Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | War on Terrorism | Steven Sotloff | Barak Barfi | Obama

Sotloff Family Spokesman: White House Didn't Do Enough

By    |   Wednesday, 10 Sep 2014 09:07 AM

The spokesman for the family of Steven Sotloff, the American journalist beheaded by the Islamic State (ISIS), has slammed the Obama administration for its handling of his capture, saying the government "could have done more" to save him.

Barak Barfi, a fellow at the New America Foundation and childhood friend of Sotloff, told CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" on Monday that sources on the ground told him one or more "so-called moderate" Syrian rebels sold Sotloff to ISIS for $25,000-$50,000 at a fake checkpoint at the border.

"We know that the intelligence community and the White House are enmeshed in a larger game of bureaucratic infighting and Jim [Foley] and Steve are pawns in that game and that's not fair," Barfi said, referring to the other American journalist who was killed by ISIS.

"They didn't provide the surveillance necessary to find the hostages," he said. "The administration could have done more, they could have helped us, they could have seen them through."

Barfi said that the administration has made a number of inaccurate public statements, including its insistence that the hostages had been frequently moved, even though, he said, intelligence showed they had been stationary.

He also suggested that the Sotloff family had not been "regularly informed" as the administration has insisted, and that the family is unhappy with numerous leaks.

"The relationship between the administration and the Sotloff family was very strained," he said, adding that the family made one request from the White House following the release of the video but was "rebuffed." He told Cooper he could not elaborate on the specifics of the request so as not to compromise the position of the remaining hostages.

The White House on Tuesday disputed Barfi's account of Sotloff's capture, saying it had no information to suggest he had been sold.

"Based on the information that has been provided to me, I don't believe that is accurate," said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.

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The spokesman for the family of Steven Sotloff, the American journalist beheaded by the Islamic State (ISIS), has slammed the Obama administration for its handling of his capture, saying the government "could have done more" to save him.
Steven Sotloff, Barak Barfi, Obama
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2014-07-10
Wednesday, 10 Sep 2014 09:07 AM
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