Neo-Con John Bolton Denounces Release Of Journalist

Posted: Wednesday, August 5, 2009 | Posted by Chico Brisbane | Labels: , , , , , , ,

No sooner had Euna Lee and Laura Ling arrived safely at home to their country and their loved ones, the right-wingers begin the process of spining the successful release of the American journalist into something else. Particularly since Former Democratic President Bill Clinton played a role in their release. Former UN ambassador John Bolton and frequent Fox News Contributor took the lead in re-packaging the successful release by saying:

"The reporters' arrest, show trial and subsequent imprisonment (twelve years hard labor) was hostage taking, essentially an act of state terrorism. So the Clinton trip is a significant propaganda victory for North Korea, whether or not he carried an official message from President Obama."

Bolton goes on to say:

"While the United States is properly concerned whenever its citizens are abused or held hostage, efforts to protect them should not create potentially greater risks for other Americans in the future. Yet that is exactly the consequence of visits by former presidents or other dignitaries as a form of political ransom to obtain their release. Iran and other autocracies are presumably closely watching the scenario in North Korea. With three American hikers freshly in Tehran's captivity, will Clinton be packing his bags again for another act of obeisance? And, looking ahead, what American hostages will not be sufficiently important to merit the presidential treatment? What about Roxana Saberi and other Americans previously held in Tehran? What was it about them that made them unworthy of a presidential visit? These are the consequences of poorly thought-out gesture politics, however well-intentioned or compassionately motivated. Indeed, the release of the two reporters -- welcome news -- doesn't mitigate the future risks entailed."

As Spencer Ackerman points out, the only outcome of a Presidential visit to Pyongyang that Bolton would take national pride in is one in which Clinton "strapped himself with nuclear weapons and detonated during a meeting with Kim Jong-il."

Like Bolton says, "Negotiating from a position of strength, where the benefits to American interests will exceed the costs, is one thing. Negotiating merely for the sake of it, in the face of palpable recent failures, is something else indeed."

Of course, no one was negotiating "merely for the sake of it." The negotiations were for the sake of Euna Lee and Laura Ling and through Boltons's entire piece in the Washington Post, he never mentions the women by name, not once. Even if it is true that former President Clinton's visit gives Kim Jong il a much needed boost among his own people, in the words of former Vice President Dick Cheney - So what!