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Foley family threatened with terror charges if they tried to ransom their own son

This is nutso:

The family of murdered American journalist James Foley says it was threatened by a US official with terrorism charges if they paid a ransom to his captors in Syria.

Foley's mother Diane told ABC News on Friday that a military officer working for Barack Obama's National Security Council had told them several times that they could face criminal charges if they paid a ransom.

"We took it as a threat and it was appalling," she said. "Three times he intimidated us with that message. We were horrified he would say that. He just told us we would be prosecuted. We knew we had to save our son, we had to try."

Almost makes you think there's more to the story than meets the eye, eh?

Anyhow, the administration denies it so it must be true:

The National Security Council was quoted as saying that the Foley family was informed of US laws banning terrorism financing but denied the family was told they could face charges if they made a ransom payment.

And John Kerry plays the fool, as usual:

John Kerry, the US secretary of state, said he was "taken aback" by the report. "I am totally unaware and would not condone anybody that I know of within the state department making such statements," he said.

Not sure what the policy answer is here, other than "End the Wars," but something about coming between the family and their son sticks in my craw. Especially since the administration (apparently) butchered the rescue.

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Barmitt O'Bamney's picture
Submitted by Barmitt O'Bamney on

That is utterly barbaric. Whoever is responsible for this disgraceful treatment of the Foley family should be named and forced to resign, tomorrow. This would hardly satisfy the minimum requirements of decency, but it would be the minimum acceptable gesture towards decency - coming from an indecent government. One has to make allowances. It's value would be to show they still sort of know what decency is and can rouse themselves to pretend to care about it after grossly violating it.

No excuses or apologies can be accepted here. The official denials can not be accepted no matter how many times repeated. I am sure the Foleys were threatened as they claim. It's completely in keeping with the actions of a government that blackmails internet companies into joining their digitalized Stasi. I don't believe the family would make this up, nor that it's all just a regrettable misunderstanding, which of course would be the fall back line of Administration bullshit after blanket denial stops working.

Yes I know. Even this tiny display of contrition would be asking too much of our Little Eichmanns.

V. Arnold's picture
Submitted by V. Arnold on

Apparently American citizens still don't get it; you don't matter, you're a tool, a non-entity, and just STFU!
All this time and still no comprehension.
Walks away shaking head...

Barmitt O'Bamney's picture
Submitted by Barmitt O'Bamney on

Over at they are actually blaming the Foley family. It's a development I hadn't foreseen - but I should have, in retrospect.

The Foley family is being blasted for complaining about the Administration's threats to prosecute them, because according to the thread instigator, they would have gone ahead and paid the ransom anyway if they were good people. That's the reason given for throwing the Foleys' complaint back in their faces. Obama is always blameless; that's Rule One. So if his henchmen threaten you, it's your fault alone if you are cowed by the threats and endure any pain and suffering resulting from the restraint placed on your actions.

Two problems: it takes time to negotiate a hostage/ransom situation. The initial ask from ISIS was 100 million dollars. Usually the ransom is bargained down to something like 1% of the initial ask. IOW: the initial ask is crazy and is never paid. (Watch "A Hijacking" on Netflix streaming for a fictionalized version of a high seas hijacking by Somali pirates. The plot of the film centers on the negotiation process which plays out for many weeks through multiple rounds of rejected offers until the hostage takers are satisfied they are getting all they can, and the ransom paying side is likewise satisfied that it will not be criticized for paying too much. This is a fictionalized account, but it is plausibly typical.) However, even when the ransom is haggled down to something that the family friends and employer of the hostage might be able to pay, a second problem arises. Unless you're Bill Gates, it takes time to scrape together the money. After all the hostage takers will form some idea of what you can possibly pay and they will angle for a price as close to that number as they can. If you can obtain that sum easily, then the hostage takers have made a mistake. At any point you may be arrested for conspiracy to provide material support for terrorists.

There's also the problem that in order for any such negotiation to occur in the first place, the Foley family must have some channel of communication with ISIS, direct or indirect, and obviously our government is unwilling to do the minimally decent thing and provide this. And what does our government scan the telecom networks for with lidless eyes day and night? Communicate in any way with ISIS, and you will become part of their "terror chatter network", in the view of the Police State.

So it will take weeks to arrive at a ransom agreement with ISIS if you reply that you are willing to pay. It cannot be done in the first place because direct communication is forbidden, and clandestine communication or indirect communication is impossible in the Panopticon global dystopia we live in and pay taxes to. Evidently, the US government would sooner drop a Hellfire missile on your son rather than facilitate a negotiation between your family and the hostage takers. And if you could scrape together the ransom money in theory, you would be prosecuted -as promised- for raising funds for a terrorist organization before you could collect it all and make final arrangements to transfer it. Hostage takers want payment in cash. That means the money has to be counted out in physical bills and transported to the other side of the world - more time for the government to decide to spring its trap and interdict your "support of terrorism." The net effect of all of these insurmountable obstacles (or any one of them) is that your son is dead at the hands of ISIS, and Barry the Jackal.

But in the pig eyed view of Democraticcesspool, all of this is your fault as the family of the deceased. Because you are NOT good people. Not really. You said something that makes our government look bad. That makes Obama look bad. You have the fucking gall to complain about your dead son. You don't love Obama. You deserve to have your son beheaded.

Submitted by lambert on

They try to work with the government, the government botches the job, their son gets killed, and the Obots beat them up? You're joking.

Barmitt O'Bamney's picture
Submitted by Barmitt O'Bamney on

I'm too surprised to be joking. And yet I must have told myself a thousand times since 2010 that Obamabots have no limits. They lack even the concept of a limit where He's concerned, and will support/excuse anything at all, if they think He wants it, or they think that His prestige is at stake. Still, it caught me by surprise. I didn't remember that His prestige is connected to everything now.

Sorry about the long form rant. I'm just a bitter recovering Democrat. The attack on the Foleys needed a full break down and examination. As you said, there's something viscerally wrong with how the government threatened the Foleys, and it just gets compounded IMO when the Obama fan club turn it all upside down and blame the Foleys for how the government treated them. I don't try that sort of thing over there anymore (you guessed the sewer's location correctly) because I got tired of the automatic personal attacks. Criticize a government action or policy, and you get attacked personally and immediately by a swarm of Obots. Not over substance. Not over the quality of your facts or logic but over your loyalty to Obama. If you're not loyal to Obama, you're not loyal to the Party. It's as though the Party never existed before He came down to Earth to lead it. To question is to be disloyal, and the only explanation for disloyalty must be covert racism, or secret allegiance to the Tea Party and R* Paul. As it is done in the Democratic Underground, so it shall be done in the Party. You don't have to be an Orwell to see where this Animal Farm is headed. I do check in there now and then to see how the lunatics run an asylum.