Which isn't really news; that description far better applies to the mullahs releasing any captive Americans in the first place. I can only figure that (1) they didn't attach inordinate importance to these particular four Americans, (2) they were merely a means to an end - the release of anywhere from seven to a full dozen of their own spies and intelligence operatives - and (3) they'll have them all back in captivity, along with three hundred million more Americans, soon enough.
Or they'll all be dead, along with the rest of us, after the Iranian EMP strike.
So why did the mullahs play these games on this prisoner exchange? Well, they know that the Obama Regime will never do anything that might actually work against Iranian interests for fear of Tehran walking away from the nuclear "deal" that is more important to The One's ego than his own life, which means that the mullahs knew they were getting back their spies regardless. So they decided to "have a little fun," just as they did with the seizure of those two U.S. naval vessels and ten U.S. sailors, and revel in their ability to humiliate "the Great Satan" at will in the run up to our destruction at their eager, gleeful hands.
The details matter little, but here they are:
Three of the freed Americans were to leave Iran on a plane operated by the Swiss, who had helped broker the prisoner talks and who represent American interests in Tehran, where there is no United States embassy.
But shortly will be, if Barack Obama gets his way - and he always does.
A fourth had already left on a commercial flight, and a fifth, who lived in Tehran, had chosen to stay.
But as Mr. Rezaian and the other two prisoners, Amir Hekmati and Saeed Abedini, were preparing to leave, no one could find Mr. Rezaian’s wife, Yeganeh Salehi, or his mother, Mary. Miss Salehi, an Iranian journalist, had been arrested with Mr. Rezaian in July 2014 before being released, and his mother had gone to Iran to be closer to her imprisoned son.
“They had disappeared,” said an American official, who along with others described the events on the condition of anonymity. “Nobody could find them, and they were not answering phones. The Iranians then said there were legal issues that would prevent either from leaving the country.”
Iranian officials tried to persuade the Americans and the Swiss to take the three prisoners and leave without Ms. Salehi or Miss Rezaian. In Geneva, Brett McGurk, the lead American negotiator, refused, saying the deal had always included Mr. Rezaian’s family.
One wonders what would have transpired if the mullahs had refused to budge and bluntly told McGurk, "take these three and go, before we seize all of you as well". Somehow I doubt that "demands" from John Kerry would have made the slightest bit of difference, and we all know why. Maybe the next time they'll take it that far, as they really have no reason not to.
And when and after they do, will the American people start figuring out that the way to prevent such disastrous endgames isn't "smart diplomacy" directly capitulating to our enemies, but to convince the enemy that you have the capability and the will to coerce them to our ends in ways that they're really not going to like? And do we understand how far away we've gotten from that, or any level, of deterrence, and how costly it's going to be to regain it, if it even can be?
My guess is probably not. Which is why the Obama Doctrine is most likely irreversible, even if we do get President Cruz next year. Because remember: the mullahs will (and do) have nukes, courtesy of Ted's predecessor. Which means we're all hostages already, even if not in the Iranians' direct custody.
What is "smart" about that will always remain to be seen.