Al Reuters: France Swaps "Prisoners" with al Qaeda

Fault one lies with France for actually applying the pressure necessary on Mali to release four al Qaeda members from their jails. I'm sure the four will go back to their peaceful lives of farming, fishing, and whatever.

But the second fault belongs to al-Reuters for calling the French hostage Pierre Camatte a "prisoner". Al Qaeda holds prisoners?

Camatte committed a crime, was prosecuted, and was serving a sentence as a prisoner?!?

Emphasis mine:

Al Qaeda Releases Frenchman In Prisoner Swap

"We confirm the liberation of Pierre Camatte," Malian presidency spokesman Seydou Cissouma told state radio, adding that the Frenchman, who was taken hostage in November, was in the hands of Mali authorities.

Camatte's release follows that of four Islamist prisoners by Mali last week. Al Qaeda had threatened to kill Camatte unless the four were released by February 22....

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is due to visit Gabon on Wednesday, said in a statement that he was delighted that Camatte had been freed.

He said he had thanked Malian President Amadou Toumani Toure for his handling of the crisis and pledged French support in the struggle against terrorism.

Note that al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb had threatened to kill the French prisoner if Mali didn't set the terrorists free.

This is double maddening because the narrative put forth by al Qaeda and other Islamist groups is that all of the hostages they take are guilty of this or that crime. We take prisoners, they take prisoners. It's all the same.

Which is why they pronounce the hostages guilty before slitting their throats. If the hostage is Muslim, the "crime" is invariably apostasy (ie, working with the duly elected non-Islamist government of the country). If the hostage is non-Muslim, the allegation is over "war crimes" or "spying" (ie, driving a truck which supplies beer to the troops who may or may not be fighting al Qaeda; being non-Muslim).

Pierre Camatte's "crime"? Trying to bring humanitarian aid to Mali.

Of course we're happy that Cammatte is free. But when the four al Qaeda members now kill again, the guilt will be squarely on France and Mali's shoulders.

As for who is responsible for the truth? That died a long time ago at Reuters.

Posted by: Rusty at 04:23 PM

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