Family of Beheaded Journalist Steven Sotloff: Obama Administration “Bullied” Us

September 18, 2014 4:47 pmViews: 249

Steven Sotloff


In all too recent memory is the tragic death of Steven Sotloff, an American journalist brutally murdered by ISIS terrorists, who not only beheaded him but did so in a perverse video which they later released to the world. Obviously, they held him captive for a time – about a year – before doing this, during which his family was understandably distraught and hoping for his safe return to the United States. The incident with Sotloff has certainly produced tremendous fallout, with President Barack Obama personally addressing the nation to assure Americans such tragedies will not be tolerated and announcing increased airstrikes against ISIS partly as a result.

It would be somewhat comforting, then, if the administration had showed the level of understanding and compassion for Sotloff's family which the official outrage would seem to suggest. They did not.

Unfortunately, Steven Sotloff's surviving relatives have recently come forward through a spokesman to report that, throughout Sotloff's detainment, they were repeatedly threatened and bullied by the Obama administration. They say they were warned on numerous occasions that any attempt to pay a ransom to ISIS would result in prosecution. Additionally, the family claims they were usually denied access to any senior officials, having instead to deal with low-level FBI agents and the like who had limited authority and could do little to help them.

While European nations establish 24 hour crisis lines during such situations, the Sotloffs say they felt that the administration never really cared about coming to their aid at all. It seems the best that they ever received was to be informed of a single rescue attempt by United States special forces, which was unsuccessful due to ISIS terrorists moving Sotloff before the raid could take place.

While the administration admits that they informed the Sotloffs of the law regarding ransoms paid to terrorist organizations such as ISIS, they hotly deny that they ever threatened or bullied the family. Meanwhile their spokesman, who sat in on what meetings the Sotloffs had with the administration, says in no uncertain terms that he knows what he saw and heard.

If true, these allegations are monstrous and completely unacceptable. It's a well known fact that the United States does not negotiate with terrorists, except for when they released 5 top terrorists to make themselves look good in the Bowe Bergdahl case, but to use that moral principle as a bludgeon with which to beat the suffering family of a kidnapped American citizen is inexcusable. Understanding and compassion are called for during such tragedies as these; next time, perhaps the Obama administration can muster some.

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