Jim: The James Foley Story (2016) Movie Script

I was in my office at work
and I got a call
from an international number.
I always an...
Through the last three years, when it was
an international call, I would answer it.
And it was a reporter in Dublin,
wanted a reaction for the story.
I said, "Reaction for what?"
And then they were really caught back
by that question obviously,
and they said "Uh, I'll call you back in
five minutes." And so then I went online
and saw the picture.
It's not the way you want to find out.
I never, ever imagined that it would
end in that fashion, right?
For days, that first week, I just would
constantly see that image and...
[sighs] It's been, uh...
It's been tough.
You go through those emotional swings and,
you know, why the hell did you go back,
you know that second time?
And then...
But I keep coming back
to the same answer.
Name the sports newspaper
that hit US newsstands in 1990.
- [buzzer buzzing]
- James.
- The National.
- It was.
[camera clicking]
[Man] Ladies and gentlemen, please
help me welcome, Mr. James Foley.
[audience applauding]
Thanks for that generous...
Overly generous introduction.
And I'm definitely not a hero or
noble or anything. I'm just, uh...
Trying to do my work and got
into a little bit of trouble.
I arrived in Benghazi in mid March,
and the night I arrived,
I heard nothing but bombs and gunfire.
[bombs exploding]
I wondered, "What's going on?"
Another journalist said,
"The bombs, that's gelatina,
that's how they fish."
Blow the fish up. "And the gunfire,
no, that's celebratory gunfire."
[rapid gunfire]
If Gadhafi comes to Benghazi,
are you guys prepared to fight?
[Diane] I think in some ways,
Libya was a turning point for Jim.
You know, I was starting to see his
trying to figure out
where he belonged in the world.
You know he tried the Teach for America, and then
in Chicago, he worked at the Cook County Jail.
He anguished over his teaching. He didn't
think he was a good enough teacher.
And he wanted to write and he loved
people and liked to interact,
tell people stories. So when Jim decided he
wanted to go into journalism from teaching,
at first we thought, "That would be good,
maybe that'll be a better fit, Jim."
But when he decided to do
conflict journalism...
[sighs] You know, that was
a whole different deal.
Well, he didn't exactly tell us.
He graduated from Medill, and we said
"Jim, well, what're you gonna do?"
And he said, "Well, I'm working on it."
So the next thing we knew, he was gonna go to
Iraq embedded with the Indiana National Guard.
Well, I guess I'm a conflict journalist at
this point, so that's how we found out.
[guns firing]
[Jim] It's an all out sprint, an
exhilarating and dangerous run for cover.
Got 'em.
When Jim started the journalism path, we
did have some heated discussions on...
views and the military and what not.
My views are a little bit more
conservative... [chuckles] than Jim's.
I would say a little bit more liberal.
But when he did his embed, I think,
is where we came closer together.
As soon as the shooting died down,
the platoon discovered
a body limp on the roof.
- Do they know who the guy is?
- Yes. These are the family members.
- [Jim] These are the family?
- Yeah.
[John Jr.] And he came back to my house
and he told me... He was like,
"Hey, John, I'm thinking
about going to Libya."
I'm like, "Jim, that's a horrible idea.
That is absolutely a horrible idea.
If you go over there...
no one's coming for you.
Why would you put your life in danger?
We're dropping bombs over there.
And God forbid if you go over there
and we accidentally kill you.
I mean, why? Why?
[Jim] Libya was very exciting as a journalist
because you had this chance to talk directly
to the people, to see
exactly what was going on.
[chanting indistinctly]
There was no U.S. soldiers anymore,
no organized army anymore,
telling you what you should
and shouldn't do.
But it was also extremely dangerous.
I was actually talking to one of my buddies,
Bostey about my brother Jim, and how, you know,
he's this journalist
and is like super crazy,
but like badass at the same time,
you know? I was like, yeah,
my brother's a badass, you know?
He's crazy, he's awesome.
I also was very naive myself. I didn't
know exactly what that would mean.
I didn't know he was actually gonna be
immersed in actual, like, crossfire.
[bombs exploding]
There's snipers in this building
about one kilometer away.
Tank. The groups
decided to go in.
Little bit of heavy fighting. Heavy casualties,
about 30 wounded, two dead out of the 40.
There's one video that always stands out to me.
It's like when he's standing in the square.
There does seem to be a strong sense
that they won't give up the fight
and that there are a force of
young fighting men,
although unorganized, there's
plenty of will to hold out here.
How does my guy know this stuff?
Like, how does Jim Foley, like...
He's just my meathead friend, you know?
And it was so foreign to me
in terms of an experience.
I'm like, well, how do
you get into Libya?
Oh, you're a freelancer, like who
wants this? Are you getting paid?
This is Jim Foley reporting from downtown
Benghazi, Revolutionary Square, Global Post.
Jim was there at the early stage of this
movement of there being more freelancers
in conflict areas.
The world has changed so much
in terms of digital publishing
and newspapers started to eliminate
things that they didn't see as essential.
International coverage dwindled
down to very little.
So we saw an opportunity to fill that void
and we needed to work with freelancers.
Freelancers decide to work together
just on the basis of this...
initial quick read chemistry.
I saw this new guy who I hadn't met before.
He looked friendly enough, so I said,
"Hey, what's up?" He said, "Oh, not
much, going to the front line."
And he'd heard a lot about Libya and the
fact that it was very cheap to work.
Rebels and protesters were eager to
show us their side of the story.
You know, they were driving us all over for
free. They were translating for us for free.
Many of us never really experienced the
luxury of journalism in its heyday.
What we do is journalism
on a shoestring budget.
So we've had to be a lot more resourceful
in a way and just more street savvy.
I think in a sense, the way we all got to know
each other was the Africa hotel in Benghazi.
It was the cheapest hotel and the
crappiest and we were all staying there.
I'd seen Jim talking to, you
know, a few other journalists
and he was just really
friendly with everybody.
It was unusual in a place like that. You know,
there's still an edge of competitiveness
in that environment, whereas Jim
was just like, "Yeah, whatever."
He gave off a really good first
impression and, you know,
it helps that he's like a super good-looking
guy, and I was just like, "Who is this guy?
Who are you?"
Just that jaw man, like, just
fucking cut cheese with that thing.
There wasn't anything mundane
about the man whatsoever.
He never really like, projected himself onto
a situation and he dealt well with people.
[Jim] Who are the Libyan rebels determined
to overthrow 42 years of dictatorship?
Welder? Off-shore welding?
- Platform, yeah.
- Okay, dangerous job.
They're brave as individuals, but many
show a dangerous lack of weapons training.
[Clare] There were so many
freelancers who came in
at that point in time who were so new,
Jim and I among them, and I found out
only later that there were a number
of much more experienced
who'd made one or two
trips to the front line
and said "Fuck it, this is
way too dangerous."
Jim had a high tolerance for danger.
- [Jim] Shit!
- I mean, sure, he was drawn to that. All of us are in a way.
He was cool as a cucumber as well.
Hey, like wearing this little like,
tiny vest that he used to wear.
[Clare] The fact that he stayed so calm
made it easy to feel calm in that situation,
but, of course, sometimes, I was just like, "Well,
that's crazy, I'm not going there with you."
[Jim] I would come back to Benghazi
and there was stuff going on there.
