Government Watch / Instagram / Politics

Biden, Sullivan Under Fire For Callous Indifference to U.S. Hostages Abroad

AMAC Exclusive – By Shane Harris

Biden-Sullivan

After four years in which Donald Trump famously made the retrieval of American hostages abroad a point of personal pride, his successor is coming under fierce criticism from the constituency that cares the most—the hostages’ families. Family members are speaking out about Joe Biden’s indifference to their loved ones being wrongfully detained—and many are also pointing fingers at his embattled National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan.

In August, with Joe Biden’s disastrous evacuation of Afghanistan fully underway, Sullivan promised “safe passage” for Americans trying to escape the chaos, assuring the country that everyone who wanted to leave would be able to. Nearly five months later, dozens of Americans are still trapped there, even as the Biden administration has grown more reluctant to provide updates on recovery efforts. In recent weeks, reports have emerged that these people’s family members, as well as others with loved ones trapped in more than a dozen countries around the world, have grown increasingly frustrated with the Biden administration’s lack of action.

The White House’s, and specifically Mr. Sullivan’s handling of wrongful foreign detainment cases has been a constant subject of public criticism throughout Biden’s first year in office. In February, early in the administration, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken held a call with families of loved ones held abroad, promising “transparency in our communications with families” and that their cases would be a “top priority in our diplomatic engagements with both allies and adversaries.”

However, some families are complaining about not being able to speak with President Biden or Mr. Sullivan directly, in contrast to the treatment they had received under the last administration. Sullivan in particular is a key player in all negotiations with foreign countries, including over hostages and Americans detained abroad.

According to reporting from Axios, multiple hostage advocates believe that Mr. Sullivan is deliberately preventing the details of hostage cases from reaching President Biden in order to prevent “emotional decision-making” – the latest in a series of accusations that Biden’s staff are trying to “protect” Biden by keeping key information from him. If true, such action would amount to a serious breach of trust and dereliction of duty from the president’s top national security aide.

Families of hostages are finding other ways of breaking through, though, and forcing Sullivan and Biden to pay attention to their fight to get their loved ones back. In late October, the families of 26 Americans trapped abroad penned an open letter to Biden urging immediate action. “We need to be shown that the promises of your administration to prioritize the return of our family members are not empty,” the letter reads. “Now is the time for action. Now we need you to bring our fellow Americans home.”

The letter also referenced the February call with Secretary Blinken, but added that “as of this letter, so many of us remain in the same situation, or worse, more than 8 months later… we have not been able to meet with you or even with your National Security Advisor to discuss our loved ones’ captivity.”

Earlier this month, Sullivan did finally agree to hear out their concerns by hosting a video call with family members. But participants left saying they still felt as if many of their questions weren’t answered. One family member said that Sullivan and other Biden administration officials on the call “made a concerted effort to not focus on any specifics” – hardly the sort of treatment that would make someone with a loved one trapped in China or Venezuela feel heard. Elizabeth Whelan, whose brother Paul Whelan has been detained in Russia since 2018, pointed out that families often know more about the cases than the government officials who are supposed to be handling them.

In short, it doesn’t appear as if Sullivan’s phone call is likely to placate those family members who participated, and the issue will continue to be a problem for President Biden and his national security team moving forward – particularly as growing aggression from American adversaries like Russia and China make more hostage situations increasingly likely.

The Biden administration’s struggles to bring back Americans detained abroad is also quickly becoming a significant point of divergence from four years of successes under the last administration.

Soon after taking office, Trump publicly declared his commitment to bringing Americans home, and over the next four years strung together an impressive series of high-profile recoveries. In a captivating video from the RNC convention in 2020, several of those former hostages sat alongside President Trump and told their stories about their captivity and rescue thanks to Trump’s efforts. In total, the Trump administration succeeded in bringing back more than 50 hostages from 22 countries, sending a strong signal to the world about the importance of every American life.

