The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Monday, March 14, 2005  

Calling Ted Koppel

Susan and Amanda Hallums, ex-wife and daughter, respectively of neglected hostage Roy Hallums, haven’t forgotten about the man the Bush administration would prefer we not speak about.

Bartholomew Sullivan reports in the March 11 Memphis Commercial Appeal (“Ex-wife of Hostage Stays on Message for Hallums”):

As the president arrived in Memphis Thursday night, Susan Hallums, the former wife of Roy Hallums, who was taken hostage Nov. 1 in Baghdad, said she’d be disappointed if Bush doesn’t call her daughter, Amanda, while he’s in town.

“That’s the least he could do,” she said.

Amanda Hallums, a 25-year-old cosmetologist, said Thursday that the ordeal has been “a roller coaster emotionally,” but hoped the President could help her dad.

Her much more outspoken mother, Susan, 52, a native of Memphis now living in Southern California, said she wants the president to acknowledge the emotional turmoil her family is going through as it awaits word on the private contractor’s fate.

“It just feels like he’s been forgotten,” she said.

In response, White House spokesman Taylor S. Gross, traveling with the president, read a statement: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hallums family. We are aware of the situation. Any time there is an American held hostage, it is a high priority for the U.S. government.”

Hallums worked for a Saudi Arabian company supplying food to the Iraqi army and was at its compound when armed kidnappers grabbed him. They also abducted Filipino Robert Tarongoy, 31, as well as four others who have since been released. […]

Negotiations for Tarongoy’s release are ongoing, and Susan Hallums said she is hopeful both men will be released together.

“Thoughts . . . prayers . . . aware.” That’s “high priority”?

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