August 5th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Clinton's N. Korea meeting = negotiating with terrorists?

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.

Leon writes:
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.

Filed under: Bill Clinton • North Korea
soundoff (211 Responses)
  1. Angela in Indiana

    President Clinton did not negotiate with Kim Jon Il. He got the reporters back, what did North Korea get besides publicity? I don't see any negotiation here.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  2. Patty in Rochester, NY

    No it did not. The journalists were not taken hostage by terrorists. They were arrested, convicted, and sentenced to 12 years hard labor by the government of North Korea. No matter how wrong the situation may have been they were not kidnapped and held for ransom.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  3. Eli Stephens

    The question is inane. North Korea are not terrorists, and Lee and Ling were not "hostages," they were convicted criminals. Convicted of what we would consider a fairly minor offense, but still convicted. Which is more than thousands of people imprisoned by the U.S. at Guantanamo, Bagram, and elsewhere can say.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  4. Paul

    Clinton traveled as a private citizen, not on behalf of US Gov. Clinton could not negotiate or even talk about the relationship with the US, and he gave no message to or brought a message home from N Korea. All this is really is a private citizen using celebrity to actually do some good. I guess republicans would rather have U.S. citizens rot in foreign jail than say Bill did anything good.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  5. Sly, Alpena, Mi

    Point Blank Jack, "NO".

    August 5, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  6. Ken in NC

    If Former President Clinton had met with Former U.S. Ambassador to the UN John Bolton, I would say yes but he did not meet with him. He met with a naughty "Little Boy" that has been throwing a temper tantrum. Kim Jong II is like "Korean Windows 14.0 For Idiots".

    It is a good thing John Bolton is not the protector of the American People.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  7. Heather from Canada

    No it did not.

    If they had not got the ladies out they would have been criticized. They got them out and some don't like how they did that. It seems many people are impossible to please and will complain that they get wet when they shower.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  8. Maggie Johnson

    I am happy to see the return of the journalists – Thrilled at the wonderful collaboration with the Obama administration and Al Gore and Bill Clinton.
    However, my concern is that these two journalists pursued their own ambitions, fame, fortune, and had a complete disregard for the consequences of their actions. A problem growing in our country like a virus. They should apologize to the American people for their behavior and reimburse our government for the cost of this horrible affair.
    Salt Lake City, Utah

    August 5, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  9. Kevin

    Is this policy a law? NO
    Did the U.S. Supreme Court say no one can negotiate with terrorists? NO
    Then Bill Clinton did not violate any policy or law

    John Bolton should go back to diplomatic school

    August 5, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  10. Rae from Indiana

    Some people really need to give it a rest. If you are so miserable that you find fault in everything please keep your whiny, sorry doom and gloom to yourself. Just give it a rest.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  11. Sam Moore

    No. The policy is completely flawed. We are all terrorist, it just depends on the lens you look through.

    Sam Moore
    Indianola, Iowa

    August 5, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  12. Sharon Wright in Toronto

    The US policy of not negotiating with terrorists is idiotic. They should be the first ones you negotiate with. The sane ones can wait.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  13. donna bernard

    Bush and Bolton weren't exactley on top of the diplomatic game now, were they – from Bolton it's just blah blah blah. Want does he think we should do to get these girls released – bomb North Korea? And apparently Mr. Bush has no opinions anymore. Thank God.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  14. Patrick Solorzano

    He did the best thing that could be done at the moment for the release. i used to be republican but now ashamed to say I was affiliated with them. Blast the Republicans for looking for every reason to keep the country divided by picking at eevry small thing Obama or any other Democrat does...


    August 5, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  15. Jackie Rawlings

    Jack we have to remember Bolter is sick and would leave his own daughter in a jail. Now we also remember how the US/Bush Administration paid for the release of the young lady teaching Iraq families the Christian Bible, I notice Bolton supported that action. Bill Clinton is always called in to help Americans but I notice none of the former Bush Presidents got involved in helping in any way.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  16. Karl from SF, CA

    I thought the “Axis of Evil” died January 20th. John Bolton is as irrelevant as George Bush and Dick Cheney and their failed policies. Why is he being given any air time at all? If Clinton’s meeting with Kim Jong Il got the reporters released and possibly may lead to nuclear talks, what is the problem here? We’ve had our head in the sand for eight years and finally someone has had a reality check. Negotiating is talking, not talking is stupid. Haven’t we learned that much?

    August 5, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  17. John Murphy

    Terrorists are non governmental agencies. Dealing with a sovereign state is much different. If the nay sayers had their way, the journalists would be stuck in North Korea for 12 years at hard labour.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  18. Emery

    No, Jack, I do not believe that Bill Clinton's negotiations with Kim Jung Il gave the impression that we are complacent with "negotiating with terrorists". Such a mindset is only centralized within the nucleus of the GOP. Simply put, something had to be done about these two women who would not have survived 12 years of hard labor in an isolated country such as North Korea, and Bill Clinton took the steps necessary to get it done quickly. My hat is off to him.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  19. fortheloveof

    To Republicans, anything short of shoot first and ask questions later signals our unconditional surrender. Why even have a blog about this issue. The Rethugs who are no longer in office are going to of course hate anything that Obama and the current administration does. They had 8 years and screwed up royally and now 200 days later they want all of the issues they created solved by the new kid on the block...

    Give me a break !!!

    August 5, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  20. Christian Bruun

    Maybe Mr. Bolton could better answer that question after he has been held hostage. And correct me if I am wrong but didn't the Bush Administration deal with Al Sadr? Amazing how convenient his memory is. Especially when all you care about is trashing the current administration. It certainly is clear he doesn't care about the two women.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  21. Chris L

    It is stupid for the anybody to think that we negotiated with terrorists. President Clinton went in there to help save two lives. If it was them they would'nt be saying that we "negotiated with terrorists"... is blantently stupid.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  22. James In Idaho

    "Clinton" is to "negotiating with terrorists" as Bush is to "Mission Accomplished." It's a Non-Sequitor.

    For those who don't like them, Barack Obama is a socialist, non-citizen who wants to take over the country, Clinton is an immoral sexfiend only interested in personal gain, Former ambassador to the UN Mike Bolton is a pompous, arrogant, condescending ignoramous interested in shining a false light on anyone he disagrees with, and Bush is a lying, disingenuous, idiot attempting desperately still to show the world he can't be held accountable for his mistakes and will never apologize.

    It's up to us to determine the objective truths from this, and pass whatever wisdom we can gleen from all this claptrap onto our unsuspecting children. Let's hope that people come to their senses, and stop jumping to conclusions before all the facts are in.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  23. Rstar

    Just because North Korea has an active nuclear program, doesn't qualify them as terrorists country. I have never heard of any terrorirst groups belonging to North Korea. Also, they don't go around killing people insanely like other active terrorist groups.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  24. Locksley, Senoia GA

    Short answer... NO!
    Bolton is just another example of the angry Republican who would rather see two American citizen languish and possibly die in a foreign jail, than do whatever it takes to secure the safety of Americans. And to think he once represented America to the world! Wow!

    August 5, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  25. sysfan08

    I do not think it was a violation of the policy because North Korea aren't even terrorists. They are just a rebellious country who happens to want nuclear weapons against everyone else's wishes.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  26. Jay

    (I'm from Pflugerville, Texas)

    I don't think it violated the no negotiating with terrorists policy for two reasons: (1) to me, negotiating in my mind involves some form of monetary or other similar in exchange for something we want and as far as I can tell, we didn't give anything up to get the two journalists back, and (2) even if something was given up, the White House has stated that it was a personal trip and carried no message from the federal government.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  27. shirley curtis

    How about all those who are complaining about the release of the women in North Korea sending their daughters or other loved ones to take the womens places.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  28. Annie, Atlanta

    Who cares? If either of these young women were members of my family, I’d sell my soul to get them back home safely. I wonder if President Clinton is willing to take a trip to Iran to get those 3 students released.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  29. Marcela Howell

    I am sure that the two journalists were relieved that former President Clinton was there to bring them home.

    Like Cheney, Bolton believes that everything is a conspiracy by terrorists to undermine the U.S. – – Perhaps Bolton forgets that the regime he worked for is no longer in power.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  30. Tony W.

    Jack, Not only did Pres. Clinton do an honorable and admirable thing but he did it without ties to our CURRENT government.

    If we as Americans leave it up to Former UN Ambassador John (What's His Face) to call our shots, then we'll wake up one day and find ourselves defined as the only terrorists the world has left. GROW UP JOHN!

