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Conservative “Journalist” Calls James Foley a Coward for What ISIS Made Him Say Before They Killed Him

In a video released by terrorist group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, a bald man they claim was missing journalist James Wright Foley knelt in the sand somewhere in the desert. A man dressed in black from head to toe stood next to him and then appears to behead the man. The video ends with a graphic image of the head laying on the back of the corpse and the swine dressed in black threatening another bald man dressed in orange, thought to be another missing journalist: Steven Sotloff.

Before Foley’s murder, he was forced to give a statement denouncing American intervention in Iraq and Syria, suggesting President Obama is to blame for his death. He also was able to address his family members. Foley was remarkably calm and stoic throughout the video. His mother told NBC News, “she was proud of her son.”

Freelance conservative “reporter” Chuck C. Johnson tweeted “Kind of hard to like James Foley when he blames U.S. government for his killing. Just saying.” Naturally, outrage ensued. Johnson proceeded to spend the rest of the day re-tweeting his critics and continuously repeating an implication that Foley was a coward or deserved disdain. “I have plenty of respect for the dead,” he tweeted, “I don’t have respect for people who condemn America. Period. Why do you?”

Johnson said that he “knows where [he’ll] go when [he] dies,” and figured that allowed him the luxury to perform a thought experiment where he has written some kind of patriot martyr fantasy for himself. “Real courage is not denying your God, your country, or your family when presented with death.”

Anyone with any kind of sense of journalistic ethics would not speculate about the situation that led up to the video. It is unknown the extent to which Foley was tortured, if Sotloff was threatened if Foley didn’t comply. Yet, Johnson most likely saw this video and rather than being shocked at the brutality of this enemy, looked down on the victim because he didn’t carry out his heroic “give me liberty or give me death” fantasy.

He later tweeted his hollow “condolences” to Foley’s family and “all those who are killed in the name of Islam.”

UPDATE: The National Security Council has, according to USA Today, “reached the judgment that this video is authentic.” It is also suspected that the masked man in the video is a British citizen, or he at least spent a lot of time there.

Photo via Twitter

About the author

Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. Along with news and current events, he writes about parenting, art, and personal stories. His serial fiction story "The Prophet Hustle" is available at JukePop.com and a forthcoming independent ebook about the cam-modeling industry "Dirty Little Windows" will be available later this summer.

  • Terrence Keene Jablonski

    Let’s see how this guy would do in ISIS hsnds. Bet we would see the real coward then!

    • Maureen Hechler

      That this man would say this just reinforces MY politics.

  • Liz McLaughlin

    Friggin’ idiot.

  • rosa

    see how you would do if you had been captive, tortured, brainwashed for two years and then knew your head was about to be chopped off. so sorry the govt. want able to save him.

    • Thomas Joel

      no excuse for cowardice, rosa, unless you are a woman named rosa…

      • gngr12345

        TJ – How pathetic are you in that you give your every comment a thumbs up?

  • Jackie Brown

    I think Mr. Patton’s arrogant photo along with his arrogant article, says all we need to know about this so called columnist. Joshua Patton, tell you what. Why not pay a visit to Syria and make that patriotic speech yourself.

    • Joshua M. Patton

      Jackie, thanks for reading and commenting. Just wanted to clarify, the photo is of Chuck C. Johnson, the journalist who made the statements. I am simply your humble correspondent bringing the story to you. Also,while I have not been to Syria, I have been to Iraq which is precisely why I find Chuck C. Johnson (again, the guy in the picture and the one who made the critical statements) repugnant. Thanks for reading.

  • M Owens

    James Foley’s last moments were spent in a cowardly act. He was well aware of what was about to happen and he let ISIS use him to spew their propaganda. I agree that he should have spit in their face. ISIS would of had respect for that as would the rest of the world.

    • Joshua M. Patton

      M, thanks for reading. Actually, his last moments were spent having his head sawed off of his neck by a terrorist. There is nothing either brave of cowardly about that, only tragic. I’d also advise you against making assumptions about things which you can’t possibly know, such what Mr. Foley was or was not “well aware of” at the time of his death. As someone who went to war, I’d expect my fellow Americans to have a bit more compassion.

      • M Owens

        Patton, you advise me against making assumptions about things which I can’t possibly know at the same time that you assume that I am American.

        What happened to Foley is a travesty.
        I feel compassion for him and his family.
        I feel even worse that he let ISIS take his dignity.
        That was all that he had control of and he gave it up and got nothing in return.

        • Tormod Schou

          What if they told him they would spare Sotloff’s life if he read the statement? What if they told him they would only fake his beheading if he played along? What if they told him they would tear him apart limb from limb and he’s actually seen them do that to someone else? What if they told him they would kill members of his family in the U.S? What if being subject to months of extreme torture simply puts you in a frame of mind that YOU and other besserwissers like you do NOT have the ability to understand? Ever heard about the Stockholm Syndrom?

          Your comments are pure ignorance and sometimes it’s NOT ok to be a troll. I suggest you STFU!

          • M Owens

            What if the moon is made of cheese?
            Grown men do not get Stockholm syndrome.
            When I heard what Foley said it bothered me so much that I did a google search to see if others felt the same way.
            Chuck Johnson summed up my thoughts to a tee.
            Sorry that you cannot except that.

          • Joshua M. Patton

            M, you’re right. Sorry I assumed you were a Yankee. Luckily, you’ve made a statement that doesn’t require assumptions, just a rudimentary understanding of psychology. Traumatic bonding can happen to a person of any age or gender and can even affect entire communities (see: Oslo Syndrome).

