(NPR) Should The U.S. Pay Ransom For ISIS Hostages?

It is U.S. policy that the government does not pay ransom to gain the release of Americans held hostage by terrorist groups, nor does it negotiate with them. That stance was criticized by the family of James Foley, the journalist recently killed by extremist group Islamic State, or ISIS. The family felt that the Obama administration had not done enough to secure Foley’s release.

“As someone who was held and who was released in part because of a ransom,” Fattal says, “I’m forever grateful for that. It seems like it’s important to have the U.S. government be supporting U.S. citizens abroad.”

At a recent briefing, White House spokesman Josh Earnest explained that the U.S. policy to not pay ransom is one it has “pursued for a long time; it has been in place for a long time.”

In fact, Americans have been taken hostage since the very earliest days of the republic. George Terwilliger, a former deputy U.S. attorney general in the first George Bush administration, says there is good reason for the no-ransom policy.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Theology, Violence

3 comments on “(NPR) Should The U.S. Pay Ransom For ISIS Hostages?

  1. Ad Orientem says:


  2. David Keller says:

    Double no.

  3. David Keller says:

    By way of clarification, I believe we should crush those who take hostages and take all reasonable measures to resue those taken hostage. We have been at this since the inception of our Republic. The Barabry pirates were, afterall, Muslims who wanted tribute. Thomas Jefferson with the help of The Navy and the Marine Corps crushed them. Too bad BHO got his early education in Jakarta, and missed the classes on American history.