Hillary Clinton has carefully, publicly sought "amnesty" for Laura Ling and Euna Lee, who have been sentenced to 12-years in a North Korean labor camp. Insane, yes, except it's the best shot at getting the Current journalists back home.

Clinton is dealing with North Korean ruler Kin Jong Il, a sick, vengeful, homicidal nutjob of an autocrat. His underlings have accused Ling and Lee of crossing their border and faking video of human rights abuses; they've also extracted a confession from the no-doubt terrified reporters.

For now, the woman are reportedly "well" in a guest house in Pyongyang, a sign that the North Koreans still wants to negotiate their future. Clinton's comments are as much of an accommodation as the U.S. is likely to give the country. In response to a probably-planted question at a State Department employee "town hall," Clinton all but apologized on behalf of the journalists, a bid, surely, to win their safe return.

The informal context gives the U.S. just enough wiggle room to say this isn't an official national position:

"The two journalists and their families have expressed great remorse
for this incident, and I think everyone is very sorry that it
happened," Mrs. Clinton said Friday morning during a wide-ranging
question-and-answer session with State Department employees. "What we
hope for now is that these two young women would be granted amnesty
through the North Korean system and be allowed to return home to their
families as soon as possible."

Yes, whatever, we're so very sorry, just send these innocent — sorry, heroic — women home already.

[NY Times]