A couple of weeks ago, PBS ran a documentary on the life of Ronald Reagan. When the Iran-Contra Affair segment came on, it was almost shocking to be reminded at how brutal the media were in pursuing the president in a manner unseen during both Clinton and the Obama administrations. Here is an excerpt from U.S. History.com describing this scandal.
The transactions that took place in the Iran-Contra scandal were contrary to the legislation of the Democratic-dominated Congress and contrary to official Reagan administration policy.
Part of the deal was that, in July 1985, the United States would send 508 American-made TOW anti-tank missiles from Israel to Iran for the safe exchange of a hostage, the Reverend Benjamin Weir.
After that successful transfer, the Israelis offered to ship 500 HAWK surface-to-air missiles to Iran in November 1985, in exchange for the release of all remaining American hostages being held in Lebanon. Eventually the arms were sold with proceeds going to the contras, and the hostages were released.
Contrast that with Obama’s Iranian hostage deal. The press is practically apologetic. Sure, we have a couple of outlets that have shone some light on what is obviously a ransom payment to a terrorist regime, but nothing like the treatment Ronald Reagan got.
Stars and Stripes published an article stating Obama’s Iranian ransom deal as unprecedented in American history. Here is an excerpt:
The money was sent to Iran on Jan. 17, the same day Iran agreed to release the prisoners. The Obama administration claimed for months the events were separate, but recently acknowledged the cash was used as leverage until the Americans were allowed to leave Iran. Only then, did the U.S. allow a plane with euros, Swiss francs and other foreign currency loaded on pallets to take off in the other direction for Tehran.
"There's actually not anything particularly unusual about the mechanism for this transaction," White House press secretary Josh Earnest said this week of the initial cash payment.
But diplomatic historians and lawyers with expertise in international arbitration struggled to find any similar examples.
Asked to recall a similar payment of the U.S. using cash or hard money to settle an international dispute, the office of the State Department historian couldn't provide an example.
Man, those crickets are loud.