    August 5, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  31. Christian Motley

    What about the United State's policy of doing its best to protect the American people? I am thankful for efforts like this which serve as a reminder of how we value the lives of our citizens.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  32. jean from Boalsburg PA

    Perhaps it did, perhaps it didn't, it will be debated for a long time now. I don't see any proof that North Korea was given anything in exchange for the girls. However, what if it were a family member of the naysayers that were captive there? Wouldn't they be crying for the same outcome?

    August 5, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  33. Fernando McGregor

    We have an intelligent president who knows what he is doing.
    We have to use intelligence (brain power) to solve a situation without resourcing to force.
    Thank you President Clinton for a quick and clean job.
    We have our american journalists back home, and this is what only matters
    Bolton is a proven hothead, who in the same fashion of the queen in Alice in Wonderland, has only one answer to every problem: off with their heads...!!!
    Bolton: don't hate !!!

    August 5, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  34. Nik L

    Clinton's mission to North Korea falls far short of "negotiating with terrorists." The United States is simply not used to true diplomacy. He went there and through talking, communicating and real diplomacy managed to make a historic gain for the United States. This falls far from negotiating – as a peaceful, successful, independent humanitarian mission no precedent will be set except that perhaps, Kim Jong Il may be more willing to deal with the West. Perhaps we are just too used to understanding "diplomacy" as "crusading."

    August 5, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  35. Stanley Smithy

    President Clinton did the right thing. After all, why should we call Koreans terrorists, while our own USA government has acted even worse? Should USA be called a terror state? Mr While mostash should go back to his stone-age era and live there until he dies. He is no good for the twenty first century.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  36. Robert Frye

    Do Republicans have to gripe about every single thing that Obama's administration does? Isn't anybody happy those girls are home? What should we have done, left them in Korea? Get a heart Republicans, and try smiling now and then!

    Bob, Emerald Isle, NC

    August 5, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  37. KC

    As a former President I'm sure Bill Clinton knows our countries stance on negotiating with terrorists. It'd be interesting to know how Mr. Bolton would feel if it was his daughter being held captive.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  38. Janice from Collingswood NJ

    THANK YOU MR BOLTON..............and exactly what did YOU ever do that was worthy of notice by anyone? I am so sick of these Bush failures feeling they have a right to criticize anything. Two lives were saved, a 4 year old has her mother back. That's all that matters. Mr. Bolton, you need to get a REAL job !

    August 5, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  39. shirley curtis

    Two words: sour grapes. The foreign policy of the Bush years was a total failure and now all they can do is whine about Obama and his foreign policies.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  40. Patrick Henry

    If Repblicans were in the White House, this issue would of put us into war with North korea. Thank God for Bill Clinton and Our President and Our Secritary of State. I wish both parties would quit trying to adjust for power and work more tward helping one another. There is so much greed in our politics it makes me sick. What Bill Clinton did was in my eyes was heroic and above and beyond what his priorities. This is an A for our President.
    Anyone thinks less than that is an American Fool.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  41. Ed from Ga

    I know the leader of Korea is sick and twisted, but I don't know if I've ever heard him (or Korea) referred to as terrorists? How can what Clinton did be a bad thing? I'm sure of one thing...if the Cheney administration were still in office, those two girls would still be there.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  42. Dolores Surprise AZ

    The Republicans are STILL so jealous of Pres. Clinton that they can't stand for him to do something good, even if it saves 2 Americans from 12 years of hard labor. It's time they got over it and admit that he was the best President we have had and this country was great during the Clinton administration. John Bolton is just mad because he couldn't get the release of these two journalist. Get over it Mr. Bolton....

    August 5, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  43. Keith Fuld

    The facts as I see them is that the 2 women knowingly crossed the boarder which gave north korea every right to detain them. Bill Clinton arranged the release of the detainees without escalating the situation between our two countries. Stop being whiners and give the man credit for doing a good job.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  44. Dave

    We shouldn't deal with terrorists as a basic term of negotiating. But this is with the lives of two high profile journalitsts. The 3 individuals in Iran? My vote is to do the same,,, but never again.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  45. Bob

    N. Korea is a country, not "terrorists".

    Bob in Irvine, CA

    August 5, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  46. martyn

    All I could think of when I saw these two young women being freed was thank heavens for Bill Clinton. When I saw that idiot Bolton making his inflammatory, fear-mongering comments, all I could think of was thank God for Barak Obama. It is such a relief to see men of global wisdom, common sense and a greater purpose other than one's political agenda. Could someone put the Boltons and their ilk back in the holes they have crawled out of?

    August 5, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  47. Paul

    Regan was President when he made the "Arms for Hostages Deal." Of course Mr. Bolton does not remember that or more likely ignores it at his conservative convenience. That is negotiting with terrorists. The Great Regan did deal with terroists. President Obama did not. Former President Clinton, a private citizen, may have given the vertically challenged Kim a photo op but that was it. We have two Americans home. Job well done.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  48. Ryan

    If he went to north korea as a private citizen then no the united states did not negotiate with terrorists, However if that is the case former President Clinton might have violated the Logan Act. If he was sent by the US government then its a possibility, though do we still consider N.Korea terrorists or rather a regime that we dont agree with?

    August 5, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  49. Leah

    I'd like to know whether John Bolton would think the same way if we were talking about his mother, wife, or daughter. This man truly has no compassion.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  50. Paul

    Why does anyone care what Bolton thinks? I can't recall any diplomatic success on his part. Mr. Clinton met with the head of North Korea, not Osama Bin Laden. He gave up nothing, how is this a negotiation? Mr. Bolton is a neocon and anything that Clinton/Obama do will be wrong by definition. The media has to stop giving him airtime, he's always wrong.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  51. Meg from Troy, Ohio

    I wouldn't take anything John Bolton had to say as important–his service at the UN and the administration that he served were notable failures in the international arena. Two fine young American women, who should never have been jailed to begin with, are home. Bill Clinton's mission probably saved their lives–and in this American's mind that is more important than interpreting the word terrorist and how it applies or doesn't apply to this situation. Congratulations President Clinton!

    August 5, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  52. Kevin

    If this is negotiating with terrorism, perhaps the U.S. should do it more often. It worked, didn't it?

    August 5, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  53. Dan in Florida

    Thank God John Bolten, John McCain and other war-thirsty Republicans couldn't get close enough to the red buttons in the latest election. I only hope we can continue to keep them away. Bill Clinton was not empowered to offer North Korea anything and if all they wanted was a photo op with him, so be it. Just line up these photos right next to the ones of "W," Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and others who have shaken/held hands with those who hate the U.S. Can you say "hypocrisy 101"?

    August 5, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  54. Dustin Domingue

    Only if one confuses diplomacy with terrorist negotiation. The fact is there was no exchange or endangering demands from the North Korean government in which we caved in to their demands by acquiescing in the goal of gaining the release of these journalists. Any potential negative PR that may have been garnered by President Clinton's trip is definitely worth the safe return of these American citizens to their families and friends.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  55. Kathy

    That's ridiculous. Clinton was not operating as a representative of the US government. Heads of other countries are smart enough to know the difference and won't expect the US to send Clinton to negotiate with them.

    Clinton demonstrated what effective diplomacy looks like, something the former Bush officials should have done years ago, instead of failing to close the deal Clinton had in place when Bush took over.

    Kathy – Redwood City, CA

    August 5, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  56. Mack

    Jack, I think Bolton is trying to find something negative just to oppose the success of Bill Clinton and this administration.I donot think it will not violate this country’s policy of not negotiating with terrorists. Because Clinton didn't negotiate on our country's behalf,.Seeing opposite pole republicans don't surprise me. After all all they're good at is being negative.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  57. Sonny Everett - Ocala, FL

    Despite the fact we have opposing ideas and government policies, North Korea is a sovereign nation, with limited but ample diplomatic relations with other nations who also have diplomatic relations to the USA. In this case I believe it was Sweden.

    On the other hand, terrorists are defined as groups of one or more individuals performing terrible acts of violence in support of some "cause". America does not negotiate with terrorists still stands.

    Two different... ah-hum... animals.

