The spokesman for the family of murdered American journalist Steven Sotloff has once again hit out at the Obama administration, accusing the president and his insiders of being uncooperative and bullying, and scaring the family into softening efforts to rescue Sotloff from the hands of ISIS terrorists.
Appearing on CBS show This Morning, Barak Barfi explained how poorly the family of the slain reporter were treated while they were still trying to save their loved one.
“We had meetings with the administration. The family sat with the National Security Council official. And basically he bullied and hectored them, and they were scared.” Barfi said, explaining the The White house attempted to intimidate the family into withdrawing from the negotiation process.
“I’m hearing Denis McDonough saying they weren’t threatened. He wasn’t in the meeting,” Barfi added, referring to a denial of the accusations by the White House chief of staff. “John Kerry wasn’t in the meetings. The family was in the meetings, and then I was in a subsequent meeting. And I know what I heard.” Barfi urged.
Barfi also said that the Sotloff family “never really believed that the administration was doing anything to help us. We had very, very limited contact with senior officials.”
Referring to discussions of how a ransom could potentially be paid to free Sotloff, Barfi declared that the administration “shot us down at every opportunity.”
“I tried to come up with creative solutions how we could get around the law.” Barfi added. “I said well how do you know that the group holding Steve is a terrorist organization. We know, they said. How would you know if we tried to transfer money. The banks wouldn’t allow it [they said].”
“We don’t have a view into the White House. We didn’t have a very good relationship with the administration….we don’t know what the administration’s policy was on this.” Barfi explained when asked why the administration would treat the family so poorly.
Barfi’s appearance was a follow up on an earlier interview, during which he accused the White House of using both Sotloff and his compatriot journalist James Foley, also killed by ISIS, as pawns to further its agenda in Syria.
In an appearance on CNN, last week Diane Foley, mother of the murdered journalist, also accused a military member of the White House’s security staff of threatening her family with prosecution, should they attempt to facilitate ISIS ransom demands. Mrs Foley also said that her family were ordered not to speak to the media.
In related news, a new video has been released by ISIS showing another British hostage, photographer John Cantlie saying ” I’ve been abandoned by my government.”
In the video, Cantlie promises to uncover “manipulated truths” told by the Western media.
“Over the next few programmes I’m going to show you the truth as the Western media tries to drag the public back to the abyss of another war with the Islamic State,” Cantlie says.
“I’m going to show you the truth behind the systems and motivation of the Islamic State, and how the Western media – the very organisation I used to work for – can twist and manipulate that truth for the public back home. There are two sides to every story – think you’re getting the whole picture?” he continues.
Cantlie promises to reveal how European countries have successfully negotiated with ISIS and had hostages returned, while the US and the UK have refused to do so, and left their people behind because they wish to continue the conflict in the middle east. Cantlie says he has “nothing to lose” and is not being “forced to do this.”
While it is contended that Cantlie is making the comments under duress, critics have pointed out that the propaganda effort strangely plays directly into the hands of the US and UK governments, as it enables critics of the US led strategy against the terror group to be demonized alongside ISIS propagandists.
Steve Watson is a London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.