Key to this effort was Robert O’Brien who, prior to becoming Trump’s National Security Advisor, was the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Negotiations. Trump cited O’Brien’s qualifications as a negotiator upon tapping him for the job, further indicating the importance of the issue to Trump. While in the position, O’Brien took the opposite approach from Sullivan’s thus far, keeping in close personal contact with families and providing frequent updates to the President.

In fact, Trump and his team were so successful that even the liberal media reluctantly lauded their efforts. Vox called the release of three American hostages from North Korea a “big win” for Trump. The New Yorker said Trump’s hostage negotiation successes were “exaggerated” but nonetheless an “achievement worthy of applause.” Even the Washington Post begrudgingly admitted that Trump “deserves some credit” – before, of course, saying that he wasn’t doing enough.

Trump realized – as Joe Biden, Jake Sullivan, and the rest of Biden’s national security team apparently do not – that securing the release of an American held abroad is about far more than just bringing home one U.S. citizen. Such action makes a much broader statement about American strength, that our government will go to any lengths to protect every one of our people, and that our country is not to be messed with. Trump articulated the principle as “No American Left Behind.”

Sullivan may think that prioritizing hostages undermines other national security interests, but the truth is that not prioritizing hostages sends a message to the world that the United States is weak and can be bullied into submission. Americans saw the disastrous consequences of weakness in Afghanistan and are continuing to see the same in Ukraine and, to a lesser extent, Taiwan. If the Biden administration truly wants to restore an image of American strength on the world stage, a good place to start would be rescuing trapped U.S. citizens and lawful residents longing to return home.

Shane Harris is a writer and political consultant from Southwest Ohio.


We hope you've enjoyed this article. While you're here, we have a small favor to ask...

Support AMAC Action. Our 501 (C)(4) advances initiatives on Capitol Hill, in the state legislatures, and at the local level to protect American values, free speech, the exercise of religion, equality of opportunity, sanctity of life, and the rule of law.

Donate Now

If You Enjoy Articles Like This - Subscribe to the AMAC Daily Newsletter
and Download the AMAC News App

Sign Up Today Download

If You Enjoy Articles Like This - Subscribe to the AMAC Daily Newsletter!


Subscribe
Notify of
54 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Karen
4 months ago

Biden and Sullivan don’t know what they are doing. They better get with it. Just another idiotic problem we have to deal with. Do something you failures. We’re tired of your miserable leadership (if we can call it that). Get off the stick and do your da-n job!!!!!

Hal
5 months ago

China Joe Hidin’ Biden is the most disgusting and inept POTUS in my octogenerian lifetime. No one else is even close … but Obummer was closest IMO. Neither one (Obummer or Buck Fiden) acted Preside;ntial …. more like they were Godly seemed to fit their “style(?)” and duty perceptions”. And I have to say Buck Fiden is the more dangerous as it affects the Nation’s future. What did Dela Wear? A Biden learning cloak of ineptitude!!!!

Joanne 4 justice.
4 months ago
Reply to  Hal

Let’s go BRANDON ! Socialist dems and Comrades need to go far, far away ; includes Biden-Harris , Peelosi and Chuckie SCHMUCK Schumer !

Mike
5 months ago

JB just stated that America is in better shape, than it was with the previous administration / President Trump’s administration. I can’t stand the lies anymore. What he has done in such a short time is disastrous for our country. Leaving Americans behind in Afghanistan? This is swept under the rug by our outstanding , so called journalists in the mainstream media. How sad for these families. I couldn’t imagine the pain. It sends a signal to the whole world that we’re cowards. I’ve listed all the wrongs that JB has done in previous articles on this site. The list is even longer now. We have a bunch of failures in the House, Senate, and White House. Republicans are in the mix too. It seems like only a handful of Republicans do their job for “ WE THE PEOPLE “. Sad times, but I’m optimistic that we’ll get through this cluster _ _ _ _ . Vote in 22, and 24. Merry Christmas!

