How Bill Clinton Did It: A Guessing Game

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Yesterday former President Bill Clinton embarked on a surprise mission to North Korea to negotiate the release of two American journalists imprisoned there. Less than 24 hours later he is returning victorious, with the two women safely aboard his plane. How did he do it? Was the deal pre-cooked? Why did Robert Gibbs, the White House spokesman, specifically state that Clinton did not carry a private message to Kim il Jong from President Obama? To help us unravel the mystery, The Takeaway talks to New York Times reporter David Sanger.


David Sanger

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Amy Holmes

Comments [4]


I think their return, however all the international political chess game applications, is great for their families and those that love them. making it simple and plain, kudos to diplomacy and that Bill Clinton swagger.

Aug. 05 2009 02:20 PM

These 2 U.S. journalists can thank their lucky stars that the right words were spoken at the right time to the right persons...allowing another individual, former president, Bill Clinton, to come and shake hands, and make the release deal happen.
This event makes another great story for the press but, honestly, I don't have much sympathy for these 2 journalists. They were at the wrong place, at the wrong time, messing with the wrong people.
And how much did their little escapade cost the U.S. taxpayer$?
Do journalists simply assume they can play the 'get out of jail free card, pass GO, and collect $200?
I'm sure the North Koreans scared the ? out of them. The point was made, and I hope, a lesson learned.
Whatever financial profit these 2 are able to rake out of this experience, a substantial portion should be paid back to the U.S. government for saving their asses.

Aug. 05 2009 12:25 PM
lanvy nguyen

Good for these 2 that they are safely back at home...however, we cannot forget the fact that what the girls did was "criminal" in the legal eyes of another government.

Holding passports to democratic nations cannot presume amnesty. Im perturbed by the Press's cavalier behavior. Should 2 Arabs find their way into the US through Mexico, I wonder if "we" would be so joyful for their return home.

Aug. 05 2009 09:46 AM
Hugh Sansom

Let's be blunt. This will be the best thing that ever happened to these two 'reporters'. They will go from being total unknowns to fame and fortune. How much will they be paid for each appearance?

Was anybody in any doubt that the two would be released. There was no doubt that North Korea was using these two as pawns in the chess match with the US.

By contrast the US is just plain abusing Mohammed Jawad and hundreds of others tortured and held with no due process rights.

Will the Takeaway do reports on wrongly imprisoned -- tortured -- Arabs and Muslims repatriated after years at Guantanamo Bay. Or don't Arabs and Muslims deserve the attention of The Takeaway?

A revolting photo-op for Clinton and now Obama.

Aug. 05 2009 09:39 AM

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