Patterico's Pontifications

9/11/2023

Biden Administration Marks September 11 by Agreeing to Prisoner Release from Iran in Return for Unfreezing $6 Billion in Iranian Assets [UPDATED]

Filed under: General — JVW @ 1:49 pm



[guest post by JVW]

UPDATE: Naturally our President took the opportunity to lie about having been at Ground Zero the very next day after the attack on the World Trade Center. His need to be at the center of every story has gone well beyond the pathetic and is now venturing into the territory of being downright offensive. He is just an absolute mess of a doddering old fool.

—— Original Post ——

It’s as if these guys don’t own a calendar (truly, they probably don’t, but everybody’s laptop and mobile device can tell you what today is). ABC News provides the rich detail:

Biden administration OKs waiver allowing deal with Iran to swap prisoners and release $6 billion in frozen Iranian funds.

That’s it. That is the entire ABC News item as of right now (1:30 pm Pacific Time). I just thought I would once again make the point about how lazy and useless our modern news agencies are. By the time you read this, perhaps they will have fleshed-out the item with lots of “Republicans pounce” instant analysis.

Here’s what the New York Post reports:

The Biden administration agreed Monday to unfreeze approximately $6 billion in Iranian assets in exchange for the release of five American citizens held for years by the theocratic Tehran government.

The hostages had been moved to house arrest last month from Iran’s notorious Evin prison, in what the White House hailed as a tentative first step as negotiations were finalized.

As the NY Post writes, this is the same negotiation that the White House let slip last month (probably as a trial balloon to see how fellow Democrats and the overall public felt). At the time National Review Online had this to say:

The White House’s shambolic campaign to empower the Iranian regime is an underappreciated scandal. The U.S. has just granted the Iranian regime a $6 billion lifeline and will release Iranian prisoners, as part of a deal to free five American hostages held unjustly by Tehran.

All Americans ought to celebrate the return home of people arbitrarily held by an authoritarian regime. But this prisoner swap empowers the Iranian government and vindicates its practice of strategic hostage-taking, thus making future abductions by Tehran and America’s other enemies even more likely. And the funds that will flow to Iran will enable its ongoing military aggression and human-rights abuses.

The winners include Iran’s security apparatus, which, despite the administration’s strained assurances, will receive a windfall. The losers: targets of Iranian terrorism in the Middle East, American service members posted there, anti-regime demonstrators in Iran, and Ukrainians under bombardment by Iranian weapons sent to Russia.

When news first came of this arrangement, the official release date had not been announced and word was that it was still being negotiated. I would imagine that it was the Iranians who chose today to consummate the deal, and I don’t think they chose this date by chance. The Biden Administration is probably the most feeble and weak Presidential Administration in our nation’s history. I would imagine even Jimmy Carter finds himself marveling at how supine and gutless these clowns are. If for some reason this date was actually chosen by the Biden Administration itself, perhaps because they thought it would be seen as a diplomatic coup, then the depths of stupidity within the junior varsity of the Obama claque truly knows no bounds.

Is there any Democrat willing to stand up and call out the President for continually embarrassing this country in his weakness? Or have the wagons been circled this tightly?

It’s a disgrace.

– JVW

64 Responses to “Biden Administration Marks September 11 by Agreeing to Prisoner Release from Iran in Return for Unfreezing $6 Billion in Iranian Assets [UPDATED]”

  1. Way to go Brandon.

    JVW (1ad43e)

  2. September 11

    Then: Patriot’s Day of Remembrance

    Now: Do Business with International Terrorists Day

    JVW (1ad43e)

  3. On Monday morning, the 22nd anniversary of the devastating attack, Adrienne Watson put out a social media post in which she lauded the Saudis for committing $20 billion to the Partnership for Global Infrastructure.

    Adrienne Watson

    @NSC_Spox
    ·
    Follow
    We welcome this weekend’s announcement by Saudi Arabia committing $20 billion to support President Biden’s signature initiative, the Partnership for Global Infrastructure (PGI).

