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How Much is Your Freedom Worth?

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  • How Much is Your Freedom Worth?

    From this article:,00.html

    Originally posted by The Courier-Mail
    Payback call to freed hostage
    THE Federal Opposition last night called on freed Australian hostage Douglas Wood to consider repaying taxpayers for his rescue mission from proceeds of the sale of his story to a television network.

    The Greens said he should donate the proceeds to Iraqi charities such as those looking after war orphans.

    US resident Mr Wood was reunited with his family in Melbourne yesterday five days after he was released by his kidnappers following 47 days in captivity.

    In a press conference the 63-year-old engineer apologised to US President George W. Bush and Australian Prime Minister John Howard over comments made under duress during his captivity, and said his rescue was "proof positive" that the two countries' policy of training Iraqi forces was working.

    Mr Wood, who said he would consider returning to Iraq to pursue business opportunities, refused to give fine detail on his captivity.

    It was later announced he had sold the story of his capture and rescue to Channel 10 for an undisclosed sum.

    Foreign affairs spokesman Kevin Rudd said last night the Opposition was delighted Mr Wood had been freed.

    Asked whether it was appropriate for Mr Wood to sell his story, Mr Rudd said: "I think that ultimately it's a matter for Mr Wood and his family. I'd hope they'd be having a discussion with the Australian Government given that this effort has cost the Australian taxpayer a lot of money."

    Mr Rudd said he had noted that the Wood family had repeated it planned to make a donation to an Iraqi charity something it promised during his captivity as part of its bid to win his release.

    It should be accompanied by "appropriate consultations" with the Government.

    A spokesman for Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer said it was unclear how much of taxpayers' money had been spent on attempts to rescue Mr Wood.

    Sources said the figure would "almost certainly" be at least several million dollars.

    A spokesman for the Wood family said last night Mr Rudd was "jumping on the talkback bandwagon".

    "Douglas would pay that amount and more to erase those 47 days of his life," he said. "Any Australian citizen should expect appropriate protection from the Government."

    Mr Rudd disagreed with the view that Australian policy in Iraq was working. He said the number of people taken hostage in Iraq and the number of civilians and soldiers killed by car bombs showed the security situation was not improving.

    Greens leader Bob Brown said Mr Wood was wrong in his analysis of Australian policy and it was unfair that he profit from his experience.

    "I think Mr Wood is fortunately home, but there's 850 Australians who aren't," Senator Brown said, referring to Australian troops in Iraq. "Rather than just saying God bless America I would just say God bless those Australian troops and let's get them home."

    He said Mr Wood should donate the money he made in his deal with Ten to humanitarian causes in Iraq, such as children who had lost their parents in the conflict.

    "Mr Wood is very, very fortunate that he is free," Senator Brown said. "Iraq is suffering terribly. I don't think Iraq should be seen as a place where we can profit."
    To me this is one of the rudests things I've ever heard. I know we have all kinds of opinionated people here, so I'd like to hear from some who think this is justified. I just can't fathom how you can treat a POW like this.

    Unless I misunderstand, there is one typo:
    five days after he was released by his kidnappers
    He of course was not released, but was rescued.

    Also, Who is/are "The Greens"?

  • #2
    Re: How Much is Your Freedom Worth?

    Originally posted by Buck Fush
    Also, Who is/are "The Greens"?
    I'm assuming it's a political party?

    Yeah, asking this guy to pay for his rescue should be political suicide. Crazy.

    I don't know much about this story, but I'm betting that whoever did the rescuing was just doing their job.
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    • #3
      Re: How Much is Your Freedom Worth?

      Originally posted by Buck Fush
      Also, Who is/are "The Greens"?
      I'd wondered that myself when I read the article. The only group I can think of is the Green party (political) that throws up a presidential candiate every now and again.

      Personally, I don't think it's absurd to ask him to consider donating proceeds to charity, as it happens all the time. But to publically call him out on it is bad form, IMO. Send him a letter, make a phone call, and if he wants to make a public deal about it then so be it, but don't attempt to remove his ability to choose (by trying to make him look the bad guy in front of the world if he refuses.) On the whole it feels so gradeschool to me.
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      • #4
        Re: How Much is Your Freedom Worth?

        I don't know how much it's worth, but I know what it sells for. "Freedom costs a buck-oh-five."

        "Hardly used" will not fetch a better price for your brain.


        • #5
          Re: How Much is Your Freedom Worth?

          Originally posted by verbose
          I don't know how much it's worth, but I know what it sells for. "Freedom costs a buck-oh-five."

          and if we don't throw in our buck'o'five, who will???

          I read this article over the weekend. I can't imagine anyone grudging someone in his position a life filled with happiness and luxury. Little Private Lynch survived and is set. Good for her. Good for him.

          For $x I'd live to a month and a half wondering if I was about to get my head sawed off with a significant probability of it actually happening....hmmmm. Pass.

          Collecting on the costs of the operation? Gosh that's a path we sure don't want to go down.




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