Article in The Telegraph claims James Foley beheading video staged

Gundersen

Senior Member.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/journali.../Foley-murder-video-may-have-been-staged.html

The one thing that doesn't make sense to me is why they would go through the trouble of staging a fake beheading, only to kill him off-camera?
Wouldn't it be easier to just kill him in the video?

I think you are right, it would be easier to just kill him in the video. But let's face it; no matter how many inhumane things IS is doing, it it still real people behind it. Many of them are persuaded into the group by believing in a greater course, but most of them are normal men. They might not be completely comfortable with cutting off the head of an unarmed man. They might have felt that it was emotionally easier for them to stage the beheading and kill Foley with a gunshot or similar, then afterwards behead his dead body.

Another possibility is that the men who are capable and willing to do a beheading, might not be those who are best suited to be in the video. The video is intended to be propaganda. They might have chosen a man who had the "performance"-capabilities needed, but he might have refused, or simply not be able, to behead anybody. As far as I know, it is something with requires a fair amount of skill. I don't think they really cared about how or if Foley died, but they wanted to make a statement. A statement to the Western countries and fellow Muslims. This might have been the "trick" used to enhance the message.

From http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/james-foley-killed-off-camera-expert-article-1.1915845

It is a bit difficult to say when the forensic company is anonymous, but usually, these companies (especially if working for the police) knows a great deal about videos and how to spot inconsistencies. If assuming that this is a company with a good reputation, I doubt they would make this kind of statement without a few key indicators that something is off.

I have not seen the video, and I am not any video-expert anyway, but my point is simply that I do think there are reasons for IS the fake the beheading.
 
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To say that it was "staged" does not necessarily imply that the man was not beheaded.

However, it can hardly be called a "coincidence..." Peter Parker is ALSO a photojournalist!

The victim's possible "secret identity" aside, I don't think there's anything remarkable about the framing, or staging, or cinematography, or whatever one wishes to call it, of the video. They were out in the picturesque desert with nothing but sky in the background, the guy was wearing an orange jumpsuit with his hands tied behind his back. It wouldn't surprise me if he had been wearing make-up.

This all meets the definition of "staged." The use of the word is simply a distraction from core issues.
 

Gundersen

Senior Member.
To say that it was "staged" does not necessarily imply that the man was not beheaded.

However, it can hardly be called a "coincidence..." Peter Parker is ALSO a photojournalist!

The victim's possible "secret identity" aside, I don't think there's anything remarkable about the framing, or staging, or cinematography, or whatever one wishes to call it, of the video. They were out in the picturesque desert with nothing but sky in the background, the guy was wearing an orange jumpsuit with his hands tied behind his back. It wouldn't surprise me if he had been wearing make-up.

This all meets the definition of "staged." The use of the word is simply a distraction from core issues.

Agreed, that some aspects are "staged" does not mean that the beheading or killing in anyway did not happen. It just means that even terrorist groups has a marketing division.
 

Gundersen

Senior Member.
Source: http://www.capitalpunishmentuk.org/behead.html#problem

The above-mentioned side states the difficulties of performing a clean beheading. As stated, it requires the right equipment, skills and experience. Why would IS then really care about it being "clean" and humane?

Source: http://www.orthodoxislam.org/beheading-in-islam.html

Because if anybody tries to follow every little word in the holy Quran, it is IS. Even though the Quran permits the use of capital punishment, and specifically allows beheading, it is clear on the point that no excess suffering is allowed. It should be swift and painless.

The reason for the actual beheading to take place off-screen might simply be a mix of marketing and religious reasons.
 
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
This all meets the definition of "staged." The use of the word is simply a distraction from core issues.

Unfortunately in the conspiracy community, "staged" is synonymous with "fake". They think the Boston bombings were "staged", that 9/11 was "staged", etc. So when they see the word in the mainstream media, it's like a confirmation of their beliefs.

Of course that's a little inconsistent, as the MSM is also supposed to be complicit with all the "staging", so the article about the staging must (to the conspiracy way of thinking) be part of some grander staging.
 

