What isn’t being asked about the failed Foley rescue?

Posted on: August 21st, 2014 by Will Rodriguez 31 Comments

In an uncharacteristic and incredibly coincidental revelation, the US government acknowledged it attempted to rescue the subsequently beheaded American journalist James Foley.  The government’s justification for acknowledging the raid is that it was about to be reported by several news organizations.  Huh?  Whatever happened to “neither can confirm nor deny”?


Instead of potentially vague report that some special ops raid was launched into Syria the New York Times reported government officials conducting a media conference call a day after ISIS posted a video of James Foley being beheaded, a “complicated operation” to rescue Foley.  The defense department official went on to describe Task Force 160 helicopters delivering Delta Force commandos deep into Syria, engaging in a firefight at an initial suspected site, interrogating a terrorist on site, conducting a second air assault on a different site, engaging in intense firefight where numerous terrorists were killed and exfiltrating.  One of the commandos a member of TF 160 was wounded during the operation.  The operation found evidence that indicated it had missed the hostages by days.


The NYT further reported two anonymous Defense Department officials as being angered by the administration’s released details of the mission.   “This only makes our job harder,” the DoD official said.  “I’m very disappointed this was released. We knew any second operation would be a lot harder.”


National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden, said the administration had “never intended to disclose this operation” but felt it was forced to by news media outlets preparing to report the story. “An overriding concern for the safety of the hostages and for operational security made it imperative that we preserve as much secrecy as possible.”   Wait, how does exposing infiltration methods, sources of intelligence, enemy effectiveness at creating casualties and our intelligence was only days away from being accurate “preserve secrecy”?


The rest of the administration’s spin described “a long developing operation” involving a “layered procedure” to develop a detailed picture of where the hostages may be that, “never lost sight of the plight of these hostages.”   During the conference call, officials said the administration kept the mission secret to “preserve future opportunities” to conduct another one.



I’m incredulous!  There are still hostages out there!  How does releasing this information enhance future opportunities to rescue them?  It clearly doesn’t.   So why release all the details?  The president’s chief counterterrorism adviser Lisa Monaco said about the raid, “Their effort should serve as another signal to those who would do us harm that  the United States will not tolerate the abduction of our people, and will spare no effort to secure the safety of our citizens and to hold their captors accountable.”


Let me describe the reasoning and impact of the above political posturing.  A day after the horrific video depicting James Foley’s beheading the administration, fearful of being called to account for its abysmal record in foreign policy attempted to pre-empt the furor by releasing operational details of a secret op putting our servicemen at greater risk in the future and making it more difficult to conduct future successful hostage rescues.  While Americans are appropriately marveling at the competence, bravery and daring of our armed forces most of us are distracted as to the damage done the same service members who aren’t doing what they do to be worshipped for it.   The administration is counting on Americans predictable pride in their armed forces to distract from asking, “How did we ever get in the situation we find ourselves and what’s the plan to improve the situation?”


The cherry on top of the whole sordid affair is officials had the gall to say, “The United States government, as a matter of longstanding policy, does not grant concessions to hostage takers,” one senior administration official said. “Doing so would only put more Americans at risk of being taken captive.”


I guess they think we’ve already forgotten the name Bergdahl…

Be Respectful, Candid and Pertinent. No Posers, No Trolls…
  • clluelo

    They have very short memories it seems ! Thanks major

  • steelhorse

    these people coc and the rest of his croneys only trying to cover their asses at the expence of our soilders and to say we tried but delta failed its not our fault despicable people and thats their good points

  • Camo_Steve

    It’s just another thing to add to the list of problems our country is facing….

  • Luddite4Change

    clluelo This administration has never had a problem releasing this type of information when either the operation was successful (Libya snatch a few months back, or the Somalia hostage rescue a few years back), or it served their immediate political interest to show that they were doing something.

    I wouldn’t expect that to change between now and 2016.  

    The correct answer, as you say is “no comment”.

