Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Negotiator-in-Chief: Stop the saber-rattling. We need to talk, even to terrorists

In the weeks following U.S. journalist James Foley’s brutal beheading by the Islamic extremist group ISIS, a public debate developed over the Obama administration’s no-ransom, no-concession policy.
One of the country’s experts on hostage situations is Gary Noesner, who spent a 30-year career at the FBI as an investigator, instructor and negotiator.  Noesner responded to crises ranging from prison riots to  sieges, embassy takeovers, hijackings and more than 120 overseas kidnappings of American citizens.  The author of “Stalling for Time,” Noesner retired from the bureau in 2003 as the chief hostage negotiator and now works as a crisis management consultant. He offered these views on the the government’s current policy and how it changed in the wake of 9/11 terrorist attacks:

Does the U.S. government’s refusal to pay ransoms make sense to you?
Our current inflexible policy has not been proven to prevent or secure the release of kidnap victims. However, my view is that it remains appropriate and necessary for the U.S. government itself to avoid paying any ransom to kidnappers.  That being said, I do not believe the government should attempt to prevent families or victim corporations from paying a ransom to save a life.
Read more [HERE] from the Washington Post.