There was families and they
were out there in the protest,
and they were out there
maybe handling medical supplies,
which is probably more important to
what this revolutionary movement was...
but then being called out to that front
line again like some kind of siren song.
It was one of those mornings where we
decided we were gonna get out there early.
We wanted to get a fresh
look at the front lines.
It was myself, Clare Gillis,
Manu Brabo and Anton Hammerl,
a South African
- Meet my new friend. Anton.
- Anton.
And what it was really was just a highway,
a coastal highway going all across Libya,
and this is where
the battle was going on.
So it was kind of like
a Mad Max type war.
Now this was something common
that some reporters did.
Freelancers like myself didn't have big
budgets, we'd jump in with the rebels.
And it was at your own risk if
you wanted to go further or not.
We got to the points where
we saw another group of rebels
saying Gadhafi forces
are 300 meters away.
And myself looking at Clare,
like, that's impossible.
And I remember, you know, Anton turning
to me and saying "Hey, this isn't safe."
But we didn't turn around, and we said,
"Well, let's get off the road anyways."
Well, that was the exact
wrong thing to do.
Two heavily armed Gadhafi pickup
trucks came over that rise firing.
I remember so clearly the sound of it,
the volume of it, the sound
of something eating metal...
and I remember hoping against hope that there
would be some kind of out, out of this,
there was some kind of
trap door in time.
I crawled back to the sand dune, Anton was
at the other sand dune in front of me,
I heard him call for help.
It appeared he was cut across
the midsection with AK fire
and it was a serious amount of blood.
He had already lost consciousness
and probably already died.
A group of young soldiers approached me and
we were thrown in the back of a truck.
I remember getting photographed
with a cell phone,
and thinking, you know, this is where
they find all these photographs
that are evidence of war crimes some
day, and realizing this is me now.
I was with my mother.
We were out to lunch
and I received a phone call,
and, um, that's how
we first heard, you know?
I think I was in denial about how
dangerous this really was, Brian.
I was furious, just furious.
Scared for him, furious.
I hate to revisit it, but it's
just like... I told you, Jim.
I think we all went through the stages of
total shock, you know, and then just...
What are we gonna do, and then anger.
After all we're family, you know?
[Jim] You're so humble.
You lost everything,
your freedom, your control, your ability to
talk to anybody and tell anybody you're okay,
thinking one minute, "Oh, yeah,
I'm a foreign correspondent,
and the next minute somebody who you
respect killed, and you have nothing."
[Clare] Jim was concerned
that his own competitiveness
with Manu, with Anton, with himself,
his own, sort of macho aggressiveness
had driven him to make decisions
that were not the best decisions.
We were all questioning our judgment.
One of the main things that affected
all of us is that Anton had kids
and none of us do.
[Jim] Every day I have to deal
with the fact that Anton is not
going to ever see his
three kids anymore,
and I was part of that decision-making
process... that took him away,
that took him away from
his kids, and his wife.
[Jim] And I had a lot of time
to play over those moments,
especially that one day
when we were captured.
I tried to question myself, "What are your
reporting on, what is this all about?"
It was quickly apparent that
this was about being what
you think is an authentic
conflict correspondent,
seeing the front line and it not
being enough to just see it
from a distance, but to
push it to the next level.
You were basically waiting to get
shelled and the question is, why?
You know, why are you doing this?
[Michael] A lot of us were just scratching
our head, right? There's no money.
Maybe you get a story here
or there that you sell.
You know I used to
"loan him money."
You know, my credit report has one ding on it and
it's the one loan that I co-signed with Jim.
I think Jimmy was just a little
outside the lines, you know.
Well, he was wicked disorganized.
We had to tell him to come to dinner.
Like if dinner was at 5:00,
we'd tell him it was at 3:00,
so he'd show up at 5:00.
He always lives in the moment.
I don't know if Mike ever told you
that Jim was late to his wedding.
"John, can I sleep at your house?" "John,
can my friend stay at your house?"
"Yes, Jim, yes."
Even though you just were like, "Jim, just
wake up! Wake up! What are you doing?
Get a real job, start
saving up for retirement."
I remember I said like, you know, why don't
you come to Chicago, my dad runs this
boot camp, it's teaching young felons.
He goes there for the interview and
I call him afterwards and I'm like,
"How'd the interview go?" He's like "Oh,
it was great, I think it went great."
I call up my dad, and he goes,
"He said it went great, did he?
'Cause I just talked to the lady at the
hiring board and when she went out there,
she found Jim sleeping with his head back
on a wall and he's wearing jeans with like
paints or something all over them."
And I called Jim back, I'm like,
"Jim, what the hell happened
at the interview?"
He's like, "It was hot in there, Tom. It was
hot. I just put my head back and I nodded off."
And I'm like, "Did you have
jeans on with paint?" He's like,
"Yeah, they had like these like, symbols
on it, what was I supposed to wear?"
I'm like, "Jim, it's an interview,
it's an interview. You can't do this!"
And so my dad always says that,
"Jim has a million dollar resume
and a ten cent interview."
He came and he started teaching
reading and writing, some literature
and he was really good with these kids
'cause Jim was into hip-hop and rap
and he liked to grab a mic himself.
Jim connected with these guys. He'd
find out about their backgrounds,
talk to them. I think that
really hit him.
Like he was seeing young guys that
came from terrible neighborhoods
that never really had a chance.
And I think he started seeing like, there
are people who need their stories told.
[Jim] The prison that we were
transferred to was filled
with all these political prisoners
from all walks of life.
Some were fishermen,
some were engineers.
It was the warmth of these Libyans that said,
"Here, you're our guest, take this bed.
You don't have a cigarette,
here's a cigarette," you know.
"You want an extra piece
of chicken, here."
These guys understand that I'm a
journalist and I'm trying to get the truth
and perhaps wrongly they think I'm on their
side, but I certainly feel like it now.
[chanting prayers on PA]
You know that if you are kinda without
hope, you're totally humbled,
you tend to go to your faith
if you have faith.
Praying five times a day, it was the life,
it was their only source of life in prison.
I was up nights talking to them.
Eventually, you know, one of them said,
"Why don't you pray with us?"
And I said, "No, I don't pray to east, I
pray to Jesus," when you guys are praying.
He sort of looked at me, like,
Well, I guess I'm experiential person
so I started praying with them.
Well, little did I know I just
proclaimed my conversion to Islam.
[audience laughing]
So from then on out, I prayed
with them five times a day
and it was just... It was so powerful and
it was something that I needed to do.
But it was difficult, I was thinking, you
know, "Jesus, am I praying to Allah?"
"Am I violating
my belief in you?"
I don't have an answer to that.
I just know that I was authentically
praying with them and I was
authentically also praying to Jesus.
Jim and I were very close in age,
looked enough alike that you
know, I used his ID in college,
but that's about it. We
couldn't be more different.
I mean, Jim was really different
from most of us, right?
I mean, to do what he went on
to do. It's not a normal path.
When Jim was taken in Libya, I just
went to overdrive at that point.
It's a nightmare. Each day, it becomes harder
you know, with the lack of information.
We know he's in Tripoli.
We believe he's in a detention center. We
really don't know much more beyond that.
We organized this huge group of Jimmy's
friends, we called them FOJ's. Friends Of Jim.
