"America does not negotiate with terrorists." But are we sure we should keep it that way? Last year there were nearly nine thousand international terrorist abductions. The US refuses to pay ransoms, holding that it would only fuel more kidnappings. Other countries pay-up to free their citizens taken hostage. Statistics tell the grim result: according to New America, "since 2001, American hostages taken captive by terrorist, militant, and pirate groups have been more than twice as likely to remain in captivity, die in captivity, or be murdered by their captors as the average Western hostage."
Joel Simon has spent nearly two decades with the Committee to Protect Journalists, working on dozens of hostage cases. His new book We Want to Negotiate is an exploration of the ethical, legal, and strategic considerations of a bedeviling question: should governments pay ransom to terrorists?
Join KLF's journalist in residence Angie Coiro as she hosts Joel Simon for this important conversation, in another installment of our This Is Now news and culture conversation series.