Reagan Says Effort to Free Captives Failed

Associated Press

President Reagan said today that the United States has recently had a "great disappointment" in which seemingly promising efforts to win the release of five Americans held hostage in Lebanon failed.

The President, speaking to a group of out-of-town editors and broadcasters invited to the White House, refused to disclose any details of U.S. efforts to win the release of those still being held, saying "that would be counterproductive."

Responding to a questioner who suggested that some families of the hostages don't believe that the Administration is being aggressive enough on their behalf, Reagan insisted, "We're not sitting idle.

"The fact that we aren't on the front page of the paper every day with a story is because that would be counterproductive," the President said. But he added: "There has never been a minute that we have not been working for that release. We have gone down channel after channel, and many of them have brought us to the point where we believed that within a few days we were going to be successful, and then would find a dead end, that it didn't work out."

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