We had a lot of outside help, but Michael
was sort of the CEO of the group.
His statement was, you know, "There are no
immeasurables other than getting Jim home."
Our biggest fear is that it becomes
yesterday's story and people forget about it.
We love Jim and we miss him.
We want him home.
[Brian] Tell me about the release,
what was that day like for you guys?
[Reporter] After successful
diplomatic negotiations,
two American journalists and a Spanish
journalist are finally going home
after being kidnapped and detained by the
Libyan government forces for 44 days.
- What's your name?
- Manu Brabo.
- Are you okay?
- I'm fine.
If you didn't catch it the first
time around, get it from your buddy.
Guys, could you please
give them some space.
[Michael] What was really interesting
about that whole process,
there was a day where we were making some
progress and I just decided that I have to go,
I have to get on a plane and go.
I don't know, I can't...
I can't describe it.
I knew, at least felt strongly
that it was gonna work out.
And all the security guys wanted
to debrief him first,
and finally I said, "Enough of this shit"
and just went into the hotel room,
and I remember seeing Jim, he had a full
beard, and he just grabbed me and said,
"Mike." We both kinda just grabbed each
others arms like just to... Is it real?
I ordered pizza and as many Heinekens
as they could put on a card and
about two packs of cigarettes
because I knew that's
all they had over there.
I looked at them and I said,
"I guess I got this one."
And we just stayed up all night.
[Katie] All the family and friends, we
were all together waiting for them...
and all of a sudden we see these
blue lights just rushing at us.
We're like, "Oh, my God, this is Jim.
This is... He's actually here."
I don't know, it was like a movie. He
was just so happy to see everybody.
[Jim] You have a close call. That's pure
luck that you didn't get killed there.
It's not worth seeing your
mother or father bawling
and worrying about your grandmother
dying because you're in prison.
It's not... It's not
worth these things.
And outside in my parent's
home in a comfortable house
in New Hampshire, I sort of
had to start processing.
I was horrified to learn how much my
friends and family had done to help me.
I was inspired and I was horrified.
It was a weird feeling of like going
to your own funeral, you know?
There's no going back from
something like this.
Some of the things that I'll never be
able to change, but I wish that I could.
This is Jim's blazer from when he
spoke at Marquette, this brown one.
Bunch of stuff to go through.
Yeah, so Jim lived with us for
what, three months? Summer...
Summer after he was released from Libya?
Summer until... Yeah,
up until he went back.
He used to have all his clothes in here. You
can still see his Camelbak from the field.
- Sleeping bags.
- All his sleeping bags.
That was his bed right there.
He'd always crash out there.
So it was cool having Jim here, especially
after him having been gone to Libya because...
I think when he came back, you know...
Like you just wanted to touch
him a lot because...
I don't know, for me it was like, poke and
just make sure he's real and it was almost,
you're just more appreciative of
him and especially with the kids,
you know, getting to have him here
because he was always on the go.
They loved him, Uncle Jim. They'd come
downstairs at the crack of dawn and wake him up.
It was good as much as it... I
think he kind of like, you know,
had an itch he couldn't scratch
when he was domesticated.
When Jim came back from Libya, I offered
him a full-time job here as an editor
and while he sorted out what
he would do next.
And he sat right outside my office.
He was grateful to have the job,
but working in an office was clearly not
uh, what he liked the most.
He was quiet, I don't want
to say he was withdrawn...
but he was quiet.
And I just remember like, Brad my
fianc and Jim were in the basement
and Brad doesn't even remember
a time when Jim was sleeping.
You know, after the family had
kind of settled down,
Jim just went right to business,
right to work.
We had found him a very good
psychologist to talk to,
but he seemed so "well," if you will,
that we didn't push it.
But he was so restless here at home.
He didn't want to be here at home.
Feeling like you survived something,
there's a strange sort of force
that you are drawn back to.
I think that's the absolute reality.
Everything else becomes foreign.
Like, it was strange
coming back to the real world, like
it was weird. It was normal in there.
[Clare] Yeah, if I go to Wal-Mart and
I'm looking at, like literally an entire
aisle full of Tupperware,
it boggles my mind.
There's a deep absurdity
to understanding
the peace that we're lucky
enough to have in this country
and the questions that it raises about
how do we make our money? What is the basis
of our peace, of our economic viability,
of the fact that, you know, I can
look at all of this Tupperware
and someone else, somewhere else is
looking at the ruins of their home?
[Zac] You know, you just start missing like all
the bombs and the fighting and everything.
I just used to love sitting up at
like at night and just listening.
[guns firing at distance]
It's really kind of sick.
But it also... it feels like
super fortunate for being there.
And so you think like, out of 25
million people in your country,
you're the only person who's
got to experience that.
Like fuck man, like how fortunate am I?
Like, you're witnessing history unfolding
and you're just getting this perspective
that is so unique.
I believe that front-line
journalism is important.
Without these photos and videos and
firsthand experience, we can't really...
tell the world how bad it might be.
[bomb blasting]
[Reporter] James Foley joins us now live from
inside Northern Syria with more on what he saw.
Tell us more about you were able...
What you were able to witness.
Yes, thank you. You've heard about
indiscriminate shelling, but to see
those bodies left over from a direct
mortar hit was... Was really shocking.
They were civilians and they are
under pretty continuous shelling.
It seemed like he started
thinking about going to Syria
and by the time he mentioned it,
it was like he'd already
kind of made up his mind...
and he said he was going with John
Cantley, who's another colleague,
a British photo journalist that we'd
all met in Libya the year before.
- What's your name?
- Jim.
- John.
- Jim and John.
Johnny, you say I love you, you say.
I don't know.
I really... didn't really...
get into it with Jim. I think
I made it too easy for him.
I mean, it was something
he wanted to do and so...
we were trying to be supportive about
his decision to do that, you know?
You just want to punch him in the face.
You know, in a loving, brotherly way,
you know, but you're like,
"Come on, Jim! Come on!"
[Tom] The last conversation I ever
had with Jim, I said to him, like,
"Jim, man, why do you keep going
back into Syria? Like, I mean,
what's it like?" He's like "It's
crazy, its crazy." I'm like,
"Well, is it more dangerous
than Libya?"
He's like, "Yeah, it's more dangerous than
Libya!" I'm like, "You got captured in Libya!"
You remember, you couldn't
talk him out of it.
[local music playing on radio]
[Jim] You know the thing is,
is there's physical courage, right?
For some reason I have physical courage.
But really, think about it, that's
nothing compared to moral courage.
I can go and get those shots, but if I don't
have the moral courage to challenge authority,
to write about things that are gonna
maybe have reprisals on my career.
If I don't have that moral
courage, we don't have journalism.
Jim chose one story in
particular about this hospital,
The Dar Al Shifaa hospital in Aleppo.
It was actually Jim's idea to
spend a week in that hospital
documenting what the doctors and the
staff there were doing on a daily basis.
[Jim speaking]
From what he and I witnessed, they
were literally shuttling people with
drips and you know, bandages and everything
in these tiny little taxis and cars.
And Jim was the one who came up
with the idea of raising money
to get an ambulance for the hospital.
