Friday, 5 August 2016

The Iran Ransom and President Obama

It's an interesting episode.

So, to the facts.

Somewhere in the middle of the Iran hostage crisis....I'm talking about the 1970s episode with President Carter....NOT the current US hostages who were held and let go by Iran in the past six months.....we seized their national money sitting in US banks.  Two billion dollars worth.

For decades, this two billion has sat there in US government hands.  We couldn't find any way or method to just release the money without a bunch of opera sequences or Senators asking five-star questions.

So, here is the newest American hostages held in Iran, and someone in the White House (probably the same guy who screwed up on Sergeant Bergdahl's episode.....figured up this deal.

$400 million in various currencies had to be delivered on a unmarked plane....before these folks got released.  No senators were noted in the talks within the White House, for obvious reasons.

Money-laundering?  If you go and look up the concept....it half-way fits into this situation.

Where did the money come from?  That's a curious thing.....because typically, you can't just walk into a bank and ask for a hundred million in cash.  My guess is that they went to a dozen banks which the US government has funds sitting in, and got each to agree to hand out 20-to-40 million each.  The banks had to sit there and ask stupid questions because this would normally get picked up real quick by bank monitors and the federal government monitors.  Anyone asking for just a million in cash....would be identified and the fed audit folks would be there with questions.  Oddly, in this case.....it appears the system never worked.

Who transported the money?  Unknown.  Probably the CIA.....maybe even the Pentagon.

Why did this come out now?  Unknown.  I would take a guess that fewer than twenty people knew the whole story on the US side.  For the Iranians.....probably over a thousand knew that money got paid out to them in some fashion.

What's all of this say about investigative journalists?  They are dead.  In 1975, this would have been page one news by the 10th day after the pay-off.  Sixty Minutes would have run an entire hour episode and even had the Iranian kid who was selling watermelons at the airport being interviewed about what he saw.

President Obama?  He has nothing to worry about because the Republicans in the House and Senate fully support him.  Oddly, asking them to explain this.....will get you nowhere.

In a week, folks will forget most of this and it'll all just be written off as history.  Some CIA guy will sit at some bar in Seattle, and note after his fifth beer.....he was the guy who packed up the pallet of cash and he actually kept $20 as his "take" of the deal. He'll flip the $20 bill toward the bartender who will frame it on the wall as part of the Iran "loot".  That's the way that life works.