James Foley’s brother, Michael, and his sister, Katie, are speaking out on the beheading of their brother and what the US could have done differently. They are hoping that their loss could prompt changes in policy that could help those that are still in ISIS (also known as ISIL) custody.
The siblings spoke with Katie Couric about the incident and how it has affected their lives. They also talked about how the US should deal with terrorists.
Their brother, James Foley, was beheaded in an incident that took place this past week and was seen in a video that shocked the world. Foley, 40, was one of at least three Americans that were kidnapped and held by ISIS terrorists. They sent a letter to Foley’s family earlier in August saying that he would be killed unless they were paid $100 million dollars.
However, since the US doesn’t negotiate with terrorists, he was killed in a cruel and barbaric manner.
They are now threatening to hand down the same fate to Foley’s fellow journalist and captive, Steven Sotloff. Their anger is partly due to US air attacks on ISIS forces in Iraq.
James Foley’s siblings are suggesting that the policy of non-negotiation be changed to save the lives of the others. Some European countries have paid to have captives freed, but not the US.
“I really, really hope that in some way Jim’s death pushes us to take another look at our approach, our policy, to terrorists and hostage negotiations and rethink that,” Michael Foley, 38, said. “Because if the United States is doing it one way and Europe is doing it another way, by definition it won’t work.”
“The U.S. could have done more on behalf of the western and American hostages over there and still… you know, dealt with the broader, worldwide issues. Other nations have done that. And that’s been a source of frustration for me.”
He continued, “Take the money aside, there’s more that could have been done directly on Jim’s behalf and I really hope that with respect to Steven, they take some action quickly.”
Michael Foley suggested that there could be a trade negotiation or another means by which money wouldn’t even have to change hands. Could this kind of thing work? It seemed to with the controversial Bowe Bergdahl trade earlier this year, but some say we are still waiting to see the consequences of that action.
“There is things that can be done. We are sitting on prisoners for example in Guantanamo. It doesn’t have to be financial. There’s ways to do it… I just feel strongly that more can be done, moving forward,” Michael Foley said.
Will the pleas of James Foley’s siblings have any weight in pushing for changes in our terrorist negotiation policy? Only time will tell.