carter’s ambassador to the United Nations, Andrew Young, said” Khomeini will eventually be hailed as a saint.” Carter’s Iranian ambassador, William Sullivan, said, “Khomeini is a Gandhi-like figure.” Carter adviser James Bill proclaimed on Feb. 12, 1979, that Khomeini was not a mad mujahid, but a man of “impeccable integrity and honesty.”

    Just as Carter administration officials pursued a relationship with Khomeini, so did Barack Obama state during his first election campaign that he wanted to sit down without preconditions for talks with Iran’s president and leaders from other rogue states.

    Farah Pahlavi, wife of the former Shah, told me during an interview in her home:

    “My husband said to me that if Jimmy Carter keeps this up, ultimately Khomeini will come back and with him will come an Islamic revolution. The Russians will invade Afghanistan, Iraq will go to war against Iran, and who knows what horror will come upon the world.”

    During the same interview, the empress talked about Carter’shuman rights issue:

    “What happened to those who cared so much for human rights? How come when the Shah left, the Iranian people didn’t have any rights anymore? What happened to the women?…There is oppression which exists in the name of religion in Iran. What happened to those who cared?”

    Asadollah Alam, appointed prime minister by the Shah in July 1962, was Pahlavi’s personal confidant. Alam and the Shah had been classmates at the exclusive Swiss boarding school, InstitutLe Rosey. He remained in office through major industrial and social reforms implemented by the Shah, sometimes referred to as the “White Revolution.” Alam wrote of the Shah’s concerns over Carter’s election in his diary: “Who knows what sort of calamity he [Carter] may unleash

    1. Asadollah Alam, appointed prime minister by the Shah in July 1962, was Pahlavi’s personal confidant. Alam and the Shah had been classmates at the exclusive Swiss boarding school, InstitutLe Rosey. He remained in office through major industrial and social reforms implemented by the Shah, sometimes referred to as the “White Revolution.” Alam wrote of the Shah’s concerns over Carter’s election in his diary: “Who knows what sort of calamity he [Carter] may unleash on the world?

      In an interview with President Valery Giscard d’Estaing, the former president of France during the time of America’s first crisis with Iran, I was told that in 1979 he met with Carter in Guadalupe for a summit, as did Helmut Schmidt of Germany and James Callahan of Great Britain. Carter told this group of men that the U.S. was going to support Khomeini instead of the Shah of Iran. In essence, Mr. d’Estaing said he realized the U.S. was trading its strongest pro-Western Persian Gulf ally in favor of a terrorist Muslim cleric.

      “I was horrified,” said d’Estaing. “The only way I can describe Jimmy Carter is that he was a ‘bastard of conscience.’”

      With the election of Jimmy Carter and his stance against the Shah, the U.S. was suddenly deprived of level heads that would have provided access to Persian Gulf oil. A relationship that for decades had been friendly had become adversarial. A deviously clever, manipulative fanatic was suddenly in control of all decision-making in Iran, an old man who had no desire to negotiate with his sworn enemy—the “Great Satan.”

      As the Iranians relentlessly pursued the Shah’s assets, purported to be stashed in American banks, Khomeini’s negotiators demanded a total of $24 billion dollars be transferred to a bank in Algeria. Just days before Carter was to leave office, Iran capitulated and agreed to Carter’s demands to pay off loans owned to U.S. banks.

      In marathon sessions new drafts were produced, new documents drawn, and the Bank of England was approved as the repository of escrow funds.
      Shortly after 4 a.m. on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, 1981, the Carter administration relinquished $7.977 billion to the Iranians. According to one source, the transfer required 14 banks and the participation of five nations acting concurrently.

      Since the talk of lessening sanctions on the Islamic republic, former President Carter has been surprisingly silent. Could it be that even he realizes the danger of a nuclear Iran?

    2. That worked out well.

      In RufusWorld

    3. In essence, Mr. d’Estaing said he realized the U.S. was trading its strongest pro-Western Persian Gulf ally in favor of a terrorist Muslim cleric.

      “I was horrified,” said d’Estaing. “The only way I can describe Jimmy Carter is that he was a ‘bastard of conscience.’”

      He hadn't met Rufus.

    4. "He hadn't met Rufus"

      He was lucky.