    Watson is the spokeswoman for Andrew Sullivan, who heads up Biden’s National Security Council. It was not immediately clear why the administration felt it was appropriate to laud the nation that helped facilitate 9/11 on the anniversary of the deadly terror attack

    Nice

    BuDuh (1a6e52)

  4. Meanwhile, not even a token press release about 9/11 on https://whitehouse.gov

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  5. Never forget in neo-cons progress for a new american century (1998) we will need a “second pearl harbor” before the american people will allow us to attack Iraq. In august 2001 CIA gives bush breifing bin ladin determined to attack in america with aircraft. Bush alright you have covered your ass I am off to the ranch! Congolissa rice: who could imagine terrorists attacking building with aircraft? She was then shown a picture of her walking past an anti aircraft missile battery in milan italy in aug. 2001 ready to shoot down any aircraft trying to crash into building. There is plenty more if you want to look it up like ag ashcroft told not to fly commercial in summer of 2001.

    asset (37a129)

  6. Biden Administration Marks September 11 by Agreeing to Prisoner Release from Iran in Return for Unfreezing $6 Billion in Iranian Assets

    Nothing for Jared Kushner and Erik Prince?

    nk (c8f033)

  7. Or Hunter Biden?

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  8. It was not immediately clear why the administration felt it was appropriate to laud the nation that helped facilitate 9/11 on the anniversary of the deadly terror attack.

    Remember when Joe Biden promised to make Saudi Arabia an international pariah? Of course that was before he had to go to them, hat in hand, and beg them to produce more oil so that he could keep his promises to the global warming cult to curtail domestic production. Good times. Good times.

    JVW (1ad43e)

  9. Listen. Biden wanted the last date fir withdrawal from Afghanistan to be Sept 11 (he moved it up to the end of August but not before having the Marines clean up the airport)

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  10. Apparently President Dentures & Dementia also cuddled up to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the G20 meeting this weekend.

    Weakest. President. Ever.

    JVW (1ad43e)

  11. The US should write off Americans that deliberately travel to hostile countries.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  12. The US should write off Americans that deliberately travel to hostile countries.

    Yeah, I’ve come to agree. Of course Barack Obama (and his faithful if befuddled manservant Joey) did all he could to un-hostilize Iran, even at the expense of American credibility internationally.

    JVW (1ad43e)

  13. The US should write off Americans that deliberately travel to hostile countries.

    Been true since Beirut in the 80’s.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  14. Been true since Beirut in the 80’s.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 9/11/2023 @ 3:53 pm

    Hardly:

    Nicholas Daniloff, an American journalist who reported on the Soviet Union and was imprisoned in Moscow in 1986, was released from prison that year after the United States and the Soviet Union agreed to a prisoner swap. In return, the Soviet Union got Gennadi Zakharov, a Soviet physicist arrested in New York on espionage charges.

    In 2010, 10 Russians detained by the United States were swapped for four agents who had been held in Russian prisons after signing written confessions to espionage. To American officials, the exchange meant the end of a Russian spy ring; for Russians, it was a quick deal that resolved a potentially volatile situation.

    In 2014, the United States released three Cuban spies who had been in an American prison since 2001. In exchange, Cuba announced that it released a U.S. intelligence agent who had been imprisoned for nearly 20 years.

    In 2016, Iran freed four Americans of Iranian descent, including a Marine veteran and Jason Rezaian, a Washington Post reporter, in a delicately negotiated swap. The United States released seven Iranians who had been held on sanctions violations. Mr. Rezaian had been languishing in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison since 2014 on vaguely defined charges of espionage that he denied.

    In 2019, Iran freed Xiyue Wang, an American graduate student who had been imprisoned in Tehran for more than three years on suspicion of being a spy, in exchange for Masoud Soleimani, an Iranian scientist who was charged with violating American trade sanctions. Mr. Wang had been charged with espionage and locked in Evin Prison. U.S. officials denied that Mr. Wang was a spy.

