Nobody has spent more of his political career trying to undermine his own government than Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AK). The Tea Party Republican most known for his borderline treasonous letter he sent to Iran in a shameful attempt to derail sensitive nuclear negotiations between President Obama and Iran’s government. His ravings failed to accomplish anything and in recent months he’s been relegated to the obscurity he deserves. Until now.
On the night of the State of the Union, Cotton went on CNN’s “Situation Room” to openly and egregiously spread lies about President Obama, even while a difficult situation was unfolding in Iran. On Tuesday evening, the Navy announced that two of its ships, and 10 U.S. sailors, were being held by the Iranian government after the boats floated into the country’s territory.
Conservatives rapidly lost their minds, even while details continued to come in suggesting the international incident was minor and, in all likelihood, harmless.
The Americans were on a training mission in the Persian Gulf when the riverine boats experienced “a navigational or mechanical difficulty” and appear to have drifted into Iranian waters, according to the Pentagon. Iranian Coast Guard boats brought the vessels to a Revolutionary Guard base on Farsi Island, officials said.
U.S. officials said they believe that craft steered off course and that the crew was aided, not captured, by Iranian forces.
“There doesn’t seem to be anything malicious at work on either side,” according to a U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the internal assessment.
Iran said it was working on releasing the crew members “promptly.”
No big deal, right? In fact, the very lack of hostilities supports the idea that the tensions between the United States and Iran is cooling off, thanks to President Obama’s commitment to negotiations.
Not as Sen. Cotton tells it. Speaking straight into the camera, Cotton spews lie after lie. His only agenda, to hurt the president’s reputation and provoke a hostile response from Iran.
“Senior members of Barack Obama’s administration are apologizing for Iran seizing two U.S. Navy vessels and holding 10 sailors hostage,” Cotton said. “The White House tonight is a hotbed of cold feet.”Cotton said he didn’t think it was “coincidental” that Iran had seized the ships hours before President Obama’s final State of the Union address. CNN had reported the sailors may be in Iran overnight.“It’s humiliating for Barack Obama and therefore the United States to have American sailors held hostage during his final State of the Union,” Cotton said.
In labeling the ships “captured” and the crew held “hostage,” Cotton is viciously lying about the troops. They weren’t taken by force. They aren’t gagged and bound somewhere in enemy territory. Their boat experienced difficulties and they were rescued by Iranian ships. They never surrendered. The United States was never asked to “apologize” to the Iranians.
But by fear-mongering to score political points, Cotton does risk inflaming tensions. Not that the lives of these men and women register in the deep, dark cavity where Cotton’s brain allegedly lives. It’s clear that even waiting until the sailors are safely out of Iran is too much to ask for a Republican who is hell-bent on painting the Middle Eastern country as a dangerous enemy.
As usual, American soldiers are being used by a Republican to serve his agenda. Secretary of State John Kerry couldn’t do an interview with CNN, even if it might have helped Democrats in the polls, he was too busy talking personally with Iranian officials, coordinating the release of these soldiers.
So going into tonight’s State of the Union, where rhetoric on both sides will be high, ask yourself this: Which politician “supports” the troops more? The one who uses them as bargaining chips to lie his way into better poll numbers or the one who spent the last few hours making sure they get home safely.
Feature image via YouTube