FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Critics say the U.S. violated its own policy against negotiating with terrorists by sending Bill Clinton to North Korea. Former U.S. Ambassador to the UN John Bolton calls Clinton's role in winning the release of the two journalists a "significant propaganda victory" for the communist regime.
He says sending someone of such high stature - like a former president - gives North Korea more legitimacy. Bolton - who served under Former President George W. Bush - says North Korea essentially took these women hostage; and in such a situation, our efforts to protect them shouldn't create bigger risks for other Americans in the future.
Yet, after Clinton's visit, it's possible that a country like Iran may want similar treatment before it releases the American hikers recently taken captive there. Other experts say that North Korea will now expect dealings with a high-profile figure when it comes to the nuclear issue.
The Obama administration insists Clinton's visit was a private and humanitarian one; and that he didn't relay any messages or apologies from the White House. One top official says Clinton's trip won't be part of any broader negotiations between the two countries - or be tied in to talks over North Korea's nuclear program.
But the problem is... Kim Jong Il may not see it that way. For one thing, Bill Clinton was greeted at the Pyongyang airport by top government officials including the country's head nuclear negotiator.
Here’s my question to you: Did Bill Clinton's meeting with Kim Jong Il to win the release of two Americans violate this country's policy of not negotiating with terrorists?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Steve from Redding, California writes:
"Technically" they were arrested and tried for violating N. Korean law. They "technically" were not kidnapped and held for ransom by terrorists. Bill Clinton went as a private citizen and no money or anything else changed hands. The only problem I see will be that this is just another thing the right wing will treat like raw meat in their never-ending quest to let no good deed go unpunished.
Mark from Houston writes:
Who cares? Have we become so "terror traumatized" that the rescue of American citizens should be set aside if it involves sitting down and talking to an enemy? The media seems less interested in celebrating the freedom of two young women than they are in finding fault with the process.
Geri from Mead, Oklahoma writes:
As much as I dislike splitting hairs with you, Jack, N. Korea is a sovereign nation and Pres. Kim Jong II is ruler of that nation, therefore the policy "we don't negotiate with terrorists" does not apply in this particular instance. The burden of responsibility lies at the feet of the two reporters who crossed the border knowing they could be arrested and imprisoned. Now you guys will turn them into national heroines, when they and the guy they work for, former VP Gore, should be publicly chastised for creating this mess in the first place.
Rick from Indiana writes:
Reagan used to look at the camera and earnestly promise we'd never negotiate with terrorists. Then he did just that and illegally traded arms with Iran. That was negotiating with terrorists. Kim Jong Il, Fidel Castro, and yes – John Bolton and George Bush – live in a dark world of enemies and paranoia. Bill Clinton just showed Kim Jong Il the light. Thank God our nation is still capable of diplomacy.
I'm sure Bill Clinton has talked with Cheney and Bush as well. Does this constitute a violation of the same policy?
Christine from Edmeston, New York writes:
Maybe you should ask Laura Ling's mother or Euna Lee's four-year-old daughter how they feel about violating policy.