And he was in touch with everybody
and there was an ambulance
that was like a secondhand
ambulance that was
coming from Austria and Jim and I actually
made one trip in and we saw the ambulance
sitting outside of the hospital.
And that moment of joy on his face
was priceless. He was just like,
"It made it, that's awesome."
[Clare] I would say
the flip side of his willingness
to get out there and do things
is that like, okay, you get
an ambulance into Syria,
some militia is gonna commandeer it and use
it for their own purposes, they're gonna
put an anti aircraft in the back
of it, like go blow shit up.
Jim was not focused on that
kind of issue.
Like he would think about what's
the best-case scenario,
not how things could go wrong.
It becomes very personal because
we have to live amongst
the local population,
and it's such like this brutal,
endless conflict
that you just, you feel so,
kind of alone in the sense that
you can't do anything about it, you
can't do anything for these people.
For the people you've made friends with,
and for the people who took you in
and shared their food with you
and wanted you to play with
their children.
We become the intimate
chroniclers of this conflict.
We don't have bureaus to go back to.
You're there and every moment,
you share with the locals.
And I think there was just this
enormous guilt that rode on Jim's back
that made him feel so compelled
to do much more than just
record video and file it.
There were times where he was
offering up video for free
and I would chastise him for it.
I'd be like, "What are you doing?"
He was like "Nah, you know, whatever,
it's fine, it's all good,"
and "I just want to make sure
the video gets out there."
[Diane] Jim's the kind of guy
who never needed much.
Some of the lifestyle of a
conflict journalist is tough,
but that didn't bother Jim.
The only possessions I think Jim
cared about were books and CDs.
I mean, his camera ultimately.
He'd come home without a toothbrush, just
use whatever toothbrush was available.
Jim could fall asleep anywhere. All he
needed was just a little space on the floor.
He was like a cat.
This is a good one.
[Diane] Over time, you know, he slowly
got rid of his apartment, sold his car.
He just ended up really owning nothing.
So, what he would want for Christmas,
this last time before going to Syria,
he wanted a tough pair of pants.
He really did have less and less
and it didn't bother him at all
because he seemed richer and richer.
[Nicole] There was one day in August,
one Syrian activist
was taking us around this
neighborhood called Bustan Al Kasa,
and this fighter jet just started circling
above and just swooped right down
and hit a building that was
a couple hundred feet from us.
We started seeing the civilians coming
out and just clutching nothing really,
just ashen faces, there was
rubble everywhere.
It was chaos.
And the plane came around again,
dropped another bomb
really close by and actually we
were right across the building
and we looked up and we can see
the rubble start coming down.
That bomb had hit a family
of, uh... seven.
Who was killed?
[Jim] Who?
[Nicole] It was horrific in the
scale of it, but also just...
I think nothing prepares you for seeing
kids being killed and maimed in that way,
and I know that Jim really loves kids, so, you
know, we were both just... We didn't say anything
until we got to the field hospital
where they were bringing the bodies.
And we were both just in this mode of
just needing to get the pictures out.
I think when we were finished that night though,
we kinda like sat down, and lit a cigarette
and we just started talking about it and
really there wasn't very much to say though,
you know, like,
what is there to talk about when
you witness something like that?
So we just sort of sat in silence.
[Zac] Nothing prepares you for that,
like no amount of courses, nothing.
You just go there and you'll
either handle it or you don't.
And that's cool. Like either
you run, or you stay.
And there's... Not one
is better than the other,
but just don't delude yourself.
Some people aren't meant for that.
[Diane] The shine was starting
to come off in a way.
There was a period of time where
journalists were welcomed with open arms
because they'd seen what
had happened in Libya
and when that didn't come about
after a year,
after year and a half, after two years,
it's just like, okay, what are you
guys doing? You know I had a doctor
tell me at the hospital that Jim
helped raise money for an ambulance.
He was like, "Look, you guys are
in and out of here since one year,
and it's the same exact thing except
it's worse. I don't wanna talk to you."
If the populace on the ground
whose side you're documenting
is getting more uneasy with you,
or less willing to help,
you're very dependent on the goodwill
of the people you're around.
It's just that moment of like,
how well can you know anybody?
Even say you know someone very well.
Two years of war, three years of
war, that's going to change anybody.
They warned journalists, they were
like, Al Qaeda is coming, you know,
maybe even worse than Al Qaeda is coming
and nobody is going to help us against
the Assad regime except for these guys.
So it was all there.
One of the main things I noticed
the last time when he came out,
he looked really hollow
and he was quite silent.
You know, he had like that
amazing room-brightening smile
even if he had seen terrible things, as
one does. It was disheartening to see.
[Mark] Before he left for Syria, I think we
made it a point, we were gonna bring him down
to Nathaniel Hall district and go
to the comedy club down there.
The comedians were horrible, but
like I was in the mood to laugh,
so I'm just laughing
at you know, anything.
And I just remember looking at
Jim and he was just dead faced.
And then me and Jim went outside for
a cigarette, like we always do,
he said he had to go.
We had a long hug,
I remember I hugged him
a really long time.
Just like hugged him really
tight. I said be careful.
Obviously I didn't feel like that was
the last time I was gonna see him,
but it was a good night... A good
end of the night, you know?
[John Sr.] I guess If I had
any regrets, Brian, that I
regret that I found it difficult
to communicate with Jim.
I don't know if it's the male thing or
whatever it is, but I just wish I was able
to share more of who I was
with Jimmy and get him
to share who he was with me,
which might have been just as
difficult, you know?
He would interview us when he came home,
and he did a great job
interviewing us 'cause
you felt like talking because
he was listening.
You know, he wanted to know how we were.
And that was when he came home,
that's what he wanted to know.
He wanted, "Well, how are you,
how you doing?"
You know, "How's Grandma,
how's Katie and Mark?"
And he just wanted to know how
everyone was doing, you know?
So in that way, Jim was
kind of solitary.
He was home, end of October, right before
he went back for Syria that last time
and he was going... I
remember he was leaving here
and he was going to
New York to get a helmet
from somebody which was good, we were like,
"Getting safety equipment, we like this!"
Yeah, I remember we left and we
dropped him off at a train station
and he, you know, we were gonna
see him again in December,
He was supposed to come home kind of...
Oh, yeah, you have a good memory, yeah.
He was supposed to come home mid December.
And we were like, be safe, see you soon,
- and unfortunately, that didn't...
- Yeah.
- [sobbing] Sorry.
- It's okay, I think that's enough.
[Nicole] We'd spent the beginning of
November in Aleppo again with Jim,
John Cantley and Mustafa, our translator
who's become a friend of ours.
I had had some issues with
my camera that week,
so, I just was like, "Jim, I gotta go back
to Istanbul, I'll see you guys in a week."
You know the moment when
I said bye to Jim,
I had this feeling of
reluctance to leave,
I think in a way maybe it did upset the
balance that he and I had shared for so long.
There are superstitions when
you're in a war zone.
There's like this one thing he and I
shared which was our lucky lighter.
It's very common in the middle east. It's like
the evil eye to ward off evil spirits, you know?
We'd used it for everything and for some
reason it never ran out of lighter fluid.
It's just like this stupid idea,
you put your hopes into one object
to make it feel safe.
I think about it a lot afterwards
that he didn't have it with him.
Maybe if I just gave him the lucky lighter,
everything would have turned out okay?