    Sonny in Ocala FL

    August 5, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  58. PL

    Of course not, Jack! The Former President had absolutely no power what-so-ever. How could anyone mistake this event for a negotiation when Clinton had absolutely nothing to negotiate with? I believe the US government could not have done a better job at separating itself from this incident to avoid portraying this meeting as a negotiation.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  59. Phillip Cull

    Jack: If I were the hostage and President Clinton had helped to secure my release, I would be very thankful and would not even consider the idea of a terrorist country being involved. However, if you are not one of the hostages, then it is very easy to croak about why we should not talk with North Korea. Our current president has said that this was a humanitarian mission and nothing more. Considering two American citizens as very important should lift our spirits and moral.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  60. Bruce Marshall

    No Jack it isn't, we have talked and dealt with other Communists country's. Like President Regan did with USSR. Anyone who say it is a bad thing than lets see what they say when their son or daughter is taken. How ever some people are also stupid. With all the places to hike in the United States why would one go to Iran or even close to it. Dumb.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  61. Ines

    What is wrong with all you people?
    1. They were prisoners not hostages!
    2. If we are not to talk to terrorists for hostage releases, please explain to me what a Police hostage negotiator does.
    3. All forms of violence is a form of terrorism will it be foreign or domestic.
    Have a nice day.
    Ines from Colorado

    August 5, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  62. Ian McGowan

    Bolton says that the two journalists were "held hostage" by North Korea. They admit they entered N. Korea illegally. Does that mean that Bolton thinks that the thousands held in U.S. Immigration Detention Centers, solely for entering this country without proper documentation, are being "held hostage"?

    August 5, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  63. paula osman

    What did we give N.Korea? We got back 2 american citizens in exchange for a visit from a prominent private citizen. No money or terrorists were exchanged.I think we should try to get the same deal with Iran and get back our 3 american hikers before they go through 140 day, a trial and worse treatment. Refuel Clinton's plane and send him to help these young people.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  64. Dominick

    There is a difference between dealing with governments we do not like and dealing with terrorists. Kim Jong Il may be a megalomaniac and a despot, but with the predictable exception of ideological extremists, most of us consider the release of two Americans journalists and the role played by President Clinton, VP Gore and others in securing their release as a reason to rejoice and be proud of our country.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  65. IZO MANE

    The release of the two journalists showed Bill Clinton's statementship.Congratulations Mr. President. Forget the kind of John Bolton.When was the last time he saved an american life, really ? He can stay behind his desk and critizize the many accomplishments of others; the truth is, he is irrelevant. If it depended on him, America will be in a permanent war with others.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  66. Mary- Augusta,Georgia

    Of course it did NOT. That's why it was designated a humanitarian mission. Anyone who says differently should think about whether or not they would like to be left in a hostile country if caught up in the same type of situation. Why can't we all just be happy that the ladies are home with their families? Think about that little girl, have a heart!

    August 5, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  67. Jody Zellner

    If the criticism of Bill Clinton was coming from a reputable source I might pay attention. The facts are that Michael Bolton was at best inept at his role in dealing with foreign governments. Bill Clinton, although prestigious as a former President, is a private citizen. He was under no mandate and did have any power to negotiate on behalf of the United States. If, as some suggest, that his maneuvers may have inflated the ego of Kim Jong Il, who cares? Two American lives were saved and without any concessions being made. Take note world, this is the way to conduct negotiations from a man who was reviled world as a national leader.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  68. Charles Dalton

    I thought that policy stopped with the Iran Contra scandal under Ronald Reagan.

    That said, I'm glad Clinton got these women home.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  69. Jan-Oregon

    OH MY GOD, what a silly question! He went to North Korea to free the girls and bring them back home. What is so bad and wrong with that????????

    I am so happy they are home and it worked out so safely! Why Jack are you trying to bring this down?

    August 5, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  70. Doug Ashby

    You must be kidding, if Clinton had brought Jesus back from the hill some people would have a problem with his efforts. Negotate with terrorists, Reagan did it and he's still a hero to the right.

    Doug from DE

    August 5, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  71. Meral Palmer

    I find it appaling that any one with a sound mind would pay any attention to anything that Bolton has to say. The first order of buisness for any government is to protect it's citizens. What would the idiots have us do, say it's only 2 people (possibly democrates) leave them there.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  72. Yuri

    I've never been a Clintonite, and "negotiating" with terrorists is an ambiguous term at best. Was the Soviet Union a Terrorist regime?
    To the point, no we shouldn't negotiate with such. Nor should we allow innocent civilians to pay any price for the political nonesense that occurs elsewhere, regardless of how insane their politics might be. Civilians as prisoner pawns cannot stand. They are civilians. Instruct, ban them from getting close to these places, warn them of the dangers, etc. But if they're incarcerated in some nut dictators prison, then get them the hell out, anyway you can.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  73. Flyingwolf, Manchester NH

    First you have to prove that there were "negotiations." I'm creeped out at the thought that some stuffy nosed characters would let two young American woman rot in some dictator's jail because of some "supposed" negotiations.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  74. Janie

    Critics (aka Republicans) were the ones who established this so called national policy- didn't work too well for us did it. I am happy to see that the current administration isn't afraid of good old fashioned diplomacy and trying humanitarian alternatives to reach resolution when keeping with the status quo of last eight years failed.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  75. Mark Reuther Troy, MI.

    It is only the Republican blowhards complaining about Bill Clinton going to North Korea. It's a far cry from the treason of Iran Contra: trading arms to our enemies to secure the release of American hostages. It is many of the same people who defended the Reagan administration for that fiasco, who are now attacking the Obama adminisration. It's politics, pure and simple. And not very bright politics at that.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  76. Leo in NC

    This should not be viewed as negotiating with terrorists. North Korea is a sovreign nation, so if anything it was a diplomatic encounter. Terrorists are usually not representing a nation or government.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  77. Horace Giddens

    Hey can we arrange to send John Bolton and few others Republicans over there on a oneway flight...

    August 5, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  78. Joe

    You know Jack, no matter what there are always going to be those hell bent in critizizing everything, even getting these two american citizens back home. What shame and gull for Bolton, an appointee without congressional approval, and no credibility, as far as I am concerned, to speak to the american piblic. This guy is as valuable as 0 is to the left of 1,000,000.00. Kudos to President Clinton.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  79. Wayne

    President Obama and his administration sized up the situation and acted accordingly. The two journalists put themselves in a precarious postion, yet behind the scenes efforts won their release without payment. For the North Koreans, it relieved them of harboring these women and saving face from a growing embarrassment. So what if the Little Dictator got a photo op with President Clinton. Big deal. In John Bolton's world, he would let Laura and Euna rot in prison.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  80. Kara

    Did the Bush administration negotiate with terrorist for the release of Jessica Lynch? This question would apply more to the Jessica Lynch situation than the current release of two reporters from prison. If i'm not mistaken the two journalist were arrested and sentenced to prison by the courts of North Korea. I'm really trying to understand how this story is related to negotiating with terrorist.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  81. Tony

    No! What is our government suppose to do, leave our citizens in dangerous situations that the person being held has no way to extricate themselves from? We (the US) has to learn to weigh the benefits of an outcome rather the political consequences–they are often different. On the other hand, Sec. Clinton said that Americans need to be cognizant of the danger inherent in being oblivious to the borders of other countries. People must accet responsibility for their own actions hat put them in danger.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  82. Rob

    The last I looked, N Korea was a country. not a group of terrorists tramping through the mountains. These 2 were convicted of breaking a law in a country in which they did not belong. I am glad they are home and even more grateful for a feeling that our country is now trying to solve problems diplomatically instead of with bombs and rifles. Maybe we should tone down the hate and fear language and praise the efforts of return of an intelligent diplomatic administration.
    Rob from Daytona Beach

    August 5, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  83. Rick from Portland

    Jack, no it did not. The naysayers can't just let this be a legiitimate happy ending to a terrifying ordeal for two families and all who love them, they have to throw stones at Clinton and by association the Obama administration. The Republican party is simply the "anti" party. No matter what anyone does, they will always take the opposite view, no matter how ridiculous, and in doing so will continue to drive themselves further into irrelevancy. I frankly feel that their continued paranoid, vicious and hateful raging will ultimately lead to actions against their fellow citizens and our duly elected government that will make Oklahoma City pale by comparison. Their paranoia, ignorance and rage are stunningly frightening, reminds one of Germnay in the 1930's, thankfully they haven't found a Hitler, yet.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  84. PEANUT

    I'm a retired State Correctional Officer for the state of Louisiana.
    If LDPS&C DON'T recognize hostages,,,,,,, Why should good ole U.S.of A.????
    Now more of these terrorist countries will abduct more people and expect exchange favors. Where will it end?

