Wednesday on MSNBC’s “NOW With Alex Wagner,” Marc and Debra Tice, the parents of Austin Tice, a former Marine and American journalist who reported for McClatchy Newspapers, The Washington Post and the Associated Press, that went missing in Syria in August 2012, said communication with the Obama administration has been “exquisitely horrible.”
Partial transcript as follows:
WAGNER: Debbie, in terms of the State Department and the involvement of U.S. Government officials in giving you information, in coordinating with you or asking for your thoughts about Austin and his situation, how robust has that line of communication been?
DEBRA TICE: Well, that line of communication has primarily been one way. They are certainly interested in any kind of contact that we may have, any kind of information that we have. They are very reluctant to share their information with us. And while we have been tremendously supported, especially by the State Department, certainly by our Senator, John Cornyn, our Congressman, Al Green, the communication has been exquisitely horrible, honestly.
WAGNER: The president spoke yesterday in an interview about his correspondence with the families whose children who have been taken hostage. I want to play that sound bite.
OBAMA: You know, it’s as tough as anything I do having conversation with parents who understandably want by any means necessary for their children to be safe, and we will do everything we can short of providing an incentive for future Americans to be —
WAGNER: Mark, has the president spoken to you by phone?
MARK TICE: We have not spoken directly with the president by phone or otherwise. You know, we have talked to White House officials, but not the president himself.
WAGNER: And when you hear that sound byte talking about wanting to dis-incentivize future hostage taking situations, what’s your reaction to that?
DEBRA TICE: In our situation, that hasn’t been an issue at all. You know, There’s a lot of room between initiating discussion and ransom. So what we need in our situation is for our government to engage in dialogue with the Syrian government because our son went missing in Syria. We’re not even approaching a place about talking about ransom.
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