Uncle Sam still offers $5 million bountiesJuly 29, 2010
And $25 million for Osama Bin Laden. The State Department’s “Rewards for Justice” program continues to provide rewards, usually of $5 million, that lead to the prevention or resolution of terrorist acts. (State’s website actually discourages “bounty hunting,” but prefers “information” instead…) The program began in 1984 and was expanded by the Patriot Act in 2001. It also provides rewards for information about terrorist financing.
When George W. Bush talked about wanting to catch the terrorists, “dead or alive,” he was dismissed as a cowboy—a Wild West relic—foisted on an American public slowly moving to a kinder, gentler approach to the war on terror (or “contingency operations against violent extremism”).
But there’s still something visceral, direct, and logical about putting a price on the heads of our worst enemies. The Rewards for Justice program helped lead to the arrest of Ramzi Yousef and in locating Uday & Qusay Hussein. It goes to show that, sometimes, the best approach is to keep it simple.