Jason

Senior Member
The NYP discusses the fact that they believe the event was staged but also concur that the deed did happen off camera.
After analysing the footage they said they determined the 6" blade used in the beheading isn't consistent with what the audio footage and video footage revealed. The audio towards the end while James Foley is being sliced at the top of his neck isn't consistent with what one would expect to hear, and the video footage doesn't show any blood coming from the slicing (cutting) of his neck.
http://nypost.com/2014/08/25/james-...&utm_source=NYPFacebook&utm_medium=SocialFlow
 

Jason

Senior Member
Some have opinioned that James Foley works for the CIA, like in this video, and that the beheading was staged and never happened. It's only 8 minutes long
I do have a question though, if a U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl was released from captivity in exchange for five Taliban leaders in May 2014, why didn't the US try to do a swap for Foley. Why did IS ask for so much money, allegedly 132 million and prisoners for a US journalist, but they give back a bonafide US soldier for a whopping 5 prisoners. Wouldn't one expect the demands for a US soldier to be higher than a journalist, unless they knew he was an important person (possibly). And I recently learned that James Folew was kidnapped twice, talk about bad luck:eek:
 

Hevach

Senior Member.
The trade with Bergdal was 5 prisoners who were basically worthless to either side - low to mid level grunts who would probably rot in our military prison system forever because they knew little worth extracting and did little worth prosecuting, and who just ended up in forced labor prisons over there anyway.

The lower trade for Bergdal isn't really surprising. With jouranlists, it's most often their employers who pay the ransom. When you're demanding ransom from the US military, it's much more likely to be paid in bullets than dollars, but prisoner exchange is a long standing practice of war that the US has participated in since before it technically existed.

That also involved a different group - Bergdahl was held by the Taliban, not IS. They have different goals and different needs, both of which mean different demands.

It's worth mentioning that, according to USA Today, the 100 million euro demand was never taken seriously. Huge demands like that were a common IS opening gambit - they'd demand a massive sum, and then take a much smaller one after negotiation. In this case, however, there was no answer to attempts to open the negotiation, no second offer, no counter offer, just silence. There have been instances where ransoms were paid to IS, but they were usually on the order of a few million, not hundreds of millions (GlobalPost was apparently prepared to pay 5 million in this case - the USA Today article I read is ambiguous whether this was dollars or euros since there's a lot of unit mixing going on in these reports), and at least some of the prisoners were executed after payment anyway.
 
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Jason

Senior Member
The trade with Bergdal was 5 prisoners who were basically worthless to either side - low to mid level grunts who would probably rot in our military prison system forever because they knew little worth extracting and did little worth prosecuting, and who just ended up in forced labor prisons over there anyway.

The lower trade for Bergdal isn't really surprising. With jouranlists, it's most often their employers who pay the ransom. When you're demanding ransom from the US military, it's much more likely to be paid in bullets than dollars, but prisoner exchange is a long standing practice of war that the US has participated in since before it technically existed.

That also involved a different group - Bergdahl was held by the Taliban, not IS. They have different goals and different needs, both of which mean different demands.

It's worth mentioning that, according to USA Today, the 100 million euro demand was never taken seriously. Huge demands like that were a common IS opening gambit - they'd demand a massive sum, and then take a much smaller one after negotiation. In this case, however, there was no answer to attempts to open the negotiation, no second offer, no counter offer, just silence. There have been instances where ransoms were paid to IS, but they were usually on the order of a few million, not hundreds of millions (GlobalPost was apparently prepared to pay 5 million in this case - the USA Today article I read is ambiguous whether this was dollars or euros since there's a lot of unit mixing going on in these reports), and at least some of the prisoners were executed after payment anyway.
Did James Foley work for the CIA, or a company associated with the CIA?
 

Hevach

Senior Member.
He was officially freelance when he was captured, but his stories were being picked up by GlobalPost, and GlobalPost's CEO was prepared to pay for his release (just not the absurd initial demand), so GlobalPost is the closest thing he had to a publicly known employer. His previous known employer was a Department of Defense affiliated newspaper in Iraq called Stars and Stripes, who fired him for possession of marijuana.

The CIA obviously doesn't make the identities of people it sends into warzones known, not even after the fact, but the record that got him fired from Stars and Stripes would make it very difficult for him to find work with the CIA (this was before the decision earlier this year that weakened the zero tolerance policy on certain kinds of positions, not that it matters since that didn't apply to people under cover or out in the field like that).
 

Josh Heuer

Active Member
So if the video is staged, is there any evidence he was actually killed? It could just be propaganda for all we know.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member

Josh Heuer

Active Member
The mainstream people saying it was staged do not appear to doubt that it's his severed head and body in the video. It's just the precise order of events.

