After the tragic death of American photojournalist Luke Somers and South African teacher Pierre Korkie over the weekend during an unsuccessful attempt by U.S. special forces troops, the Obama Administration is standing firm on its ban on negotiating with terrorists:
“I don’t think it’s a matter of going back and having a review of our process. Our process is about as thorough as there can be. Is it imperfect? Yes. Is there risk? Yes,” Hagel said on a visit to Tactical Base Gamberi in eastern Afghanistan.“But we start with the fact that we have an American that’s being held hostage and that American’s life is in danger and that’s where we start. And then we proceed from there,” he said.
This is a difficult but correct policy. As an excellent exposé in the New York Times this summer noted, the broad EU-wide policy of paying ransoms had at the time paid out more than $125 million to al-Qaeda and affiliated terror groups, not only providing a key source of income to the barbarians, but also greatly incentivizing them to continue kidnapping. We are glad to hear that the Administration is not thinking of shifting gears.