  • KineticFury

    <the administration had “never intended to disclose this operation” but felt it was forced to by news media outlets preparing to report the story.>
    You can sum up a lot about “The administration” with the two words “never intended.”
    Whole thing does sound suspicious…I wonder if the murder video made it too personal to the administration. Read about it, apparently it begins w/ a clip of the POTUS, then the English-speaking terrorist speaks directly the President. http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2014/08/islamic_state_behead.php That and the sheer volume of coverage and reporting can put pressure…yet still does not thoroughly explain it.

    <“An overriding concern for the safety of the hostages and for operational security made it imperative that we preserve as much secrecy as possible.” – See more at: https://gruntsandco.com/isnt-asked-failed-foley-rescue/#sthash.RoJi8ram.dpuf >.

    “We put the best of the United States military in harm’s way to try and bring our citizens home,” said Rear Adm. John F. Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary.
    Ok, but doesn’t mean you should say so when the citizens are still in harms way, what are we trying to show we tried before anything bad happens to them?
    “The United States government, as a matter of longstanding policy, does not grant concessions to hostage takers,” one senior administration official said. “Doing so would only put more Americans at risk of being taken captive.”
    But we do tell the entire world about when and how we tried to do rescue captives….

  • Txazz

    I’m appalled and next article even more appalled and it doesn’t stop.  Never an end to the incompetence of this admin.  Each episode is more devilish.
    Here is an article dated today- Eyewitness accounts.Syrian source close to Islamic State says militants were tipped off in advance about rescue operation.
    Listen to what Lt. Col Shaffer (Ret) has to say:
    He told me and co-host Brian Wilson that the recently revealed rescue
    attempt led by Special Forces earlier this summer failed because
    President Obama was slow to give the go-ahead:
    I’m hearing from my friends in the Pentagon, they are giving
    him every single option way ahead of time. And let me give you a little
    secret here: The reason that raid into Syria failed to get Foley and
    those guys was because the president drug his feet. He waited too long,
    the intel got stale, and by the time we actually gave the “go” word it
    failed because we just didn’t react quick enough.

  • Txazz 
    These are some very interesting finds that need to get more publicity but they likely won’t.  Thanks for adding them.

    I’m skeptical that the Islamists were tipped off about a potential “raid”.  Maybe they became aware of US interest and decided to move the hostages but if they knew a raid was coming it would have been an outstanding opportunity to conduct an ambush and embarrass the US.  I just can’t see ISIS passing on such a juicy target.

    The administration dragging its feet when comes to military options is a cliche at this point.

  • steelhorse

    If we had a real prez after volley was killed he would have come out and simply said u have killed one of ours now we’re going to kill a 1000 of yours and then for them to c nothing but missiles coming in on all known targets that might get Isis attention but its only a dream like a red line in the sand

  • steelhorse 
    This Pres won’t even watch the video.  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/22/us/politics/a-terrorist-horror-then-golf-incongruity-fuels-obama-critics.html?_r=0  Though he did get a round of golf in after commenting on Foley’s beheading.

    When has a President (even in fiction) not watched something like this?  Imagine what the public’s reaction would be to such a portrayal or knowledge? 

    This isn’t new of course.  Little has been made of the President’s repeated failure to read or attend intelligence briefs. Most Americans don’t know/care and the media sure isn’t going to bring this to the forefront of the nation’s consciousness.

    This will end very badly for the US.

  • steelhorse

    Yes I agree we need to hit these people hard an fast read an article on druge or the heritage foundation eletter by retired general said the same thing.
    There was also one on drudge from an Isis tweet that had someone holding a handwritten note up in front of a building in Chicago they are already here and most likely legally or they are citizens afraid we are on our own

  • steelhorse

    here are the links i referred to chicago.cbslocal.com/2014/08/22/ominous-tweet-connects-isis-threat-in-chicago

  • Txazz

    majrod steelhorse Maybe, he should be forced to watch the video along with Valerie – maybe that would get his attention.
    Even the Pope, the Democrats, etc. flinched and commented after he walked directly back to the golf course.  This man is sick.