There's a photo of the aftermath (severed head on body) with the head and gore blurred out, here:
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/wor...ley-beheaded-isis-militants-article-1.1909374

Sure, that's just the MSM going along with the story. All they have to go on is what we have to go on, the video of the fake execution and then a still photo of a supposed beheaded Foley.
There's a video on liveleak claiming they used ELA to determine that the single still photo has been manipulated and is therefore fake as well. Perhaps it's worth a debunk?
 

Jason

Senior Member
The mainstream people saying it was staged do not appear to doubt that it's his severed head and body in the video. It's just the precise order of events.

There's a photo of the aftermath (severed head on body) with the head and gore blurred out, here:
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/wor...ley-beheaded-isis-militants-article-1.1909374

I just have one question; where is all the blood in the ground. I see some on the shirt and pants, but the knife in above where his head should've been doesn't appear to have any blood on it.
 
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I just have one question; where is all the blood in the ground. I see some on the shirt and pants, but the knife in above where his head should've been doesn't appear to have any blood on it.

It hardly matters. He's dead, and his head was cut from his body. Maybe they posed it to get some good footage.
 

Jason

Senior Member
Please don't post photos of the event. If people want to see it, they can look at it elsewhere.
No problem, I thought since you posted the link it was ok. But you can clearly see there isn't any blood anywhere, and if blood ran down the back of his shirt like that and even onto his pant legs one would "assume" it would be on the ground as well.
So you think that they "did the deed", then moved his body and head to another location (probably in close proximity) to take the photo I posted. The only issue I have with that is, why carry a beheaded body to another location, wouldn't it be much easier to take the photo right where it happens. Secondly wouldn't we see a trail of blood. Beheading is dirty business, especially if they did it with a 6" knife. Blood would've came out of his arteries in the neck at an unbelievable rate initially. Also if they moved the body, they must've also moved the slippers he was wearing because they are in the shot as well
 

Josh Heuer

Active Member
No problem, I thought since you posted the link it was ok. But you can clearly see there isn't any blood anywhere, and if blood ran down the back of his shirt like that and even onto his pant legs one would "assume" it would be on the ground as well.
So you think that they "did the deed", then moved his body and head to another location (probably in close proximity) to take the photo I posted. The only issue I have with that is, why carry a beheaded body to another location, wouldn't it be much easier to take the photo right where it happens. Secondly wouldn't we see a trail of blood. Beheading is dirty business, especially if they did it with a 6" knife. Blood would've came out of his arteries in the neck at an unbelievable rate initially. Also if they moved the body, they must've also moved the slippers he was wearing because they are in the shot as well
Not only that, but there are plenty videos of actual beheadings from IS and the like. What's the whole point of going through the trouble of creating a fake video, and then posing an actual beheaded body elsewhere and taking one photo. Seems like a complicated story. Propaganda really.
 

Jason

Senior Member
Not only that, but there are plenty videos of actual beheadings from IS and the like. What's the whole point of going through the trouble of creating a fake video, and then posing an actual beheaded body elsewhere and taking one photo. Seems like a complicated story. Propaganda really.
I have to agree with you on this one. None of it makes any sense really. It's also suspicious that this is the 2nd time since the Libya conflict that he's been kidnapped, yet the first time I don't even remember hearing about it
 

Svartbjørn

Senior Member.
No problem, I thought since you posted the link it was ok. But you can clearly see there isn't any blood anywhere, and if blood ran down the back of his shirt like that and even onto his pant legs one would "assume" it would be on the ground as well.
So you think that they "did the deed", then moved his body and head to another location (probably in close proximity) to take the photo I posted. The only issue I have with that is, why carry a beheaded body to another location, wouldn't it be much easier to take the photo right where it happens. Secondly wouldn't we see a trail of blood. Beheading is dirty business, especially if they did it with a 6" knife. Blood would've came out of his arteries in the neck at an unbelievable rate initially. Also if they moved the body, they must've also moved the slippers he was wearing because they are in the shot as well

If we go along with the idea that the beheading was staged.. that he was actually killed afterward, THEN beheaded.. there wouldnt be a great deal of blood. Once the heart stops pumping the only blood that will leave the body will be that which gravity has control of.. so whatever is in the head, maybe some in the neck.. most of the blood will still remain in the torso and the rest of the body. This is why, in abattoirs, the head is removed from the animal and the bodies are hung by the feet, with the neck pointing down. I know its gruesome, and I apologize for the description and fact-of-the matter explanation, but there's really no other way to approach it. Hollywood has ingrained the image of super gorey and bloody scenes, but its almost always with a living person and rarely with one thats already deceased.
 

