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Paying this ransom just encouraged the grabbing of the 2 young Germans now being held for ransom.

And more Iraqis and Americans will die because of it.

We won't forget.

We've just let eight females out of prison to facilitate the release of Ms. Carroll, and there's a chance that the terrorists will be encouraged by that. Not a good move.

They do release prisoners after reviewing their cases. I believe some female prisoners remain and the ones that were released were released in the context of a larger release of prisoners let go for insufficient evidence, something that happens regularly.

The US might have released some female prisoners in response to pressure or those prisoners were going to be released anyway. If the latter were true, should the US have pressured the Iraqi government to hold onto them longer just to not send out the signal that the US can be pressured? Is that justice for the women held longer in prison than they should have been?

The first time I saw the demand for the release of female prisoners was in the Ken Bigley case in September 2004. On that video the demand was made by the hostage, while the terrorists only affirmed it with their presence. There were only a handful of female prisoners, and the terrorists were not interested in trading the hostage but in releasing a headchopper recruitment videoclip, so they left it to the poor man to guess a behavior that might convey the absurdity of the situation without provoking a fresh recording. Remember, after they were shown how an Italian dies they have adjusted their script to take out any heroic opportunity for the hostage. I only hope nobody believes such a mock demand would be starting point for any kind of meaningful negotiations.

Erich Schmidt-Eenbooms relationship to the BND is equally as questionable as that of Seymour Hersh to the CIA, but in this case his point that a new Iraqi intelligence service that is made up of old Baathists inherits the foreign contacts of the old one may be significant. Was there ever any deck of cards printed with the faces of Saddams spies?

One correction: If the money found on Osthoff after she was freed is any indication, the German government paid the ransom not in Euros, but in U.S. dollars. Make of that what you will. I'm still puzzling over it.


After listening to Old Martin at the FM's office in Berlin, hearing what The Frau had to say, reading the popular German M$M, and the rambling of many posters on many blogs, I have come to the conclusion this money was in fact PLANTED by the CIA.

Please note the happy smile on dear Susan. Does she not look like a happy German to you?

@joe - "this money was in fact PLANTED by the CIA."

Is that the reason why Mr. and Mrs. Flypaper are in Berlin?

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