U.S. President Barack Obama has stated he will not authorize his administration pay ransoms to terrorist groups, such as ISIS, for the freedom of kidnapped Americans. Obama renewed his position in response to the recent rash of beheadings of kidnapped Americans by the terrorist group ISIS. The beheadings have appalled the world.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest stated on behalf of President Obama, "The president continues to believe, as previous presidents have concluded, that it’s not the best interests of American citizens to pay ransom to any organization, let alone a terrorist organization, that’s holding an American hostage."
American photo journalist James Foley being executed by Isis member John
National Security Council spokesman Alistair Baskey stated, "The United States government, as a matter of longstanding policy, does not grant concessions to hostage takers, for a very important reason — granting such concessions would put all American citizens overseas at greater risk for kidnapping. Furthermore, paying ransoms would only sustain the very same terrorist organizations that we are working to destroy.”
The logic behind the government refusing to pay ransom is it would become a free for all, with criminals all over the world believing all they would have to do to make money is kidnap an American and the government would pay up. It would mean a sharp increase in kidnappings, which is not the outcome the government or any decent human being would want.
At the same time, families of kidnapped Americans that wanted to pay the ransoms, were threatened with prosecution by the U.S. government. This seems unfair and it is understandable that families would seek to pay ransom to get their loved ones back.
Obama Orders Review of Hostage Policy
Obama Orders Review of Hostage Policy
By RICK GLADSTONENOV. 18, 2014 - The Obama administration confirmed on Tuesday that it was reviewing its policy on securing the release of United States citizens taken hostage abroad, but that the ban on paying ransom had not changed. Word of the review, disclosed by an under secretary of defense in a letter to a Republican lawmaker, came as the administration was grappling with a series of beheadings of American captives by the Islamic State militant group, which posted a video Sunday announcing the third such killing. Some family members of hostages have criticized what they see as an unacceptable refusal by the administration to grant concessions to hostage-takers, including ransom payments.
Unlike European governments, which have paid many millions of dollars in ransom to win the release of citizens held by the Islamic State or other militant groups, the United States has said it will never pay money to rescue its citizens. It has also privately pressed other governments not to pay.
“The United States government, as a matter of longstanding policy, does not grant concessions to hostage takers, for a very important reason — granting such concessions would put all American citizens overseas at greater risk for kidnapping,” Alistair Baskey, a spokesman for the National Security Council, wrote in an emailed statement. “Furthermore, paying ransoms would only sustain the very same terrorist organizations that we are working to destroy.”...
Exclusive: Obama Orders Hostage Policy Review
11.17.14 - The Obama administration is finally looking to fix its disjointed efforts to handle U.S. hostages. But that comes too late for the family of an American aid worker killed by ISIS. President Obama has ordered a top-to-bottom review of how the U.S. government tries to win the release of Americans held hostage by terrorist groups overseas, The Daily Beast has learned. The review, which will include a specific emphasis on how the U.S. treats hostages’ family members, follows criticism that current hostage-negotiation operations are plagued by bureaucratic infighting and a lack of leadership, particularly by the White House.
The review was prompted “as a result of the increased frequency of hostage-taking of Americans overseas,” Christine Wormuth, the undersecretary of Defense for policy and one of the Pentagon’s most senior officials, informed Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) in a letter last week (PDF). Hunter sits on the House Armed Services Committee and has been pressing the administration to do more to free Americans held by ISIS and other terrorist groups. Wormuth said the president had ordered the review “recently,” but she didn’t specify when. The parents of Americans murdered by ISIS have criticized the White House for threatening them with potential criminal prosecution if they were to pay a ransom...