    Marksville, Louisiana

    August 5, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  85. Jason Mah

    Excuse me, jack but the united states hasn't just been negotiating with terrorists but they have been working with terrorists for decades. Whether its supplying the afghan rebels in the 70's with stinger missles, who eventually became the taliban. And even today in iraq where the united states has cut deals with terrrorist groups, for iraqi security. And now they want to negotiate with the taliban. And that started with republican george w bush. Big deal negotiating with North Korea, the american government has been doing this for decades. How, short memories we have.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  86. Gary Swieso

    Jack, Bolton is a moron who never met an act of decency he didn't dislike. Jong IL gained nothing from the exchange with Clinton. He was going to lie to his people in any case. While an ex-president, Clinton is still a private citizen and does not speak for the US government. My hope is that the press will stop quoting Bolton and maybe he will just go away.

    Fountain Valley, CA

    August 5, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  87. W. Jeffery

    This is nothing compared to Iran Contra.The Republican complaint about any success that the Democrats has. Republicans please remember that two Americans was set free

    August 5, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  88. Al /Orlando/via Buffalo

    Jack. North Korean troops would handle our terroist adversaries. Lets
    be practical about the Clinton positive result. Al

    August 5, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  89. Andrea

    The key word was Negotiate. Until we find a way to negotiate, they will remain terrorists and we will remain Americans who have no path to change our world to make it a better place. Kim has real problems...his people are dying of starvation, he is sick himself, and they have created a closed society that has no real interface with the rest of the world. Kim is an Elvis fan...he wants to interface with the world and thinks that nuclear weapons will get him a seat at the table. Why not try another method, find the things we have in common, instead of focusing only on how we are different. Negotiations are what finds our common ground and helps us build a better world.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  90. Christian


    John Boltons' comments regarding President Bill Clinton's actions in facilitating the safe return of two American citizens, have to be the most idiotic words and conjecture since Dubya Bush tried to swallow a pretzel and dance with an African Tribe. President Bill Clinton took it upon himself to engage in a situation which could have turned dangerous for him as well.

    I find it amazing that "other experts (so they are called) say that North Korea will now expect dealings with a high-profile figure when it comes to the nuclear issue. Well Jack, wouldn't you want a high-profile, well educated and informed figure who has intense knowledge and leverage to sit down with those who have nuclear arms. Imagine that Jack.... someone who can actually pack up a crew, fly across the world and in one meeting get the job done with no harm done to anyone. Sounds like a plan to me! That is the kind of person I want dealing on such sensitive issues.

    President Bill Clinton... gets the job done again!

    August 5, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  91. Cynthia

    No, this was conducted in an offically unoffical way. Nothing officially to do with the government. Got it!!??

    August 5, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  92. Sam

    Maybe we should have sent someone of irrelevant stature to secure the release of the journalists like, lets see, hmmm, maybe John Bolton.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  93. Colby S.

    No. Clinton did what every American should do for each other and that is do what you can to help one another. America seems to have lost that way and teach you have to follow by EVERY rule no matter what even if it means putting others lives at risk. There was no exchange of money or ransom. I guess if he waterboarded Kim Jong Il into giving the reporters back that would have been acceptable though right?

    August 5, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  94. Fred from Florida

    I say, when someone from the US is captured and imprisioned unjustly by another country's government, no doubt we count on someone, mainly our government, to come and rescue us. No one in their right mind will not say, "President (fill in the blank), please do not rescue me and leave me here to serve my time, or let me die here in this country." It may seem the US government was involved, but overall everyone is happy they are home. So as Bobby McFerrin said, "Don't worry be Happy."

    August 5, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  95. gus

    first of all jack, n. Korea is not a terrorist organization but a sovereign country and as a sovereign country, they have a right to exercise their own laws. Its us, stupid americans, that think we can do whatever we want when we travel abroad. N. Korea had every right to keep those journalists because they broke n. Korean laws. As americans we should give up ignorance and be respectful to other countries' laws so our government wont have to deal with these kind of situations.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  96. Wes

    What distinguishes countries which "export" terrorism from those who exercise it: Egypt, Saudia Arabia, Kuwait, Israel?

    August 5, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  97. John-Fort Wayne, IN.

    By saving two American lives, without any sort of violence or power play how can this be taken as a violation of policy. Kim Jong II got his wish in Bill Clinton, being that he Bill Clinton is the closet thing to meeting Elvis as he's going to get?

    August 5, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  98. ingrid, new york

    NO. North Korea's govt. is a tyrannical dictatorship, communist, totalitarian and its leader is nuts, no question; but the whole terrorist labeling is very troubling to me. the right wing continues to very conveniently label anyone we do not like as a terrorist and that way we can go after them because all the rules of engagement do not apply. as we well know this is what happened with sadam. ... calling north korea a terrorist regime is continuing to go down a slippery slope that i hope to god we stop and stop now...

    August 5, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  99. Pierce

    We don't know what was said in the talks. We can't really speculate on that. As far as I'm concerned, liberals will praise Bill for freeing two humans from captivity...conservatives will worry about the "propoganda victory" for North Korea.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  100. s. Evans

    Jack, sure wish John Bolton, was detained in Korea or Iran....so we could use his his rhetoric when it came to obtaining his freedom. Oh that's right, he would condemn humanitarian acts. Hard labor for you John!

    Sharon, Houston, TX

    August 5, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  101. Sandra

    No, Jack - Didn't everyone, even N. Korea, refer to a "humanitarian" mission? We did what we had to in this instance. Congratulations to Obama for burying pride in order to accomplish a greater good!

    August 5, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  102. Joseph Fechner

    Jack – I think this situation, along with the reaction to it, truely shows the difference between the Democrats and the Republicans. The Democrats are willing to support all American people in an Humantitarian effort regardless of the circumstances, whereas, the Republicans will cut you loose in a "NEW YORK Minute", let you go down the tubes, and not give a second thought to either the humanitarian issue or the possibility of improved relationships with another country. Hmmm...sounds a lot like the way the Republicans are treating healthcare.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  103. Richard_Knapp

    Former President Clinton rescued two american women from captivity. In no way did he negotiate with a terriorist, he negotiated with a the head of a foreign country. Weither or not we agree with the North Korean leaders policies is irrelivant to the fact that he is the head of state for North Korea and in order to save these women President Clinton did what he had to do. As always Americans are better off for his service.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  104. Matt

    It doesn't really matter, the wingnuts will make up their own stories anyway.

    Obama needs to start focusing on quelling the rising mobs of protesters and birthers, because the Republican party is getting extremely desperate. The incitement and planning involved in those movements make them dangerous and potentially violent. It is starting to look like a revolution, and the President has done very little wrong and a whole lot of things right. Scary.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  105. Charlotte Araki

    M definition of "terrorist" must be different from most. Can a sovereign state be called terrorists?. Even though we may not like their way of governing and fear their decisions.

    I just think no matter what the administration does will be criticized even if it saved two lovely women and American citizens. Clinton took a private plane, he is not the president but he got the job done.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  106. Dennis McDonald

    It is amazing to me that in the midst of having two women freed from the possibility of 12 years of hard labor, John Bolton can find fault with Bill Clinton working toward their release. I guess he would prefer that we leave the women to do their time, so we can show a tough resolve toward our enemies. I'm wondering if it were one of his family members if he would feel the same way. I, for one, rejoice that President Clinton was willing to step in and reach out in concern and care for two Americans and brought them home to their families.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  107. Terry Downey

    When dealing with human life, consideration of policy violation should be a moot point. Ignoring the human lives in foreign lands, be them our own kindred or that of the oppressed, is intolerable. That's the real violation of policy.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  108. Miguel

    No, I do not believe it violated our own policy. In my opinion, John Bolton needs to keep his big mouth shut. This guy is several bricks shy of a load to begin with, so I choose to ignore his rhetoric..
    If it were not for President Clinton those two women would be stuck in North Korea, dealing with no telling what on a daily basis. I have an idea...........how about we send Mr. Bolton to the border of China and N. Korea immediately and allow him to be captured. Then we'll adopt Bolton's policy on this matter. If that were to happen, I'm sure his view of this situation would suddenly change....
    Fayetteville, Ar.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  109. Rick McDaniel / Lewisville, TX

    Not exactly. Negotiating with a foreign power, which happens to be a military dictatorship, is more precise. While arms dealing might be true, "terrorist" might be a little over the top, for NK. (Every country on the planet deals in arms, with the US being a major player in arms dealing.)

