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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