            I also find it interesting that what Foley said bothered you more than the fact that these savages took off his head with a small knife. Still, M, I always appreciate your perspective. Please keep reading and commenting!

          • M Owens

            JMP, I knew that someone was bound to claim and rightly so that a grown man can succumb to Stockholm syndrome. But only a very weak minded man and even then I doubt that these savages ISIS would provide the necessary interaction that could foster any feelings of a bond. To believe otherwise is ridiculous in my opinion.
            Your 2nd paragraph shows that you still make erroneous assumptions freely. I am absolutely sickened that these filthy animals ISIS beheaded James Foley, and that bothers me exponentially more than Foley’s last words. You have no basis to say that other than to make a cheap shot at me.
            While I am still bothered at Foley’s last words I have softened my position that he was a coward for saying them.

          • Thomas Joel

            No, Tormod, you NEVER should give in or believe evildoers in their promises but should fight them and oppose them AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY. Face the FACT that they are GOING TO KILL YOU, and try with ALL OF YOUR HEART to kill or wound them while you can. To abandon or go apostate in your final moments alive is pure STUPIDITY AND NAIVETE. You, sir, are a fool and I only wish I could tell you that to your face, truly!!!

        • Thomas Joel

          Mr. Owens, you are 100% correct, sir. I pray that this never happens to you or I, and if it does, that both of us are supported by our Lord, Jesus Christ, and are able to stick to our principles. These other posters are most certainly little wimpy cowardly libs. They defend him because they damn well would do the same, chickenshit thing as he did. Pathetic.

    • Thomas Joel

      Agree, Owens. I pray to God that He will give me the courage to stick to my faith and not to abandon my principles in my final words alive as this poor coward clearly did. The rest of you are dolts if you see this man as somehow heroic. No friggin way. He was scared shitless and abandoned his American values in his final moments alive. So sad!!!!!!!!!!!

  • AnnPaez

    Joshua patton walk in James Foleys shoes before u run your mouth fool

    • Joshua M. Patton

      Guys, seriously. The person who said this is Charles C. Johnson, I just wrote the article…..

      • MikeG1982

        Why is this so hard for people to grasp? Read the article, people. Its not very long…Joshua is just conveying what this other dude said. Read more than the title, folks.

      • Uncensored

        That’s what you get for posting this with your own politics thrown in. The very people you are pandering to are the social media retards that are offended by everything and understand nothing.
        James Foley was a victim. He was not a hero. A hero is someone who fights back even under fear of death. He knew they were going to cut his head off, yet he said all that. For what purpose? Maybe they did torture him. Just like thousands of US soldiers in Vietnam who refused to sign “confessions”. I’m not judging him. But I’m also not going to aggrandize him for being afraid and being killed. He’s a victim. I hope the twitter dipshits spread this article around and you get blamed for what Johnson said.

        • Joshua M. Patton

          Thanks for reading, but I don’t see where I injected any of “my politics.” As a war vet who has been to the region, I am aware of exactly how different it is for US soldiers in captivity and civilians.

          At no point do I call Mr. Foley a hero, simply because the word has become so overused it has no meaning anymore. However, I also don’t think it is appropriate to call him a coward, especially mere hours after the world learned of his death.

          Also, I too hope this article gets spread around. Please keep reading Issue Hawk!

          • Uncensored

            You had to rewrite your response 3 times. Obviously you’re afraid of offending someone. Which is a symptom of the social media morons.

            I don’t think it’s a fantasy to believe you would not speak out against your country, particularly if they are going to cut your head off anyway.

            Look up Nathan Hale. Some people have the strength of their convictions. It’s why some people are noble and heroic, and most people are not.

          • Joshua M. Patton

            Actually, I rewrote it because I didn’t feel very proud of myself for the way I ended that first response, although I thought I deleted it.

            Again, I don’t see where anyone is calling James Foley a hero. Frankly, I think the word is overused today. What I object to, however, is calling this man a coward before he’d been dead for even a day.

            Neither you nor I know what happened in that desert on that day, what they told him or how they threatened him. And, I will say this: Whether they were his words or not, at least Mr. Foley didn’t hide behind anonymous screen names. You want to call someone a coward? Put your name on it.

            Still, I genuinely appreciate you sharing your thoughts and please keep reading Issue Hawk. Cheers – JMP

        • M Owens

          So true.

  • Taobert Jenkins

    This conservative commentator should be … beheaded for making such stupid comments. Here’s one likely scenario “Ok Mr Foley, you are going to follow this script, convincingly, and if do not we will kill your family back home” (they probably had his complete phone contacts/drivers license, etc.) So, would you follow the script or let one of your family members be killed?

    • Thomas Joel

      Absolutely NOT!!! They will do so anyway, IMO, so save your dignity and fight them to the death as best that you can AT THAT VERY MOMENT!!! You, Taobert, are a coward and a fool, IMO. Only wish I could tell you that to your face.

  • andacar

    It would almost be worth it to be next in line at an ISIS execution so that I could watch this arrogant little worm scream and beg and cry. Perhaps he would figure out why he was such a hypocrite as his head rolled on the ground.
    Just saying.

  • Eugenia Oliphant

    Faith hope and charity are true signs of God’s people. I don’t know who you are that try to take on judgement as part of Biblical principles, and as far as what you do when your time comes, and surely it will if you get “Left Behind”. It will be documented. I will not judge this man only The Father in heaven knew his heart.

  • Luis Alfredo Martinez

    Well at least I have found out that the terrorist group ISIS and the Republicans have one thing in common, they both blame every thing on Obama, strange isn’t it.