From Avi Zenilman, online news editor, The New Yorker:
Do you think the right is upset about President
Clinton’s mission because he didn’t free the hostages by going through
the Japanese to sell arms to the North Koreans and then use the
proceeds to support anti-Chavez guerrillas?
Posted by Hendrik Hertzberg
On the surface, the Clinton mission seemed simple. He flew to
North Korea, asked for our people back, and came back with our
people. Of course, it almost certainly was not that simple.
Reuters indicates that it was all planned out ahead of time.
In the secret negotiations that led to the rescue mission,
Clinton made clear to Obama administration officials he only wanted to
go if he had some certainty that Americans Laura Ling, 32, and Euna
Lee, 36, would be released to his custody.
“We considered the request carefully,” said a senior administration
official. “We tested directly with the North Koreans repeatedly. We
sought and received North Korea’s agreement in fact that a visit by
President Clinton would secure the release of Ms. Ling and Ms. Lee.”
Staged or not, it was very effective. Mr. Clinton and his
did not complicate the matter the way many politicians seem wont to
do. Good work.