Mueller Family: Bergdahl Trade, US Policy Thwarted Kayla’s Release

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In an interview done by NBC’s Today show host Savannah Guthrie laced with explosive one-liner condemnations, Kayla Mueller’s parents and brother put the blame for her death squarely on the shoulders of the U.S. government, U.S. government policy, and the Obama Administration’s five terrorists for one deserter Bowe Bergdahl trade.

“[The Bergdahl trade] made the whole situation worse,” Kayla’s brother, Eric Mueller said in an NBC interview. “Because that’s when the demands got greater. They got larger. They realized that they had something. They realized that, ‘Well, if they’re gonna let five people go for one person, why won’t they do this? Or why won’t they do that?'” (Source: Fox News)

At the same time, official policy of the United States government is that we do not pay ransoms.  Regarding that, Mueller’s father Carl said this:


“We understand the policy about not paying ransom. But on the other hand, any parents out there would understand that you would want anything and everything done to bring your child home,” Carl Mueller said. “And we tried. And we asked. But they put — they put policy in front of American citizens’ lives. And it didn’t get changed. So, that’s something they’re going to work on. I’m sure that’s in the works.”

It is understandable that a grieving parent would question the wisdom of not ransoming captives when it comes to official American foreign policy.  What was harder to fathom was the answer from the Marsha Mueller, Kayla’s mother, to the next question:

Guthrie followed by asking the family: “Do you feel like our government did enough to help you?”

“I think they wanted to,” Marsha Mueller answered quietly. “But I think, again, (it’s) the policy. And i don’t think anyone had any idea this group would be as powerful as they were.”

Maybe not, but Mrs. Mueller did not answer the question.  Given that the United States reportedly had actionable intelligence on where this young lady was being held and did not act on it in a timely manner, it is doubtful that the government did enough.

The issue of the Bergdahl trade, though, is a completely different kettle of fish.  On Fox News, Michael Warren of the Weekly Standard called the Eric Mueller’s statements regarding the change in negotiating demands from ISIS a sort of “morbid vindication” of the criticism:

He said that prisoner swap incentivized terror groups like ISIS to demand more for hostages, and the real problem is the inconsistency.

“Why do this for a guy who’s accused of deserting his post for all these five bad guys and not for this innocent American girl who was just over there trying to do some good in the world?” Warren asked. “I think it really calls into question what the administration is doing in response to these terrorist groups.”

Earlier this month, CNN’s Paul Cruickshank discussed the issue of ISIS needing and looking for additional western hostages.  European countries actually pay the ransoms.  It seems that hostages are part of the ISIS revenue strategy.  With the United States not willing to pay ransoms for hostage releases, Kayla Mueller was only useful to ISIS as an example.  Which they made of the USA.

And really, if ISIS can get the terrorism brain trust back by trading deserters back to us….

About the Author

Cultural Limits
A resident of Flyover Country, Cultural Limits is a rare creature in American Conservatism - committed to not just small government, Christianity and traditional social roles, but non-profits and high arts and culture. Watching politics, observing human behavior and writing are all long-time interests. In her other life, CL writes romance novels under her nom de plume, Patricia Holden (@PatriciaHoldenAuthor on Facebook), and crochets like a mad woman (designs can be found on Facebook @BohemianFlairCrochet and on Pinterest on the Bohemian Flair Crochet board). In religion, CL is Catholic; in work, the jill of all trades when it comes to fundraising software manipulation and event planning; in play, a classically trained soprano and proud citizen of Cardinal Nation, although, during hockey season, Bleeds Blue. She lives in the Mid-Mississippi River Valley with family and two cute and charming tyrants...make that toy dogs.