Pompeo’s ‘American Hostage Freedom Award’ revoked after anti-Trump media complains

by WorldTribune Staff, April 4, 2019

An award recognizing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Trump administration for their efforts in freeing Americans held prisoner abroad was rescinded after complaints from the anti-Trump corporate media, a report said.

The James W. Foley Legacy Foundation, named for the journalist beheaded in 2014 by Islamic State (ISIS) jihadists, had initially announced that Pompeo would receive the “2019 Foley American Hostage Freedom Award.”

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

The foundation had even posted its decision online in its invitation for supporters who were paying up to $50,000 a table to attend the awards banquet.

But soon after it was announced, the foundation withdrew the award and also disinvited Pompeo from the banquet “due to protests from angered media members who threatened to disrupt the event,” Washington Examiner columnist Paul Bedard noted on April 3.

The foundation’s “media partners” promised to boycott the event if Pompeo got the award, “apparently distressed over giving the administration any credit,” sources told Bedard.

The sources added that keynote speaker Christiane Amanpour was concerned about Pompeo getting the award. CNN referred questions about the deliberations over Pompeo to the foundation, which refused to discuss them, Bedard noted.

After dissing Pompeo, the foundation gave the award to Brett McGurk, the Obama-era diplomat who helped win the release of Americans from Iran, including journalist Jason Rezaian.

In a letter to Diane Foley, Foley’s mother and the foundation’s president and founder who had personally told the secretary of state of the award, Pompeo called the media pressure sad and cynical.

“I was truly honored to have been selected to receive the 2019 Foley American Hostage Freedom Award,” Pompeo wrote. “Jim’s life and his legacy inspire me in my work.”

After listing the high number of political prisoner releases under the Trump administration, Pompeo ripped the corporate media politics meant to rob the administration of any credit.

“I understand that the Foundation decided to rescind the Freedom Award and my invitation to attend the 2019 James W. Foley Freedom Awards due to pressure from its media partners and your fear, stated in your letter, that some guests at the dinner would not show my office proper respect if I attended,” wrote Pompeo.

“How sad is it that base politics and hatred have been allowed to creep into even this sphere of our national activity? The safe recovery of Americans held hostage overseas should be beyond politics and must enjoy the support of all Americans. I regret that pressure of such a cynical and abominable nature was brought to bear on you and John,” he added in a reference also to James Foley’s father.

Still, despite his disappointment, Pompeo said that “the ignoble conduct of those behind this sad deed will never diminish my commitment, of the commitment of the men and women I lead, to the safe recovery of all Americans unjustly held abroad.”


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