Surprise! New York Time’s Kidnapped Journalist A Moron Who Cost A Soldier And Friend Their Lives–UPDATED

The paper of record will probably not report the flaming ignorance of their own reporter, Stephen Farrell, but the British press is less inclined to cover for him. Remember the NYT reporter who got abducted and subsequently rescued? Remember how good the NYT was with keeping that secret, you know a secret that mattered when lives were at stake?

A soldier lost his life to save this, what’s the Van Jones word?, that’s right, a**hole. Here’s what happened:

Afghan police and intelligence officers repeatedly warned journalists including Mr Farrell that it was too dangerous to go to the site. Kunduz is a notorious Taliban northern stronghold and was one of the last holdouts of the regime when it was toppled in 2001.

While Mr Farrell, who was kidnapped in iraq five years ago, and Mr Munadi were interviewing Afghans near the site of the bombing an elderly man warned them to leave as the Taliban were on their way.

But they stayed and shortly afterwards gunshots rang out and they were taken into captivity. Mr Munadi was working as a freelance during a break from his university studies in Germany.
The dramatic rescue operation came in the early hours of Wednesday when a troop of Special Boat Service commandos supported by a company from the Special Forces Support Group left an American base in US helicopters. But the young British soldier died in the battle to the distress of his commanders.

One senior Army source said: “When you look at the number of warnings this person had it makes you really wonder whether he was worth rescuing, whether it was worth the cost of a soldier’s life. In the future special forces might think twice in a similar situation.”

Another military source said: “This reporter went to this area against the advice of the Afghan police. So thanks very much Stephen Farrell, your irresponsible act has led to the death of one of our boys.”

Was his life saving? No. He knew the risks in his job. No doubt, his friends and family members are relieved to have him back in one piece. But there are other people, a British soldier, his interpreter, a woman and a child now dead because he ignored the advice of those who knew better.

And the New York Times? The paper couldn’t be bother with Van Jones or John Edwards, or, most of all, their own idiot reporter.


The reporter a Brit, tells his story. He concludes:

It was over. Sultan was dead. He had died trying to help me, right up to the very last seconds of his life.

There were some celebrations among the mainly British soldiers on the aircraft home, which soon fell silent. It later emerged that one of the rescue party was also dead, mortally wounded during the raid. His blood-soaked helmet was in front of me throughout the flight. I thanked everyone who was still alive to thank. It wasn’t, and never will be, enough.

The soldier’s name. What is his name? At this point, the reporter’s “ordeal” means little. The man who died for him does.

Jules Crittendon says this:

If NYT … WSJ, CNN, Fox, assorted freelancers, the lot of them … stopped taking risks, we would have very little information about what happens in bad places. I don’t believe that most of them do it lightly, though I’ve known a few who do it irresponsibly and have been lucky they didn’t end up in this situation. A lot of them now have considerable time incountry, experience with these issues, and receive professional training and advice. A lot of them have also died, been injured, or spent time in captivity. It often comes down to judgment calls about what level of risk to take. Here’s an easy call to make in the aftermath: It looks like Farrell made a bad one. Harder to say about the military, which also had the option of standing off and exercised its own judgment in the moment.

I guess what makes me so angry is the way the newspapers so easily trash the very same who would save their sorry hides. The military is treated with contempt by the Western media. As a citizen (recognizing that all parties involved were British), I don’t feel inclined using vast resources and potentially putting solider in harms way for a risk-taking fool who works for an organization working in opposition to their own country’s interests.

The newspapers have no trouble putting soldiers in harms way with irresponsible reporting–remember the flushed Koran? How many false stories have put American and allied soldiers at risk? And now, a soldier’s family must live with the idea that their son, brother, father died for an agent who often indirectly colluded with the enemy.

I’m upset at the gross injustice in this. Over at Jawa, the reporter is described as a “self-indulgent asshole”. That’s being kind.

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