The Secret Deals With Iran

ML: "Some of them are publicly known, like the priest and the Marine. Nothing secret there."

JJA: "Except that the one thing we know for sure about Obama's dealings with Tehran--his direct appeal to President Rouhani to release those hostages--is never mentioned in the analyses. And yet it's obviously important, because when he finally got Rouhani on the phone in New York last fall, he raised the issue directly. You'd think that might have stimulated some questions from the press, but it didn't."

ML: "And why?"

JJA: "I'm not sure. But I do know some things that have not appeared in print."

ML: "Such as?"

JJA: "Such as a number of CIA agents who are in Iranian prisons. One of them, an Iranian-American woman, was ransomed for a tidy sum several months ago, and is now back in the US."

ML: "How did all that happen?"

JJA: "She flew to Tehran from Dubai, of all places. Not smart. The Iranians are all over Dubai, and they were waiting for her at the Tehran Airport."

ML: "Not a great moment in the history of American espionage."

JJA: "A scandal!"

ML: "So the administration wouldn't want anyone to look too carefully into the hostage question, huh?"

At which point the damn ouija board started to generate static.

JJA: "And the poor bastard from FBI and CIA who was grabbed on Qarq wrote a few years back...dead...and what about Bill Clinton personally meeting with Iranian officials to talk about hostages?"

And he was gone. In case you're wondering, the story about the lady agent was given to two of our most famous reporters, but they haven't written a word about it. And the failed attempts at espionage aren't the only reason Obama & Co. wouldn't welcome such a story. It would remind people--those few with working memories of such things--about the terrible mess Ronald Reagan got into when he insisted on negotiating with the Iranians for the release of American hostages.

I don't think that's the sort of comparison this president seeks.