  • Txazz

    steelhorse Bingo, they are here and have been for a long time.  Here is the Al Qaida Lady ISIS wanted to swap for Foley.  She is presently incarcerated in Tarrant County, TX.


  • Txazz

    majrod steelhorse US Journalist Peter Theo Curtis held in Syria since 2012 released by Jahbat Al Nusra.

  • LawyerHandle

    One part of the Times article that stood out to me was the part about the hostage exchange demands- Aafia Saddiqui for Foley. You’d think someone in the press might think to wonder what role, if any, the Bergdahl exchange played in ISISs thinking that the idea of an exchange even had a chance of being realistically entertained?

  • YankeePapa

    …Sometimes confidential military information has been viewed as just more feed for the “spin control” cycle.  The Carter administration was under pressure not just from the Reagan candidacy, but from public opinion re Carter not doing enough to prepare America’s defenses… So it was tossed out there that a Stealth program for attack aircraft had been secretly underway for years…  That was nice…

  • LawyerHandle 
    Very good point.

  • Michael_mike

    A little technological side note about ISIS.

    They are using Tor. They got their own ‘special or unique’ crypto. And now there is a hacker group named “Lizard Squad” targeting sony, blizzard entertainment, Xbox and more (not that I am a big fan of video games). Their attack have yet to show any sign of advanced hacking technique but one has to wonder how they knew that John Smedley -sony online entertainment president- was aboard that plane before doing that bomb hoax. It clearly require more skill than sending more request than the server can handle (a DOS attack) or it come from other hacker whom don’t know who they are dealing with.


    (a 2-part article about extremist use of crypto)

    Absolutely no one know whether or not that crypto got broken and yet all the info leaked could help them figure out. That’s the kind of chain reaction that can happen when you talk too much about operations.

    Not long after it was known that SEAL team 6 killed OBL, it was not a hasard that ~3 month  an helicopter loaded with two dozen of SEAL got shot down in Afghanistan. Now we know it was Delta. What will happen next?

  • As expected, silence from the MSM…

    Report: Obama waited a month before ordering the James Foley rescue attempt   http://hotair.com/archives/2014/08/25/report-obama-waited-a-month-before-ordering-the-james-foley-rescue-attempt/

    Why would the President wait?  Some sources have said that the President feared a failed raid and being “Carterized” as Carter was after the failed Iran hostage rescue mission in ’79.  Frankly, I don’t think the President is too concerned with looking like a bungler in foreign policy.  Others have stated a 4th of July mission would have been good timing.  A pretty pathetic reason but considering the data dump on the Syria raid to counter the backlash over the optics of Foley’s horrific beheading….  Some would think that putting troops at greater risk on future ops is pathetic yet we keep having decisions that are pretty hard to rationally explain.
    Well that is if anyone were asking questions…

  • LawyerHandle

    CNN is reporting that Obama has now authorized surveillance flights over Syria. It will be interesting to see how that plays out (and you sort of have to assume we’ve already been doing it). At today’s Pentagon’s breifing, the press spokeman Real Adm. John Kirby dropped this little tidbit about Egypt and the UAE conducting airstrikes in Libya against Islamic militants. That’s an interesting development.

  • steelhorse

    Everything is framed in the msm on how it looks on Obama it’s all about optics.
    He believes this country stole everything from the rest of the world he wants to cut us down to size. He hates our super power status he doesn’t believe we’re exceptional we’re no better than anybody else and we’re the problem no the solution.
    We have a prez that hates the country as he has said we have a bill of negitve rights in only says what the government can’t do to u not what the government can do for u ( Chicago NPR interview 1996 )

  • Waterborne 
    The optics are bad for those that are watching and/or searching for info.  The media is not.  Americans simply don’t know.  They would if the President was from a different party.

