The conservative media entertainment complex thrives on conspiracy theories. Since facts do not matter in the right-wing noise machine, literally everything is spun into a conspiracy theory in support of right-wing propaganda.
I covered this story last week in McCain attack ad relies on debunked conspiracy theory about ransom to Iran. After the post, there was some additional reporting about the “timing” of the exchange of prisoners held by Iran for the money that was already owed to Iran by the United States.
The right-wing noise machine spun this tick-tock “timing” story into an assertion that it supports its conspiracy theory that the Obama administration paid “ransom” for the prisoners held by Iran. (They are confusing President Obama with their sainted President Reagan, who actually did pay ransom for hostages held by Iran). Still not. Money paid to Iran was ‘leverage’ not ransom, State Department says:
The State Department acknowledged Thursday that it delayed releasing a $400 million cash payment to Iran in January until it was assured that a plane carrying three released American prisoners had left Tehran.
State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters that negotiators had “deliberately leveraged” Iran’s desire to get its money from a decades-old arms deal to make sure the authorities there would not renege on freeing three Americans. They were flown out Jan. 16, the same day the nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers was implemented.
“We felt it would be imprudent not to consider that some leverage in trying to make sure our Americans got out,” Kirby said, noting the deep mistrust between the countries.
Kirby’s remarks marked the first time the administration has acknowledged there was any degree of linkage between separate negotiations for the release of five Americans, including two who left Iran independently, and money paid to Iran in foreign currency piled onto pallets aboard an Iran Air cargo plane in Geneva.
Kirby insisted, however, that there was no quid pro quo of money for prisoners.
“We don’t pay ransom,” he said. Rather, he added, “there were opportunities we took advantage of, and as a result we got American citizens back home.”
Zach Beauchamp at Vox.com goes through all the facts again of what actually happened. The US did not pay a $400 million “ransom” to Iran. Here’s what actually happened.
The New York Times editorializes today, The Fake $400 Million ‘Ransom’ Story.
It is simply exhausting to have to deal with people who live in the Epistemic closure of the ‘conservative misinformation feedback loop’ media bubble. These people are beyond help, and are beyond redemption.