The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler has made a name for himself as the liberal media’s arbiter of FACTS with his regular column. And while he’s far from the worst so-called “fact-checker” in the business, he’s as prone to bias as any of the rest of them. Sometimes we wonder if these journalists even realize how much Democrat propaganda they peddle as “fact.” Are they doing it knowingly, or are they just so caught up in their own bubble that they have mistaken partisan spin for truth?
It may remain a mystery, but Kessler’s wobbly hold on reality came completely loose after President Trump lobbed a grenade at the previous administration: “Never gotten over the fact that Obama was able to send $1.7 Billion Dollars in CASH to Iran and nobody in Congress, the FBI, or Justice called for an investigation,” he wrote on Twitter last weekend.
Yes, that is peculiar, especially given how fervently interested all of these federal institutions are in Russia’s role in the 2016 election. You’d think if they wanted to really get down to the bottom of it – if they really wanted to know which politicians had sold our country down the river to enemy states – they would take a long, hard look at that extremely suspicious transaction. An extremely suspicious transaction for which the Obama administration offered lie after lie after conducting it in the dead of night, away from the prying eyes of the press.
But hey, the Russians posted a bunch of memes on Facebook, so we have to keep our priorities in line.
Kessler’s Baracky-sense started tingling and he leapt into action to defend his hero. “Has no one who works for Trump ever explained it was a legal settlement of money the United States owed Iran from before the 1979 revolution?”
Gee, has anyone who works for Kessler ever explained that not everything the Obama administration’s press secretary said was to be taken as the gospel truth? Apparently not, because we’re sitting here several years after the fact, and Kessler has never bothered to dig any deeper than ObamaSpin to find out the truth about this dirty deal.
Here’s some more of his “fact check,” all of which comes – directly or indirectly – from the previous administration’s pile of excuses:
In the 1970s, the then-pro-Western Iranian government under the shah paid $400 million for U.S. military equipment. But the equipment was never delivered because the two countries broke off relations after the seizure of American hostages at the U.S. Embassy in Iran in the wake of the revolution.
A key element in the release of the hostages in 1981 was that the United States agreed to release several billion dollars in Iranian gold and bank assets that had been frozen in U.S. banks.
After the 1981 hostage deal, the two countries set up a tribunal in The Hague to litigate outstanding claims against each other. The $400 million remained unresolved, but U.S. officials say a ruling was expected that would have resulted in the return of the $400 million plus billions of dollars in outstanding interest. Instead, concurrent with the detainee negotiations, the two countries negotiated a deal that resulted in a return of the $400 million plus $1.3 billion in interest.
It’s a fine story that would make an admirable defense of Obama, if only it were true. Unfortunately, as Middle East expert Lee Smith pointed out in Tablet Magazine, it isn’t. Or, at least, it isn’t completely true. And the facts that Kessler omitted are extremely relevant.
First, he forgot to mention that while Iran did have a claim against the U.S., the U.S. had a counterclaim against Iran. If you want to talk about who owed whom billions of dollars, you could JUST as easily make the case that Iran owes it to the United States.
Point Two: According to both U.S. law and judgments rendered in the American court system, any money from that Iranian account was owed first to the victims of the regime’s terrorism. “A 2000 law signed by President Bill Clinton, the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act, said that Iran’s FMS account could not be refunded until court judgments held by the U.S. government against Iran for damages from terrorist acts against American citizens were resolved to America’s satisfaction,” wrote Smith.
It’s extremely questionable whether Iran had a valid claim to the money in the first place, and it is beyond dispute that U.S. law prohibited them from getting it back until restitution had been paid to Iranian terrorism victims.
Fact-checker, check thyself.