Obama negotiating with terrorists for hostages?

posted at 1:35 pm on June 24, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama took great offense to the notion that he would negotiate with terrorists, and blasted George Bush for implying that he would when Bush spoke to the Israeli Knesset in May 2008.  According to Andy McCarthy at National Review, that policy too has an expiration date.  McCarthy exposes a tawdry hostages-for-terrorists trade that a degree of separation can’t hide (h/t Geoff A):

The story of this deal with the devil traces back to May 31, 2007. At the Iraqi finance ministry in Baghdad that day, the Asaib al-Haq network kidnapped five British civilians: an information-technology expert named Peter Moore and his four contract bodyguards. The civilians pleaded for the British government to engineer their safe return. British, American, and Iraqi forces were unsuccessful in numerous rescue attempts.

Asaib al-Haq operatives told Iraqi-government officials that they would release the Brits in exchange for the Qazali brothers and Daqduq. The Bush administration refused. The Times of London has reported that the Americans gave the British request respectful consideration but declined to approve it absent an Iraqi commitment to prosecute the terrorists. The Iraqis refused. Mohammad al-Sa’ady, an adviser to Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, rationalized the decision to take no action against the murderers of Americans who died fighting for Iraqis this way: “We pointed out that Qais Qazali has a problem with the Americans. He doesn’t have a problem with us. He is not wanted for crimes against Iraqis.”

By contrast, President Obama was persuaded to free Laith Qazali outright, just as Obama previously had authorized the outright release to Britain of the al-Qaeda terrorist Binyam Mohammed, who had plotted with “dirty bomber” José Padilla to commit post-9/11 mass-murder attacks in American cities. And although the administration has attempted to pass off Laith Qazali’s release as a necessary compromise of American national interests for the purportedly greater good of Iraqi reconciliation, the camouflage is thin indeed. Transparently, the terrorist has been freed as a quid pro quo for the release of British hostages. According to the New York Times, Sami al-Askari, another Maliki mouthpiece, told an interviewer:

This is a very sensitive topic because you know the position that the Iraqi government, the U.S. and British governments, and all the governments do not accept the idea of exchanging hostages for prisoners. . . . So we put it in another format, and we told them that if they want to participate in the political process they cannot do so while they are holding hostages. And we mentioned to the American side that they cannot join in the political process and release their hostages while their leaders are behind bars or imprisoned.

That President Obama has exchanged a terrorist for hostages is now obvious, as should be the disastrous consequences.

In the wake of Laith Qazali’s release, the Asaib al-Haq network was unsatisfied; it continued to demand the release of its leader, Qais Qazali, and that of Daqduq. The terrorists did, however, release two of their British hostages, or, to be precise, their corpses: Jason Creswell of Glasgow and Jason Swindlehurst of Lancashire had been dead for weeks, perhaps longer, when their remains were turned over to the British embassy in Iraq. As the U.K.’s Independent recounted, the bodies had been “taken from an Iraqi government building in the centre of the Iraqi capital by men in police uniform, past army checkpoints and a second security screen into Sadr City, the base of Shia militias, all signs, say the men’s families, of official collusion.”

The cardinal rule, and until now the official policy of the US, is clear: We do not negotiate with terrorists.  To do so only encourages more terrorism and makes civilians more vulnerable, as their value increases as hostages.  It also gives more credibility to the terrorists and places them at the level of nation-states in diplomacy, which allows them to attract recruits.

And, as we see here, it also doesn’t work.  It doesn’t moderate terrorists, and it doesn’t satisfy their demands.  As the Israelis keep discovering, it usually results in the exchange of live terrorists for the corpses of the innocent. It ensures more corpses down the road as well.

Will Obama explain this change in US policy that allowed hostage exchanges, so that Americans can evaluate it openly and honestly?  Don’t hold your breath.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Expiration date my foot. Amir Taheri wrote at length about this. It is 1. Treason 2. No surprise.

alliebobbitt on June 24, 2009 at 1:38 PM

Another topic of conversation at the weenie roast, I’m sure.

lorien1973 on June 24, 2009 at 1:39 PM

The cardinal rule, and until now the official policy of the US, is clear: We do not negotiate with terrorists. To do so only encourages more terrorism and makes civilians more vulnerable, as their value increases as hostages. It also gives more credibility to the terrorists and places them at the level of nation-states in diplomacy, which allows them to attract recruits.

Yeah, but rules are made to be broken (see Geithner, lobbyists, etc), and besides, “I won”.