    Trevor R. Reed — an ailing former U.S. Marine held for two years in Russia on what appear to be bogus charges of assault — was released in April in a prisoner swap involving a Russian pilot convicted of cocaine trafficking charges.

    Source

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  15. @11, 12, 13, 14. Tell that to reagan. Iran/countra trading arms for hostages.

    asset (21fa92)

  16. Rip, I think Kevin was saying that we should have implemented this policy after Beirut. Not that we did so.

    JVW (1ad43e)

  17. KevinM’s post is pretty clear.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  18. @11, 12, 13, 14. Tell that to reagan. Iran/countra trading arms for hostages.

    How about trading arms merchants for pothead basketball players, asset? But of course the Biden Administration prioritized the basketball player and allowed her to jump to the front of the line. Why was that (I’m guessing even you know the answer)?

    JVW (1ad43e)

  19. Of course the difference is that those being released by Iran are not intelligence agents but civilians. I have no problem with trading their spies for our spies.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  20. @18 Most black people vote democrat. We need them to counter the white racist vote. She is a good capitalist went for the money. I thought you opposed socialists.

    asset (21fa92)

  21. Most black people vote democrat.

    OK, I can’t say that I am surprised that you would base all of these matters upon intersectionality concerns and political ramifications. I just wanted to confirm that your side really is this unprincipled. Thanks.

    JVW (1ad43e)

  22. American families should be put on notice that the US government will not lift a finger to free their imprisoned relatives. It’s the only way to stop hostage trading.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  23. The Middle East is a morass (No, Donald!) that makes Vietnam look like a toddler’s sandbox and there is no clean way to navigate it. Not as long as we want to protect both Israel and Arab oil, and that’s just the start.

    nk (908739)

  24. Rip, I think Kevin was saying that we should have implemented this policy after Beirut. Not that we did so.

    Even during. The Iran/Contra thing was an embarrassment and has given appeasers cover ever since. A better plan would have been airstrikes, taking out their western planes, not sending them spare parts. Eff ’em.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  25. KevinM’s post is pretty clear.

    I thought so too, but you have proven me wrong.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  26. We need them to counter the white racist vote

    … now that they’ve stopped voting Democrat.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  27. Erick Erickson

    Today, Joe Biden lied about his whereabouts in the aftermath of 9/11.
    His nat-sec team praised Saudi Arabia.
    He gave Iran, which helped the 9/11 terrorists, $6 billion.
    He did all that on the 22nd anniversary of September 11th.
    F.J.B.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  28. Bowe Bergdahl. Walk away from your post and join the enemy? No problem

    steveg (da3952)

  29. Also on this day, Marge stated that “states should consider seceding. She previously said this about 9/11.

    “We had witnessed 9/11, the terrorist attack in New York and the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania and the so-called plane that crashed into the Pentagon. It’s odd there’s never any evidence shown for a plane in the Pentagon.”

    Speaker McCarthy gave her slot on the Homeland Security Committee.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  30. Here’s a Tweet with clip of our President lying about being at Ground Zero on September 12. He is just absolutely pathetic:

    Joe Biden just completely lied about being at Ground Zero the day after 9/11.He was in DC.The Senate convened on 9/12/01 to condemn the attack pic.twitter.com/9TubWBSD1a— Greg Price (@greg_price11) September 11, 2023

    JVW (1ad43e)

  31. Speaker McCarthy gave her slot on the Homeland Security Committee.

    The Democrats will flip the House in 2024, and the Republicans will flip the Senate. But at least Kevin McCarthy won’t be speaker.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  32. @21 we have principals you just don’t like them.

    asset (db4465)

  33. They had a problem where to hang the presidential portrait of Biden. They couldn’t hang it next to george washington because he never told a lie. They couldn’t put it next to trump because he never told the truth. They couldn’t put it between reagan and dubya because they didn’t know the difference! So they put it next to columbus because he didn’t know where he was going and when he got there he didn’t know where he was. When he came back he didn’t know where he had been.

