PolitiFact "Fact Checks" Marco Rubio On the Iran Hostage Crisis And You Can't Believe the Result

Image: Shutterstock shutterstock_300387590

Image Shutterstock shutterstock_300387590

I lied. Of course you can not only believe the result, you could have written it.

The on-going conflict of interest case that is the fake news organization, PolitiFact, took some time out from fluffing for Hillary Clinton over the weekend to attack Marco Rubio. None of this is a surprise. PolitiFact is funded by a major funder of the Clinton Foundation and has regularly defended both Clinton and the Clinton Foundation without bothering to ever disclose this obvious conflict of interest. When it comes to Republicans and conservatives, PolitiFact doesn’t merely “fact check” their statements of fact, it fact checks their opinions. If your opinion doesn’t fall within the liberal orthodoxy, then it is labeled “false.”


Such was the case this weekend. After the disgraceful ransoming of 5 US citizens — while leaving at least two more in Iranian custody — for seven convicted Iranian agents, agreeing to not prosecute an additional 21 Iranian agents, and caving to a $1.7 billion “judgment”, Senator Marco Rubio had this to say:

“Our enemies now know that if you can capture an American, you can get something meaningful in exchange for it,” Rubio said on Meet the Press on Jan. 17, 2016.

Host Chuck Todd pressed Rubio on that position: “So under President Rubio, you would not have negotiated any sort of prisoner exchange for those four American hostages?”

Rubio replied: “When I become president of the United States, our adversaries around the world will know that America is no longer under the command of someone weak like Barack Obama, and it will be like Ronald Reagan, where as soon as he took office the hostages were released from Iran.”

We flagged Rubio’s comment as a misleading framing of history. Reagan’s inauguration in 1981 may have coincided with the release of the hostages, but historians say it did not cause it. Instead, the Iranians had tired of holding the hostages, and that the administration of Jimmy Carter did the legwork to get the hostages released.

(As an aside, one can’t help but note that before those released hostages even arrived in the West, three more Americans had been kidnapped by Iranian controlled Shiite militia in Baghdad showing that abject surrender is not a valid foreign policy).


Let us stop for a moment and note a few salient facts that PolitiFact tries to lie explain away. First, the American embassy in Tehran was sacked — this is a repetitive theme when talking about Democrat presidents — on November 4, 1979. The hostages were released 444 days later on January 20, 1981.

What does PolitiFact have to say about that?

The agreement that led to the release involved $11 billion to $12 billion in Iranian assets that Carter had frozen 10 days after the seizure of the U.S. embassy. Sick told us that the Iranians feared having to start negotiations over with a new administration and believed that they had extracted most of the benefits from holding the hostages.

The key points to note here are:

The release did coincide with Reagan’s inauguration. Any critique of Rubio’s statement must include an very solid bit of proof that the two events were disconnected. As a matter of fact, the negotiations that led to the release of the hostages were not even signed until January 19, 1981. If as Gary Sick states, it was that the Iranians were afraid of having to start all over again with Reagan then why was the release not effected earlier. While the Reagan administration, rightfully, had nothing to do with the negotiations it is utter lunacy to assert that Reagan’s election did not have a demonstrable effect. If they merely wanted to humiliate Carter,


“They believed Carter had betrayed the Iranian revolution by allowing the self-exiled Shah to receive medical attention in the United States and then had threatened their new government by attempting, unsuccessfully, to use military force in April 1980 to free the hostages,” Farber said.

well they could have done that by releasing them any time after November 4, 1980 and made precisely the same point. They could also have signed an agreement and held onto the hostages for a while to further demonstrate the powerlessness of the United States. And this claim:

“Well before Reagan became president, the deal for releasing the hostages had already been worked out by the Carter administration’s State Department and the Iranians, ably assisted by Algerian diplomats,” said David Farber, author of Taken Hostage: The Iranian Hostage Crisis and America’s First Encounter with Radical Islam.

fails to rise even to the level of a bald-faced lie. No “deal is worked out” until it is signed and executed. It beggars imagination that Carter would have delayed signing a deal that had already been worked out just so he could agree to it on his last full day in office.

But it gets better. The main source for PolitiFact’s journey into alternative history is Gary Sick. Sick is a partisan Democrat hack, a liar, and a fabulist. Gary Sick was one of the many losers the Carter administration attracted, much like Velcro attracts lint, to the National Security Council and while Sick was there the situation in Iran melted down and ever since then he has been on a jihad to prove two things: a) Republicans were to blame and b) nothing was his fault. Gary Sick claimed that Vice President candidate George H. W. Bush flew by SR-71 to Paris in October 1980 to ask the Iranians to not release the hostages before the presidential election. This became the central focus of the infamous “October Surprise” investigation partisan Democrats engineered to damage Bush during the 1992 election. This was so cockamamie that even the Democrats laughed about it after Clinton had won election.


The bottom line is that all PolitiFact has to offer to counter Rubio’s opinion is the opinion of other people who were no more involved in the Iran Hostage Crisis than I was. And the only person they quote who was involved in a demonstrated liar and partisan.

lebowski opinion

PolitiFact can “debunk” this all they want using the liars and half-wits that they have but the facts remain that Iran could have accomplished any and all of its objectives, up to and including the humiliation of Carter (and who hasn’t wanted to do that?) without releasing the hostages to coincide with Reagan’s nomination. In fact, if they weren’t deliberately making a peace offering they could have released them day or weeks later and showed the world that they weren’t afraid of Reagan either. They didn’t.

For this egregious balderdash, we award PolitiFact the rarely issued Quad-Heady:


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