FACT CHECK: 'We Don't Want To See Anyone Die in a Helicopter Crash'

Analyzing the Biden administration's weird decision to offer 'condolences' for the death of Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi

May 21, 2024

Claim: "We regret any loss of life. We don't want to see anyone die in a helicopter crash."

Who said it: State Department spokesman Matthew Miller made the remarks during a press briefing on Monday. He was asked to explain the Biden administration's bizarre decision to send "official condolences" to the Iranian government following the death of President Ebrahim Raisi and other senior officials in a helicopter crash over the weekend.

Context: Raisi, a.k.a. "the Butcher of Tehran," was not a nice person. The Trump administration sanctioned him in 2019 for his role in ordering the deaths of thousands of regime opponents dating back to the late 1980s, when he served on the Islamist government's "death committee."

Miller also acknowledged Raisi's involvement in "numerous horrific human rights abuses," describing the deceased president as "a brutal participant in the repression of the Iranian people for nearly four decades." He could have stopped there. Instead, after outlining the many reasons why Raisi's death was undeserving of American condolences, the spokesman added: "That said, we regret any loss of life. We don't want to see anyone die in a helicopter crash."

Analysis: Um, what the f—? The Biden administration, speaking on behalf of all Americans, believes that "any loss of life" is regrettable under any circumstances? It's absurd. Can you imagine if that were true?

Maybe it's not so hard to imagine. We'll never forget that Ben Rhodes, the Obama national security adviser who is still considered one of the Democratic Party's brightest minds on foreign policy, was a guest at the 2016 funeral of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, may he rot in hell. And we're not 100 percent confident the Biden administration won't extend some pathetic offer of "official condolences" when the Israeli military finds and kills Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar.

There is only one correct response.

Verdict: We rate this claim Helicopter on Fire.