Fox News hosts criticized the Department of Justice's decision to investigate the beheading of journalist James Foley by Islamic State extremists. In fact, such investigations are routine and were pursued under President George W. Bush for Americans killed abroad during his administration.
DOJ Opens Investigation Into Killing Of American Journalist James Foley
After Foley Beheaded By Islamic State, DOJ Opens Investigation. After the extremist Islamic State released a video of journalist James Foley being beheaded, Attorney General Eric Holder announced the Department of Justice (DOJ) would open a criminal investigation into Foley's death:
Speaking at a news conference in Washington to announce a $17 billion settlement with Bank of America, the attorney general was asked about Foley. "The Justice Department is actively pursuing justice in this case. We have an open criminal investigation," Holder said, adding later that the department will "vigorously" proceed with the probe. [Politico, 8/21/14]
Fox Hosts Decry DOJ's Involvement
Outnumbered Hosts Decry DOJ Investigation Of Foley's Death. On the August 21 edition of Fox's Outnumbered, co-hosts Kimberly Guilfoyle and Harris Faulkner questioned the DOJ's decision to pursue an investigation of Foley's killing, saying it was instead an "act of war" that shouldn't be prosecuted as a criminal case:
GUILFOYLE: As a former prosecutor, I don't see it very feasible that they're going to find that individual or those individuals responsible. What, bring them back to the United States and prosecute them and try them in a court here? That, to me, doesn't seem to make a lot of sense, that he's the one making these comments. I don't know, it seems like kind of a very large extension of his role.
FAULKNER: Really? Really? We're going to bring them back and prosecute them here? You mentioned the FBI Director Comey, he goes on to say I'm very, very, very sorry to say that these savages have turned it into a homicide investigation. No. No. This is an act of war, from what I'm reading, from the generals I've interviewed. [Fox News, Outnumbered, 8/21/14]
DOJ Investigated Americans Killed Abroad By Terrorists During Bush Administration
Killing Of Nicholas Berg By Militants In Iraq Was Investigated By FBI. Nicholas Berg, an American businessman, was captured by Iraqi militants and beheaded in 2004. As New York Times reported at the time, the FBI, a part of the DOJ, investigated Berg's death:
The F.B.I. is investigating Mr. Berg's beheading, by militants in Iraq, which was captured on a grisly video posted on an Islamic Web site. Mr. Ashcroft pledged Friday to seek criminal charges in the United States against those responsible.
''Obviously we will work hard to make sure that the people who murdered Mr. Berg are brought to justice, and that would include indictment and prosecution and punishment,'' he said.
The attorney general would not discuss suspects in the Berg case, but intelligence officials say the beheading was most likely carried out by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian militant with ties to Al Qaeda. [New York Times, 5/15/04]
FBI Investigated Journalist Daniel Pearl's Death At Hands Of Terrorists. The FBI investigated the death of Daniel Pearl, an American journalist who was kidnapped and beheaded by Islamist extremists in 2002. Former FBI investigator Ty Fairman told NBC News that the investigation of Pearl's death "was our jurisdiction." [NBC News, 6/22/07]