Just awful. The video was apparently on YouTube yesterday but was removed by Google, and Twitter has begun suspending accounts that share images of the beheading.
Poking around Twitter and the blogs, it seems that most people seem to be in agreement that this is the right thing to do. I guess I am an outlier here, but while I certainly understand the concerns of those who don’t want such images out there, it’s my personal view that violence should be confronted head-on. I think videos of what happened at the World Trade Center should be available. When Nick Berg was beheaded, over ten years ago, I believed people should have the ability to view that video.
For what it’s worth, at least one version of the video (which I assume is the same one pulled yesterday, though I have no way of knowing it) has popped back up on YouTube and was linked by Ben Howe on Twitter. If you want to view it, Howe’s tweet is here — at least until Howe gets suspended from Twitter, or the new upload of the video is pulled by Google.
If you don’t want to watch it (and I can’t blame you), I have a brief description below. If even that is too much, go on to the next post. I’ll bury the description under the fold.
But I would like to note, authorities are trying to determine whether the voice of Foley’s murderer — a man who speaks proper English with a British accent — was one of the people we released from Guantanamo.
R.I.P. James Foley. This is just horrible.
P.S. Apparently the Obama administration had been warned before the release of the video of the threat to Foley’s life, as well as threats to a second journalist, Steven Sotloff, also depicted alive in the video.
The video begins with footage of Obama announcing his airstrikes in Iraq. There is then a cut to Foley on his knees in an orange jumpsuit (as Berg was — an evident reference to the orange jumpsuits worn by Gitmo detainees). Foley gives a statement in which he blames America for his death. He personally addresses his brother, who he says is a member of the U.S. Air Force, and tells his brother that his colleagues signed Foley’s death warrant the day they dropped bombs on Iraq. A man wearing black, including a black ski mask, stands behind Foley, holding a knife in his left hand. That man delivers a warning to America in a British accent. In this video, only the beginning of the beheading is shown, but an image is shown of Foley’s body lying what we would normally call face down, with his severed head resting on his back with the face turned towards the camera.
The video ends with another captured journalist, Steven Sotloff, in an orange jumpsuit on his knees in front of the same man in black. Sotloff is alive, and is being gripped at the nape of the neck by the man in black, who says: “The life of this American citizen, Obama, depends on your next decision.”