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Since 2011

Gabe Fleisher, Editor-in-Chief @WakeUp2Politics
Steven Sotloff inside Al-Fateh
Mosque in Manam, Bahrain;
October 2010. Photo from

ISIS Kills Second American Journalist

A video posted by the Islamic State group
Tuesday, the authenticity of which was confirmed
by President Barack Obama early this morning,
showed the beheading by the group of American
journalist Steven Sotloff, the second video of the
same gruesome scene.
The first showed Sotloffs fellow freelance war
reporter James Foley, and was posted August 19 in
the same manner, with a black-clothed executioner
that killed both Foley and Sotloff. As with the first
video, the latest one opened with a clip of
President Obama discussing ISIS, before Sotloff
appears in an orange jumpsuit. A Second
Message to America then shows Sotloff speaking
to the camera criticizing U.S. intervention in the
Middle East, before the ISIS executioner blames
the president for not ending military strikes. The
first video warned of Sotloffs killing if the United
States did not end the strikes.

Sotloff, like Foley, went to Syria to tell a story, said Joel Simon, the
executive director of CPJ.
They were civilians, not representatives of any government. Their murders
are war crimes and those who committed them must be brought to justice
swiftly, said Joel Simon, executive director of the Committee to Protect
Journalists (CPJ), condemning the pure barbarism of killing those who
went to Syria to tell a story.
Early this morning, at a joint press conference with Estonian President
Toomas Hendrik Ilves in Estonia, President Barack Obama followed with
this theme, saying, Overnight, our government determined that tragically,
Steven [Sotloff] was taken from us in a horrific act of violence.
Like Jim Foley before him, Steves life stood in sharp contrast to those who
murdered him so brutally, Obama continued. They make the absurd claim
that they kill in the name of religion, but it was Steven, his friends say, who
deeply loved the Islamic world. His killers try to claim that they defend the
oppressed but it was Steven who traveled across the Middle East risking his
life to tell the story of Muslim men and women demanding justice and
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) has already announced plans to introduce
legislation giving the President authority to bomb ISIS forces in Syria.
Nelson is planning to introduce the bill after Congress returns from a month-
long recess Monday.
This will ensure theres no question that the president has the legal
authority he needs to use airstrikes in Syria, Nelson said Tuesday, before
the killing of Steven Sotloff was even confirmed. We must go after ISIS
right away because the U.S. is the only one that can put together a coalition
to stop this group thats intent on barbaric cruelty.
In remarks this morning, President Obama made clear that further military
action was being considered, and that the United States was not intimidated
by the threats of ISIS: Whatever these murders think theyll achieve by
killing innocent Americans like Steven, they have already failed, he said.
They failed because, like people around the world, Americans are repulsed
by their barbarism, we will not be intimidated.
Steven Joel Sotloff was 31 years old as an ISIS video showed the group
killing him Tuesday, and had already become a seasoned Middle East
reporter after years of work in the region, reporting for Time Magazine, the
Christian Science Monitor, the Daily Caller, Foreign Policy, and the World
Affairs Journal. A freelance reporter, Sotloff was cought crossing the Syrian
border from Turkey, and abducted by ISIS in August 2013. His life was
threatened in the video, one year later, showing the execution of James
Foley, telling President Barack Obama that the journalists fate would be
decided by the Presidents next move.
Days later, the United States ramped up airstrikes against the Islamic State
Group (also known as ISIS or ISIL), and the SITE Intelligence Group
discovered the release of yet another video by ISIS today. The scene of A
Second Message to America was set the same as the first video, with an
ISIS executioner wearing all black. Kneeling in an orange jumpsuit the
second time, instead of James Foley, was Steven Joel Sotloff.

White House Watch

The Presidents Schedule Today, the President is still in Estonia ahead of
the NATO summit in Wales.
Following Estonian local time, President Obama participate(s/d) in an
official arrival ceremony today; meets and holds a press conference with the
President of Estonia; sits down with the Estonian Prime Minister; holds
another meeting with the Estonian President, but this time along with the
Presidents of Latvia and Lithuania as well; speaks at Nordea Concert Hall;
receives a NATO Reassurance briefing; and travels to Wales.
Obama Sends 350 More Troops to Iraq President Obama has authorized
the Pentagon for 350 more troops in Iraq.
A statement last night announced that these troops would not serve a
combat role, but rather protect the U.S. embassy in Iraq.