US Told Saudis to Let Al-Qaida Gunmen Escape

From this source:

I thought the US government was being tough on terrorist, what gives?

Terrorists. Anyway, not a whole lot to hang one’s hat on in that report, IMO, but one possibility could be that the American advisors, whoever they may have been, had reasonable confidence that the militants could be tracked and captured following their staged ‘escape’ and that this course would be preferable to a military assault that would have a high probability of creating more dead hostages.

Assuming the story is accurate, what do you think the reason was?

Sounds like a spot decision by a lower ranking person… and someone who has never been to the Moscow School of Hostage “Negotiation”

See, it’s like this: IF the story is true and U.S. officials had some influence in the matter, the headlines can scream: “U.S. Soft on Terrorists!”

If the U.S. had taken the other stance, the headlines would scream: “U.S. responsible for death of 80 hostages!”

Pick your poison.

I dunno, the Russians have been playing hardline for a while now, with generally OK results (ie, they only get about 10% of the hostages killed)

Hmmm…I thought the U.S. was supposed to have a firm policy of NEVER giving concessions to terrorists. When did that change to “Well, O.K. - if we think it’s the lesser of 2 evils.”?

It was when George W. Bush went from “Osama Bin Laden - dead or alive” to “I don’t care where Osama is.”

I don’t know that it did change. The linked story leaves much to be explained.
I’m just sayin’ that bringing the U.S. into the equation was a win/win deal for those members of the press that like to bash America, and a lose/lose deal re: America’s public relations.

It could be that one of the terrorists is a CIA operative in deeeeep cover, and the advisor recognized him.

“This city will not negotiate with terrorists…is there a city nearby that will?” [/Mayor Quimby]