Why in the world are we even debating this issue of paying ransom for hostages held by terror groups?
Yet we are at some level.
The policy long has been that the U.S. government doesn’t pay ransom. It instead by seeking to egotiate with the terrorists to persuade them it is in their best interest to let their captives go. If that tactic fails, then the government responds with military force or it seeks to rescue the captives.
The issue has come to light with the tragic murder by ISIS terrorists of journalist James Foley and the release by another terror group of Peter Theo Curtis. We learned shortly after Foley’s gruesome death that U.S. forces failed in a rescue attempt.
I don’t have a particular problem with allowing the families and friends of these captives seeking to pony up money to secure their release, even though such action usually does interfere with official negotiations under way to accomplish the same thing.
The very idea, though, of the government paying ransom is repugnant on its face. It sets a monetary value on someone’s life that in effect cheapens it.
Terror organizations must not be legitimized by, in effect, rewarding them for the terrible acts they commit. They need to be hunted down and arrested — or killed.