I don't know.
That day, I was in Reyhanli,
which is the border town,
and I would have seen them
in about 5:00.
So I checked in and I told Jim,
I'm like,
"Hey, you know I'm here
so text me when you get in."
You know, 5:00 rolls by
and I started to worry.
7:00, 8:00 rolls around and I'm
like, "Something is really wrong."
So I called Mustafa,
and the first thing he said to
me was "Nicole, I'm so sorry.
Um, I didn't... I couldn't do anything,"
I was like, "What are you talking about,
what happened?"
He was like, "You know, we were coming. We
were in the taxi, we were coming to Turkey
"to meet you and this van
with these four guys with guns,
"they stopped us on the
road and they told us
"to get out and they were pointing
their guns at us and screaming
"and the gunman made Mustafa
tie up their hands
"and they put John and Jim
into the back of their van."
So I hung up and I just started
crying. I was like, um...
I didn't know if I was gonna see Jim again and
that was the first thought that came to my head.
It was like almost surreal... Just,
this is a bad dream. It's not...
It's not really happening,
you know, it's not happening.
This can't be, you know, this can't
happen again... We can't do this again.
Yeah, it was... You know,
and I dove in just like before.
I felt like, okay, it's going to be 45 to 100
days of hell and then we'll have him back.
In a matter of a week, you could
tell it was very different.
A lot of misinformation as
opposed to last time in Libya,
after a week went by,
we knew where he was,
who to deal with, so we just concentrated
on routes to get to one person.
Here was a mystery right out of a
crime show or something, right?
Where you're trying to piece
together bits of information.
For the next three weeks, there was
just dead ends and false information
and rumors and people being
scared of talking because
they had a suspicion of who
maybe was responsible,
and they didn't want to get
entangled in it.
[Diane] Phil Balboni offered to stand
up a security team to try to find Jim.
So all these people were trying
so hard to get in place,
but it was a very,
very chaotic, confusing time.
[John Jr.] You're on eggshells,
you're just waiting to hear.
It's exhausting and I know Jim
felt guilty for that
and I'm not trying to make him
feel more guilty,
but it's just... It's just a toll
that's taken by the families.
[Brian] What were the hurdles getting
White House and FBI involved?
It's very tough to get action, and I understand
that, you know, the world is a big place,
and so I actually felt guilty sometimes
trying to not to ask too much of them.
You know, Jim made this
decision, you know, but just,
just give it your best attention
and we'll trust you.
That's kind of where it started,
the relationship.
And then I met the first agent
that came over
and it was just a kid out of school
and his first question to me was,
had I asked the regime for assistance?
Are you fucking kidding me? I called the
regime and asked them for assistance?
No, I hadn't thought of that, thank you.
Thank you very much for that tip.
They told us... They
advised us to be quiet,
because hopefully they could find
him and get him out and such.
So we didn't say anything, so we
went through Christmas and all that,
you know, not telling anyone, but our
closest family that Jim was missing.
In some ways, it was better because
I didn't have to explain it.
Because at times, it could feel
like accusatory, like,
"Well, he was in Syria."
That's not fair, like,
you don't do that with police or firemen or
something like that, who do dangerous jobs.
You don't say, "Well, you were in a
fire, what did you think would happen?"
My friend doesn't need to
explain why he's a journalist.
[Diane] Come the new year,
I couldn't stand it.
I was frantic.
So we chose to go public.
[John Sr.] I appeal to
the people who have Jim,
to give us some information in
terms of his welfare, his health?
It breaks my heart that the
persons who have captured him
don't understand his goodness.
My personal feeling is that
silence helps two people.
One is the government, it doesn't
push them to do more sooner,
and the captors, it allows
them to do whatever they want.
It's difficult now with all the
talk about the Islamic State,
they've become so famous or infamous,
but the Islamic State, ISIS/ISIL
was on nobody's radar at the time.
With a very high degree of confidence,
we now believe that Jim was abducted
by a pro-government militia
group and was subsequently
turned over to Syrian government forces.
This is the first time we've really
heard anything like this, so,
we are very hopeful like
John says, you know?
Well, it turned out we were
dead wrong about that.
[Michael] All the information
upfront was just a bunch of BS.
No one knew what the heck they were
talking about because we had no access.
That whole year, I don't care what anyone
says, all the efforts, all the leads,
all this and that,
we were in the wrong area of the country. You
know, and Syria is about the size of New England,
maybe, a little smaller.
So here you go, Brian, go into
New England, find Jim.
I think the moment I learned
that he had been kidnapped,
I was just like this is going
to be a really long process.
Um, but I'm gonna do anything that
I can in my power to get him home.
Because, um, I can't stand the thought
of him being in a cell somewhere,
cold and hungry, and I can't sit
here and not try to look for him.
My name is Daniel and I'm
a Danish photojournalist.
I started as a gymnast,
and while I spent all my time in gyms
all around the world
doing gymnastics, I...
got bored when I didn't do anything
else and I started to take pictures.
I only planned to be inside
Syria for two days.
I had one day of work when I walked
around this small, quiet town.
It was spring.
So the weather started to be very better
and people seemed happy and relaxed.
And we were told to go and speak
to some guys in the area.
Very calmly, we're sitting in
sofas, they were offering tea.
Everything was calm and quiet. Even
though I knew that something was...
strange, something was wrong.
And then they just asked me to stand up,
and they took off
my glasses, and they said,
"Don't worry" and "This is
just a procedure."
That was how everything began
so, you know, a quiet Sunday,
beautiful spring morning
became a nightmare for me.
The longer you are a hostage, the easier it
becomes in some way, the better you get at it.
And I had like one and half month by myself.
After I believe, two and a half month,
I was put together with
two other Westerners,
and then we were put together four.
I think we were five together, and then seven
together, then came another one, eight.
Then it just started to evolve.
We were in that cell,
British, Americans...
French, Italian, German, Belgian,
Danish, Russian, Spanish.
We were 19 at one stage.
And one day we had
to sit faces to the wall.
But I could see under my arms.
I could see some mattress were moved
in and there came some guys in
traditional Syrian clothes
and then they closed the door again,
the big metal door, and I looked up
and there was James and John Cantley.
Everybody was like "Yay, welcome,
welcome!" You know, it's two new friends.
You know, I created this, this picture
in my head of this big, like,
war journalist and so I could
only get disappointed in a way,
but he... I remember him
being like,
"Uh, what's happening?"
Yeah and...
So that was-basically
the first time I met him.
But it was real different to be
put together with James and John
because they've been together in prison
for almost a year. When I first saw them,
they was the most experienced
of us and I started
from the beginning and I think the whole group
started to lean a little bit against them.
James was very silent most of the time.
He was very good at listening.
He managed to make the room bigger
in a way by being small himself
and that is a very, very
difficult thing to be.
And you really want to scream in the
head of everybody like, "Fuck off!"
[Nicolas speaking]
I remember one time James was
asked to stand up the whole night
in the middle of the room.
[Daniel] Late at night,
there was no light at all,
so we were just sitting there in
completely darkness
and that time really, really,
really went slowly.
What we did, James and I,
we started to develop a way of
passing through these hours of darkness
by giving each other, like, massages.
And It sounds a maybe a little bit
strange or gay, or whatever, but...
