Not Again: A grisly image of a dead hostage outrages the U.S.

With few options, Bush gets a surprising hint of help from Iran

The hostage scenario has become numbingly familiar. The sadistic videotapes of frightened captives, followed by threats of execution. The White House dispatching naval fleets or listening for some faint reply down a clogged diplomatic channel to the Middle East. Last week it was George Bush's turn to try urgent appeals and gunboat maneuvers while an angry public fulminated at American impotence. Just six months in office, Bush had become the third U.S. President in a row caught in the same wretched predicament. The latest hostage crisis, however, yielded a gruesome new image of horror: a man, bound and gagged, dangling from...

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