May 12th, 2014
09:38 PM ET
7 years ago

King: Don’t negotiate for kidnapped Nigerian girls

(CNN) - The former chairman of the House Homeland Security committee is urging the United States and others not to negotiate with Boko Haram, the terrorist group in Nigeria that has kidnapped nearly 300 schoolgirls.

Instead, Rep. Peter King, R-New York, said he would support President Obama if he were to send U.S. special forces to rescue them.

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"This is one of those terribly difficult decisions - morally difficult - but I would say no, that we cannot negotiate," King told CNN's Erin Burnett. "If it were my daughter or my wife or my sister, I realize the human impact. But the fact is once you start negotiating with terrorists, it just leads to more violence."

King, who sits on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, has been a leading advocate of the United States’ so-called "War on Terror," unafraid to criticize the Obama administration for, in his opinion, doing too little against a resurgent al Qaeda, fueled by strengthening affiliate networks around the world.

Boko Haram has loose ties to al Qaeda, mainly its affiliate in West Africa and extremist groups in Mali.

"Put it this way: If the President decided to use Special Forces, I certainly would not oppose them," he said on “Erin Burnett OutFront,” adding that the United States’ main responsibility is to provide intelligence and surveillance to the Nigerians.

"I realize all the complexities involved, all the dangers involved," he said, but "as commander-in-chief, if he made that decision, I would support him."

At the moment, the United States is providing manned aerial surveillance planes over Nigerian territory, gathering intelligence in support of the efforts to find the girls, and sharing commercial satellite images with the Nigerians, according to U.S. officials.

–CNN's Elise Labott contributed to this report.


Filed under: Peter King • Terrorism
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    What if it was your Daughter Pete Uh, er, Duh...

    May 12, 2014 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  2. ChrisM

    Of course they can negotiate and get the girls back. And then when all the girls are safely returned wipe out the
    Boko Haram.

    Close

    May 12, 2014 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  3. S. B. Stein

    The problem is that the Nigerians didn't ask for help until recently. Besides, I would offer to return their soldiers... Either in pieces or with multiple GPS devices implanted so that either they are dead or traceable.

    May 12, 2014 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  4. L.S. Christen

    Could we turn this around? Concerning the prisoners they want returned-those Prisoners could ALL face an immediate death sentence (perhaps,firing squad) IF THE GIRLS ARE NOT RETURNED. Can't we "deal" with murderous factions on THEIR OWN TERMS.....? Do we really want to sacrifice innocent lives for garbage prisoners? Just so we can say "we will not negtiate? Deal LIKEfor LIKE -finally,and not behind closed doors.. Is there no one who can really stand up-the other side does that on a regular basis. If we do not COUNTER, WE are guilty for our inaction....

    May 12, 2014 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  5. bob

    Stay out of it...It's not our issue

    May 12, 2014 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  6. Pedro

    Totally agree with king go get them!!

    May 13, 2014 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  7. Thomas

    Rep. Peter King, R-New York is a talking head . The safety of the captives is first and for most . The Nigerian government needs to pay the ransom , not America. Nigeria is one of the richest country in Africa with high government corruption.

    The Boko Brothers are land based pirates , similar to Somali pirates .

    Find the Boko Brothers bankers , the buck stops there .

    China is to build Africa's new railway to move natural resources back to China., maybe the Chines can have the girls released . The Chines understand cash is King , Money talks and how todays corruption is the law of tomorrow.

    May 13, 2014 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
  8. J.V.Hodgson

    These girls are now highly likely to have been split up into smaller groups with Boko Haram ( BM) the logistics of making that work already on ex seal said is almost impossible to co=ordinate effectively without severe collateral damage to either the girls or even some seal losses. it is due to the Nigerian government and their poor re-action also likely that some of the girls have been sold or married off already.
    This is pathetic from rep King.
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    May 13, 2014 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  9. Thomas

    Peter King / Louie Gohmert 2016

    Boko Busters

    May 13, 2014 02:28 am at 2:28 am |
  10. ghost

    I elected him POTUS and I trust his decisions. SO FAR SO GOOD!!! GOP get out of the way!!!

    May 13, 2014 03:28 am at 3:28 am |
  11. YoonYoungJo

    I agree send special forces in there and wipe them out and rescue the girls. As I said before, you wouldn't even need to force out soldiers to go. Just asking for volunteers, hundreds would volunteer to go.

