Barak Barfi, a spokesman for the family of murdered journalist Steven Sotloff, accused the Obama administration of using Sotloff and fellow journalist James Foley as “pawns,” and reported that some of the “moderate” Syrian rebels sold Sotloff to ISIS on Monday’s “Anderson Cooper 360” on CNN.
Barfi said that based on information from “sources on the ground,” “we believe that the so-called moderate rebels that people want our administration to support, one of them sold him probably for something between 25 and $50,000 to ISIS, and that was the reason that he was captured.”
“The administration has made a number of inaccurate statements. They’ve said that the families have been consistently and regularly informed. That is not true…they said that these hostages were moved frequently. We know that for most of the beginning of this part of this year they were stationary. We know that the intelligence community and the White House are enmeshed in a larger game of bureaucratic infighting and Jim and Steve are pawns in that game and that’s not fair. If there continues to be leaks, the Sotloff family will have to speak out to set the record straight.”
Barfi also cited the fact that “people now are talking about the torture that some of these hostages suffered. People talked about specifically some of the tortures that Jim suffered, and that’s just not fair to his family. They need time to heal. There was an article last week in the Wall Street Journal basically revealing some of the details of the raid, the Pentagon, the intelligence community were pushing back against the White House and saying it was their fault, that they didn’t provide the surveillance necessary to find the hostages” as examples of the two journalists being “pawns.”
“The relationship between the administration and the Sotloff family was very strained” Barfi declared. And “the administration could have done more, they could have helped us, they could have seen them through…I just do not believe they [the Sotloffs] were afforded the opportunities of respect they should have been afforded by this administration.”
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