James Foley's Mom 'Embarrassed and Appalled' by U.S. Government

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The mother of James Foley, one of two American journalists beheaded by ISIS militants, said she is "embarrassed and appalled" by the American government and accused U.S. officials of not doing enough to rescue her son while he was in captivity. In an interview with CNN, Diane Foley said U.S. officials indicated her family could be prosecuted if they raised ransom to free her son, who was kidnapped in Syria in 2012.

"I think our efforts to get Jim freed were an annoyance" to U.S. officials, Diane Foley told CNN's Anderson Cooper. "It didn't seem to be in (U.S.) strategic interest, if you will."

She told CNN she was informed by U.S. officials that raising ransom was illegal and that the American government "would not exchange prisoners, would not do a military action." She said: "We were just told to trust that he would be freed, somehow, miraculously — and he wasn't, was he?"

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"I pray that our government will be willing to learn from the mistakes that were made and to acknowledge that there are better ways for American citizens to be treated," Diane Foley said.

The Pentagon attempted a rescue operation to free Foley and other U.S. hostages held in Syria by Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) militants, but the mission failed because the hostages weren't where U.S. planners thought they were, U.S. officials told NBC News in August.

The United States is firmly opposed to paying ransoms. "We don't make concessions to terrorist organizations," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said last month after the release of American writer Peter Theo Curtis, who was held captive in Syria for nearly two years. "We're unequivocal in our opposition to paying ransom to terrorists."

A second American journalist, Steven Sotloff, was also beheaded by ISIS militants. He had been kidnapped in Syria in August 2013.



— Daniel Arkin