Vashta.Nerada on June 24, 2009 at 1:39 PM

Read the whole thing. It also suggests there might be some connection with the bungled Uigher-to-Bermuda SNAFU from several weeks ago. This sickens me.

Patrick S on June 24, 2009 at 1:40 PM

So what’s the endgame? Obama can’t seem to get any int’l move right, and probably won’t. The list will grow. If the Repubs are a real party, they’ll win in ’10 and hamstring him. If not, the US will be a force for evil in the world. Seems like a clear-cut election choice.

JiangxiDad on June 24, 2009 at 1:40 PM

Harrison Ford on ‘Air Force One’ totally understood this rule….why not Obama?

cmsinaz on June 24, 2009 at 1:40 PM

I can no longer feign shock…I expect this kind of crap from Obama.

PBoilermaker on June 24, 2009 at 1:41 PM

Will Obama explain this change in US policy that allowed hostage exchanges…?

No one in teh state-run media will ask him. Even if they did, he would NEVER answer the question directly.

WashJeff on June 24, 2009 at 1:42 PM

Our release of a LIVE prisoner get’s us TWO dead bodies, Mr. President?

I guess elections DO have consequences…

originalpechanga on June 24, 2009 at 1:43 PM

Ed… We need a LIST, a RUNNING list of the boneheaded moves of Barack Obama….

originalpechanga on June 24, 2009 at 1:44 PM

OMG! just does not seem adequate.

Anybody pondering the thought that it is going to take us 20 years or more to straighten all this out?

freeus on June 24, 2009 at 1:44 PM

+ 1 to opechanga!

freeus on June 24, 2009 at 1:45 PM

but he can talk to them MUSLIM TO MUSLIM…..

What a giant pu$$y!

SDarchitect on June 24, 2009 at 1:45 PM

Weak.

We are headed for WWIII with this ebic failure.

cntrlfrk on June 24, 2009 at 1:47 PM

…err, ebic is even bigger than epic.

;o)

cntrlfrk on June 24, 2009 at 1:47 PM

Ed… We need a LIST, a RUNNING list of the boneheaded moves of Barack Obama….

originalpechanga on June 24, 2009 at 1:44 PM

I don’t think HA has 50 terabytes storage required for this.

WashJeff on June 24, 2009 at 1:47 PM

WashJeff on June 24, 2009 at 1:47 PM

+100

cmsinaz on June 24, 2009 at 1:49 PM

PBoilermaker on June 24, 2009 at 1:41 PM

Yeah…sad, isn’t it?

ladyingray on June 24, 2009 at 1:50 PM

But I can pronounce Cheelay in a cool way…lay off. – B. Obama

Thunderstorm129 on June 24, 2009 at 1:50 PM

No one in teh state-run media will ask him.

WashJeff on June 24, 2009 at 1:42 PM

+1

AnotherOpinion on June 24, 2009 at 1:51 PM

I have an honest question. Why are people spelling “the” as “teh”?

txag92 on June 24, 2009 at 1:52 PM

he really does think he’s the messiah…

SHARPTOOTH on June 24, 2009 at 1:53 PM

I have an honest question. Why are people spelling “the” as “teh”?

txag92 on June 24, 2009 at 1:52 PM

Teh is part of l33t speak

its nerdy video gamer talk

am i right people?

blatantblue on June 24, 2009 at 1:53 PM

Obama will negotiate with anyone who will accept an apology.

portlandon on June 24, 2009 at 1:53 PM

He’s not negotiating with terrorists, he’s cooperating with his Muslim brothers.

fogw on June 24, 2009 at 1:53 PM

Terrorists negotiating with Terrorists…..

So are those who voted for Obama happy now?

upinak on June 24, 2009 at 1:54 PM

blatantblue on June 24, 2009 at 1:53 PM

No wonder I wouldn’t know that. :)

Thanks.

txag92 on June 24, 2009 at 1:54 PM

It’s a strange, strange world when the President will negotiate with Mentally ILL and his brother UNSTAIB Ill, the terrorists,and the mad mullahs, but not the Republicans.

fourdeucer on June 24, 2009 at 1:54 PM

Teh is part of l33t speak

its nerdy video gamer talk

am i right people?

blatantblue on June 24, 2009 at 1:53 PM

Thank you Data.

portlandon on June 24, 2009 at 1:54 PM

blatantblue on June 24, 2009 at 1:53 PM

Nerd.

lorien1973 on June 24, 2009 at 1:54 PM

its nerdy video gamer talk

am i right people?

blatantblue on June 24, 2009 at 1:53 PM

You’d know…

ladyingray on June 24, 2009 at 1:54 PM

No biggie! After all, the dead hostages were British and, as we all know, he doesn’t like us…

yubley on June 24, 2009 at 1:54 PM

Teh is part of l33t speak

its nerdy video gamer talk

am i right people?

blatantblue on June 24, 2009 at 1:53 PM

yes…mostly used now to mock or make light of whatever is to follow “teh”.

