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White House considers U.S. hostage policy changes

Families of hostages summoned to D.C. after demanding policy change 02:29

CBS News has learned officials will brief some families of American hostages, as well as former hostages, on possible changes in U.S. hostage policy, reports CBS News State Department correspondent Margaret Brennan.

While those parties are glad the Obama administration is considering changes, they say it falls short of what they'd hoped for.

Flash Points: Should the U.S. change their hostage policy? 04:30

Sources tell CBS News the government will still refuse to negotiate directly with kidnappers or consider paying ransom itself. Many families hoped the administration would make it legal to pay ransom or at least offer the help of professional hostage negotiators.

Public pressure lead President Obama to order a review of the U.S. hostage policy and its results are expected to be unveiled next week.

The recommendations include improving communication between families and the government, assigning a single coordinator to oversee all rescue efforts and an end to threats aimed at families who wish to make ransom payments.

National security expert on U.S. policy not to pay ransom for hostages 02:11

Families are asking for a bigger overhaul and, just last week, Pentagon whistleblower Lt. Col. Jason Amerine told Congress the problem is bureaucratic mismanagement.

Rep. Duncan Hunter has repeatedly warned that, without better coordination, more Americans will be at risk.

"Radical Islam is kind of storming the world right now, so wherever Americans are, contractors, reporters, journalists, you're going to have more hostage cases," he said.

Six American hostages have been killed in the past 10 months.

U.S. aid worker Warren Weinstein, a captive for nearly four years, was one of the latest fatalities. His family believes that the U.S. should have done more to save him.

The parents of journalist James Foley echoed those calls and say the government refused to share information about their son and threatened to prosecute them if they paid ransom for his release.

"We really feel that our government needs to have a clearer policy," Diane Foley said in February. "We felt we were in the dark a lot, and not really part of the team."

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