BY: Washington Free Beacon Staff
August 21, 2014 3:50 pm
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters Thursday her department would never have willingly revealed the failed U.S. attempt to rescue American journalist James Foley from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), and that she has “no idea” who leaked the information to the press.
The report, citing U.S. officials, came to light Wednesday, after Foley was beheaded by ISIL.
“We had no intention of ever making this public, period — I want to be very clear about that — for the operational security both of the special operators and also of the remaining hostages,” Harf said.
Harf said that “a number of news outlets” approached the U.S. government with “very detailed information” on the rescue attempt.
“I have no idea who provided it,” Harf insisted.
Harf argued that the government was “forced” to acknowledge the reports since the news outlets “were going to run stories one way or the other.”
Rep. Buck McKeon (R., Calif.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, has called for an investigation of the leak. Harf would not state whether she would support such investigations.