    The main purpose, of course, was to give NK the world recognition they wanted, for releasing the "imprisoned journalists", who, were of course, being treated far better than the average convicted felon, in that country.

    This was all orchestrated in the background of the administration, before Clinton ever left the country. It was not unexpected, in any way.

    In any case, NK got something they wanted, likely more than anyone is talking about in public, and the journalists are released. Let that be a lesson to journalists......there can be a price to pay, for taking risks in that job.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  110. Tony W.

    Jack, Not only did Pres. Clinton do an honorable and admirable thing but he did it without ties to our CURRENT government.

    If we as Americans leave it up to Former UN Ambassador John (What’s His Face) to call our shots, then we’ll wake up one day and find ourselves defined as the only terrorists the world has left. GROW UP JOHN!


    August 5, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  111. mike a., charlotte,nc

    I wonder how many people would ask that question if THEIR loved one was being held captive? Considering that we have two live journalists home and safe, I'd call it a success. those who disagree can always volunteer to trade places with hostages, it would be greatly appreciated and we wouldn't want to negotiate any further. Anyone stupid enough to do that we don't want back!

    August 5, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  112. Richard K.

    I think that it is okay for a non government official to travel to a
    nation that a country does not have diplomatic (official) relation-
    ship and get business done that does not violate nation's (U.S.)
    economic laws. In this case, freeing Laura Ling and Una (Euna)
    Lee from unprodictable predicament and their respectable future
    which is humanitarian issue(s). Hurray for Bill Clinton and his
    entourage, especially John Podesta.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  113. feri valamanesh

    that is all typical bush talk, to me it demonstrates that diplomacy is effective with any country..bravo mr. clinton

    August 5, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  114. Vick R Welsh Orange Park, Fl

    Jack you know we have always had behind the door talks with terrorist. The exception is George Bush , who would turn a round and attack another country who had no terrorist!!!

    August 5, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  115. george

    yes i believe it did and all the while making us look week. the fact that their were closed door negotiations coming from the wite house weeks before with n. korea tants any real idea of humanitarian spontaneity on the part of prsident clinton,vp gore or the courant administration.

    ie it looks to be a face saving way to have a sit down at the highest level and to free two kidnapped americans. to birds with one stone how convenient.george

    August 5, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  116. Patnap/Georgia

    Ask Mr. Bolton how he would feel if he had a family member who was in captivity? He would not care how they got home as long as they got home safely. President Obama is the only one authorized to negotiate with him other than H. Clinton. Bill Clinton went so as not to give them the impression that we will negotiate without some effort on their part re. neucular arms. This was handled correctly but as usual, no one wants to give the president any credit.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  117. ken

    How is this a policy violation when the Bush and Cheney gang paid millions of our money to insurgents in Iraq ? The difference from what I can see is that one was a humanitarian effort in getting the two Americans home from the trumped up charges in North Korea and the other was a payoff to the terrorists to stop killing our troops in a war that should never have happened.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  118. Derrell

    Pres Obama canget his ins with the stroke of the pen. Sign a proc. eliminating all of congreee perks ase nul and void until everd one hasthe same. no vacations on insurance nopay raises until everyone has the same .

    August 5, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  119. Teddy Bekele

    I don't really understand why republicans are always against any country that opposes USA is labelled as terrorists. North Korea is not a democratic country but not really a terrorist country. I think we should forget about the axis of evil comment and work for the peace of the world. As president obama said there should be some level of discussion to be started. Bolton let me tell you something, when I see you, the big mustache remind me of "stalin" . stop the fear monguering bush tactic. Loosers!

    Winnipeg, Canada

    August 5, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  120. Jan in Missouri

    No, Bill Clinton's visit did NOT violate policy to negotiate with terrorists. That Republicans are complaining about it shows their poverty of spirit, and the failure of their policy that we don't talk with our enemies. It frosts me that the party of moral superiority always forgets what Jesus had to say about this. Strange, since they claim to be following Him, but then they also subscribe to "Do what we say, not what we do." Enough already from the party of fear and negativity.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  121. Trevor G

    No Jack, Former President Clinton is a hero and did a wonderful thing for those girls. Last time I checked the Bush Adm. ruined our image across the world, so why would we listen to anyone who helped forge foreign policy under that train wreck of a presidency? Besides, North Korea isn't Al Qaeda, they've been a sovereign nation for nearly 60 years whether we like it or not, and we won't get anywhere by acting like children and pretending they don't exist.

    Eau Claire, WI

    August 5, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  122. karen

    It doesn't matter how the Koreans feel or think. What matters is those 2 women are home. Let them think what they want, they will anyway. Is the most important issue is that these women aren't being tortured any more and that their families are at rest now. Let's send the people who view this as" negotiating with terrorists" over there and let them spend 140 being held captive and let them feel the fear of uncertainty. They start crying for President Clinton in no time. They would change their tune then. Kudos to President Clinton. Mission accomplished. You were awesome! Thank You!!!

    August 5, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  123. G Garcia

    The Bush administration removed North Korea from its list of countries that sponsor terrorism in October 2008. John Bolton should probably read up on what his administration enacted before he criticizes a humanitarian effort lead by former president Bill Clinton. The U.S. government did not negotiate with terrorist.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  124. Roses

    Wasn't he asked to take on this humanitarian mission? If it was a humanitarian mission, and he is not president or any other political power, he has no negotiation powers. He is doing one of the things he does best. He is a skilled communicator. I think he trying to spend his later life doing what very few of us get to do. Give Back


    August 5, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  125. dee

    No I believe the policy is stupid we should protect our citizens but, take into consideration that American's should be aware that they are on there own when they take risks going into these countries. Maybe we can avoid the stituation by warning our citizens of that fact. Remember jack know thy enemies well.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  126. Dave in Cincinnati

    Bolton is right. North Korea has been demanding face-to-face talks with the US and, in the eyes of their people, they won. What President Clinton did is clearly a violation of our country's policy. That said, "W" did it. Clinton did it while in office. Bush 41 did it. So did Reagan, Carter, etc. This is nothing new but it is unfortunate all the same. It would help if Americans were to stay out of countries where they are not welcome. I think the PDRNK is nuts but these two reporters played right into their hands.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  127. Lily

    Oh for god's sake, he freed the journalists. Why can't we celebrate for a day without turning it into some partisan propaganda?!? Why won't these republicans stop yapping???

    August 5, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  128. rafael

    Well Mr Bolton then why the USA still depending from China?
    as i can tell unless i;m wrong china is the biggest problem for USA
    and your country still depending 100% of the import from china and china
    still lending billons of dollars to USA what Mr Obama,Mr Clinton,Mr Gore
    Mrs Clinton did was just to bring those human back to their country and families now if you call that negotiating with terrorists then in your point of view was better to leave those human in north correa for 10/12/15 years
    in prision leaving the life that you will never ever want to dream of anybody of your family to have to leave but again you are part of the Bush dotrine
    we all around the world can;t expect nothing good from you.
    montreal canada

    August 5, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  129. ds, San Diego

    We should put N. Korea on a list of evil countries. Let's find a catchy name for it, I would suggest "axis of evil". Then we step up the rhetoric and threaten them with military action. Maybe invade another country to set the example. You'll see, they will get in line in no time. Oh, wait...

    August 5, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  130. Ramiro Magalhaes

    The critiques on President Clinton's mission are just ridiculous. I think most of us are just putting the rules first other than helping the American people. Rules are not effective if they are not giving us good results. If we had followed the rules we would not have the two journalists back. If the stablished rules are not as effective let's change them because the only point of their existence is to help us on what we want. Good job former president Clinton, and president Obama's team.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  131. Tab

    Bolton and Bush had their chance to position us as rootin, tootin, shootin' cowboys for the last two presidential terms. The result, we were instead perceived as rodeo clowns, with our standing in the world suffering as a result. Today's diplomatic operation showed discipline, restraint, intellectual maturity and most importantly, the finest display of "out of the box" thinking our leadership has exibited in quite some time. Two terms at least. The result, everyone won in this, no one has egg on their face and we might just have an opening to deal rationally and move forward with the NK's on much more complex issues.
    Tab from Wisconsin

    August 5, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  132. james in anaheim california

    This administation is different than the last,therefore Pres Clinton and his meeting with North Korea did not violate any policies concerning negociating with terrorists. Someone had to come to the defense of the two journalists which none of the conservative pundits would have done nothing

    August 5, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  133. Donald T. Presley

    Bill Clinton's trip had nothing to do with negotiating with terrorist. I think the big picture has been overlooked. Although I am glad to see the two journalist return home, let us not forget that they entered North Korea illegally and were sentenced according to their laws. I believe the sentence was harsh when the could have simply deported them back to the U.S.
    Donnie in Louisians

    August 5, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  134. mike-sey

    Bolton believes in bombs and bombast. Diplomacy, humanitarian, or otherwise has never had a place in his vocabulary. Its too bad he can't be happy that something in American foreign policy worked out for the better. Nothing he had a hand in ever did.
    Ottawa, Canada

    August 5, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  135. Mary

    Let's all take time to thank God that the journalists have been released. I am a bit confused, are the Republican's suggesting we should send them back to North Korea to serve there sentence?