    asset (db4465)

  34. @32

    @21 we have principals you just don’t like them.

    asset (db4465) — 9/12/2023 @ 1:35 am

    Curious… what exactly would that be?

    whembly (5f7596)

  35. I’m a bit confused. What’s the relationship between 9/11 and Iran?

    What might be related is the prisoner swap and the news that Iran has slowed its uranium enrichment program (that’s the program that DJT speeded up)

    John Boddie (18ca17)

  36. Curious… what exactly would that be?

    Destroying capitalism, markets and bourgeois democracy and erecting the dictatorship of the proletariat. Again. This time it will work. Promise.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  37. Iran has slowed its uranium enrichment program

    You mean the one that it promised never ever to do? We should have smashed North Korea in the 90’s when we had the chance and Iran would never have gone there.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  38. I’m a bit confused. What’s the relationship between 9/11 and Iran?

    The lie that the Shrub, striking blindly like a sidewinder with sun stroke, peddled after 9/11. “The Axis of Evil: Iran, Iraq, and North Korea.” Joined in by such other brilliance as John McCain’s “Bomb, bomb. bomb Iran”.

    Trump gets the blame, nowadays, for making “Republican” a dirty word in more than half the country, but Bush 43 was the forerunner.

    nk (28c6fd)

  39. @37 – At one point, there was a treaty – which Iran was honoring – that was designed to slow down Iran’s development of nuclear weapons. However, it was negotiated on Obama’s watch, so it couldn’t be allowed to stand.

    Iran and North Korea are both soverign nations. American leverage with both is limited. Are you advocating nuclear war at this point?

    John Boddie (18ca17)

  40. @39 It was NOT a treaty.

    It was merely an Executive agreement (along with other western nations).

    It was only going to be as good as the next administration agreeing to continue said agreement.

    Which was a horrible framework, as these agreements are only guaranteed in years when it needed to be on stronger footing (ie, an actual treaty).

    whembly (840a86)

  41. @40 – Thank you for the clarification. I stand corrected. Your point about these agreements being only as good as the parties continue to honor them is worth keeping in mind whenever international diplomacy is being discussed.

    John Boddie (18ca17)

  42. Treaties don’t matter. Ask Russia.
    Some Iranians can be exasperating to negotiate with. The signed paperwork represents a point in time nothing more. They clearly out negotiated both Obama and Biden, but Biden didn’t learn from his experience. $6B? They will probably open up another assembly line at the Shahed factory add a couple of meaningless features, a sticker and ding the Russians for an additional 10% plus a bump in the shipping

    steveg (ecf957)

  43. Re post 18: What is the correct priority order for prisoner returns?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  44. Just a reminder how Biden amd his handlers hate our nation.

    NJRob (0dafb2)

  45. Re post 18: What is the correct priority order for prisoner returns?

    Do you know the story of John McCain’s confinement in Vietnam? The Viet Cong wanted to exchange him early, since they would have seen it as a propaganda coup with McCain being the son and grandson of U.S. Naval Admirals. But McCain had honor and courage and insisted that he not be exchanged until it was his turn in the order of capture. That’s my answer to your question.

    JVW (1ad43e)

  46. Do you know the story of John McCain’s confinement in Vietnam? The Viet Cong wanted to exchange him early, since they would have seen it as a propaganda coup with McCain being the son and grandson of U.S. Naval Admirals. But McCain had honor and courage and insisted that he not be exchanged until it was his turn in the order of capture. That’s my answer to your question.

    JVW (1ad43e) — 9/12/2023 @ 10:12 am

    There is a big difference between a prisoner of war and civilians that are held by hostile regimes such as Iran, Russia, Cuba, etc.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  47. “He’s not a liar, he’s just senile!”

    — a limited hang-out defense

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  48. The Axis of Evil: Iran, Iraq, and North Korea.”

