(PresidentialInsider.com)- In a letter to President Joe Biden, the relatives of more than two dozen American hostages and wrongful detainees held overseas questioned his administration’s commitment to bringing their loved ones home.
In the letter sent on Monday, the family members complained that the administration keeps getting “bogged down in burdensome processes or policy debates” which prevent their loved ones from returning home. They also accused the Biden administration of keeping them “uninformed of what you can and cannot do to help us.”
The families told the President that they need proof that his promises to prioritize the return of these hostages “are not empty,” demanding that he take action now to bring their loved ones home.
The letter reflects a bubbling frustration among the relatives of those held hostage around the world who increasingly believe that the Biden administration’s foreign policy agenda has failed to prioritize the release of American hostages. These families believe that the situation today is worse than it was nine months ago when Biden first took office.
During the Afghanistan withdrawal for example, no effort was made to free Mark Frerichs, an American contractor who was abducted in early 2020.
While President Trump took a great deal of interest in releasing detainees and hostages, the Biden team has not shown anywhere near the interest in getting it done. Then again, President Trump took a far more outside-the-box approach to foreign policy and hostage negotiations than anyone in the Biden administration.
In the letter, the families note that after a February call with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, they felt optimistic that the Biden administration would act swiftly. Since then, however, their requests for meetings with the President or his national security advisor Jake Sullivan have fallen on deaf ears. This, they explain, has led them to believe that the administration “is not prioritizing negotiations and other methods to secure their release.”
In response to the letter, a spokesperson for the National Security Council gave the kind of garbage answer this administration is famous for: “The safe and prompt release of U.S. hostages and wrongful detainees will always be a top priority, never an afterthought, in all of our foreign policy decisions.”
If only their actions reflected this.
The letter was signed by the family members of 26 American hostages and detainees held in countries across the world — including the mother of Trevor Reed, a Marine imprisoned in Moscow on charges of assaulting a police officer; the sister of Mark Frerichs; and the wife of Jeffrey Woodke, an aid worker taken from his home in Niger in 2016.