But there was something, there
was something nice about it.
And James asked me, "Can you teach me
how to give like a real nice massage,
so when I get out, and I meet a
woman, I can really impress her?"
So we started having these
kind of lessons, you know?
Our body had witnessed a lot of trauma
and the fact that somebody is
actually touching you
and it's a nice feeling,
for me, it was a nice way to
feel a little bit human again.
And James, he never learned how to give a proper
massage, it was awful every time, so he really,
he really managed, to get
a good deal out of that one.
I remember one time, we were
given a lot of dates to eat
and at some point we were moved
and you just don't
leave food behind, or destroy it or
whatever, but sometimes you have to do it
because there's no where to put it.
[Nicolas speaking]
James, he just took out his pants and
he took out like two-kilos of dates.
"Don't worry, guys."
He could have taken all the food
by himself later that night
or whatever, but he always took the
things so he could share it around
or give it to the people
who didn't have it.
In the beginning of James' and John's
captivity, they were really starved.
They didn't like to talk about it, they didn't
find it very interesting to talk about,
but one thing I know was that...
That they really, really,
really had a difficult time.
But they managed to get back
on track to gain strength again.
It was very interesting to see what
happened between James and John
because they've been
together for almost a year.
When I first saw them, that
meant they have spoken about
every single thing there
is to talk about.
So I was basically the one starting
to listen to all James' story again.
There was a period of time
in the prison where we
was not interrupted by
the guards very often.
It had meant that we could get a routine,
so we worked out, we did a trivia,
we had lectures and stuff like this.
We managed after, I don't know,
three weeks, one month or so,
to make this Risk game.
[Nicolas speaking]
We had a small bucket that
we received some yogurt in
and we cut out a piece of
cardboard and we made three lines
and we put it in the bottom of the bucket
and then you should hold up a date seed
and let it go,
and it would fall down and
whatever number it landed on,
it would be that number. So
that was our dice for the game.
[Daniel] You know, take like ten journalists,
war, and put them into one room
and make them play the game
about taking control over
the world, you know,
it's basically like putting
gasoline to a bonfire.
[Daniel] We started to
have our own small world
that made everything much easier to survive
in a way. It was much easier to understand.
We didn't have to think about economy, we
didn't have to think about bank loans...
or the prices of gas at the moment.
You adapt into the situation
and then suddenly this whole thing
becomes a part of your life.
This is your life.
When you look back on it, that's what
I remember was our small society,
where we really start
to know each other.
You know who made this fart, you could
smell, this is the fart of you.
[Nicolas speaking]
I remember James' 40th birthday,
it was late at night, it was
completely dark. James said, "Oh,
by the way, I turn 40 today."
I was just like, "What?" So we sang a
song for him and I remember that we said,
"We hope it would be a much
better birthday next year."
Right here.
One, two and three.
Come on! Smile! Please!
Nice! Good!
We've been through a lot together.
Michael has co-signed loans for me.
He has lent me his professional clothes,
his car, his dental plan.
[people laughing]
And I think sometimes we struggle
to understand each other
and where exactly we're coming from
and why we do the things we do.
Michael has entirely
too much common sense...
and sometimes I have entirely
too little common sense.
We've somehow grown
closer despite the differences
and it's, I guess it's about
being brothers.
I'd say the first 100, 150 days I was
all in, but I definitely retracted
pretty strongly after that. I have
a lot of regrets about not, uh,
not continuing full steam,
and... I don't know if it was because
I was trying to protect myself,
or I was just trying to protect
my family, and that you know,
give the kids the attention I have, you
know, I could argue that that's what Jim
would prefer, and I don't know
it was all kinds of, of ex...
Excuses or reasons but I... It's
something I do feel terrible about.
But then, uh, then I got pulled
right back into it very strongly,
and very immediately when the
first e-mail came to me.
"Hello, we have James and want to negotiate
for him. He is safe. He is our friend,
"and we do not want to hurt him. If
you want cooperation we have rules.
"You cannot go to
the media ever about this.
"If you do, we will not negotiate.
We want money fast."
We shared everything we had with
everybody, you know, FBI knew,
security team knew, everyone knew.
They said, "Just keep them
talking" and all that,
"they're just beginning
their negotiations,
we've got time.
Just keep at it."
[Michael] So I, uh, after coordinating
with some officials replied to them.
"We've been concerned about Jim and want
to know that he's okay. Please provide us
"with proof that you have Jim,
and we will be happy to work
things out with you."
[Diane] We still didn't know
who was holding him.
It was obvious that they were
people against the Assad regime,
but they didn't identify themselves any more
than that at all. They were very shrewd.
And their e-mails unfortunately
were totally undetectable.
About a week goes by,
and they responded.
"James Wright Foley is
being detained by us.
"At this stage no video
or picture evidence of his
"well-being will be
provided until
"we see tangible progress in
your efforts to negotiate.
"However you will be able to ask
three questions of a personal nature
"that nobody except James
will know the answers to.
"And our primary demand is that
you use your influence to
"pressure your government to
release our Muslim prisoners,
"who they have imprisoned,
whether innocent or 'guilty'
"according to 'your laws.'
"If this fails to bear any fruits,
then our secondary demand is
the sum of 100 million Euros."
FBI, um, seemed to have their hands tied
because all they were able to do was
okay our family e-mails,
and they really weren't able to
help us much with strategy.
They just told us to be
yourselves, be family.
Tell them, "The truth is we
can't release any prisoners,
we certainly don't have
a hundred million Euro."
Michael came up with some questions
I didn't know the answers to,
but we sent those back to the captors.
Then there was some brief comment.
It says, "James was detained whilst
operating as a 'journalist'.
"After his capture,
"and the following interrogations
we came to learn that he had been
"embedded with the US troops
serving in Afghanistan.
"And that his brother,
Michael Patrick Foley
is a serving officer
in the US Air Force."
But I was never in the Air Force.
That was John.
My brother Jim said that Mike
was the Air Force officer.
It may have been a typo, it may not have been, but
I believe it was my, you know, my big brother
trying to protect me. You know,
you love your brothers, but...
For him to put... Be willing to put his
life on the line or his body on the line...
for my protection is significant.
[Daniel] I think they came in
with the proof of life for John
and then everybody else got
their proof of lives.
Everybody came in like,
"Yes!" and "We are happy,"
and... But James didn't get
his proof of life.
Until one day that they came in
and they asked James to follow...
and when he came back, you know, he
came back with his arms over his head
and he said that this was
the best day of his life.
And then him and John, they...
they hugged each other and they were dancing
around like they just won the big lottery.
That was early December of 2013.
All the answers came back right on.
We knew they had Jim.
But by the end of December,
they e-mailed us back and said, "This
is the last e-mail you'll get from us."
And cut off communication.
[John Sr.]
I mean, the first year we just trusted
that the government
would have this in hand
and that, um, despite our lack
of information, etcetera,
they had been through this
before, they knew what to do,
and you know, we were in good hands.
At the end of that year we realized
that nothing was being done,
and that we were really going to
have to do something on our own.
[Phil] Diane was great about
meeting with ambassadors
in Washington, from other countries
that might have some influence.
It turned out that no one
had any influence,
because the group that had him didn't
listen to anybody. But we didn't know that.
