Deliberately misleading, albeit technically accurate

Politico reports that three of the 21 prisoners President Obama exchanged for 5 American prisoners in last year’s deal with Iran were allegedly 

… part of an illegal procurement network supplying Iran with US-made microelectronics with applications I surface-to-air and cruise missiles… 

If you, my reader, recall from last year, the Obama Administration described as “civilians” and “businessmen”, is might ne true not completely misleading because the reason they were prisoners were because of their connections to terrorism. 

Since they were not convicted of such crimes, I can understand a possible reluctance to label them according to their allegations, but that is a legal approach, not a national security approach. And this was/is a national security issue. 

I don’t know what the Trump Administration is planning to do about this, but the first I would have to consider is who and what we got back in exchange. Let’s remember that we did not just give them back people but also hundreds of millions of dollars. 

I really hope we embedded RFID tags on them. It isn’t as convenient as GPS but it wouldn’t require any batteries and it wouldn’t necessarily set off any alarms. Also, maybe we somehow turned these people, making their release more valuable than their capture. 

I know this issue is not specifically an issue of financial crimes, but part of financial crimes work deals with counter-terrorism. In isolation, from the outside, the Obama Administration seems to have misled the public and possibly put us in greater danger. But there are plenty of unknowns and also the Administration’s track record of making relatively good calculations about the deals it makes. I’m hopeful, if not pleased. 

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