  • oldSquid(Mafia)

    @Txazz I’m not so sure it’s incompetence…  I think it’s a well scripted appearance to fool and distract the American People. He acts like he is checking out and the msm is all atwitter about how he is bored, can’t accomplish anything and is checking out by playing golf and going on vacation…in the meantime, his policies and programs are still moving forward – and he gives campaign style speeches talking about how wrong things (that he is implementing) are and how nothing is getting done, and he has to use his phone and pen and bypass Congress to achieve anything…like legalizing 5 million ILLEGAL immigrants etc… on another note, I’m not so sure that the kidnappers were not forewarned by a ‘little birdie’ (named Valerie maybe) that the raid was coming and to move the hostages..could explain his foot dragging on the rescue op (if there actually was one)..think back to what was eked about the opportunities to get bin Laden before the trigger was finally pulled…word was he delayed three or four times on the advice of Valerie before somebody else actually gave the go ahead.

  • oldSquid(Mafia)

    Can’t do that…they’ll ‘crash’ and be wiped before you could…

  • LawyerHandle

    Apparently the Taliban tried to get Saddiqui for Bergdahl too… That should destroy further attempts by Obama to create a noteworthy distinction b/w the Taliban and AQ/ISIS and/or his claims that they do not have similar longterm goals against US interests.

  • steelhorse

    Waterborne look at what the optics have been obamas cked out he’s bored he doesn’t want to do the job he can’t get his agenda past the house he going to be like ike and go play golf he doesn’t care.

    BULLSHIT they anounced today their doing a global warming treaty at the un that their going to amend a 1992 treaty so it doesn’t have to go through the senate. the election is in to months after that the exc orders are going to fly especialy if he loses the senate right now he using the bubba clinton playbook when things are going bad throw some missles at iraqs new boogy man but he will acomplih about as much.

    our only hope is the repuplicans take the senate and impeach and remove obama (of couse then biden becomes prez god help us) but thats probably got about as much chance of happening as me shooting a 1 inch group with a 9mm pistol at 150yds

  • Txazz

    KineticFury There is no way I ever believe what O is saying or doing.  You notice he has been talking to the Vets  and recently honored that 108 yr old lady Vet.  Now, you know he is up to something.
    Hagel, Dempsey, Josh Earnest (the worst presser yet – that man is lame) – I do not believe any of them.  Pitiful state to be in to not trust your government and even members of your own party (if you’re sure what party you belong to these days).  The retired military at least are finally able to say something if they will – some do.

    This administration is as sick as those two teen girls who put the kitten in the microwave – sick sick and only got a slap on the wrist.  And, that folks, is the state of our nation.

  • Michael_mike

    Waterborne oldSquid(Mafia)Lets not forget that Anna Chapman was reportedly targeting an unnamed Obama’s cabinet member. That make an investigation on VJ credible, but probably sensible enough to not be visible nor accessible on the system…unless a white list was made.

    In that particular case one of the mistake they’ve made was to write down the password used for communicating, itself buried inside the OS. I concede that communicating without getting caught is possible and is limited by the imagination. But this is where bulk data collection can pay off.

    Jeffrey Delisle (the canadian mole who sold some secret to Russia) was saving -but never sent- all the intel to be leaked in a draft email, for which Russia had the password. 

    In a book an example given of how child pornography was transmitted. By making an ad somewhere on the net, only at a given time did the picture of that random item was updated with the pornography hidden inside that picture. Interestingly enough it was said to be similar of how some terrorist cell communicate, another good reason to catch them.

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  • Michael_mike

    “Sorry to be off topic but I can’t find the article this should go under; according to the WSJ, last week’s Yemen rescue op failed b/c Obama waited at least a week to approve the mission.


    Couldn’t read the full article but once again we hear just too much about the mission. First we heard that the mission is still classified and then you know they were dropped by a V-22 and how far away.

    But now if it’s really true that Obama has the habit to delay these rescue missions that would be something we should know more about. What to expect from a president whom self-censor his moment of weakness (aka glitches on the video feed 95% of the time they are about to show up)?

    From CNN:
    “The official traveling with Hagel said that once the Ospreys landed, the team had to trek about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) to the compound.
    They were discovered at about 100 meters from the location where Korkie and Somers were being held, according to that official. The main part of the assault lasted 5-10 minutes.
    “They lost the element of surprise at the last minute as they approached the compound,” the official told Starr.”

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