In his May 21 letter, “Obama feats,” John Schryver instructs us that 10 Americans were released by North Korea during Barack Obama’s eight years in office. Mr. Schryver then rails against right-wing, Fox News watchers, stating they “will routinely repeat falsehoods or just plan lie about the history of the Obama administration. Such information is not hard to find.”
As a right-wing, Fox News watcher who is open to learning something new, I decided to follow Mr. Schryver’s advice. Here are the details about the prisoner releases on his list.
■ Laura Ling and Euna Lee were in North Korea as reporters for Al Gore’s Current TV. North Korea informed their relatives that they would release them if Bill Clinton picked them up on a diplomatic mission not connected with the Obama administration.
■ Aijalon Gomes was released thanks to Jimmy Carter after an unsuccessful attempt by the Obama administration.
■ Eddie Yong Su Jun’s release was helped by the State Department but was driven by his congressman, Ed Royce, R-Calif.
■ Jeffrey Fowley’s release was facilitated by Sweden.
■ Kenneth Bae and Matthew Miller were released by North Korea. Mr. Bae later thanked Dennis Rodman for his help, and Mr. Rodman later criticized Mr. Obama for “doing nothing to help.”
■ Sandra Suh was deported by North Korea with no help from the Obama administration, whose spokeswoman, Marie Harf, stated that they could not tell why she was deported from North Korea.
■ Merrill Newman was released from North Korea with the help of Sweden and governor-turned-diplomat Bill Richardson, D-N.M. Upon his release, he turned down an offer to fly back on Air Force Two with Vice President Joe Biden.
■ Robert Park, like Sandra Suh, was deported from North Korea with no Obama administration help.
So 10 North Korean prisoners were indeed released during the Obama years. But, unlike the Trump/Pompeo release, the releases were in spite of, not because of, Mr. Obama. Who’s trying to rewrite history?