Tuesday in an interview with BuzzFeed News, President Barack Obama said the U.S. government did everything they could to rescue Kayla Mueller, the 26-year-old aid worker killed while being held by ISIS.
When BuzzFeed News’ editor-in-chief Ben Smith suggested, considering the no ransom policy, that everything possible had not been done to free Mueller the president said, “I don’t think it’s accurate to say that the United States government hasn’t done everything we could. We devoted enormous resources and always devote enormous resources to freeing captives or hostages anywhere in the world. I deployed an entire operation, at significant risk, to rescue not only her, but the other individuals who had been held, and probably missed them by a day or two, precisely because we had that commitment.”
“The one thing that we have held to is a policy of not paying ransoms with an organization like ISIL. And the reason is, once we start doing that, not only are we financing their slaughter of innocent people and strengthening their organization, but we’re actually making Americans even greater targets for future kidnappings.”
“So it’s as tough as anything I do, having the conversation with parents who understandably want by any means necessary for their children to be safe. We will do everything we can. short of providing an incentive for future Americans to be caught.” he added.