Pentagon sources: Obama delayed Foley rescue by 30 days for fear of failure, bad press; he golfed 7 times instead

There was a chance James Foley ­- the American journalist brutally executed by ISIS ­- could have been saved.

Concerned over bad press and political consequences, President Obama took too long to OK his rescue mission. A former lieutenant-colonel in US military intelligence confirmed the delay to The Sunday Times.

According to a report from The Sunday Times, Obama waited nearly 30 days to authorize Foley’s rescue mission.  His “agonizing delay” was due to fear of political backlash. If the rescue mission failed, it could have seriously damaged his political image ­– not to mention interrupt another valuable round of golf.

Breitbart News quoted from the Times article:

“Pentagon sources said Foley and the others might well have been rescued but Obama, concerned about the ramifications of US troops being killed or captured in Syria, took too long to authorise the mission.”

Anthony Shaffer, a former lieutenant-colonel in US military intelligence who worked on covert operations, said: “I’m told it was almost a 30-day delay from when they said they wanted to go to when he finally gave the green light. They were ready to go in June to grab the guy [Foley] and they weren’t permitted.”

Was this simply a honest delay, or was Obama more concerned with how “boots on the ground” would taint his image? The latter seems to be true. During the 30-day debate period, Obama played golf seven different times.

We don’t know what the outcome would have been if the president quickly authorized the mission. While it’s dangerous to get sucked in the never-ending spiral of speculation, Foley might be here today under the alternate circumstances. For a President who’s so willing to negotiate with terrorists, it’s surprising he didn’t take action sooner. After all, it’s not like he’s never made a terrorist swap before.


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Hannah Bleau


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