Accuracy in Media

WASHINGTON — This is not a joke, but a Reuters “two-time Pulitzer Prize” winning journalist David Rohde asked if the U.S.’s stance on ransoms led to the brutal beheading death of U.S. journalist James Foley.

reuters rohde james foley

A video made by the radical Islamist militants Islamic State (known as IS, ISIS or ISIL) showed Foley being beheaded on camera. Foley had been captured since 2012 and it was confirmed by the Obama White House that he was executed.

The title of his piece, “Did America’s policy on ransom contribute to James Foley’s killing?” was on their front page today. He said that the terrorist group is responsible and should be held responsible, but blasted longtime U.S. policy on not negotiating directly with kidnappers. Rohde said he was captured while on assignment in Afghanistan once, and the U.S. government refused to negotiate with his Taliban kidnappers.

Yet he conceded, “There are no easy answers in kidnapping cases. The United States cannot allow terrorist groups to control its foreign policy.” 

He called for a united American and European approach, where the latter negotiates and pays a ransom through an intermediary. One report said that al-Qaeda received $66 million in ransom money last year.

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  • Richard Hellstrom

    Ransom is the main form of income for Al Qaeda – Last year Europe paid out over 66 million dollars in ransom to kidnapped victims by Al Qaeda .
    “Kidnapping hostages is an easy spoil,” wrote Nasser al-Wuhayshi, the leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, “which I may describe as a profitable trade and a precious treasure.”

  • Steven Barrett

    While we can, and should, take a few moments to quietly and privately thank God for the bravery of our SpecOps soldiers who attempted to rescue James Foley; let’s also be thankful they were sent in as President Obama’s reply to ISIS, not Rohde. This guy is one of the most spectacular reasons I cringe whenever I read or hear first of the reporter’s “credentials” before learning the content of his/her story. He did a great disservice to the bravery of Jim Foley, his profession, not to mention his nation’s history of dealing with thugs like ISIS during the past two centuries. Just because the Europeans haven’t learned a damn thing about the price of appeasement, it doesn’t stand to reason that we have to.

  • RightToKnow

    Negotiating does not work with an ideology that goes well beyond anything a ‘reasonable person’ could even fathom. I am torn with the Bergdahl negotiation with terrorist. As a mother, I would want what ever money or release of other prisoners, it took to get my son home. As a citizen, I absolutely would not want the release of prisoners or money negotiated to these evil, bast@@ds! The 66 million certainly furthered their end result, to destroy anyone who is against Islam.

  • bbf

    The US spends $424 million EVERY HOUR. That $132 million is what we used to refer to as “chump change”. That no dealing with kidnappers didn’t stop the US negotiating the release of a US soldier who was labeled by his fellow soldiers as a deserter. So…as long as no money is’s OK to release 5 prisoners from GITMO….without the approval of congress.

  • bbf