Chris B. Grodhaus
4 months ago
Reply to  Mike

You voted for Biden and the Democrats and the Republicans who are like the Democrats. I am 67 years old, lots of health problems. I will soon croak. Sooner the better. You voted for all that we have. Do you know what i tell the younger people? You are now going to pay for it. Remember what I said when it comes time to choose their Nursing Homes. Think about it. CHRIS

Curtis
5 months ago

Obama’s third term is showing how disgusting and self serving many of the Democratic Party are.
Biden is merely a brain dead puppet and the entire cabinet right down to the press sec are despicable and disgusting, not to leave out the leaders of the Democratic Party.

Jim Jolly
5 months ago

Don’t remember such a incompetent bunch of lieing morons in our government.

BAE
5 months ago

Biden’s staff of fools is so gullible and uninformed, it might be funny; but it’s too serious.
It a few short months they have done sooooo much damage. It will take a long time to
recover.

Hal
5 months ago

Biden is batting 100 per cent in his presidency so far … 100% wrong on any and everything he has done. I guess his Democraps are really proud of him. I truly believe citizens of America will waken to his ineptitude and guidance (towards Communistic governance) and boot him out of office in the next election (if he runs). But I also think any Democrap that runs for POTUS or Congressional seats will lose ground also. And the News Media will meekly start printing real news as opposed to a lot of Liberal Democrap propaganda.

LiamL
5 months ago

If you invited me into your home and there was a bad man outside and I gave the bad man your guns and tactical gear while leaving your children outside to be attacked when I could have brought them into safety and kept the weaponry- you tell me what would happen. This is what Biden did in Afghanistan and it’s ‘politics’.

Nobody’s Business
5 months ago
Reply to  LiamL

Well put, when you break down scenarios that people can understand in a more personal way it should have an effect. But most Democrats won’t understand because they don’t want to.

Mike
5 months ago
Reply to  LiamL

Well stated .

Judy
5 months ago

My heart goes out to these families and their loved one’s being held captive in enemy regimes. If any in their families are members of AMAC and read through these comments, I would just like to tell them that I, myself, and others I know are praying for them. That I hope they keep strong in their faith toward God because this ungodly illegitimate administration has no competance. God does not turn His back on His faithful followers. God knows everything we’re going through and He has told us to wait upon Him for the answers. Even though we suffer, we are to remember to be thankful for all His blessings in our lives, and also to forgive those who persecute and wish us harm. I pray God’s will for a happy outcome for the hostages and their families. God is good, it is us who need to remind ourselves that He controls everything. I am thankful that those families have real hope in God knowing that His will is in righteousness and all holiness.
Dear God be with the hostages, strengthen them, keep them in your care.
And,
Lord, please help our country, be with those who are taking stands, like Governor Ron DeSantis against this evil regime over us. God in Heaven, please help us be the faithful followers you need us to be, and thank you for watching over us and those we love.
In Jesus’s blessed name, and for His namesake I pray, Amen.

HocasPocas
5 months ago
Reply to  Judy

Amen

Howard
5 months ago
Reply to  Judy

Well said! And a hearty Amen from me!

Mike Schaffer
5 months ago

If the families of the trapped Americans would organize and pool their money perhaps they could hire Hunter Biden to use his influence to get their loved ones home safely. This is not sarcasm it would be great press for Hunter to do this. His dad might be of more assistance in this manner.

PaulE
5 months ago
Reply to  Mike Schaffer

Lol!!! By the time the Bidens take their cut of the money raised, there wouldn’t be enough left over to buy a cup of coffee much less incentivize Joe to do anything. Remember, Joe Biden still thinks everything went perfectly. Mounting any sort of rescue mission would be tantamount to admitting he messed up royally. Never going to happen.

Hal
5 months ago
Reply to  Mike Schaffer

I wouldn’t share a roll of toilet paper with Hunter Biden OR Buck Fiden! They are criminals that have eluded the laws of this Nation because Dad’s political position kept them out of prosecution. I hope your suggestion to use Hunter was sarcastic in its meaning!

Joanne 4 justice.
4 months ago
Reply to  Mike Schaffer

Hunter has to ask daddy Joe first!