  7. (((Harry Enten))) ✔

    Trump running fourth behind Clinton, Johnson and Stein among 18-29 year-olds in the Marist poll (h/t @dznyc)

    5:59 PM - 4 Aug 2016


    1. Rufus, are you the kind of guy that would short change old ladies?

      If not, why have you not paid me the hundred dollars you OWE me ?

      A gambling debt is a DEBT just like any other.

      Pay up !!!

  9. Israel has charged a manager of World Vision's Gaza office with passing millions of dollars to the Palestinian hardline militant group Hamas.

    World Vision official Mohammed El Halabi appeared before a court today, facing charges of using millions of charity funds to pay Hamas fighters and buy weapons.


    In March this year, Mr Halabi took the Australian Ambassador to Israel, Dave Sharma, on a tour of Australian funded aid projects in the Gaza Strip.

  10. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has confirmed an Australian man and woman were among those injured in a stabbing attack in central London that left a 64-year-old US woman dead.


    Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley told reporters those injured were Australian, British, US and Israeli nationals.


    "All of the work we have done so far increasingly points to this tragic incident as having been triggered by mental health issues," Mr Rowley, who is Britain's most senior anti-terrorism officer, said.

  11. A recent Amnesty International report also claimed that the guns ISIS is using in Iraq and Syria have partially been supplied by the U.S., as they were meant to go to the Iraqi Army. The report cites a 2014 incident where ISIS captured Mosul and seized a large amount of weaponry from the Iraqi Army, and it says that’s only part of what’s been captured.

    “That very spectacular looting in 2014… was just the endpoint of a very long history of hemorrhaging of supplies that started in 2003,” Patrick Wilcken, a London-based arms control researcher for Amnesty, told Mother Jones. “That has made the whole issue of weapons proliferation incredibly serious in Iraq and spilling over into Syria, and has armed not just the Islamic State but many other armed groups.”
    The report states that much of the problem is related to the fact the United States has sent Iraq weapons without requiring the proper monitoring of where those weapons are going, and it has been happening for a long time.

  12. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has reportedly taken an interest in the US nuclear arsenal. Just how big is that arsenal?

    The US has nearly 2,000 nuclear weapons ready for launch, according to an independent count kept by the Federation of American scientists. While 180 are deployed in Europe, the bulk are kept on missile and bomber bases in the US.

  13. Investigators said there had been no significant changes in Captain Zaharie's lifestyle and no interpersonal conflict or family stresses.

    Other theories on the disappearance include hijacking or a catastrophic event such as a fire and industrial sabotage.

    Malaysia's police chief Khalid Abu Bakar has also said the murder-suicide theory was not backed by any evidence.


  14. Texas Couple squirted with water from a Wee Wee Water Squirter plastic toy in a restaurant claim it is sexual assault and dial 911 from the parking lot.


    Isabelle and James Lassiter claim assault occurred in Tennessee diner
    Mr Lassiter called 911 from the parking lot of Wasabi in Murfreesboro
    Couple said when the toy squirted water on Isabelle it was sexual assault
    The Lassiters complained to police but officers soon dropped the case
    The couple maintains stance given kids were present in a family restaurant

    A Texas couple has claimed the wife was sexually assaulted by a plastic toy which dropped its pants and peed water on them in a surprise show at a Japanese restaurant.
    In an extraordinary 911 phone call, a furious James Lassiter, called police from the parking lot of the Wasabi Japanese Steakhouse in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, following the incident involving his wife Isabelle.

    1. Video:

      But according to a police report, officers who attended the restaurant wrote that the toy wasn't anatomically correct and have not pursued the matter further.
      'I observed the toy to have no penis and just a hole for the water to shoot out,' an officer wrote.
      However, the Lassiters claim the lack of genitals should not matter.
      James told the TV station: '(It) doesn't change the fact that you're getting peed on.'
      Wasabi general manager Johnny Huang reportedly apologized to the couple but said he had never had a complaint in the past - his customers normally got a thrill from the toy.
      'The kids like it, they think its a water gun, kind of like a water gun you know,' Mr Huang told the station.

      After media reports emerged about the incident, the couple released a further statement:
      'People are missing the point,' the couple said. 'This was a sexually-oriented toy meant for adults, in front of minor children.
      'We're not trying to make money off of this. If the toy was in a bar, it'd be a different situation, but this was in a family restaurant with 13 to 14-year-olds at the table.
      'If people think it's so funny, why don't people go buy that toy and squirt a cop in the face with it and see what happens.'

  15. Pervert Mayor