As in “teh one” or “teh win” or “teh weenie roast”

Thunderstorm129 on June 24, 2009 at 1:55 PM

So are those who voted for Obama happy now?

upinak on June 24, 2009 at 1:54 PM

i don’t suspect we’ll hear from any trolls on this thread…

SHARPTOOTH on June 24, 2009 at 1:56 PM

PBoilermaker on June 24, 2009 at 1:41 PM

Just don’t acquiesce – that’s when shock and awe hurts the most.

ericdijon on June 24, 2009 at 1:56 PM

PBoilermaker on June 24, 2009 at 1:41 PM

Just don’t acquiesce – that’s when shock and awe hurts the most.

ericdijon on June 24, 2009 at 1:56 PM

(ok my secret slipped out – I have dumb moments.)

ericdijon on June 24, 2009 at 1:58 PM

Teh is part of l33t speak

its nerdy video gamer talk

am i right people?

blatantblue on June 24, 2009 at 1:53 PM

I thought it was just people typing with a lisp.

moonsbreath on June 24, 2009 at 1:58 PM

As in “teh one” or “teh win” or “teh weenie roast”

Thunderstorm129 on June 24, 2009 at 1:55 PM

i am a l33t ir4nian h4x0r

blatantblue on June 24, 2009 at 1:58 PM

And the pussification of America continues by Dear Leader…

Wyznowski on June 24, 2009 at 1:59 PM

SHARPTOOTH on June 24, 2009 at 1:56 PM

Troll count has been way down lately. You can’t defend the indefensible.

kingsjester on June 24, 2009 at 1:59 PM

When in doubt, ask yourself ‘What would Putin do?’

faraway on June 24, 2009 at 2:01 PM

Troll count has been way down lately. You can’t defend the indefensible.

kingsjester on June 24, 2009 at 1:59 PM

I’ll be honest — I’m beginning to miss some of the trolls on most threads

blatantblue on June 24, 2009 at 2:01 PM

Harrison Ford on ‘Air Force One’ totally understood this rule….why not Obama?

cmsinaz on June 24, 2009 at 1:40 PM

Because Harrison Ford has more experience than a chief executive than Obama does?

hawksruleva on June 24, 2009 at 2:02 PM

It’s been absorbed into l33t (which is actually used by a subset of video gamers), but it also comes, I think, from the ‘must get email out no time to fix mistakes’ idea.

The l33t way, I think, is to use t3h, not teh.

This is just a distraction to avoid screaming at the insanity.

Scott H on June 24, 2009 at 2:03 PM

Why can’t this guy just say something at least strong willed?

It’s all wishy washy, “I’m trying to be everyone’s friend” speak.

You can’t be everyone’s friend. Certain people suck and you shan’t try to please them

blatantblue on June 24, 2009 at 2:03 PM

I’ll be honest — I’m beginning to miss some of the trolls on most threads

blatantblue on June 24, 2009 at 2:01 PM

even before open registration i’d lmao when nice432 or getalife would get hammered by you people, funny stuff…

SHARPTOOTH on June 24, 2009 at 2:04 PM

“Mark my words, It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We’re about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here if you don’t remember anything else I said. Watch, we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.”

“I can give you at least four or five scenarios from where it might originate, and he’s gonna need help. And the kind of help he’s gonna need is, he’s gonna need you – not financially to help him – we’re gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it’s not gonna be apparent initially, it’s not gonna be apparent that we’re right.” – J Biden

Still awaiting the part where is’t finally apparent you’re right, Joe.

Thunderstorm129 on June 24, 2009 at 2:05 PM

hawksruleva on June 24, 2009 at 2:02 PM

he absolutely does…..anyone had got to be better than Obama

cmsinaz on June 24, 2009 at 2:05 PM

This is FUBAR.

ICBM on June 24, 2009 at 2:05 PM

I have an honest question. Why are people spelling “the” as “teh”?

txag92 on June 24, 2009 at 1:52 PM

Dude, I’m a geezer, and I know that. But I agree. Misspelling words is teh suck.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on June 24, 2009 at 2:06 PM

Teh is part of l33t speak

its nerdy video gamer talk

am i right people?

blatantblue on June 24, 2009 at 1:53 PM

I think it’s lolcat. Great example here.

