In welcoming the release of Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal, two American hikers who have spent 26 months in an Iranian prison on bogus spying charges, the White House released the following statement in the name of President Obama:
“We are deeply grateful to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said of Oman, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, the Swiss government, and to all our partners and allies around the world who have worked steadfastly over the past two years to secure the release of Shane and Josh.”
Notice anything missing? There is no comment about the administration’s fight to seek the hiker’s release.
This final declaration has to be little comfort to other American families working to free their loved ones imprisoned in totalitarian societies.
One such family that has to be especially worried is that of Alan Gross, the American U.S. government worker charged with crimes against the Cuban state for distributing satellite telephone equipment to Jewish groups in Havana.
Gross’ family has fought their battles with Cuban authorities all alone with little aggressive Obama administration support.
Gross last month was sentenced to 15 years by Cuba’s highest court.
The White House comment is passive — a pretty accurate reflection of the administration’s foreign policy with its adversaries.