    August 5, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  136. Sandra (Missouri)

    What would you expect from the party of no? Good job to Bill Clinton and all who participated in this outcome including President Obama.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  137. Ian McGowan

    Bolton says that the two journalists were “held hostage” by North Korea. They admit they entered N. Korea illegally. Does that mean that Bolton thinks that the thousands held in U.S. Immigration Detention Centers, solely for entering this country without proper documentation, are being “held hostage”?

    Queens, New York

    August 5, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  138. John Madsen

    Hi Jack, just the republicans whyning because the dems have gotten more done in 6 mounths than Bush did in 8 years. John Tn.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  139. DC

    No, I do not think anything was violated. I can't imagine anyone that had the ability to get these two women out any way they could would be anything but a HERO. What have news shows come to when you can quickly put in legal jargin vs an innocent person's life. I was so very thankful that these two women had been rescued. Have you taken even a minute to imagine what their lives would have been like?
    HATS OFF to all involved.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  140. Ronda

    No, Jack, I don't believe former Pres. Clinton's meeting violated this policy, key word being FORMER in this case. Mr. Clinton met with Kim Jong Il in the capacity of a private citizen with a strictly humanitarian purpose. If we send a high level figure to deal with him on governmental issues such as nuclear arms, it won't be a private citizen So I believe your question as it reads is moot.

    Canastota, NY

    August 5, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  141. robert machado

    Violate our position on dealing w terrorists? That policy does not hold water here. We need to continue to work in any way to find out how we can find ways to bring Kim Jong II back to his senses. Are we going to allow our citizens to remain in limbo while we adhere to strict interpretations of not dealing with terrorists? Absolutely not! Terrorists
    or terrorism are descriptive adjectives created in order to lable any nation or policy that will not follow the U.S. lead on policy and absolutely negates self-determination or national sovereignty . Because the U.S. styles a word specifically to apply to certain groups or nations does not necessarily mean it is factual. It is more propaganda than fact as the word can certainly be a product of the beholder. Bombing innocent civilians due to collateral damage in Iraq and recently in Afghanistan is clearly terroristic in the eyes of those who have lost loved ones. This humanitarian effort trancends normal bickering politics so let John Bolton find some other parade to rain on and let America enjoy some good news for a day.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  142. Kari

    While North Korea may not be considered a terrorist in the traditional sense there is little doubt that North Korea poses a potential threat to America and the world. The greatest threat is the notion that they may provide a nuclear device to an enemy of America who would not hesitate to use it.

    On the other hand, Bill Clinton was the perfect choice for a mission of this type, particularly in North Korea. After all, North Korea owes Bill Clinton a huge favor since he willingly supplied North Korea with the technology to create their nuclear weapons program as well as the nuclear material to use for production. I recall seeing an interview on CNN with Secretary of State Madeline Albright when she was asked why the Clinton administration provided both the technology and the nuclear material to North Korea. Her response?..."We were lied to by the North Korean leader... he told us that he only intended to use this technology and nuclear material for production of electricity" The most ironic part of this is the fact that the Democrats who armed North Korea with nukes blamed George Bush for not stopping them from building their nuclear weapons. This elevates Hypocrisy to an art form.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  143. Richard,

    The day John Bolton or his daughter get into the hands of terrorist he will regret defending the policy of do not negotiate with terrorist if he survives the experience. I hope he meets these guys one day.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  144. Hazel Stevens

    Bolton worked for George Bush, he shouldn't be talking about violations-they wrote the book. It just shows me that it is the Dems who get things done that are important to the American people.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  145. Rosemary Robertson

    Hey Jack, I just got a great idea! How about we do an even trade – body for body. We can send over 2 people in exchange. Then we're not dealing with our enemies. We've done this before since that's how Gary Powers came home from Russia. I volunteer John Bolton to be traded since he is unemployed with so much time on his hands that he can find fault with the miracle that was just pulled off to get these 2 productive women home. We can throw in Dick Cheney for good measure. Problems solved!

    August 5, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  146. Al /Orlando/via Buffalo

    Correction. The abundance of Korean troops idle at home sure
    could handle the lunatics we are facing in our latest war. Al

    August 5, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  147. Brian Delray Beach, FL

    Preident Clinton flew over and picked up two Americans who were in trouble. North Korea will not soon be a stop on Celebrity cruises but it is sovereign state albeit a cruel dictatorship but not the standard "terrorist " enity GW Bush labeled it in his "axis of evil" boogie man scenario. There are lots of dictatorships. Saudi Arabia, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, and Burma to name a few. So far we haven't been too concerned about these states sending out suicide bombers. Radical Islamics in Iraq, Afghanstan, and Iran seem to better fit the terrorist state formula of Bush and Old Creepy Cheney. Clinton and all involved did a good thing. let's enjoy these ladies freedom.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:26 pm |

    John Bolton needs to shut up. They aren't his kids. This admin acted like it was Sasha, Melyia, or Chelsey- That's the difference in Dad

    August 5, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  149. Claudia - Illinois

    Who cares how Kim Jong Ill saw it! This isn't a man whose point of view is of any value anyway.

    The ability to bite ones' tongue...goes a long way...way farther the "bully tactics" of our last Cowboy President.

    The nuclear problem has nothing to do with these two reporters and it is good the humanitarian effort had the ability to seperate the two issues.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  150. Albert Killackey. L.A, CA

    Bolton has it all backwards. It was George W. Bush who created bigger risks for Americans to leave the USA. President Obama has been restoring our world image, re-uniting our old allies and pushing for world sanctions against North Korea. The result is Kim Jong Il blinked first, the world is a little safer and a little girl has her mommy at home.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  151. Aleem , Canada

    I wonder , who are the critics ? I bet they are all Republicans .
    These people(GOP) all feel that they are holier than thou .
    Everything that they(GOP) utter is negative in nature . As it is
    written ,they are the party of NO !! It's like in the health care debate ,
    they are probably the ones' that are financing all the negative ads .
    They should realize that their brand is now obsolete in today's
    world !!!

    August 5, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  152. Rick from Canada

    Sure, Bill Clinton is a private citizen and free to do as he wishes, but this was likely done with a nod and a wink from The White House..but so what? Anyone who thinks this was wrong is being disingenuous.
    If this was your sister, mother, daughter or wife, you'd want your country to do something..anything, to get them home.
    If one of my fellow countrymen was in the same situation and all it took was a former Prime Minister to show up to gain their freedom...I would say you not only should do it, but you are compelled to.
    This is not a rogue band of terrorists, it is a country. It is not a very stable or nice country, but a country nonetheless.
    Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  153. Julio - Los Angeles

    Is anybody surprised why , our most recent Ex-President did not bring the journalists back? Why did it take a President from more than 10 years ago to diplomatically conduct this humanitarian mission? Ah.. sorry, I forgot that the previous administration had limited international friends, limited global vision and the disapearance of Bush in support of his own party during the elections pointed out that he would be a weapon of mass destruction to negotiate their freedom. Let's pray to God Bush keeps hiding for the good of our nation.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  154. Gigi

    What the government's policy is and what is many Americans policies can be two different ideas. I'm not allowed to mess in their business and I'll thank them to stay out of Bill Clinton's humanitarian approach in caring about two young women. I'm glad to hear Pres. Obama appreciated the risk that was taken to bring home the young women. The greatest people I know have step out of the box, put aside self and put others first. I'm sure the loved ones of these two women appreciate President Clinton's successful efforts. The press should jump on the bandwagon or choke in his dust.


    August 5, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  155. Leo

    Jack – once again a great act of caring by fellow Americans is diminished by people with only a political motive. I am proud to see people like President Clinton step up and make a real difference. I wonder how the previous administration would have handle this issue? I think Mr. Bolton has answered that question loud and clear.