Another good lolcat site: http://icanhascheezburger.com/

hawksruleva on June 24, 2009 at 2:07 PM

what would ronnie do? send them weapons for hostages, that’s what.

sesquipedalian on June 24, 2009 at 2:07 PM

You can’t be everyone’s friend.

blatantblue on June 24, 2009 at 2:03 PM

That statement runs counter to liberal dogma.

hawksruleva on June 24, 2009 at 2:08 PM

blatantblue on June 24, 2009 at 1:53 PM

you pwn it

ericdijon on June 24, 2009 at 2:09 PM

No one in teh state-run media will ask him. Even if they did, he would NEVER answer the question directly.

WashJeff on June 24, 2009 at 1:42 PM

The funny thing about the propagandists of the MSM- They will ignore stories of Obama firing IGs who incoveniently want to do their jobs, or Dick Durbin’s insider trading, or the Democrat role in the Freddie/Fannie meltdown…..

They will ignore all this stuff until they smell blood in the water or the individual no longer has power and then they will report it as if it is breaking news. They did it to GWB and they did it to Clinton. Hard as it to imagine at this point, the day will come when the media is critical of Obama too.

highhopes on June 24, 2009 at 2:12 PM

highhopes on June 24, 2009 at 2:12 PM

one surely hopes so…

cmsinaz on June 24, 2009 at 2:12 PM

Because Harrison Ford has more experience than a chief executive than Obama does?

hawksruleva on June 24, 2009 at 2:02 PM

Not to mention that Ford doesn’t have to rely on a teleprompter to deliver his lines. :-0

highhopes on June 24, 2009 at 2:14 PM

Savage let’s loose on Obama.

V15J on June 24, 2009 at 2:00 PM
Good ole Michael Savage never minces his words.

fourdeucer on June 24, 2009 at 2:15 PM

I’m at the point where I’d be more comfortable if Bo was the one with the launch codes.

Jed_Eckert on June 24, 2009 at 2:17 PM

Gaahhhhhh! I started doing research into lolspeak

http://speaklolspeak.com/page/LOLspeak+101

They even have wedding vows:

Lolspeak Wedding Vows
a lesson by Professor Stephen

O hai. We here before all dese ppl and Ceiling Cat sos cat 1 and cat 2 can has marriage.

cat 1 and cat 2, marriage iz commitment and all about luv, so if u marry wifout thinkin hard about it, ur doin it wrong.

Anyone has visible reason they shud no marry? No? Gud.

I think my brain has melted.

hawksruleva on June 24, 2009 at 2:21 PM

I can’t take any more from this gianormous dill weed that is our POTUS

sabbott on June 24, 2009 at 2:25 PM

So Bush knew that the Obamination would negotiate with terrorists, and now he is. Let me guess, Bush is an idiot and is always wrong?

Grafted on June 24, 2009 at 2:29 PM

I’ll be honest — I’m beginning to miss some of the trolls on most threads

blatantblue on June 24, 2009 at 2:01 PM

I’ll try to help you out and live up to my name…

Our great leader is simply cementing his place in history as one of the most brilliant strategists ever. It’s completely obvious to those of us with brains not atrophied by countless hours of listening to hate-mongers like Hannity that President Obama treats foreign policy like a high level chess match. You right-wing hate machine talking point regurgitators are simply not smart enough to think thirty five steps ahead like the President can.

Not only are you people completely wrong about him trading hostages for terrorists, since no actual live hostages were traded, but the people he released were not terrorists to begin with. You fascists can’t argue the fact that no sensible United Nations war crime court would have ever convicted these so-called “terrorists” with the evidence we had against them. The only reason they were even being held to begin with was because Darth Cheney, George McChimpy Bush and Rush, the fat man Limbaugh hate brown people.

…Hope you feel better now.

Interweb Troll on June 24, 2009 at 2:31 PM

An American President he is not.
.
Polar opposite of Reagan. Day by day, policy by policy and now breaking the cardinal rule. This President proves in almost every action to not share American traditions and values. If there are true Americans still in congress, then they should be up in arms by Obama’s demonstrated irregulaities of American interest. They must rein in this president now or be ousted along with him when the next elections occur. This president can not be an American. Almost everything this guy does goes against us. We must stop his remaking of America.

