PAUL GREENBERG: How to play a double game

See Barack Obama’s try to join the appeasers

Now it can be told, and indeed has been told by a U.S. Senate subcommittee on investigations. The last administration publicly pretended that it was standing fast against any attempt to give what may be the world's most dangerous regime--that of Iran's mullahs--access to the American financial system. Yet all the time these masterminds were working to convert $5.7 billion worth of American currency held by a bank in Oman into negotiable American assets.

How do you say money-laundering in Farsi? Because that was the object of all this finagling. So much for keeping this vast sum safe from Iranian manipulation.

It seems they were all in this together, from the Obama-era White House to the Treasury and State Departments--all of whom steadfastly denied they knew anything about giving the Iranians entry into our financial markets and letting them buy and sell freely using American dollars instead of their own national currencies. Duplicity, thy name is the Obama administration.

Please spare us not just such low deals but the high rationales for them. Joe McCarthy, where are you now that your country could really use you to blow the whistle on these collaborationists? Dead at a preposterously young age of cirrhosis of the liver, a not unusual diagnosis among heavy drinkers. But this time he wouldn't have to make anything up about an administration that's been playing footsie with this country's sworn enemies.

What could have moved an American administration to pull such a trick? There's always a high-minded rationale for such a base maneuver. Ronald Reagan, if Gentle Reader will recall, did it to rescue Americans held by Tehran in his ill-considered arms-for-hostages deal. And yet top officials of the Obama administration swore up, down and sideways that no such deal was in the works.

When questioned about granting the Iranian regime access to American markets, they never revealed that such a license had already been granted a couple of months before. "The Obama administration misled the American people because they were desperate to get a deal with Iran," explained U.S. senator Rob Portman, and not all the false assurances from that administration could make up for what it was actually doing behind the scenes.

And yet shortly after this atrocious deal was made in July of 2015, our then secretary of the Treasury, Jack Lew, testified that even if Iran was getting some relief from American sanctions, it "will continue to be denied access to the [U.S.] financial and commercial market."

And a month later, one of his chief deputies, Adam Szubin, swore that, despite this done deal, "Iran will not be able to open bank accounts with U.S. banks, nor will Iran be able to access the U.S. banking sector, even for that momentary transaction to, what we call, dollarize a foreign payment."

Ah, those were the days, our friends and readers. Some of us thought they would never end. But they did, and to pretend otherwise would be as false as a three-dollar bill.


Paul Greenberg is the Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial writer and columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Editorial on 06/13/2018


mljirka says...

Golly, the Obama's must have had a hotel deal in Iran for such collusion to have happened.

Posted 13 June 2018, 5:49 a.m. Suggest removal

BoudinMan says...

Did PG really just call for the return of Joe McCarthy? Please tell me this was a piece of satire.

Posted 13 June 2018, 7:46 a.m. Suggest removal

GeneralMac says...

and Barack HUSSEIN Obama smugly said..........."it's the right thing to do"...just before he DELIBERATELY clenched his arrogant mouth so tight that he made a monkey face at us peon fools .

Posted 13 June 2018, 9:41 a.m. Suggest removal

doggod says...

GeneralMacFake. Please keep your overt racism in check.

Posted 13 June 2018, 9:42 a.m. Suggest removal

GeneralMac says...

doggod..............not racist at all !

If I would have used that expression and DELIBERATELY clenched my mouth shut my WWII Vet principal would have told me......." make that monkey face at me again and I'll knock your head off"

Being Black doesn't give one a free pass !

Posted 13 June 2018, 9:49 a.m. Suggest removal

doggod says...

Thou art tone deaf. Comparing a black person to a monkey is racist. Sorry, but there is no getting around that.

Posted 13 June 2018, 10:15 a.m. Suggest removal

JakeTidmore says...

GM - A coward with no name whose daily dosage of rage & resentment is like someone drinking poison hoping it will kill his enemies.

Posted 13 June 2018, 10:21 a.m. Suggest removal

mozarky2 says...

Ah, so you do cryptoquotes, too!

Posted 13 June 2018, 10:28 a.m. Suggest removal

GeneralMac says...

doggod.............my comment about Barack HUSSEIN Obama.....DELIBERATELY......making a monkey face at us is no more racist than my post of liberal women aborting every gay baby in the future of being homophobic.

I will type slower for those who have reading comprehension problems.

Posted 13 June 2018, 10:39 a.m. Suggest removal

mrcharles says...

PG, we are so glad you are still ticking. It appears you are a good family man and that is a good thing.

Now we know your writing skills are better than most [ yet I do see the sin of pride sprouting out from time to time- calling Chris hitchens your boy]. We also know the audience your play for , a jason rapter, the supporters of the erected Idol on state grounds, the overt racist in the state, the overt fear mongers in the state, the kind who feel they are the only ones who have ever worked in their life, the ones who feel lack of health coverage is some how god ordained , the ones who support our legislature in its highway to making us the new kansas or oklahoma, well you know who I mean .

