Both the families of the executed journalists, Steven Sotloff and James Foley, claim they were threatened with prosecution if they tried paying ransoms to free their sons. But the White House Chief of Staff, McDonough, has come out to defend White House.
He appeared on several Sunday morning talk shows to discuss ISIS where he responded to the two families’ claim of prosecution-threat if they paid ransoms to the Islamic State.
McDonough told Fox News that they never threatened anybody but made clear what the law is as that is their responsibility.
It is reported that before the two journalists were executed, the terrorists approached their American families and offered to release them for a ransom.
The two journalists were each executed by beheading last month. The video showing this horrific act was released by ISIS.
U.S. law prohibits payment of ransoms to such criminal organization since it is believed it would amount to financially supporting terrorism and at the same time encouraging more kidnappings.
This was a bitter pill for the two families to swallow since they were left helpless. A spokesman of Sotloff family, Barak Barfi, said they had a meeting in May with a State Department official who brought the ‘material support’ law several times.
“The family felt completely and utterly helpless when they heard this,” Barfi said.
James Foley’s mother says she experienced the same thing when the family was approached by ISIS with ransom.
She told CNN that as an American, she was embarrassed and appalled at efforts to rescue her son from captivity. Mrs. Foley said her son was sacrificed just because of a lack of communication and prioritization.