    Which one of the three wasn’t evil?

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  49. There is a big difference between a prisoner of war and civilians that are held by hostile regimes such as Iran, Russia, Cuba, etc.

    Oh really? Please, do tell. What besides being a black lesbian moderately-famous athlete with a strong lobbying force behind her led Britney Griner to be moved to the front of the line?

    JVW (1ad43e)

  50. She was a politically useful slightly famous, black, lesbian leftist that spoke poorly about America. If thT isn’t worthy of trading a terrorist arms dealer, I don’t know what is.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  51. O

    h really? Please, do tell. What besides being a black lesbian moderately-famous athlete with a strong lobbying force behind her led Britney Griner to be moved to the front of the line?

    JVW (1ad43e) — 9/12/2023 @ 11:49 am

    The fact the Russians were willing only to trade Griner for Victor Bout, and not Paul Whelan. The Russians consider Whelan spy, and for him the Russians wanted an assassin held by the Germans (who refused to give him up).

    Russia refused to release Paul Whelan alongside Brittney Griner unless a former colonel from Russia’s domestic spy organization currently in German custody was also released as part of any prisoner swap, US officials told CNN, even as the US offered up the names of several other Russian prisoners in US custody that they would be willing to trade.
    ………
    The German government was not willing to seriously consider including (Vadim Krasikov, a former colonel in the SVR) –who assassinated a Georgian citizen in broad daylight in Berlin in 2019 – in a potential trade, the German source said.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  52. Rip, you’re telling me nothing that I didn’t already know. Did it ever occur to you that part of negotiations is being willing to tell the other party “no deal” and hang up the phone if they are being obstinate?

    And let’s leave aside Paul Whelan for a moment: why couldn’t the Biden Administration have demanded Marc Fogel, who was arrested before Ms. Griner for pretty much the same charge that she was facing, and who emphatically was not a spy? As I mentioned back when all of this transpired, a half-serious semi-competent Administration probably could have effected the return of both Fogel and Griner in return for a guy with the notoriety of Bout.

    JVW (1ad43e)

  53. 46.

    The Viet Cong

    It wasn’t the Viet Cong. It was the North Vietnamese government, based in Hanoi. In fact, there wasn’t really any such thing as the Viet Cong, especially after 1969.

    The Viet Cong was the supposedly independent force operating in South Vietnam.

    If the North Vietnamese were going to do a partial release of prisoners, John McCain didn’t want to accept anything else other than them going out in chronological order of capture.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  54. I’m sure the question regarding Marc Fogel is rhetorical, since I have no idea why the Russians won’t let him go, or why the Biden Administration didn’t include him in their demands, and don’t consider him “wrongfully detained.” I assume now that the Russians have Bout back they don’t care about releasing anyone else, though there are a number of Russians in US prisons. For example:

    Vladislav Klyushin was charged along with four other Russian nationals including Ivan Ermakov, a former member of Russia’s military intelligence agency. Ermakov was separately charged with hacking crimes in 2018 related to the breach of Democratic Party computers that were later leaked online as part of Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

    U.S. observers see head-for-head trades with Russia as the likeliest way of freeing Americans considered by the U.S. government to be wrongfully detained in Russia, including Paul Whelan, a former Marine, and (detained Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich.) ……
    ………
    But Russia so far has shown little interest in trading Gershkovich or other Americans held in its custody for Russian nationals currently in U.S. prisons, the Journal reported last month. U.S. officials said then that a hefty prison sentence for Klyushin could pique the Kremlin’s attention to his case.
    ………..
    U.S. officials have been eyeing other countries that may possess someone seen as more valuable to the Kremlin. But those efforts have also hit hurdles, particularly in Brazil. U.S. officials have also said they are open to considering an asymmetrical deal, in which several Russian prisoners would be traded for Gershkovich and Whelan.

    Klyushin received a 14-year prison sentence.

