The parents of Kayla Mueller, a young American aid worker killed by the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) in 2015, excoriated the Obama administration during the Republican National Convention (RNC) on Thursday for doing nothing to ease their daughter’s plight.
Mueller was held captive, tortured, and “raped repeatedly” by the vicious group’s late leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Former “President Obama refused to meet with us until ISIS had already beheaded other Americans,” Carl Mueller proclaimed at the RNC. “To this day, we’ve never heard from [then-Vice President] Joe Biden.”
Democrat presidential nominee Biden’s loss of his first wife, young daughter, and his eldest son has become central to his political persona. The presidential candidate, along with his Democrat colleagues and their mainstream media allies, often tout the tragedy that has shaped his life as a point of connection to those who need help overcoming similar hardships such as the Mueller family. The media has praised the former VP for consoling those who need help overcoming surmounting loss.
Carl and Marsha Mueller stressed that President Barack Obama and his administration could have been heroes and rescued their daughter, but chose not to.
“We endured an agonizing back-and-forth between us, the Obama administration, and ISIS. We put all our faith in the government. But the government let us down,” Carl said, adding:
The Obama administration hid behind policy so much that we felt hopeless when they kept us from negotiating to save Kayla’s life. … The military prepared a rescue mission, but the [Obama] White House delayed it. By the time it went forward, Kayla had been moved to a different location.
U.S. President Donald Trump named the operation that led to the October 2019 demise of the “whimpering and crying and screaming,” as Trump described him, “caliph” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in honor of Kayla. ISIS kidnapped Kayla while she was working as a humanitarian in northern Syria in 2013. In 2015, U.S. officials confirmed the death of then-26-year-old Kayla.
“The Trump team gave us empathy we never received from the Obama administration,” her parents said at the RNC, adding, “If Donald Trump had been President when Kayla was captured, she would be here today.”
Under Trump, the U.S. has helped secure the release of a record number of Americans (over 20), including three children born in captivity to an American woman and her Canadian husband held by the Afghan Taliban and al-Qaeda-linked Haqqani Network.
The Muellers had previously said the Obama administration threatened them with criminal prosecution for potentially violating a U.S. policy against negotiating with terrorists when they attempted to pay ISIS a ransom for their daughter’s release.
Obama’s Pentagon conceded that the U.S. government does “on occasion,” pay U.S. taxpayer money “to obtain information” on American hostages.
A few months after Kayla’s 2015 death, Obama changed the policy against negotiating with hostage-takers, admitting the government had failed families of American captives. However, he refused to change the measure prohibiting the paying of ransoms to terrorist groups.
Before the alleged policy overhaul, President Obama did not hesitate to carry out failed peace talks with Afghan Taliban narco-terrorists. After the changes, he paid the world’s leading state sponsor of terror Iran $400 million in cash described by some Republicans as “ransom” to release hostages.
Obama negotiated the 2014 exchange of five high-level Taliban prisoners held at the Guantánamo Bay prison for the now-convicted U.S. Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl while refusing to allow Kayla’s family to pay a ransom for her release.
“The administration showed more concern for the terrorists in Guantanamo than for the American hostages in Syria,” Carl Mueller said at the RNC.
In 2015, a House panel determined that some of the Taliban jihadis released in exchange for Bergdahl had reengaged in “threatening activities.”
The Obama administration denied GOP allegations that before the prisoner swap, it paid a Taliban and al-Qaeda ally, the Haqqani Network, ransom money that failed to produce Bergdahl.
Jordan has vehemently denied ISIS claims that Jordanian airstrikes targeting the jihadi group killed Kayla. Although some ISIS factions continue to pose a threat, the Trump administration annihilated the group’s territorial caliphate in Iraq and Syria in early 2019, significantly degrading the organization’s capabilities.