Jason

Senior Member
It's worth mentioning that, according to USA Today, the 100 million euro demand was never taken seriously. Huge demands like that were a common IS opening gambit - they'd demand a massive sum, and then take a much smaller one after negotiation. In this case, however, there was no answer to attempts to open the negotiation, no second offer, no counter offer, just silence. There have been instances where ransoms were paid to IS, but they were usually on the order of a few million, not hundreds of millions (GlobalPost was apparently prepared to pay 5 million in this case - the USA Today article I read is ambiguous whether this was dollars or euros since there's a lot of unit mixing going on in these reports), and at least some of the prisoners were executed after payment anyway.
Hardly seems like chump change. On the low end of the spectrum according to "officials" ISIS has brought in well over 25 million in ransoms in the last 2 years alone;
 

Jason

Senior Member
If we go along with the idea that the beheading was staged.. that he was actually killed afterward, THEN beheaded.. there wouldnt be a great deal of blood. Once the heart stops pumping the only blood that will leave the body will be that which gravity has control of..
I agree, that blood wouldn't be shooting out in a clean cut, but it was estimated that the terrorist sliced his neck 6 times with a 6" blade
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I agree, that blood wouldn't be shooting out in a clean cut, but it was estimated that the terrorist sliced his neck 6 times with a 6" blade

You are overthinking it. It's not really important if those particular slices cut him. What matters is that eventually they removed his head.
 

Josh Heuer

Active Member
You are overthinking it. It's not really important if those particular slices cut him. What matters is that eventually they removed his head.
But, we don't even know for sure if they did. All we have to go on is a staged video. Why should they get the benefit of the doubt?
 

Jason

Senior Member
You are overthinking it. It's not really important if those particular slices cut him. What matters is that eventually they removed his head.
Obviously, but I'm just a bit surprised by how someone with your desire for "facts first" doesn't question the fact that there is literally "0" proof that James Foley was beheaded. All we have is a video of him saying stuff, the terrorist saying stuff, and then the video cuts when he starts cutting at his neck. Then after it was editted we see a body laying on the ground with "presumably" a head resting on it's back.
I'm not saying he wasn't beheaded, all I'm saying is the evidence for this event happening is sketchy to say the least.
 

Jason

Senior Member
I'd say that something that looks very like his severed head resting on a body is quite good evidence.
Is there original footage without the blurring effect? Not so I can analyse it, just curious to know if it aired on YT in its original format, or were the gory parts blurred out from the get go.
 
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Is there original footage without the blurring effect? Not so I can analyse it, just curious to know if it aired on YT in its original format, or were the gory parts blurred out.
The full footage can be found here:
Shows sawing at neck, then fades to black, then panning shot of severed head resting on a body, with a pool of blood under the bloody neck.
http://banoosh.com/blog/2014/08/23/foley-beheading-video-hoax/
It does not show the head being removed, or any noticeable blood during cutting.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
@Mick West Was James Foley beheaded? Judgment call.
I looks like his head was removed from his body. It's unclear when it was done. It's possible it's an elaborate hoax with a fake head, but there's nothing really to indicate that. ISIS have removed plenty of heads already.
 

Jason

Senior Member
The full footage can be found here:
Shows sawing at neck, then fades to black, then panning shot of severed head resting on a body, with a pool of blood under the bloody neck.
http://banoosh.com/blog/2014/08/23/foley-beheading-video-hoax/
It does not show the head being removed, or any noticeable blood during cutting.
I was surprised to learn that the video maker mentioned that in the UK it can be considered an act of terrorism to view or share the video. At any rate, the author brought up some good questions regarding the beheading of James Foley;
 

qed

Senior Member
The full footage can be found here:
Shows sawing at neck, then fades to black, then panning shot of severed head resting on a body, with a pool of blood under the bloody neck.
http://banoosh.com/blog/2014/08/23/foley-beheading-video-hoax/
It does not show the head being removed, or any noticeable blood during cutting.
Is that the only evidence?

Consider a conspiracy theorist offering that video of evidence that someone was beheaded. We would all say "err..."
 

Josh Heuer

Active Member
And, the error level analysis of the photo? I linked to a video on liveleak earlier in this thread where someone claims ELA was done on that photo and have shown it to be manipulated. Meaning the video was staged, and the photo was faked as well. If that's true that should make anyone scratch their head about the situation.

I'll mention again, perhaps a split off thread to debunk that claim (if it is debunkable or at least explainable?).
 
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