A Better East Texas: Hostage negotiations
TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - In the post-pandemic world, Americans are travelling abroad like never before.
The vast majority of these travel experiences are without issue but there are parts of the world that are not friendly towards us and can even be threatening. It seems that every few months, we hear about an American detained or even arrested which triggers an onslaught of media coverage and occasionally direct government intervention.
The motivation to travel to some of these foreign hot spots can be for leisure, work, and sometime missionary causes but once someone is detained, it can get ugly. We’ve seen this with Brittney Griner, the still-jailed Paul Whelan, and the now freed 5 Americans that were held in Iran. But in many of these cases, the U-S has had to give up something to get our people released – sometimes it is money – billions in the case of the Iranian group, and sometimes it is prisoners that we have as in Griner’s case.
The U-S has a public policy not to negotiate with hostage takers but for years, literally decades, we have found ways to essentially negotiate releases for money. We have paid ransoms. And it is getting worse and more frequent.
As U-S citizens, we need to make sure our travel abroad is thought out. But as a country, we cannot continue to answer ransom demands. It is a harsh statement, but the reality is that this will only encourage more imprisonments of Americans. And when we are freeing up monies for Iran and other bad actors, those typically come back to haunt us.
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