Monday, 6 June 2016
President Obama's nuclear deal with Iran was palmed off on the public with soothing lies about "anytime, anywhere" inspections of the mullah's nuclear facilities; about the extent of sanctions relief Iran would enjoy; about how many centrifuges would stop spinning once the deal was in place.
So it can be no surprise that the administration also lied about when negotiations began. Senior national security advisor Ben Rhodes recently admitted that they started in 2011, not in 2013, as Obama's acolytes always claimed.
Last week, we at last got some truth about an aspect of the deal. State Department official John Kirby told reporters that a missing bit of video from a 2013 briefing was intentionally cut, removing a section in which spokeswoman Jen Psaki admits to government falsehood about when talks began.
Responding to a reporter's question, she acknowledges that diplomacy demanded the deception. "I think there are times where diplomacy needs privacy in order to progress," she said. "[The Iran nuclear negotiations] is a good example of that."
Until last week, the excision had been blamed on a technological "glitch." Kirby has now admitted, instead, that the cut was made at the request of an unidentified official. "This wasn't a technical glitch," Kirby told reporters, "This was a deliberate step to excise the video."
State is remarkably incurious about finding out who asked for the deceptive edit and why. In truth, the "why" is obvious enough. Obama sold the nukes deal to Congress and the public by saying it was possible because the 2013 Iranian election put the "moderate," Hassan Rouhani, into the presidency, replacing the extremist Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
But actually, negotiations began two years before the supposed moderate came to power. Obama didn't need to see a softening in Tehran before he wooed the death-to-America regime. He was all for it from the start. But the public might have balked if it had known negotiations started in 2011, when Iran was still run by an anti-Western Holocaust-denier whose stated goal was to wipe Israel off the map.
So the most transparent presidential administration in history — such as Obama's boast — lied about it, and then concealed the evidence.
If it had come out that the U.S. was negotiating with Ahmadinejad, it would have confirmed the truth that Obama was willing to do just about anything to get his legacy deal done. And, oh, what came between the true date that negotiations began and the stated date that they began? Why, the 2012 election, of course.
Kirby said State Department officials have no idea who asked for the video edit and will now drop the matter. "There were no rules in place at the time to govern this sort of action, so while I believe it was an inappropriate step to take, I see little foundation for pressing forward with a formal investigation," he said. Instead, there'll be some new rules so the next president's minnions cannot do the same thing.
That's not nearly good enough. Voters are entitled to know the truth. There needs to be a full investigation into who edited the Psaki video, and whether any laws were broken.
Richard Nixon was forced to resign over minutes of missing audiotape from the Oval Office during the Watergate cover-up. Those complicit in Obama's Iranian deception must likewise be held accountable for several missing minutes in a videotape.