Not Even Trying to Obfuscate the Hostage Swap

For those of you playing along at home, it looks like we have a winner in the Hostage-Swap game. It turns out America released an Iranian Diplomat a mere 18 hours before the British sailors were freed:

The Iranian diplomat released Tuesday preceding the announcement that Iran would free the 15 British sailors it had taken hostage was being held in a joint Iraqi and American facility, and was released in part because of a decision at the highest levels of the American government.

The decision to release Jalal Sharafi on Tuesday was made at the White House, according to an administration official who asked to be anonymous because of the sensitivity of the information. The release took place over the objections of some commanders in the field.

And this from the reliably right-wing Sun:
On Tuesday Iraq and America freed an Iranian "diplomat" they had been holding, and the next day Iran turned around and announced it would release the 15 royal marines it had been holding hostage. Whether there was a connection was the question on everyone's mind yesterday. Ann Compton of ABC News put it directly to Vice President Cheney in an interview touching on the royal marines. "Do you think there was any quid pro quo for their release?" she asked. "I don't know," Mr. Cheney responded. It was an interesting response, given that Mr. Cheney presumably has access to a lot of information about this sort of thing and that if he had wanted to deny flatly that there had been a quid pro quo, he could have answered, "no."
"I don't know." Right. Iran played us to the hilt, forcing the release of their man from Iraq. It's quite the stunning victory for our enemies. That Iraq War still looks like a good idea to you, doesn't it, neocons?

And, since I have the opportunity, I have to take it:

What a terrible thing to have to celebrate about.

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