“She was the girl left behind,” ABC’s Brian Ross says of Kayla Mueller, and that’s more true than we knew even after news of her death finally lifted the veil on her kidnaping. After bringing the Obama administration into the negotiations for Kayla’s release, the Muellers got threats from the Department of Justice of prosecution if they or others paid a ransom, a point which ABC brings up again in this story. Later, it came out that the White House sat on good intelligence about her location and that of other hostages for almost two months before attempting a rescue, long after they had been moved.
After her death was confirmed, President Obama sat down with the Muellers and pledged to support their new charity with an “anonymous” donation, Carl Mueller tells ABC. Seventeen months later, they’ve yet to see a dime from him:
As President Barack Obama tried to console the parents of Kayla Mueller after she was killed in ISIS captivity last year, they say he offered to make a contribution to a foundation they had established in her name.
But he has yet to do so, the parents say, 17 months after he made his promise to them on March 13, 2015.
ABC News reached out to the White House, which confirmed that Obama hadn’t made any donation to the Mueller’s charity:
A White House official confirmed to ABC News that the president had not made the donation but still intends to do so.
The official offered no guidance on why the president had failed to make the donation.
This entire story breaks the heart in a number of ways. Kayla Mueller only wanted to make the world a better place, and wanted to help people who needed it most. She may have been too naïve, but she represented the best of America. And for all her heart and soul, Kayla wound up abused in the worst possible ways and abandoned by the government that should have protected her — even in death.
Even with all of that torture, Kayla Mueller still remained strong to the end, as another hostage that later got free tells ABC:
Former hostage Daniel Rye Ottosen, a Danish freelance photographer, recalled how Mueller turned the tables on the men in black.
“One of the Beatles started to say, ‘Oh, this is Kayla, and she has been held all by herself. And she is much stronger than you guys. And she’s much smarter. She converted to Islam.’ And then she was like, ‘No, I didn’t,'” Ottosen told ABC News.
He admits it surprised him a lot. He had once tried to strangle himself when ISIS guards strung his arms up by chains.
“I would not have had the guts to say that. I don’t think so,” he said. “It was very clear that all of us were impressed by the strength that she showed in front of us. That was very clear.”
Kayla Mueller should make us all proud. The way she got abandoned by her own country should make us all ashamed.