Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Bill Clinton: Mission Accomplished – Journalists Freed; Hillary’s Statement (video)

UPDATE: Lee and Ling arrive home:

Secretary Hillary Clinton's statement on the release of the two journalists:

"Obviously I am very happy and relieved to have these two young woman, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, on their way home to their families," she told reporters in Nairobi, Kenya. "I spoke to my husband on the airplane and everything went well. They are extremely excited to be reunited soon when they touch down in California. It was just a good day to be able to see this happen."

The photo of Bill Clinton greeted in North Korea by a little girl offering him a bouquet of flowers stayed with me throughout the day yesterday. It formed the backdrop of descriptions of Bill’s star power and worldwide stature appearing in various news outlets across the Web headlining his successful rescue of Euna Lee and Laura Ling.

And I couldn’t help noting the contrast in this week’s effusive news coverage to the same media’s ugly caricatures of Clinton during last year’s Democratic primary.

Best to stay with the present moment.

ABC’s Martha Raddatz and Huma Khan report this morning:

It is homecoming day for the two American journalists imprisoned in North Korea for five months as they arrive back in the U.S. with former President Bill Clinton after his landmark trip to the nation.

A crowd of media, family and friends gathered for Euna Lee and Laura Ling's arrival at the Burbank, Calif., airport this morning.

Raddatz and Khan explain the how and why of Bill Clinton’s involvement:

While the trip may have been secretive, it was in the works for months. In July, Lee and Ling -- who were allowed to call their families weekly -- told them that the North Koreans specifically asked for Clinton to come to North Korea, and that they would be freed if he did. Clinton's former Vice President Al Gore, who founded Current TV, where the two journalists worked, asked Clinton to make the trip on behalf of the families.

Here's a video clip of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s response to the news that her husband and the two journalists were on their way home:

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