In a remarkable exchange with the press corps, a State Department spokesman was berated and questioned for half an hour over blatantly obvious lies and deception concerning the Obama administration’s $400 million payment to Iran.
For the first time in seven months, State Department spokesman John Kirby admitted Thursday that it was a key part of the deal with Iran for American prisoners to be released, and without that provision, the Iranian government would not have received the money.
“In basic English, you’re saying that you wouldn’t give them the $400 million in cash until the prisoners were released, correct?” AP reporter Brad Klapper asked Kirby.
“That’s correct,” Kirby answered.
The Obama government has repeatedly claimed that the money was part of a settlement over a failed arms deal from 1979, and was not a ‘ransom’ payment.
Klapper continued the line of questioning, leading Kirby to make remarkable accusations against the press.
“Listen, this happened in January, and this is the first time you’ve ever said flat out that they [Iran] wouldn’t get the money until the prisoners were released,” Klapper said.
“That took, let’s count it, seven months. Why all the beating around the bush if it was such a great and noble decision?” the reporter probed.
“The only reason that we’re having this discussion is because of press coverage, Brad,” Kirby said.
“So, evil reporters have made you dredge this out?” Klapper asked.
“No, I’ve never called you guys evil. I’ve called you other things, but never evil,” Kirby joked, attempting to make light of the situation.
“You can’t blame press coverage because you didn’t say what this was seven months ago,” Klapper responded.
“We did describe it seven months ago, Brad,” Kirby said.
“You did not say it was contingent, this was contingent on that,” Klapper replied. “Now you’re saying flatly out that this was, this payment was contingent on the release of the prisoners. You did not say that in January.”
The questioning then turned to the State Department’s alleged attempt to cover up deception over the deal by deleting eight minutes of a 2013 State briefing from the official record.
An exchange between State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki and Fox News reporter James Rosen was deleted after Psaki admitted that “there are times where diplomacy needs privacy in order to progress,” in other words, sometimes the government lies to conceal information.
Psaki and Rosen were referring to untrue comments made by another State Department official that there had been no official talks between Iran and the United States regarding a potential nuclear deal.
The State Department later claimed that the deleted portions of video were caused by a “glitch,” but then Kirby walked back that claim, saying that the video had been removed at the request of an unnamed government official.
After an investigation into the matter, Kirby claimed Thursday that there was no conclusive proof that the video was edited in order to deceive the American public, without ruling out the possibility.
“We aren’t sure whether it was done with intent to conceal or whether it was done as a result of a technical problem” Kirby said, claiming that a white flash could have been inserted into the already edited video in order to ‘inform’ the public that portions of it were indeed edited.
“If that were the case, don’t you think someone would come and admit that, rather than nobody of the 30 witnesses you interviewed can actually remember what happened?” Klapper questioned, adding “It seems like such a ridiculous explanation, it shocks me that you’re actually providing it here.”
“What you are telling us is that some unknown person called this technician to request that an edit that had in fact already been made by some unknown force be made again?” Rosen additionally asked.
“What I’m saying is, James, we do not know,” Kirby replied.
“In arriving at the conclusion that you’re unable to make a conclusion as to whether nefarious intent was involved here, it seems that nobody has taken into that assessment the actual content of the briefing that was actually erased or wound up missing, and so I want to ask you point blank: Doesn’t the content of the missing eight minutes tell us something about the intent?” Rosen asked.
“It just happens to be, in fact, the one time in the history of this administration, where a spokesperson stood at the podium and made statements that many, many people across the ideological spectrum have interpreted as a concession that the State Department will, from time to time, lie to preserve the secrecy of secret negotiations? That coincidence doesn’t strike you as reflective of some intent here?” Rosen added.
The State Department has clearly been caught in a web of lies and deception, as detailed in this report by CNN’s Jake Tapper, aired in June. Tapper outlines three big “lies” that he notes should “outrage every American.”
Steve Watson is a London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com