Betancourt freed in Colombia

Former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, three U.S. military contractors, freed from captors.

Published July 2, 2008 11:45PM (EDT)

Good news out of Colombia this afternoon.

Colombia freed Ingrid Betancourt and three U.S. military contractors from leftist guerrillas on Wednesday, saying military spies tricked rebels into giving them up without a single shot fired.

Betancourt, who was seized while campaigning for president six long years ago, called her surprise rescue "absolutely impeccable" and said she and 14 other hostages had no idea they were being rescued until they were airborne in disguised military helicopters.

"They got us out grandly," Betancourt told Colombian army radio.

Eleven Colombian police and soldiers were also freed in the rescue, the most serious blow ever dealt to the 44-year-old Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, which considered the four hostages their most valuable bargaining chips. The FARC continues to reel from the deaths of key commanders and the loss of much of the territory it once held.

I should add that Fox News, in an apparent attempt to make itself appear even more ridiculous than usual, told viewers that John McCain's visit to Colombia may have been related to today's events. The claim is so absurd, even the McCain campaign wouldn't make it. In this reality, today's rescue was the result of years of work by Colombian officials and military intelligence agents who had infiltrated the guerrilla ranks.

Good news is good news. Fox News need not try to turn every news item into an excuse to deceive the public and help Republican campaign efforts.

By Steve Benen

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