    May 13, 2014 03:32 am at 3:32 am |
  12. Sip That Kool Aid, It's All You're Good For.

    Negotiate, only if Oliver North is sent in to do the dirty deed. And make sure it's done under a republican banner. That's how we like to see business done around here.

    May 13, 2014 05:14 am at 5:14 am |
  13. Marie MD

    So these girls are not worthy but thousands of death for a WMD lie of a war are?
    I am sure the administration and other countries are working on how to find and bring these girls back alive without bloodshed.
    Sometimes the word "intelligence" just doesn't click with some. Just like the flake from MN who is also on some "intelligence" committee.

    May 13, 2014 06:35 am at 6:35 am |
  14. Gurgyl

    -learn first, because of NOT expanding medicaid in USA 17,000 women die each year before they deliver babies. Where are you? These idiots want more to die, so that they prevail in GOP thugs party to set as a cult.. Sad.

    May 13, 2014 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  15. TONE

    Even though i agree with you Rep King advertising it could compromise a mission like this.

    May 13, 2014 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  16. smith

    The locals should handle this. Boko Haram is trying to bait the US into a conflict. We don`t need a repeat of what happend in Somalia in the early 90`s.

    May 13, 2014 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  17. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    adding that the United States’ main responsibility is to provide intelligence and surveillance to the Nigerians
    -------------------------------------------------
    King and I agree on this.
    Nigeria needs to handle their own internal conflicts with these types of fanatic religious factions.
    This is not our fight, nor is it an excuse to send our already overtaxed men and women in uniform into armed conflict.
    I believe boku haram has ties to Al-Qaeda.
    I also believe that they are counting on the pull of our humanitarian heartsrtrings to bringus into a conflct that quite frankly is none of our business.
    I do not want Americans doing the job that the country and the people of NIgeria should be doing, that being protecting their own, and their interests in their country.

    May 13, 2014 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  18. Rudy NYC

    The war mongers are trying their best not to act like war mongers. Did the Nigerian government invite us, or are we just barging in like drunken sailors? I say let the French handle the messy work.

    May 13, 2014 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  19. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    ...I mean seriously WTH?

    May 13, 2014 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  20. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Whatever we decide to do it's probably too late. These girls are not still together. By now many are married or have been sold into slavery. While I sympathize, this is not our fight. The Nigerian government is not doing their jobs.

    May 13, 2014 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  21. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    smith

    The locals should handle this. Boko Haram is trying to bait the US into a conflict.
    -------------------------------------------------
    I agree.
    Let Nigeria handle Nigeria's problems. I'm all for sending them the technology (surveillance, etc) that they need, teaching them how to use it, and buh-bye!
    Too bad the girls are in the way and we can't just drop a drone on them.

    May 13, 2014 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  22. Rudy NYC

    Dominican mama 4 Obama

    adding that the United States’ main responsibility is to provide intelligence and surveillance to the Nigerians
    -----------------
    King and I agree on this.
    ===================================================
    The U.S. has been doing exactly that for quite some time, long before these girls were kidnapped. King is simply running for re-election. That's all.

    May 13, 2014 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  23. Lynda/Minnesota

    @ Dominican mama

    "I also believe that they are counting on the pull of our humanitarian heartsrtrings to bringus into a conflct that quite frankly is none of our business."

    I agree. We cannot and will never become the worlds police force.

    May 13, 2014 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  24. patNY

    Of course YOU KN OW that if and when Obama does send special forces into Nigeria, all of a sudden King will be against it, despite having been for it at first.

    May 13, 2014 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  25. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Rudy NYC

    Dominican mama 4 Obama

    adding that the United States’ main responsibility is to provide intelligence and surveillance to the Nigerians
    -----–
    King and I agree on this.
    ===================================================
    The U.S. has been doing exactly that for quite some time, long before these girls were kidnapped. King is simply running for re-election. That's all
    -------------------------------------------------
    Hmm.
    I find myself agreeing with King more than I do with any other Republican (Boehner occasionally lapses into periods of lucidity), but that doesn't say much.
    You're still up in NYC and have more exposure to him daily than I would.
    On this point I appreciate him not pushing for us to go into armed conflict over the interests of a foreign country that happens to be loaded with oil.

    May 13, 2014 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
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