Back in April, 2002, President Bush gave a speech saying that “No nation can negotiate with terrorists, for there is no way to make peace with those whose only goal is death.” It was a strong, clear statement said with one side of his mouth, while the other side of his mouth was doing just that — negotiating with terrorists.
In May, 2001, the Al Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group Abu Sayyaf kidnapped Martin and Gracia Burnham, a Christian missionary couple living in the Philippines. While Bush was out in the Rose Garden making his tough-sounding speech, his administration was negotiating a ransom payment to retrieve them. They arranged an indirect payment of $300,000 to the terrorist network in exchange for the couple — which, by today’s standards should have had Oliver North and the rest of the Republicans up in arms — yet, the ones who screech the loudest now were the quietest then. To make matters worse, the trade failed: Abu Sayyaf refused to release the Burnhams, and Martin was killed when the Filipino police raided the encampment. Gracia survived and moved back to the U.S. with her children
Can you imagine what might have happened if Obama had failed to bring Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl home? If he had paid the ransom, but the trade went sideways and Bergdahl was killed? The Right-wing has lost its mind now, even with Bergdahl alive. Had things gone differently, they’d be screaming for Obama’s blood because he “killed an American POW” in a “botched rescue attempt.”
Bush isn’t the first Republican “hero” to do this, either. Their patron saint, Ronald Reagan, also said that we’d never trade weapons for hostages, while he was trading weapons for hostages.
h/t The Daily Beast
More from AATTP about negotiating with terrorists.
- Right-Wing Bloggers Wanted Bergdahl Back Before We Got Him Back
- Right Wingers Are Lying When They Claim 8 Soldiers Died Looking For Bergdahl
- Bergdahl’s Hometown Cancels Celebration After Hate Mail And Threats From The Right