March 25, 2007

Brit Hostages Are Bargaining Chips for 300 Iranian Linked Prisoners in Iraq

Can you say: Rusty's insane speculations are almost always nearly right?*

Pajamas Media:

American forces in Iraq now hold some 300 prisoners tied to Iran’s intelligence agencies, Pajamas Media learned from both diplomatic and military sources.

This is believed, by both sources, to be a record number of prisoners tied to Iran. Virtually all were captured in the past two months.

This week’s seizure of 15 British sailors by Iran in the contested waters of the Shattab al-Arab, the ship channel that divides Iraq and Iran, may have been payback for the capture of record number of Iranian operatives inside Iraq. “It may be a bargaining chip,” one diplomatic source said.

Well, well, well. You laughed when I said that perhaps, just maybe, the Iranians intentionally planned the seizure of 15 British sailors. But are we now seeing the underlying motivation here? Vicki reported the 'bargaining chip' angle yesterday, but the 300 number puts a whole new spin on it.

But, the worst part? The U.S. State Department:

The Pentagon received “considerable pressure” from officials in the State department and CIA to release some or all of the Iran-linked prisoners to facilitate discussions between Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Iranian officials.
Lord, is there anything the State Department ever gets right?

State's incompetence gives me a good lead into posting this editorial cartoon by Ronny Gordon. He calls it "Frankenstein peace" or "Condi re-animates the peace process", and its intended to be commentary on moves to reignite the Israeli-PA talks, but I think its apt here as well.

Frankenstein peace.JPG

So, why now? JPOST confirms the details of the PJM report above, but adds this:

According to the official, Iran was worried that its detained people would leak sensitive intelligence information.
Allah has pretty good coverage here.

*Except, of course, when they're not. In which case they're never just slightly off target, but way off.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 06:08 PM | Comments |