[Male reporter] It's kind of come as a
surprise to a lot of us this group ISIS.
A group that we hadn't really heard
much about. Who exactly are they?
Well, it's a criminal marauding gang.
They come out of
the original, very brutal
Iraqi terror group.
[Michael] They're the worst.
They're the worst of the worst.
Washington doesn't know
how to deal with them.
How's this family in New England
gonna figure that out, right?
I mean, you're dealing with, pure evil,
but a capable and organized group.
[Pierre speaking]
They were very tough towards
me also, but no matter what,
they meant freedom for me, because
they were the one negotiating for me.
But James and John were destroyed
by the Beatles in the beginning.
[Pierre] He had this ability
to escape the situation.
To, enjoy, you know, the sound
of children playing outside.
Or enjoy the view of just some
sun entering through the window.
[Didier speaking]
[Daniel] James converted in the
beginning of his captivity.
And I know that was at the same period
as he was getting really bad treatment.
It gave a good routine. Normally we have a
tradition of going into church every Sunday.
But if you cannot do that,
you need another way of feeling that you
are doing something with your faith.
And you can call it a surviving skill.
You can call it just a way of being
interested in another culture.
What James used to say to me was that,
for him God is the same.
[Diane] We had such great Christmases
when the kids were little.
Oh, just wonderful,
wonderful Christmases
and you know as they got older
and Jim's siblings married,
they weren't always able to be home.
But Jim was always home.
Most of my memories of Jim
culminate around the holidays.
You know, the playing of the video games,
the board games, the Ping-Pong tournaments,
the anything tournaments.
Grandma. Grandma.
You wake up and you open the gifts
and you're like, "Ah, crap,
Jim has my name." [laughing]
"What's he gonna give me?"
So, I shouldn't say that.
It was good times.
And then the last Christmas he was home,
I remember him, like, rolling on the
floor with Michael's son Matty.
He loved that kid.
There's a million Christmas
stories though.
[Daniel] You know it's difficult for
us to celebrate Christmas in any way,
and um, we didn't have any
presents to give each other.
So we... We decided to sit
down in a circle,
then we had to say something
nice to each other,
and I remember that I said to James that,
"James, the first time I met you was,
"you know, in this prison and you
looked as confused as if you were just
"dumped down on the earth
from the moon or something
"and you basically destroyed my whole
idea of this great war journalist,
"James Wright Foley, and then suddenly
I find out that you are very clumsy,
"you're very bad at sports,
but then again,
you're the most..."
I think I said to him, you know,
"you're the most honest person, there is
no evil at all to find in you, James.
"You are pure good.
Sometimes too good.
And I'm, I'm really happy
that I've, that I've met you."
That was our Christmas night.
When I went to bed that night
I really felt that I had the
best Christmas night in my life.
[Didier speaking]
[Pierre speaking]
[Diane] So that's when I
started to get more frantic.
I mean I thought, There's
gotta be some way to get
the French and the US to talk.
"Didier, this is
my husband John."
They were willing to share all kinds of
things about Jim personally, how he was,
what they did. So I was
starting to get all this hope,
and they have a hostage
crisis unit in Paris,
and they were very generous with their
time. So it was so different than what
I was experiencing, so I was just
kind of like, "jeez," you know.
"Jim and the others, our other Americans are
as important as these guys, aren't they?"
And it was the last night I was in Paris
and I got a phone call from John.
He said, "Diane, we got another
email from the captors."
I thought, "Oh, great,
what did they say?"
And that's when they
threatened to kill Jim.
But me and my cluelessness,
I was just excited that
they reached out to us.
We had raised about
a million dollars in pledges
and so I was so excited to hear
from them because we thought,
now we can tell them we have this money.
And I was just so clueless.
We knew that paying a ransom was illegal
and we also knew that
it wouldn't have stopped us.
Foleys were prepared
to mortgage their house
and do what needed to be
done to make a payment.
I have a lot of evolving thoughts about
this whole process, and what the government
didn't do that it should
have done. I mean...
if you just look at the facts, there
are 15 European hostages who are alive
and with their families and
friends and loved ones today.
I wish we had started
raising money sooner.
I wish we had negotiated. I wish
it had turned out differently.
In some sense, I was okay with
the fact that he got captured.
'Cause I knew he was doing
what he wanted to do.
You know, and as a good family member and as
a good brother, I knew to understand that.
My mom did a great job in,
you know, keeping faith,
and working as hard as she could, but...
from the get-go once it happened, I
kind of felt like he was already gone.
[Daniel] So after a group of the other
hostages was released, the Beatles,
they came back, the day after...
And they...
They beated the shit out of James and I.
I think it's called a "Charlie horse"
when you put your knee into
the legs of a person and...
They did that to me and James while we
had to sit in a stretched position.
I don't know how many they gave
us, but, it just continued...
never tried anything that hurt
so much in my entire life.
And then they just left.
And I was just laying there crying, and I
couldn't be in my own body of pure pain
and James in the other
corner of the room, he...
I knew he got exactly the same treatment
as me, but I couldn't hear it.
He just... I don't know if he kept
it inside, or how he did it,
but only a few minutes after they
left James he kind of looked up
and asked me if I was okay.
I was like "shut up, James", I remember
I said, "shut up, James," you know.
"Don't ask me if I'm okay," you know...
"Don't worry about me," you
know, "worry about yourself."
But yeah, we just laid there until
the pain started to disappear a bit.
Two or three days after
they came in again.
This time, the Beatles just told us
that, "Now guys, everything's changed."
And they took all our food,
our games, most of the blankets.
And they started to use,
like police clubs.
So every time we went to the toilet
we got beatings with a stick.
We were so scared, we lost all hopes.
No matter what came through
that door, it was evil.
Those 14 days before I got released
was the absolute worst times.
When people started to get released,
we decided to send out letters
with the person who was released.
But James he didn't... He didn't
want to bother any of us.
And I remember one day that,
I saw that John and James
had been talking for some
times in the corner.
And after that John, he came
over to me and said "Daniel,
James he want to ask
you something."
"Okay, okay. What up,
James?" And he's like,
"Oh, uh, it's just if, if, if you want
to carry out a message or something."
You know, he was very, he said
it fa... He said it fast like,
like he didn't wanna bother me.
There's many ways of dealing
with a situation like this
and James, I think one of the
reasons why he remained so strong,
was because he managed to think
about all the good things.
He saw the light instead
of the dark spots,
where a guy like John,
he was much more realistic.
He knew when it was bad.
But I couldn't bring out the letter. I
was too afraid after these 14 days.
So I decided just to memorize
it as fast as I could.
So I started waiting, I knew they will
come in the morning to pick me up.
One day went, two days went,
and then fourth day, fifth day.
Shit, man. And then I woke up
the sixth day in the morning,
and I couldn't sleep,
I couldn't sleep all night,
because I was so afraid of what if
they are playing a trick on me.
And James he walked over to me and he, he
sat down right next to me and, and he said,
"Are you okay, Daniel?"
and I said "Yeah, uh."
And then I just couldn't hold
it back and I said "Fuck, man,
"I am really, really scared. I really
really, really, really scared right now.
I don't know what to do,
what to think. I..."
And he said "Daniel,
calm down. Calm down.
"Everything will be fine.
