Tags: Barack Obama | ISIS/Islamic State | Newsmax Now | Newsmax TV | hostage policy | ransom | bill richardson

Bill Richardson: Obama Hostage Policy Change Is an Improvement

By    |   Tuesday, 30 Jun 2015 02:14 PM

Giving families permission to pay a ransom to free their family members from kidnappers is an improvement on the policy, but it's not without its problems, says former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson.

"The policy is improved. A lot of families have come to me in the past wanting help to get hostages out because they feel the government hasn't notified them, kept them abreast," said Richardson, who also served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and energy secretary, in an interview with John Bachman on "Newsmax Now" on Newsmax TV Tuesday.

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The Washington Post
slammed the policy move in an editorial, saying that it will only serve as a "green light" for terrorist groups like the Islamic State and "encourage hostage-taking."

Richardson says that he disagrees with the Post's take on the issue because the money won't be coming directly from the U.S. government.

"What has changed is the U.S. won't prosecute families or organizations for paying ransom. That's also going to create some problems, but at least families now with the new policy will have a special office within the bureaucracy to keep them notified," he explained.

"Secondly, they will have more notification, more consultation, the privacy act, a lot of national security questions will be waived," he said.

"Lastly, what is most important is a signal that the United States, we're not going to pay ransom because if you do, this is going to create more hostage situations. This is going to fund the terrorist groups. The Europeans have made a mistake in paying these funds," he contends.

This is how he thinks the policy is different than what the Europeans do, although it does present its own set of problems.

"The fact that it is not U.S. government money, this also creates another problem. What happens if a hostage family is poor? It doesn't have the resources? There are a lot of issues here," Richardson told Newsmax.

"But at the same time it's a big, big mistake to say that a government will pay ransom for hostages because it's going to increase dramatically. It's going to fund these terrorist groups, and that's what they want," he explained.

"There's this new tool of terrorism: kidnapping hostages, especially Americans," he added.

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Giving families permission to pay a ransom to free their family members from kidnappers is an improvement on the policy, but it's not without its problems, says former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson.
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2015-14-30
Tuesday, 30 Jun 2015 02:14 PM
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