James Foley's Mother: "Our Efforts To Get Jim Freed Were An Annoyance" To The Government


DIANE FOLEY, MOTHER OF JAMES FOLEY: Jim was very passionate about freedom, freedom of the press, freedom for disadvantaged children, a chance for education. But I know had he survived this ordeal, he would have been very passionate about the need to make kidnapped citizens a priority. A priority for our country. and internationally to try to promote dialogue for some consensus and strategy.

ANDERSON COOPER: Because right now, there is not consensus.

FOLEY: There is not.

COOPER: European nations pay for their hostages. The U.S. says they're unwilling to do that.

FOLEY: Exactly.

COOPER: You're saying countries need to be on the same page?

FOLEY: Absolutely. And not only that, there needs to be international dialogue. The risk is becoming higher and higher. And I really feel that our country let Jim down.


FOLEY: Well, Anderson, we met wonderful people within our government, good people who cared, who wanted to help. But the reality of the bureaucracy and really -- was such that we were not helped. We really weren't.

COOPER: You didn't feel like they were there for you, that they were really not? The U.S. government really was not?

FOLEY: Not at all. And yet, we don't blame, I don't want to blame people because that is going to help.

COOPER: So did you feel that your family, that Jim was a priority for the government?

FOLEY: No. We really didn't. You know?

COOPER: And you saw that in what, in the resources that they had you interact with, the people they had you interact with? How did you get that sense?

FOLEY: As an American I was embarrassed and appalled. I think our efforts to get Jim freed were an annoyance, you know.

COOPER: An annoyance to the government?

FOLEY: Yes, Jim would've been saddened. Jim believed til the end that his country would come to their aid. We were -- you know, asked to not go to the media. To just trust that it would be taken care of. We were told we could not raise ransom, that it was illegal. We might be prosecuted.

COOPER: You were told you would actually be prosecuted if you raise ransom?

FOLEY: Yes. That was a real possibility. Told that many times. We were told that our government would not exchange prisoners, would not do a military action. So, we were just told to trust that he would be freed somehow. Miraculously and he wasn't, was he? We, Americans, failed him. It is nobody's fault, it is just the fault of a lack of discussion around it and understanding of the problem.

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