DISPATCHES FROM MOON OF ALABAMA, BY “B”
The sordid criminality of the US government at present is undeniable. Yet the media’s totalitarian wall of silence around such events protects the policymakers from any real domestic repercussions.
Four days before the US imposed sanctions on an Iranian tanker suspected of shipping oil to Syria, the vessel’s Indian captain received an unusual email from the top Iran official at the Department of State.This is Brian Hook . . . I work for secretary of state Mike Pompeo and serve as the US Representative for Iran,” Mr Hook wrote to Akhilesh Kumar on August 26, according to several emails seen by the Financial Times. “I am writing with good news.”
The “good news” was that the Trump administration was offering Mr Kumar several million dollars to pilot the ship — until recently known as the Grace 1 — to a country that would impound the vessel on behalf of the US. To make sure Mr Kumar did not mistake the email for a scam, it included an official state department phone number.
Farsnews notes that this was not the first time the U.S. tried to bribe and pressure tanker captains:
Hook, who heads the state department’s Iran Action Group, has emailed or texted roughly a dozen captains in recent months in an effort to scare mariners into understanding that helping Iran evade sanctions comes at a heavy price.
No one fell for it. The Iranian ship captains are obviously patriots who do not take bribes from the enemies of their country.
Brian Hook has a really lousy job and zero success in it.