Tags: ISIS | Obama and ISIS | Islamic State | beheadings

President's Adviser: Obama 'Not Interested' in Promoting Beheading Videos

By    |   Friday, 05 September 2014 08:20 AM

President Barack Obama, who is addressed directly in both of the videotaped executions of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, is "not interested" in adding to the "propaganda efforts" of the Islamic State, a senior administration official said Thursday.

"The president is not interested in lifting up, essentially, the propaganda efforts of a completely barbaric terrorist organization like this," Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told ABC News' Jonathan Karl Thursday. "He is certainly aware of the horrific, horrific way in which these two Americans were taken from us ... what he wants to do is make sure justice is done."

Story continues below video.

In the videotaped beheadings, Foley and Sotloff are both made to address Obama before their deaths.

“To deny the Muslims their right to live in safety under the Islamic caliphate will result in the bloodshed of your people,” Foley said in the minutes before his murder.

And Sotloff, whose death was threatened in the Foley video, said to the camera "Obama, your foreign policy of intervention in Iraq was supposed to be for preservation of American lives and interests, so why is it that I am paying the price of your interference with my life?”

The families of both slain men have appealed for the videos, which have been deemed authentic by the United States' intelligence services, not to be seen or shown. Most social media sites have removed them, ABC reports.

"What we don’t want to do is put a spotlight on these videos, which are essentially horrific accounts of acts of terror and, frankly, horrific propaganda for an organization that has nothing to offer the world except death and destruction," Rhodes said, declining to comment on whether Obama himself has watched the original videos.

Rhodes' statements may add to the criticism the administration is facing over its reaction to the ISIS threat. Earlier this year, before the group began taking over cities in Iraq, Obama dismissed the organization as being the "JV" squad.

In addition, last week, the president stunned both opponents and supporters when he said he had "no strategy yet" for dealing with ISIS, a statement the White House quickly revised.

On Thursday, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said the president's lack of strategy admission may actually be good.

"We're better off with a president who doesn't have a good strategy and knows he doesn't than with a president who has a bad strategy but thinks he has a good one," Gingrich wrote in a column for CNN. "If there is a silver lining in President Obama's disastrous foreign policy, it has been in awakening Americans and perhaps even the president himself to the need for a profound rethinking of our approach to radical Islamism."

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President Obama, who is addressed directly in the videotaped executions of two American journalists, is not interested in adding to the propaganda efforts of the Islamic State, a senior administration official said.
ISIS, Obama and ISIS, Islamic State, beheadings
Friday, 05 September 2014 08:20 AM
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