The two TV journalists who were rescued from a North Korean prison by Bill Clinton expressed gratitude to the former president upon their arrival in California on Wednesday. "We feared at any moment that we could be sent to a hard labor camp, and then suddenly we were told we were going to a meeting," a tearful Laura Ling told a news conference at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, CA after arriving home with Clinton. He had reportedly acted after receiving appeals from the families of Ling and her colleague, Euna Lee. According to the Washington Post , Clinton's trip was paid for by "wealthy business people," and the only taxpayer money used went to pay the salaries of the Secret Service agents who normally travel with Clinton. Sow Chemical provided the plane Clinton flew from his home in New York to Burbank. Movie producer Steve Bing provided another plane that flew him to Korea and paid for other costs, including about $15,000 for use of a satellite phone. Clinton was accompanied by a team that included John Podesta, his former chief of staff and a former State Department expert on North Korea. Former Vice President Al Gore, a co-owner of Current TV, the channel the two women were working for, praised Bing's efforts on Wednesday.

06/08/2009