I would submit for your consideration the sins of Martin Van buren and the threat to liberty by John Adams , one of our fore founders . Neither being white, I can see your continued attack on Obama , even out of office, compels you to attack Obama to sell papers to the troglodytes.

GM racist attitude may derive from his ocean front property in harrison. But will admit that some of the wishy washy racist that like just to think racist thoughts, being whimps feel uncomfortable hearing the overtness of the GM types- actually they are the worst like the modern christian who allows their soft ecumenism to pick and choose the good parts and to ignore the monstrous parts of the ancient book- no need to point them out as many know what they are [ uncle joe disagrees , he says most have no idea of the majority of the sentences inn the ancient book, they just like to spout sound bites]

PG, even before trump, the gop , other than supporting israel and being ok with genocide of others who are not jesus followers and/or are not white like jesus , was against most good parts of your ancient book.

PG, would it be fair to say you are biased on this subject, both as to favor isarel and disfavor anything Obama did?

Posted 13 June 2018, 10:50 a.m. Suggest removal

DoubleBlind says...

PG, as usual, has most all facts wrong in order to make a perfectly legal one-time transaction sound like some dumpster fire of deceit. The JCPOA gave Iran the right to access THEIR reserves held elsewhere. They had $5.7B from oil sales stuck in Oman, whose currency is pegged to the US dollar. We gave them access to briefly convert that to USD in order to facilitate a final euro-based transaction. The majority report by the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigation says that the US Treasury, at the instruction of the US State Department, granted a license to convert the $5.7 billion briefly into American dollars so it could be converted into euros. The exchange was perfectly legal, the report notes.

It did NOT authorize Iran to conduct commercial transactions denominated in US dollars. It did not allow Iran to conduct commercial transactions in foreign currencies via the US banking system.

It did NOT allow Iranian parties to open accounts or correspondent accounts at US banks. It did not allow Iran to send funds to the US or receive funds from the US. And it did not allow Iran access to US investments or markets.

Posted 13 June 2018, 10:54 a.m. Suggest removal

WhododueDiligence says...

Greenberg claims "these masterminds were working to convert $5.7 billion worth of American currency held by a bank in Oman into negotiable American assets."
That's not what recent news reports say. A June 6th Fox News article says the currency was rials, which is Oman's currency, and Iran wanted it converted to euros. A similar Washington Post article says the $5.7 billion worth of Omani currency was money paid by other countries which had purchased Iranian oil, and the article states Iran made a mistake holding the money in Omani rials because they're tied to the US dollar and difficult to convert to euros without being first converted to dollars.
Recent news reports also reported that despite US attempts to allow the conversion of Iran's Omani rial currency to dollars, this wasn't done because US financial sanctions against Iran remain in effect and therefore US banks refused to convert it to dollars. So Iran was not given access to the US financial system. Iran and Oman had to convert the rials to euros by other means which are more complicated involving periodic transfers of partial amounts. This release of Iran's money from oil sales held in Oman was agreed upon by the US, Britain, France, Germany and the other countries in the Iran nuclear agreement as a partial lifting of sanctions against Iran.

Posted 13 June 2018, 11:31 a.m. Suggest removal

Slak says...

Good to see you still alive, mrcharles.
As the only unabashed Trump supporter on these boards, I salute your tenacity, unabashedly.
Speaking of celebrity suicide, I am disappointed there have not been more. Deniro comes immediately to mind.
If they won't kill themselves, at least they could leave the country, like they promised.
I am not sorry to see commies or liberal haters offing themselves.

Posted 13 June 2018, 1 p.m. Suggest removal

doggod says...

Slak, Ted Nugent promised to either be dead or in jail if Obama was elected to a second term. How disappointing that he did not follow through.

Posted 13 June 2018, 4:39 p.m. Suggest removal

mrcharles says...

Slack you are too kind. From time to time I appear to be soon learning the divinity of jesus but modern meds are awesome. You remember them there christ killers taking on that sin for them and their progeny. I would retort that mere mammals who take on a statement for created tribes violate what that great slave holder ,& prototype office chair inventor said, it is not fair to bind future primates to the whims of their ancestors even if they put it down on paper.

Thought I saw a commie last week, but it was just a passenger pigeon. Those who support the workers paradise beyond the urals now days do so just to possibly get one of Putin's girlfriends or to get a tip on trump's children's sacred business deals.

perhaps PG will do a column connecting the amalakites with Obama. That would get him a spot on faux and friends to possibly discuss Philadelphia eagle players taking a knee. Once it was brought to my attention I disagreed with their action, as should any real merican not of the commi persuasion.

Wishing you purity of essence.

Posted 13 June 2018, 8:17 p.m. Suggest removal

carpenterretired says...

Well poor Paul ( true a Jew) is a true son of the south and had to suffer emotional distress for eight years of Obama as President by taking what comfort he could in Obama boogie man tales , but perhaps as Obama boogie man stories are so badly shopworn he can still find comfort in fond memories of tail gunner Joe.

Posted 13 June 2018, 10:06 p.m. Suggest removal

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