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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

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Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Did we help secure the release of Sharafi for the Brits to get their soldiers back?

It was just a matter of time before suspicions were confirmed involving the British hostages, as Allah points out this morning. Despite the president's overtures in the video clip from yesterday that there would be "no quid pro quo" in the deal, the New York Sun reports that is not the case:

The Iranian diplomat released Tuesday preceding the announcement that Iran would free the 15 British sailors it had taken hostage was being held in a joint Iraqi and American facility, and was released in part because of a decision at the highest levels of the American government.

The decision to release Jalal Sharafi on Tuesday was made at the White House, according to an administration official who asked to be anonymous because of the sensitivity of the information. The release took place over the objections of some commanders in the field. Mr. Sharafi, the second secretary of the Iranian Embassy in Baghdad, is believed by American military intelligence also to be a member of the lethal Quds Force, the terrorist-supporting organization whose members have been fair game for American soldiers and Iraqi allies since a change in the rules of engagement was issued in December. ...

... The release of Iranian nationals detained by America was one of the primary Iranian demands during the negotiations. "They think they won this round. They were able to take the hostages and suffer no consequences," an American official said.

At the same time, many Iranians remain in American custody, including the five men alleged to be members of the Quds Force. They were captured January 10 during a raid of an Iranian outpost in Irbil. Yesterday, Iran's press reported that Washington had agreed to allow emissaries from Tehran to visit the five Iranians being held. Prime Minister Maliki has also called for their release. ...

There are a couple in the blogosphere -- Allah and Captain Ed Morrissey -- that don't buy the quid pro quo angle. Captain Ed is skeptical that such a thing actually occurred, and Allah agrees, to a point; that being that this might be something much worse.

Regardless, if the administration worked even a little to secure the release of Sharafi, that was a mistake. We can't keep playing games with nations like Iran. Captain Ed picked up the story today about a revelation that Syria had a hand in securing the soldiers' release which led to a lot of unfounded allegations that because Pelosi was in Syria she might have had a hand in this. That remains to be seen, and I caution people about making such an allegation unless they've got proof of it.

After all, it's one thing to dislike someone, and disagree with someone. It's another to implicate them in a possible crime; that being direct interference in US foreign policy when it's not in their purview.

The good news is these soldiers are heading home. The bad news is that while the Brits obviously gave the Iranians nothing for this release, it's a distinct possibility we might have. And if that's the case we have a serious problem. We can work diplomatically with Iran to end their nuke program (a worthy attempt, but one doomed to failure), but in the ened they are still an enemy of this nation. Trading legally detained individuals for hostages isn't the way to do business with these people. The next time this happens -- and trust me, after this there will be a next time -- the price is going to be much higher.

Publius II


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