Foley's Dad: 'Did Not Realize How Brutal They Were'
Parents still had hope even after last email
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2014 2:10 PM CDT
Diane and John Foley talk to reporters on Wednesday in Rochester, NH.   (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

(Newser) – The last email that the captors of James Foley sent to his parents condemned the US airstrikes in Iraq and said Foley would be executed in retaliation. But his parents were actually happy to get the message on Aug. 12 because they had heard nothing at all in eight months and thought the threat of execution might be bluster, they told NBC's Today show. "I did not realize how brutal they were, and I actually hoped we could engage in negotiations with them," said John Foley.

In a separate interview with Katie Couric of Yahoo News, the brother of the slain journalist said the US should have done more to try to free him. "I really, really hope that Jim’s death pushes us to take another look at our approach to terrorist and hostage negotiation," said Michael Foley. Unlike some European countries, the US does not pay ransoms, and critics such as Reuters' David Rohde—a journalist who was held captive himself before escaping—have said that inconsistency puts American hostages at risk. While not explicitly calling for the US to begin paying such ransoms, Rohde thinks the issue needs a full airing. "A consistent response to kidnapping by the US and Europe is desperately needed," he writes at Reuters. "The current haphazard approach is failing."

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Showing 3 of 63 comments
Aug 24, 2014 2:38 AM CDT
"I did not realize how brutal they were, and I actually hoped we could engage in negotiations with them," Have you seen the pictures of lynchings in America? There was no room for negotiation then, either. I look at my collection of good old American lynching pictures, from time to time, so I can remember how civilized people can be.
Chuck Roast
Aug 23, 2014 9:06 AM CDT
America should learn the KBG approach to negotiate the release of hostages. works
Aug 23, 2014 4:52 AM CDT
The USA should continue with the policy of not paying ransoms. Nobody forced Foley to work in such dangerous countries, and US citizens should not have to pay for such reckless behavior, as there is no net benefit with the news which people like Foley offer. Stop the airstrikes which are saving 40,000 to 50,000 people for one reckless American??? Uhm no!