Beheaded journalist James Foley's parents say U.S. gov't threatened family over ransom


Beheaded journalist James Foley’s parents say U.S. gov’t threatened family over ransom

The parents of a New Hampshire journalist slain by Islamic extremists in Syria said Friday that they never knew what the U.S. government was doing to help their son and were told they could be prosecuted if they tried to raise money for a ransom demanded by the terror group ISIS.

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From another article…

James Foley would have turned 41 on October 18. It is the date the family has chosen for his funeral mass at Holy Rosary Church in Rochester, NH at 10 AM. Those wishing to attend the luncheon are asked to RSVP at

Jim and his brother Mike were altar boys and Jim chose Marquette University because of its Catholic tradition.

A fund has been set up to help other hostages and their families.


And the US Government was correct.

Citizens can not negotiate with the enemy even on behalf of saving their loved one.



Apparently, ISIS has raised money by kidnapping persons for ransom. Apparently this has happened more in Europe and hostages have been released. I’m not saying that is good or bad, just stating the facts.

Reportedly, another man was released by ISIS in the past week.

I wouldn’t be so quick to say the US Government is correct. They weren’t successful in negotiating a hostage release either nor do I think they should generally negotiate for such as that begets more kidnappings.


Private citizens paying ransoms to terrorists increases the incentive for taking such hostages.



Then those in the Government who negotiated with the Enemy to release Bergdahl should be charged with high treason and sent to Gitmo. That would include the President.


The government has the authority to determine who to negotiate with, not private citizens.

Would you have allowed private citizens to negotiate and offer ransom money to Adolf Hitler to get their son out of his POW camps ?



What difference would it make if it is the government that does this or if it is a private citizen that does it? It’s either morally wrong to do it, or it isn’t. Why should it be moral just because it’s the government that does it? Is the government above every law? The government is supposed to be by and for the people, not above the people. By Obama releasing 5 top-level Taliban terrorists in exchange for one who went AWOL from military duty in Afghanistan (possibly to join the other side), it’s hypocritical for the government to then tell a private citizen that they can’t negotiate for their family member’s release, especially when it’s a real hostage without a doubt.


Private citizens do not represent the US government and they undermine the government’s efforts to obtain the release of people taken prisoner, by going behind their backs.

If the government is trying to negotiate a prisoner exchange, and a parent is negotiating with the promise of cash, the hostage takers will ignore the government and go for the cash.

In other words, it creates a competition between government and private citizen and the hostage takers will go for the highest reward.

It also sets a incentive for terrorist to kidnap people, especially people they know come from wealthy families.



Right or wrong, this is another example of the fact that government is a heartless institution.
Individuals can be loving and charitable. Bureaucracies are not designed to be like that.

It takes a strong individual, and a strong administration to rise above the heartlessness of government bureaucratic, and actually give empathy, care and concern to the traumatized parents such as the ones of the OP.


The Government is represented BY private citizens.


Private citizens elect representatives to run the government.

Having private citizens working behind the back of elected representatives is not only wrong, but in a declared state of war, do so with the enemy is grounds for treason.

We don’t have a declared state of war with ISIS, for it’s not really a nation, but a fanatical sect.

The bottom line is, if you pay terrorists off, you set the incentive for them to take more hostages.



I thought that citizens James Carter and William Clinton negotiated with North Korea on behalf of loved Americans?


Seems true to me.


The did and the exchange was what ?

Also, although a communist dictatorship, N. Korea isn’t a terrorist state and those they took prisoner, had entered into N. Korea.

This isn’t the case with ISIS, which merely takes prisoners for the purpose of extorting cash from the governments or families.



Keep in mind that Bergdahl is a US soldier and he has not been charged with desertion.

In fact, he’s back at work in the US Army.

I have a gut feeling that Bergdahl may have been a CIA operative, but my feelings don’t matter in the grand scheme of things.



It was kept secret. In any case you say:

This was not the case when James Carter and William Clinton decided to negotiate the release of Americans held in North Korea.


We’re not at war with North Korea and being Hillary was Secretary of State, I’m sure that her husband’s actions were known by the US Government and approved.

The case with ISIS is much different.





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