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Obama's new hostage policy walks a fine line

Obama's new hostage policy walks a fine line

It’s good news that the Obama administration has announced it won’t prosecute hostages’ families who seek to pay ransom to terrorist kidnappers. In the future, families will be able to undergo the agonizing process of trying to get their loved ones back without the U.S. government actively interfering with their efforts. The adoption of the new, more humane policy, however, is also occasion to remind us of the social costs of too much public handwringing over the fate of American hostages. The example to avoid is Israel, where the return of a single soldier taken by Hamas, Gilad Shalit, became a national obsession. Shalit was ultimately returned to Israel in exchange...