Judi
4 months ago
Reply to  Mike Schaffer

Haven’t you figured it out yet? His dad DOESN’T CARE! Geez!

Shirley
5 months ago

The truth of the matter is that America is weak under our present administration. Obama saw to that by firing any military commanders that might object to liberal ideas and replacing them with his plants. Same with other government institutions. He set up America for Communist/Globalist takeover. I am not surprised that Biden/Obama plants are not interested in American citizens that are being held captive. They are not interested in what the majority of Americans believe here in this country. What they do believe in is dominance and power and the subjugation of citizens to their efforts to change us from having religious beliefs so that they have complete control. This is Communist doctrine. There are steps to achieving this.They are more concerned with making people afraid of Covid and keeping people apart (especially around holidays) so that there is no discussion of their unconstitutional actions. I feel sorry for those trapped in other countries-they don’t care about them or their families.

HocasPocas
5 months ago
Reply to  Shirley

Don’t fool yourself, they don’t give a rat’s butt about anyone in this country either unless you are one of them

James Thompson
5 months ago

Biden doesn’t care about America or any of her people!

Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
5 months ago

My best x-mas present would be to get rid of Biden permantly. Kyle L.

Stephen Russell
5 months ago

Been indifferent & bias & uncaring day 1 of Afghan debacle

Rik
5 months ago

Biden has his head up his butt! . . . No surprises here!

Hal
5 months ago
Reply to  Rik

He has to find food somewhere!!!!

Hal
5 months ago
Reply to  Rik

Maybe he is looking to find more help from Obummer???

Chief601
5 months ago

The reason they are keeping info from Brain Dead Joe is that he is incapable of making a rational decision, in my opinion.

HocasPocas
5 months ago
Reply to  Chief601

Do you really believe that he knows nothing?

Kat
5 months ago

Mr Sulivan and Pres Biden need to look at these people as if they were THEIR family members.and “get their a—- in gear” and get them back to the US asap. What a disgrace!!!!!!!

Sue
5 months ago
Reply to  Kat

The sad thing is they don’t care about their family members either.

Judi
5 months ago
Reply to  Sue

And vice-versa. Look at how Jill has used her husband for her own glory. She is an elder abuser, nothing more.

Judi
4 months ago
Reply to  Judi

Absolutely!

Bill on the Hill
5 months ago

This article clearly shows ( 2 ) key differences with respect to the current nefarious uncaring administration of Biden versus the Trump administration. Antony Blinken & Jake Sullivan are simply to old holder overs of the Obama era or to put it with less charisma, both are as ” useless as tits on a boar hog. ”
Trump with his key people in place, in this case, key negotiator O’Brien in bringing home hostages actually cared about his mission in bringing home hostages & maintained a close contact with the hostages immediate family members, in other words Trump & his team members cared…
Looking at the current madness coming out of this WH is nothing short of a bunch of witless idiots running around like chickens with their heads cut off, i.e. nothing tangible ever gets done, period…
The American people see it as does the rest of the world…They see an entirely different America under the current illegal occupiers in Washington, DC…
The United States now ranks DEAD LAST in terms of countries that can be trusted or counted on…
Afghanistan was under control & we were set to leave in a orderly manner under President Trump with ZERO American deaths for ( 18 ) months, now enter the incognizant & rapidly approaching senility of Joe Biden even whilst he sat in his b/ment during the presidential campaign, nevertheless as promised by Nancy Pelosi, Trump will NEVER get reelected & Biden will become the 46th POTUS. The rest is history my friends & here we are, close to a year into this never ending madness…
Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year to one & all as we prepare to recognize the birth of of our Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ…
Bill… :~)

Hal
5 months ago

Boar hogs would be insulted by your post! LOL

Max
5 months ago

Last statement, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Take care.

PaulE
5 months ago

Jake Sullivan’s background is as a Harvard academic who wrote white papers on what he believes United States foreign policy should be. All from a far left perspective. He literally has never done anything of any real substance or consequence in his life as it relates to the real world. So one shouldn’t be surprised that he is in way over his head in his current position within the Biden administration. Much of this administration essentially in over their heads and are simply winging it as they roll out one leftist policy after another with predictable results.

