Despite the Fox News doom and gloom about how the negotiated return of 10 U.S. sailors “emboldened” Iran for more aggression, that country just released five U.S. prisoners today. So, naturally, Fox wasted little time looking for excuses to gripe about that, too.
Just in case Bolton didn’t get the hint, anchor Kelly Wright began the discussion by saying that “obviously” the families are “ecstatic” at the prisoners’ release and that the White House “calls it a diplomatic victory” but, Wright added, “yet outside of the administration, many say the president capitulated to the Iranians by releasing seven Iranian prisoners, the White House says it was a good will gesture. How do you describe the situation, as a former ambassador?”
Of course, Bolton said just what he was booked to say:
BOLTON: Well, it’s obviously wonderful for the American hostages and their families but it’s a diplomatic debacle for the United States. Remember, it’s not just seven Iranians who are being released. The other 14 who would have been charged for sanctions violations – one was accused of cyber attacks – the math here is roughly 21 Iranians in exchange for four, maybe it’s five, Americans. That’s not exactly high-powered negotiation. But even worse, and I think this is the key point, the Americans weren’t prisoners in Iran, they were hostages.
…To say that victims of terrorism are the equivalent of criminals or alleged criminals gives Iran an enormous victory and again, while I certainly understand the happiness of the families involved, the question for the U.S. government is always in this situation, are we simply incentivizing Iran to take further hostages and are we incentivizing other governments or terrorist groups around the world to do the same? And I’m afraid that’s the conclusion they’ll draw, that the United States will deal for hostages. Now the price is gonna go up.
Wright pressed for more, asking Bolton what his “concerns” and “suspicions” are “moving forward.”
BOLTON: They’ve been doing it for 36 years… because successive American governments have not been willing to make it clear to them that we do not accept Americans being taken hostage as an act of terrorism, we won’t deal with this regime and the cost to them is gonna be high. I think the administration is so desperate to keep this nuclear deal on track, it’s a wonder the Iranians didn’t get even more money or more assets or more in exchange for these four Americans.
…The cost may be more Americans taken, either by Iran or by others down the road.
By the way, in September, 2008, Bolton predicted that if then-candidate Barack Obama was elected president, it would be just a matter of time before Iran obtained a nuclear bomb because "we've exhausted the diplomatic option."
Watch it above, from this Saturday's America's News Headquarters.
Crossposted at News Hounds.
We watch Fox so you don't have to!