August 15th, 2009
10:09 AM ET
5 years ago

U.S. senator obtains release of American in Myanmar

Sen. Jim Webb speaks at a press conference in Laos Thursday as part of a two-week Southeast Asia trip.
Sen. Jim Webb speaks at a press conference in Laos Thursday as part of a two-week Southeast Asia trip.

(CNN) - U.S. Sen. Jim Webb obtained the release Saturday of American John Yettaw, who had been sentenced to seven years of hard labor in Myanmar for visiting pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, his office said.

Webb, who chairs the East Asia and Pacific Affairs Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, will accompany Yettaw to Bangkok, Thailand, Sunday on a military aircraft, his office said.

It is the second success in a day for the Democrat from Virginia, who earlier held separate meetings with Suu Kyi and Myanmar's top official, junta leader Senior Gen. Than Shwe.

"It is my hope that we can take advantage of these gestures as a way to begin laying a foundation of goodwill and confidence-building in the future," Webb said in a statement.

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Filed under: Jim Webb
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. Lynne

    Great job, Senator Webb. Another example of how negotiation and face to face meetings produce results!!

    August 15, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  2. aproudmemberoftheunpatrioticmob

    Webb is good, to bad more democrats can't be like him, we could be so much better with out the over the top liberal whack jobs like Begala as the mouth pieces of the party (paid of course by CNN, we should all note).

    August 15, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  3. Buster

    While Hillary is flying all over the world vacationing, this Senator and her husband are working on REAL issues.

    August 15, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  4. Dennis

    Good job senator

    August 15, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  5. Deward Shepherd

    Yesterday on the Glenn Beck program He said that a doctor speaking in Shelia Jackson Lee's forum on health care was a plant and was actually a woman on Mrs. Lee's campaign staff. Here is your chance to discredit that horrible cable media once and for all. All you gotta do is prove she was not a plant and I will never watch cable news again. However if she was a plant it makes me wonder if health care/ health insurance reform is so great why can't it stand on it's on merits instead of lies and deceit by its supporters.

    August 15, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  6. cass

    cue: right-wingers complaining that Webb gave "legitimacy" to Myanmar's regime

    you go, JW

    August 15, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  7. joe

    Does Hillary do anything as Sec of State?

    August 15, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  8. bonniehaynes

    About Paul (idiot) Begala, That's why cnn is going down the tubes!I would like to see that chickensh-t go up against Bill O'reilly. That puke would not stand a chance with the truth. That's why cnn keeps him.

    August 15, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  9. S Callahan

    It's too bad they didn't show more compassion in allowing Suu Kyi to come with you as well. This poor woman is isolated to the extreme just for expressing her views, which the masses support..Upon the Lord's return the judgement on the leaders holding her hostage will be equal or to what they gave her...so sad for her and for them in the future. She continues to be in our prayers, and one can never lose hope that even this regime can change and become sensitive to the needs and dignity of their people, becoming true servents as leaders.

    August 15, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  10. Belle1

    Just a question CNN...

    Why aren't you also linking the Republican bill written by Rep. Price?

    Isn't part of balanced reporting to allow readers both sides?

    As a Democrat...who has read HR 3200...Palin is closer to corrected than your pundits are. Instead of saying the Republicans have no bill...why don't you just attach it...I got a copy...it is in PDF...can send it to you if you wish.

    August 15, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  11. Virginia

    I am so proud of my government that can solve a problem diplomatically instead of invading a country or waterboarding. There are people on the right that were angry about Clinton bringing back the two journalists from North Korea. The right is so caught up in their hate of this administration, that they would rather have the two women languish in prison for 12 years. I don't understand what drives these republicans but I think a good mental health examination would help. If they could only finally understand that they lost in November and try to get along until they have a chance. But there won't be a chance if they keep on this course.

    August 15, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  12. Aunt Bea and Opie

    Looks like diplomacy works in many cases.Cheney and his extremists would have just invaded the country and seen if they could turn a profit from anything they could steal.

    August 15, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  13. What Goes Around

    I lived in Virginia just long enough to vote for Jim Webb - awesome!!

    August 15, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  14. pat

    Whats going on here. That democrat senator is not the State
    Department. Hillry should never have fallen into the trap by
    giving up her senate seat. So Obama could controle her in
    state department. Remember this one women of the America
    we must take back.

    Pat

    August 15, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  15. Mobius

    Pffft. We have BOMBS.

    Want to impress us, get Aung San Suu Kyi released.

    August 15, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  16. ANGIE IN PA

    Great Job Senator Webb!!

    August 15, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  17. KLS

    Thank you Senator Webb!!

    August 15, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  18. Tony in Maine

    I'm waiting for the first rightwingnut to say he gave away too much.

    August 15, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  19. Dave

    Good job – Thanks Senator

    August 15, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  20. Willy Brown

    Good job Jim. What away to avoid your HOME state and it's people by going overseas and doing town halls meetings.

    August 15, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  21. Dennis

    Congratulations Jim Webb! You are the man! Who would've thought just a few years ago that these peaceful resolutions were just a pipe dream. Clinton, Webb...a Democratic leadership...need I say more?

    August 15, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  22. Moe, NY

    Job well done Sen. Webb! If this keeps us, maybe, just maybe the republicans/conservative will begin to believe in diplomacy...never can tell!

    August 15, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  23. Dave-in-Georgia

    I'm a supporter of Senator Jim Webb, former Secretary of the Navy, but, I wish he had left Yettaw in Myanmar to suffer his deserved fate. Yetlaw's unsought actions have caused Suu Kyi undeserved pain at the bloody, filthy hands of Than Shwe. A deserved seven years of hard labor would be good for Yetlaw.

    August 15, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  24. The Teester

    Any Republicans getting any of our people free or are they just gonna critisize it?

    August 15, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  25. MG

    SHould have left nhim to rot in a Myanmar prison. Talk about a whack-job.

    August 15, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
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