U.S. drops prohibition against talks with terrorists under revamped hostage policy

McClatchy reports: The execution of American captives by the Islamic State has driven the U.S. government to overhaul its handling of hostage cases, with President Barack Obama acknowledging Wednesday that longstanding policy was inadequate as “the terrorist threat is evolving.”

In somber remarks at the White House, Obama gave his most extensive public statement of contrition on the issue, acknowledging that his administration had let down the families of American hostages and pledging landmark reforms to make recovery efforts nimble enough to face increasingly sophisticated militant groups that use hostage-taking for profit and propaganda value.

The changes come after intense lobbying by the families and friends of American hostages, three of whom were beheaded in Syria by the Islamic State, including journalists Steven Sotloff, who grew up in Miami, and James Foley, the first of the hostages to be murdered. [Continue reading…]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email