House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is hailing the rescue of three American defense contractors from Colombian rebels.

Marc Gonsalves, Keith Stansell, and Thomas Howes had been held by rebels, along with kidnapped presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, since 2003 when their surveillance plane crashed in the Colombian rainforest.

Colombian spies rescued the hostages yesterday, posing as rebels and tricking their captors into handing them over.

"The news that three Americans and their fellow captives held by Colombian rebels have been freed is the answer to the hopes and prayers of so many," Pelosi said in a statement last night.