    Thank you President Clinton,


    August 5, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  156. Al /Orlando/via Buffalo

    Clinton effort sure beats our "CLUNKER" givaway.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  157. R Neal

    Why is it that each time something happens that is good for humanity that some one has to think its not good ... does it matter if the person you are deeling with is evil if the result is positive ... is it a Clinton thing that brings out these comments ... why can't you folks just turn the page and hope the future will bring a new begining .

    August 5, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  158. IZO MANE-Buffalo,New York

    The release of the two journalists showed Bill Clinton’s statementship.Congratulations Mr. President. Forget the kind of John Bolton.When was the last time he saved an american life, really ? He can stay behind his desk and critizize the many accomplishments of others; the truth is, he is irrelevant. If it depended on him, America will be in a permanent war with others. By the way, I wonder if John Bolton would criticize if he had a family member made prisoner.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  159. marie

    The north koreans arrested them for illegally entering the country. This is not an act of terrorism. We arrest illegals entry as well. I don't see it as negotiating with terrorists

    August 5, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  160. R H Walters

    Bill Clinton did an outstanding job. The naysayers need to get a life. Today we had two significant events, the return of the journalists and the justification for a torn American flag flying above a California residence. God Bless America!

    August 5, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  161. Paul H. from Los Angeles, CA

    I don't understand what the uproar is all about. The reason we don't negotiate with terrorists is because we don't want them to think they can get something out of us by holding someone or something ransom. Nothing of that sort was involved here. North Korea released two U.S. journalists, and in return they received our appreciation. No deal was struck, no trade was made–it was simply an act in good faith. I don't call that negotiating with terrorists; I call that repairing a relationship between two enemy countries.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  162. Kimberly from Maine

    NO. What did N.Korea demand. If prestige is all it takes to secure the lives of Americans, maybe former President Carter should go to Iran?

    August 5, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  163. Kevin Washington

    No violation ,its the greatest bit of news i have heard in a long time
    Negotiation is what it takes in every situation . The past administration shut down communication for 8 yrs. all through out
    the world.
    The USA in the past always used ,diplomacy and you get results
    with out loss of life this way.


    August 5, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  164. Margaret McGraw

    No I don't believe the negotiations with North Korea were wrong. Other than smiling Kim Jung II we did not trade prisoners so just think if these were your daughters living in prison during hard labor would you think this would be wrong.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  165. Stephi, Los Angeles, CA

    Are you kidding, negotiating with "Terrorists"? And what if we did, although I personally don't believe that's the case. America needs to realize that there are different kinds of strength. The stubborn, stoic "my way or the highway" style of negotiating is a bit old fashioned. America needs to find more strength in flexibility to become a guide for the world and not a bulldozer.
    I'm so happy for former Pres. Clinton and what he accomplished today.
    We need more leaders who are not living in the past and who are not afraid to show compassion and try to understand the other guy. This is what Pres. Obama will surely be.
    Sure, North Korea is a viper pit, but when a baby cries, it's because it needs something, and it's just trying to get some attention. Aren't we big enough to give them a little attention? OK, so we gave NK a lollipop, and now everyone's happy!

    August 5, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  166. Walt in California

    No, it's not negotiating with terrorists. And for all the conservatives who will criticize Clinton's actions, remember that Dubya apologized to Communist China when one of their planes crashed into one of our EP-3 reconnaissance aircraft which was then forced to land in China.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  167. Al /Orlando/via Buffalo

    Great Bill. "Mission Accomplished".

    August 5, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  168. Jack Thompson, Weston Fl.

    John Bolton, Yale neocon from the Chaney bloodline. It fascinates me how these quasi diplomats are so skilled in ultimatums but totallly lacking in diplomacy. It seems that if you could not do it yourself then criticize the effort. Bill Clinton is a skilled diplomat and respected around the world. John Bolton is liked on Fox News, period.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  169. Andy

    Who cares, the main thing is we have 2 American citizens back safely. Did Bill do it for fame and publicity, again who cares. If we were able to achieve some type of inroad which could be useful in the future,than that's just a little extra jam on the bread. Let's look at it in a pragmatic way instead of a political one.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  170. Anthony

    President Clinton is the man. North Korea was shaking in their boots when he entered the negotiation room. President Clinton is true leader.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  171. Michael

    First of all, rules were made for people and not vice versa. An intelligent person would readily understand the necessity of not negotiating with terrorist. However, that being said, I would not classigy Kim Jong ILL as you classical terrorist. He is the head of a soverign nation whether or not you like it or not. If that were your two daughters sitting in that God forsaken country based upon flimsy accusations, you would not hesitate to get them out rather than concoct phony political arguments to besmurch true heroes. enough said.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  172. Melissa

    No, its not negotiating with terrorists. Its being diplomatic. North Korea didn't get anything out of this, they just got to be in the news.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  173. Hazel Stevens

    About Obama, I would just like to say that we gave "W" eight years to make this mess, lets give this addministration a chance to right some of the wrongs. I think the President is giving it a good try and I for one am willing to withhold judgement until the end of his term.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  174. Elaine Coleman

    Clinton's visit did absolutely nothing to violate our anti-negotiation policy. We answered no demands. We simply provided a very transparent ego boost to NKorea. A mere nod enabled us to bring two young women home to their families. Republicans and those always looking to deny any Obama positives, CHILL !! When did all the statesman get replaced by sour-puss whiners?!!

    August 5, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  175. rafael

    Maggie johnson,you are 100% right
    the two of them should apologize to the American peoples
    and from today on they should stop going elegal to communist country
    when they know that they could get in big problem i;m happy that they are in USA today but they should stop it and they should not start talking bad about north Correa because Mr kim not Mr Clinton perdon them.
    montreal canada

    August 5, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  176. Kimberly from Maine

    No.What did N.Korea demand? If prestige is all it takes to secure American lives, maybe former Carter should go to Iran?

    August 5, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  177. Marsha from Kansas

    George Bush declaring North Korea a member of "Axis of Evil" does not make them terrorists. If anything, given his record of being wrong, it probably does just the opposite. Bolton was no diplomat when he was appointed by Bush and he hasn't developed any diplomatic prowess since that. He would never have been able to get this done and it is strictly sour grapes.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  178. Diana Gonzales

    No, it did not violate this country's policy of negotiating with terrorists!
    Why don't we just look at this situation and the wonderful outcome as something good and celebrate the return of these women and be thankful that we have people such as Bill Clinton, Al Gore and all those who wanted to participate in a solution? Why don't we start being part of a positive solution, rather than, wasting our energy on fighting everything?

    San Diego, CA

    August 5, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  179. Richard, Somers Point , NJ

    The day John Bolton or his daughter get into the hands of terrorist he will regret defending the policy of do not negotiate with terrorist if he survives the experience. I hope he meets these guys one day.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  180. fitter120 ohio

    President Clinton acted on behalf the prisoners families and should be appladed.There was no hidden agenda as was suspected by the ever negative Republicans.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  181. Donald in CA

    Welcome Home, period. The journalist should just be glad that Dick Cheney wasnt involved, they would still be there.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  182. Deb in Lancaster, PA

    Who decided N. Korea was a terrorist nation? I hope a nuke program doesn't qualify, because that would mean we are terrorists also. That being said, the only thing we gave up to get these young women back was a photo op with Bill Clinton. It meant something to The Dear Leader, but it means squat to us. In fact, we have outsmarted the little rooster and made him look even more ridiculous to the rest of the world than he already did. What a win for the U.S.!

    August 5, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  183. Diane

    No, Bill Clinton didn't go as a representative of the current administration, but as a senior, respected statesman of the world, accomplishing things no member of the previous administration could possible has conceived, much less, implemented.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  184. Tez

    President Clinton's diplomatic efforts on behalf of freeing Laura Ling and Euna Lee is beyond commendable. Yeah, the North Korean president is a terrorist, the people of North Korea are not. He's terrorizing them and the region, but talking with and engaging the people of North Korea is exactly what we need.