Americannodash on June 24, 2009 at 2:48 PM

Ed… We need a LIST, a RUNNING list of the boneheaded moves of Barack Obama….

originalpechanga on June 24, 2009 at 1:44 PM

1. January
2. February
3. March
4. April
5. May
6. June

DngrMse on June 24, 2009 at 2:53 PM

DngrMse on June 24, 2009 at 2:53 PM
.
I know I should not laugh but, lol.
,
I think your list about covers it.

Americannodash on June 24, 2009 at 2:56 PM

My question is where was the terrorist that was released being held? The article doesn’t exactly say GITMO, although it does mention the Uighers were released from GITMO.
If this was Obama’s way of lightening the load at Gitmo, in order help to fullfil his campaign promise, well it’s one of the most despicable things I can think of.
This guy would sell us out in a heartbeat.
After doing this, I want to see him explain again how the US is safer now with him, now that he’s made all westerners and our armed forces kidnapping targets.

exceller on June 24, 2009 at 3:09 PM

What bho doesn’t have is loyalty to the nation. He only has loyalty to himself. He views all of these problems as how they pertain to HIM and HIM alone. Good leaders are loyal to the institution NOT to the individuals in it.

Mojave Mark on June 24, 2009 at 3:13 PM

Another expiration date to note: “I vow to protect the American people”.

Friendly21 on June 24, 2009 at 3:17 PM

Americans voted for this guy; now come the consequences.

Americans abroad are less safe than they were under Bush. There is now a price on every American’s head since they can be exchanged for terrorist leaders.

Gaunilon on June 24, 2009 at 3:18 PM

Why do we call them terrorists? Is there something descriptive about that tag?

tarpon on June 24, 2009 at 3:19 PM

I wonder when the WH Press Corpse (sic) will start asking Obama to respond to the allegations Joe Wilson is making about his total hypocrisy on national security affiars going back to his days as a Senator. Remember how Joe’s opinions were just earthshakingly credible when he was crapping on anyone in the Bush administration?

Now? Hmmmm, not so much…

drunyan8315 on June 24, 2009 at 3:20 PM

Obama negotiating with terrorists?

*shrugs*

Yea, and so…..

Obama is the president, and will remain president for at least another 3 1/2 years, perhaps longer. He is going to release *everyone* held at Gitmo. Either because he thinks he’ll get something for their release, or because terrorists will hijack a cruise ship, jetliner, school, something and demand the release of Gitmo detainees.

So what are you gonna do about it? Get up on the roof and scream? Have a parade? Write emails to TV stations? Post comments on blogs?

Skandia Recluse on June 24, 2009 at 3:30 PM

“Smart power.”

Just think what a mess we’d be in if we didn’t have all these elegant and brilliant Ivy-league grads with their “first-rate intellects” in charge now.

I’ll take a state college grad with a little common sense over these pompous fools any day.

AZCoyote on June 24, 2009 at 3:38 PM

Except for a handful of people who will ever even know about this? The media will not talk about it all that much. It will just be swept under the rug. Just like rendition.

Terrye on June 24, 2009 at 4:13 PM

Crooks do what crooks do … I am shocked I tell you.

tarpon on June 24, 2009 at 4:24 PM

YOu GOT to be kidding me right?
I mean obama TRADES

Live Islamic Terrorists
For a couple of FRESH DEAD Hostages..

And this is the IDIOT you liberals
want to run your Healthcare???

Your Friggin idiots..
You deserve each other..
http://www.veteranoutrage.com\public_blog

veteranoutrage on June 24, 2009 at 4:29 PM

Who did Obama let free to release the New Yorks Times reporter?

djaymick on June 24, 2009 at 6:54 PM

You mean, we’re not living in the age of the most transparent presidency ever??! I feel so violated.

redfoxbluestate on June 24, 2009 at 7:34 PM

I have an honest question. Why are people spelling “the” as “teh”?
txag92 on June 24, 2009 at 1:52 PM

Teh is part of l33t speak
its nerdy video gamer talk
am i right people?
blatantblue

Or they don’t have “teh” to “the” on their “auto-correct”

DSchoen on June 25, 2009 at 12:01 AM

Or they don’t have “teh” to “the” on their “auto-correct”

DSchoen on June 25, 2009 at 12:01 AM

That would be me.

The_Livewire on June 25, 2009 at 8:08 AM

He’ll negotiate with terorist but he refuses to negotiate with your wallet. He’s going to relive us all of any disposable income we may have.

TrickyDick on June 25, 2009 at 2:40 PM