It seems that the media, from Channel 4 News to Recess Monkey, find it enjoyably ironic that the kidnapped Christian peace activists were rescued by soldiers. In addition, the army is spinning the story that they are upset at not being publicly thanked, and the media are lapping up the “ungrateful old man wastes time and public money” story.
I’m amazed that I’ve not heard anyone ask the obvious question: “Was this a staged rescue following a ransom payment?”
The kidnappers were after money: the demand of “release all women prisoners” was clearly a cover and is used time and time again. They had recently executed one of the hostages. Yet the “rescue” involved a nicely arranged international selection of soldiers following a “tip-off” from a captive to find the hostages in an empty house.
If the captors were warned of the attack and escaped, why didn’t they take the hostages with them or kill them?
If the attack was a surprise, why would the hostages be left alone, unguarded? I doubt that Mr Kember could have fled by forcing a lock and running through the streets, but there would be a big risk the captives could be found by patrols or neighbours.
Here is my theory of what happened: With the UK government in a weak state at home, and one hostage already dead, the UK government paid the ransom. The kidnappers left the surviving captives in the house, and passed the location to the authorities. A nicely staged rescue went ahead, and the heroic SAS saved the lives of the ungrateful, time wasting meddlers.
Whenever other captives are released the Press in the UK always run stories asking “Was a ransom paid?” In this case, the smokescreen story blaming Mr Kember has neatly displaced the obvious question.
I think the BBC journalist in this article is hinting at the same doubt:
Although foreign hostages have been freed in Iraq before, most were released as the result of secret negotiations, many involving the payment of ransom money, our correspondent adds.
Update 2: The official release says that the men were discovered “bound”. The men themselves say they were “not bound during captivity”