Anthony Blinken, the current Secretary of State, is the same person who spearheaded Obama’s disastrous Iran Nuclear Deal. Which essentially boiled down to giving the Iranians whatever they wanted, including plane loads of cash in the middle of the night, so Obama could claim one foreign policy win during his two terms in office. So it is unrealistic to expect Blinken would be able to offer either sound foreign policy advice related to how to handle Afghanistan or actually be able to negotiate anything of substance with the Taliban. The Taliban leadership may be nothing more than 7th century savages with machine guns, but they are neither stupid nor incompetent. Both traits that Blinken seems to possess in abundance.

As for Biden, well what can anyone honestly expect from a man that spent his whole career in politics and has been consistently wrong on every foreign policy issue he has ever been presented with? Even if he weren’t mentally challenged with dementia, he likely would carry out the evacuation of Afghanistan in the exact same way again, as in his mind everything was done perfectly. Biden’s skillset, such as it is, revolves around the means to personally enrich himself and his family by selling access to whatever office he ever held. Much like the Clintons and other politicians in Washington have done over the years. Unfortunately, that isn’t a skillset that is now particularly useful in extricating the hundreds of Americans who now find themselves trapped and abandoned in a hostile country intent on killing all infidels.

This administration has no interest in restoring an image of American strength on the global stage, as the author suggests. That is just wishful thinking on the author’s part. Biden and the members of his administration clearly prefer the “lead from behind” approach that was popular with the Obama administration. America and its citizens need to be punished for the preceived sins the left constantly claims exist, but in reality are merely part of the larger effort to destabilize and weaken the country. As such, situations like the growing threats against Ukraine, Taiwan and other nations around the globe are only likely to increase and worsen over time. Elections, no matter how fraudulent, still have consequences. We have at least 3 more years of this to endure and our enemies around the world will take advantage of every second of it, if an opportunity presents itself.

Max
5 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

Again, thanks. You know as well as I that the ELITE control everything so they can advance their agenda. The USA is just a puppet being used. Too many people still have their head buried in the sand.

Shirley
5 months ago
Reply to  Max

I agree with you. The Democratic sheep are busy with being brainwashed by the lying communist sympathetic media, and have no idea as to what is taking place.

PaulE
5 months ago
Reply to  Max

Yes Max, a whole lot of people don’t want to acknowledge the truth or try to do anything about it. They are content to simply hope it all just magically goes away somehow. I keep listening for the Republicans in Congress to express some sort of tangible action plan, you know something with actual, real specifics instead of just vague generalities, in the event they re-take Congress in 2022 with enough seats to do something substantial. However, not one to date has laid out anything other than “Republicans will re-take Congress in 2022”. It does NOT inspire confidence that they have an actual plan to do anything different than what they did starting in 2010 up through 2016.

Bet you a $100 bucks that should McConnell and McCarthy be majority leaders of Congress after the mid terms, which would be a HUGE mistake, that one or both of them come out within 4 to 6 weeks with a statement that essentially says “The best we can do right now is prevent any new legislation from being enacted via Congress. Joe Biden is still the President and can still issue executive orders and have the federal agencies enact changes through regulations. We need to elect a Republican President in 2024 to make the kind of sweeping changes the people want. Congress can only do so much.” The old kick the can down the road strategy. Then the endless fund raising requests will start up all over again.

Max
5 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

I would take the bet however I would be short $100 so I’ll keep what I have. (LOL)

HocasPocas
5 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

How about charges brought against pelosi, walters, talib, oac, biden, psuki (spelled that way for right reasons), harris, milley vanilli, the clown who shot the lady in the White House and the list goes on and on

Rhonda
5 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

Excellent comments.

HocasPocas
5 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

Looking at news footage of hiden biden over the years, I would venture to say that he has always been mentally challenged.

54
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x