Impartial facts and undisputed circumstances are rare commodities in the brutal, murky battlegrounds of guerrilla war. And so, at best, there have been only versions of how eight young West German volunteer construction workers came to be captured and held hostage for 25 days by U.S.-backed rebels in southern Nicaragua. The State Department asserted they wore military garb. The Germans asserted their "humanitarian" mission.
Whatever version you accept, it is good news indeed that they have been released, apparently not much worse for their ordeal. But, while the delays in that release are debated - the contras blame the Sandinistas and vice versa - the Reagan administration needs seriously to review the U.S. role in the matter.