You are going home.
"They will come in a few
hours or tomorrow,
but one thing is sure Daniel,
you will go home."
Once again it was a weird feeling
because I was sitting there crying
and making a scene in front of James
and I was about to go home
and James he didn't have
anything to look forward to.
James, he went back to his,
his side of the room.
Ten minutes after
they knocked on the door,
they came in and asked me to put a
blanket over my head and follow them.
That was the last time
I... I saw James.
I call on my friends, family, and loved
ones to rise up against my real killers,
the U.S. government.
For what will happen to me is only a result
of their complacency and criminality.
I wish I had more time.
I wish I could have the hope of freedom
and seeing my family once again.
But that ship has sailed.
[Michael] I hadn't heard
Jim's voice in... two years.
You know, I guess, you can see it in
his neck, in his face he's just...
This strength he has at that moment.
And, I think of myself I'd be
calling for my mother or something.
Just the strength he had and I...
I wanted to feel what he felt
was the reason I watched it.
I kept getting messages
saying, "John, are you okay?
John, are you okay about what they
said, about what your brother said?"
I'm like, "What are
you talking about?"
I call on my brother John, who
is a member of the US Air force.
Think about what you are doing.
Think about the lives you destroy,
including those of your own family.
Even though he was reading that script,
he seemed defiant... to the end.
I mean, for sure, I still
have some guilt regarding...
me and just me and
unfortunately my profession,
but I'm sure that he endured torture.
Interestingly, John and I have... We've
argued a lot about things since that.
We've been communicating a lot more, we've
come a lot closer as a result of it,
and I think Jim would have loved that.
And you know Jim as well as I do,
he wouldn't have said those things
if there wasn't someone else
that was going to be harmed as a result
of it, he never cared about himself.
[Katie] My only thought when I found out
about Jim was, "how am I gonna get home?"
I had missed the initial
chaos of when it all happened,
but slowly we all kind of came together.
We literally chose the smallest
room possible in our house.
But everybody was just
kinda huddled together.
Jim always found a way to bring
people together. Always.
I really don't think I...
came to know Jim as a man, as an adult.
I came to know him through his friends.
It's hard as a mother,
you know, they're always
your children somehow...
and it's hard to see that they're adults
with heir own gifts in their
own way in the world.
The day before his memorial,
I was like, "shit."
I was like, now I get it.
Now I get it.
You know, jokingly, I was always
like, you know Jim get a job.
Jim, you know, save for retirement.
And so what I didn't recognize,
he was trying to teach me,
John, you need to look
outside of yourself.
John, It's not about
physical or monetary things.
It's about how you act.
It's who you teach,
who you mentor.
Who's going to remember you? What are
they going to remember about you?
Jimmy was included in the long line of journalists
who gave their lives to tell the truth.
We were just totally humbled by the fact that
the committee in Bayeux would nominate him
to be included on one
of the markers with,
2,000 other deceased journalists.
It was a very important moment.
This was Jim, and it... made me
feel very warm inside that, um,
he was accepted as one of them.
[Didier speaking]
[John Sr.]
And that's the difference with Jim.
He was just a you, and a me,
friendly guy, until tested.
[voice breaking] Where that came from
I don't know, Brian.
Because you can't... Just can't
grit something like that out.
You have to have an inner strength...
to do that.
We discovered Jim
just like the world did.
He was truly a man for others.
Witnessing Jim's murder this publicly.
It sends a message to all of us,
and my... I guess
response to that is,
having lost so many
friends and knowing that
people are purposely
out for journalists now...
I mean, we have to fight back
with our pictures and our words.
I just... I don't
wanna let them win.
The extent to which
the media coverage took off,
it was just staggering.
It was absolutely staggering.
Something like 94% of Americans
were aware of Jim's death
and how he died. It's the event
with the second most recognition
in recent American history after 9/11.
He would have been horrified by that, I mean,
he was there to talk about the Syrian people
and this is the takeaway.
[Brian] What is your response to people who
would say that Jim shouldn't have been there?
[Clare] My response is, do you read
the newspaper, do you watch TV?
You're depending on someone
to bring you that information.
If you care about what's going on in Syria,
you don't have the right to be like,
"Oh, why's he there?"
How do you even know what "there" is?
Because he told you.
I remember the video,
and there was a desert...
and in the background you could
see that the desert stopped.
And there was all
the valley of Euphrates.
So I called into what I know from James.
I'm like 100% sure
that even though he was convinced he
will be killed, he enjoyed the view.
[Nicolas] He died as a free man.
This is not the death of a hostage.
And that is the difference eventually
between... Between Jim and myself.
I ended up being released...
but, he ended up free.
And when we came to James' funeral, everything
started to become real again in a way.
The fact that I managed to say
goodbye to James together with
all his loved ones was really powerful.
It reminded me how
important it was that...
That James, he gave that letter to me.
[Michael] "Dear family and friends, I
remember going to the mall with Dad...
"a very long bike ride with Mom.
"I remember so many great family times
that take me away from this prison.
"Dreams of family and friends take me
away and happiness fills my heart.
"I know you are thinking of me and
praying for me and I am so thankful.
"I feel you all especially when I pray. I
pray for you to stay strong and to believe.
"I really feel I can touch you in
even in this darkness when I pray.
"I think a lot about
my brothers and sister.
"I remember playing werewolf
in the dark with Michael
"and so many other adventures.
"I think of chasing Matty and
T around the kitchen counter,
"it makes me happy to think of them.
"If there is any money left
in my bank account,
"I want it to go to Michael and Matthew.
"I'm so proud of you, Michael,
"and thankful to you for happy
childhood memories,
"and to you and Kristie
for happy adult ones.
"And big John, how I loved
visiting you and Cress in Germany.
"Thank you for welcoming me.
"I think a lot about Ro-Ro and try
to imagine what Jack is like.
"I hope he has
Ro-Ro's personality."
[Priest] So Mark and Casey, what
name have you given your son?
- James Michael Foley.
- James Michael Foley.
"And Mark, so proud of you too, bro.
"I think of you on the west coast and hope
you're doing some snowboarding and camping.
"I especially remember us going to
the comedy club in Boston, together,
"and our big hug after. The
special moments keep me hopeful.
"Katie, so very proud of you. You were
the strongest and best of us all.
"I think of you working so hard,
helping people as a nurse.
"I pray I can come to your wedding.
Now I'm sounding like Grammy.
"Grammy, please take your medicine,
take walks and keep dancing.
"I plan to take you out
to Margarita's when I get home.
"Stay strong because I am going to
need you to help reclaim my life.
If I should close my eyes
That my soul can see
And there's a place at the table
That you save for me
So many thousand miles
Over land and sea
I hope today
That you hear my prayer
And somehow I'll be there
It's but a concrete floor
where my head will lay
And though the walls of this
prison are as cold as clay
But there's a shaft of light
where I count my days
So don't despair
At the empty chair
Somehow I'll be there
Some days I'm strong
Some days I'm weak
And days I'm broken
I can barely speak
That place in my head
Where my thoughts still roll
Somehow I've come home
And when the winter comes
and the trees lie bare
And you just stare out the
window and the darkness there
Well, I was always late
for every meal you swear
But keep my place
On the empty chair
And somehow I'll be there
And somehow I'll be there