    Peace cannot be achieved without dialog. We had had 8 years of nationalist American foreign policy and it was a disaster. Let's stop criticizing Obama and the Clintons and salute the true American values they represent.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  185. jim megargee

    this comment coming from Mr Bolton is more than a joke. Please list his accomplishments at the UN. The number is 0.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  186. Dwight - Rockford, IL

    The reporters were caught inside the border of North Korea, entering without proper procedure, a crime almost anywhere in the world. Mr. Clinton lobbied the North Korean government on his own and prevailed. The Republican Party of NO refuses to acknowlege any good by anyone associated with the Democrats.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  187. Howard Harris

    North Korea is a sovereign nation. Why is that country labeled as a terrorist nation? Definition: (violent or destructive acts (as bombing) committed by groups in order to intimidate a population or government into granting their demands) Have North Korea committed any of these acts in the last 50 years against the USA or any other country? Talking and LISTENING would have kept us from committing terrorist acts against the people of Iraq.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  188. Jennifer

    It does not at all equal negotiating with terrorists.
    The notion is ridiculous.
    Bravo to President Clinton.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:37 pm |

    No, Give this former President credit for risking his life going there. He had no gaurentee of what he might be walking into. How many of the GOP offered to go in his place? I think it is much better to negotiate whether terrorists or not. They aren't terrorists though.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  190. Maureen Scully

    No he did not negotiate. How nice that we are finally returning to the world stage in a meaningful and thoughtful way.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  191. Daisy S

    Bravo to President Clinton and to a job well done. I was elated to hear of the journalists freedom yesterday. This was the act of our government moving swiftly. The Republicans continue to be the party of "no", that they can't even rejoice to such a favorable outcome.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  192. Tony in Missouri

    No Jack! I applaud President Clinton's efforts! Isn't John Bolton that funny looking guy with the mustache? The one that Bush "appointed" while Congress was out on recess. What a dangerous joke that could have been. We'd probably be gearing up for another war over this, ...if those clowns were still in town.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  193. Dylan Frendt

    If anyone considers an ex-President and private citizen negotiating the release of two of our own U.S. Citizens negotiating with terrorists and wrong, get out of America, or, better yet, how about we put you in a North Korean prison. As an American, I am proud of former President Clinton.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  194. joan - toronto, canada

    I dont get it !! The journalists are home safe, and N Korea has not lost face, what would the critics prefer – a declaration of war ?

    America has shown a way to deal with situations using a different way of thinking, how can that be bad.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  195. Anthony

    President Clinton is [a] true leader.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  196. Paulette from Dallas,PA

    No. Because he supposedly went as a private citizen. Let's give the guy some credit. He got the job done. Kim Jong II was probably a fan for years and this gesture made his day. In the p[hoto he was smiling like a kid on Christmas. Lighten up. If it were your kid or wife,you'd be praising the whole episode now.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  197. Ed Green

    It's been asked what NK got in exchange for our people. They got home propaganda. A photo op with a former US President, Kim's nuclear negotiator and other officials. It will all look like Kim is getting what he's always wanted, direct talks with and recognition by the US. We gave with one hand, trust our government to take with another so the negotiating spiral continues. Does Kim really want direct talks with the US that might antagonize China or does it all go deeper than the public can see?

    August 5, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  198. Jeff

    Why were they there in the first place? Everyone knows that going to North Korea is a bad thing. I can understand Jesse Jackson rescuing some soldiers in Serbia who mistakenly crossed the border while on patrol than this type of thing... which was voluntary. Oh wait... everyone knows that going to Iran is a bad thing and I've just heard that some dummies were found "hiking" in Iran. Who is going to rescue them now? Richardson? Jesse? Clinton? Carter? Ever heard of "crying wolf" ?

    August 5, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  199. Jerry Brown

    Bill Clinton was not representing our country’s policies in any offical manner. Our policy of not negotiating with terrorists is like any other policy is to be followed depending on the specific situation. This was a great plan and move no matter what the results of the outcome. This is the kind of team work we need in congress.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  200. Patty

    I think it would be nice if Americans stayed away from these countries. They put themselves at risk and make problems for the government that are not necesarry. I don't feel that this signals we are negotiating with terrorists. This was a humanitarian mission. If we would stay away from these countries thses distractions would not b e happening. We have more pressing concerns.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  201. Gary In Lexington

    Jack, If we did not give them anything, and we do not give them anything in the future; then by definition, a negotiation did not take place. What is the big deal? John Bolton, the former US Ambassador to the UN, would not understand negotiating if it hit him squarely between the eyes. Afterall, the regime he worked for had one and only one diplomatic philosophy, "our way or the highway". That was their only means of negotiating with the rest World's poulation and governments. And regarding propoganda, what propoganda? Who is the recipiant of said propaganda...the North Koreans? They already have their opinions, as do the rest of the World's population and Governments. Just thank God they are home!

    August 5, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  202. Marie

    Well, do you ever wonder if perhaps we'd have 4,000 military men and women ALIVE if we'd tried the "Diplomacy Route" with Saddam Hussein instead of going to war first? Just imagine the tens of thousands Iraqis that would be alive and rebuilding their country – – the country we blew into pieces. There are always going to be those who never got their fingernails dirty but they beat the drums loudly for war, war, war. Must make them feel big and strong to send others to do their dirty work. Any more John Waynes out there???

    August 5, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  203. Jenna

    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?

    What made North Korea a "Terrorist Nation" again?

    Did they attack the US? Did the 9/11 highjackers receive support from them? Did they take arms against our troops in Iraq?

    Seems to me that all North Korea has been doing is it's own thing and the US hasn't liked that we can not tell them what they can and cannot do. Because they will not follow our lead we lable them part of the "Axis of Evil".

    As for North Korea and nukes. We'll discuss that when Israel allows UN weapons inspections of their nuclear sites and when Israel signs the Non Proliferation Treaty. BTW: Didn't we go to war with Iraq for these very reasons? I digress..

    Bravo Obama for tapping into one of our greatest resources – Bill Clinton.

    Roseville CA

    August 5, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  204. Christopher

    Jack, the idea of rewarding North Korea for its act of magnanimity makes about as much sense as lionizing someone for resuscitating the person he just strangled.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  205. Philip Richardson

    How conveniently Bolton forgets his involvement in the Iran-contra affair, and the Reagan administration's willingness to trade arms for hostages. It was that defining moment in US history that convinced US adversaries that hostage-taking would become a viable weapon in their arsenal. Is it possible that Bolton's memory needs to be "refreshed" a la John Poindexter?

    August 5, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  206. Joel M - Wisconsin

    If getting these journalists home violates a standing US policy then it is a bad policy. Anyone who thinks this is bad needs to provide a better alternative, maybe Chuck Norris or Sly Stallone in a rescue mission. Who cares what Kim Jong Il thinks now? Our fellow Americans are home and we owe him nothing. He can and will spew whatever propoganda he wants in his own country. We don't care. Our fellow citizens are home. He can be sorely disappointed in the next round. We got what at least most of us wanted maybe some think 12 years at hard labor was an appropriate sentence. Let them go live there and take joy in the justice they deserve when they critisize Kim Jong Il for negotiating with those American capitalist pigs.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  207. Susan, Tucson

    No, I don't believe former President Clinton violated the policy. As with any policy there is flexibility to work within the guidelines to achieve a successful result. We should all be grateful that our Country took steps to secure their release. This action also shows the rest of the world that the U.S. takes care of their citizens. And who knows this action may work in favor of improving gobalrelationships with North Korea.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  208. Diane

    No, Bill Clinton didn't go as a representative of the current administration, but as a senior, respected statesman of the world, accomplishing things no member of the presious administration could possibly have conceived, mush less, implemented.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  209. Brent Smith - Orlando FL

    I am amazed that anyone could rationally argue against any actions that successfully brought two American citizens home after their ordeal. John Bolton's statements further exemplify the rift between parties and the extent that "some" republicans will go through to discredit anything the democrats do. I felt his statement treated both women as pawns in a political game and reflected poorly on my party. Every American deserves more than that. Brent Smith, Orlando FL

    August 5, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  210. Carol Stevens

    Is there no way that some of the GOP spokespeople can find joy in the release of these two journalists from N. Korea? It seems that every positive story that comes over the air has to immediately be belittled if it gives any possible kudos to those in the Obama administration just for the sake of finding the negatives. Maybe that is why so many folks in this country need antidepressants. Reminds me of the old song from "HeeHaw"–"gloom, despair, and agony on me–deep dark depression, excessive misery"–sound like the GOP spokespeople to you?

    August 5, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  211. Daniel Nachtigal

    Conservative Republicans are engaging in Advertising Terrorism as they obfuscate every issue of importance. I'd rather see this administration negotiate with North Korea where there may be some success, than the Conservative Republicans in Congress where we know agreement would be impossible.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:49 pm |