National Affairs: The Buccaneers

Like storybook pirates, East German Communists croaked happily over an unexpected treasure when seven U.S. Army artillery officers and two helicopter crewmen strayed off course last month and landed their whirlybird in Soviet-occupied territory. The East Germans, at Russia's prodding, held the nine men prisoner and demanded a high ransom: diplomatic recognition of the East German satellite by the U.S. The U.S. refused to deal, negotiated patiently but fruitlessly at the military level. Finally, the U.S. empowered the American Red Cross to step into the case. Last week, after a month of negotiation with the Communists, the Red Cross brought the...

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