    I am sure that the Iranian prisoner exchange and the Griner/Bout deal will be among the House’s articles of impeachment against Biden.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  55. Source for quote in post 55.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  56. 33. asset (db4465) — 9/12/2023 @ 1:44 am

    columbus because he didn’t know where he was going and when he got there he didn’t know where he was. When he came back he didn’t know where he had been.

    Columbus was also later arrested and taken back to Spain in chains for running a tyrannical government in Hispaniola.

    https://news.ufl.edu/articles/2017/10/how-columbus-of-all-people-became-a-national-symbol.html

    By 1500, conditions in Hispaniola were so dire that the Crown sent Francisco de Bobadilla to investigate. Bobadilla’s first sight, at the mouth of the Ozama River, was four Spanish “mutineers” hanging from gallows. Under authority from the king, Bobadilla arrested Columbus and his brothers for malfeasance and sent them to Spain in chains. Columbus waited seven months for an audience at the court. He refused to have his chains removed until the meeting, and even asked in his will to be buried with the chains.

    Columbus said he only did what was necessary to maintain control, and the same thing could be done in [southern Italy]

    Columbus was freed, and even got put in charge of another expedition but he was never put in charge of any territory again.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  57. There;’s only an impeachment inquiry.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  58. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 9/12/2023 @ 1:35 pm

    I am sure that the Iranian prisoner exchange and the Griner/Bout deal will be among the House’s articles of impeachment against Biden.

    I doubt it.

    But if they can develop evidence of it, secretly influencing supposedly independent decisions behind the scenes might be: he Hunter Biden plea deal, and the change in 2021 in Covid guidelines for re-opening schools, (the latter maybe if they can develop a corrupt motive.)

    https://nypost.com/2023/09/08/how-biden-caved-to-randi-weingarten-and-kept-schools-closed

    https://www.edweek.org/policy-politics/aft-head-weingarten-says-her-union-didnt-conspire-with-cdc-on-school-reopening-guidance/2023/04

    The leader of one of the country’s largest teachers’ unions went head to head with Republican lawmakers on Wednesday, saying assertions the union conspired with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to keep schools closed longer than necessary at the height of the pandemic are “patently false.”

    The accusations—a focal point of an ongoing investigation by the House Oversight Committee’s Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic—hinge on last-minute revisions made to CDC guidance to reopen schools, released in February 2021, about a year after the first cases of COVID-19 were reported in the United States.

    The revisions were made after leaders of the union, the American Federation of Teachers, were allowed to review the draft guidance and provide feedback, and before it was released publicly.

    Of course, they’ll be busy trying to prove that Biden tried to enrich his family members in years past.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  59. I am sure that the Iranian prisoner exchange and the Griner/Bout deal will be among the House’s articles of impeachment against Biden.

    I doubt it.

    Why? There is no need to have a corrupt motive to impeach a President; whatever the House calls a “high crime or misdemeanor” is sufficient.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  60. @34 Social Justice for all especially enemies of the people. Are new one is equity. Every day there are more of us and less of the them thanks to demographics so AOC can become president.

    asset (4eabd4)

  61. @35 According to national security adviser Bush and rummy wanted to attack Iraq on 9-11! Rummy said there were no good targets to bomb in afganistan!

    asset (4eabd4)

  62. You maybe could tell Biden was lying about being in New York o Sept 12 2001 because he mentioned “the” building and there were two that fell, and the most noticeable thing about them that people said was that they weren’t there where they had been before.

    Obama went to a different place in Maryland in 2015. Biden sent Harris to Ground Zero and the Second Gentleman to Pennsylvania. Biden couldn’t arrange for his stop in Vietnam and make it back. He made a speech in Alaska at a place used for a refueling stop.

    Biden thought “Good Morning Vietnam” was the name of a song (it was the title of a movie and also how a character started off his radio broadcast in the movie)

    A White House spokesperson said Biden went to New York nine days later in 2001.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  63. asset @32: “we have principals”

    I hope they’re safe!

    AJ_Liberty (645ede)


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