Jen Shroder
NY Times, where's the gratitude for Cpl. John Harrison's sacrifice?
By Jen Shroder
September 11, 2009

America grieves the loss of Cpl. John Harrison, 29, who died Wednesday morning during a daring pre-dawn rescue to free NY Times journalist Stephen Farrell.

Harrison is described by his CO as "a tower of strength" and "a remarkable man."

"His hallmark was an undemonstrative, yet profound, professionalism; he cared deeply about his work, and more deeply still about those he commanded and served alongside, " he said.

"He was an unflinching and inspirational man with a deep, deep pool of courage, who died as he lived — at the forefront of his men."

Army sources said the NY Times journalist, Farrell, had ignored warnings from Afghan police about traveling in the Taliban area and was consequently captured and then rescued.

And yet, what does the grateful NY Times have to say? On Wednesday, Sept. 10, they publish the story by the Associated Press with the title, "British Rescue Was Reckless, Media Club Says." The story leads: "KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) Afghan journalists on Thursday blamed what they called a reckless rescue operation by British commandos for a kidnapped colleagues death and said foreign troops had a double standard for Western and Afghan lives." What else does the NY Times report? "But the journalists also said they held NATO-led forces responsible for launching a military operation without exhausting nonviolent means for freeing them."

In a heartfelt tribute, the NY Times writes of their interpreter who was killed in the rescue, "Sultan Munadi: A Gentle Stalwart." "The two men had been kidnapped in northern Afghanistan on Saturday while reporting on a NATO bombing that killed scores of people, possibly including many civilians."

"Possibly including many civilians."


And terrorists...did we manage to hit any terrorists? Who knows. Who cares. There might have been some civilians.

The NY Times, in my opinion, was there to dig up any dirt they could find to criticize our efforts in Afghanistan and when their own journalist ignored warnings not to travel in Taliban controlled (oh I forgot, Islam is peaceful) territories, they were kidnapped and dependant upon our military to rescue them. Once rescued, a heart-wrenching tribute about the interpreter is presented along with the statement, "vastly more Afghans than foreigners have died battling the Taliban."

NY Times, I'm sorry, was Cpl. John Harrison not enough for you?

Where is the detailed coverage of Cpl. John Harrison who sacrificed his life for your dirt-seeking journalist? You took the time to write about how your interpreter would pause to think before interpreting. Will there be stories about how John DIDN'T pause to rush in to save them? Will the NY Times cover John's sweet personality and his "easy laugh" as well?

So what's the headlines at New York Times this morning (on 9/11)? "Obama Facing Doubts Within His Own Party On Afghanistan" title leads with: "A key Senate Democrat said that he is against sending more U.S. combat troops to Afghanistan..."

At the moment of this release, what is buried is that a British Minister announced the name of Cpl. Harrison, then launches into the description of Farrell and Munadi tracking down the CLAIM by villagers that civilians were killed in a recent bomb blast, before quoting testimonies of Cpl. Harrison's bravery, and somehow managing to credit the RESCUE (they repeatedly call it a raid) as "having been carried out by British special forces members transported by United States helicopters and assisted by Afghan Army units."

So let me get this straight. Our troops go over and RESCUE their journalist, Cpl John Harrison sacrifices his LIFE to do so, and they repeatedly report it as a RAID and credit British special forces assisted by Afghan Army units.

Uh, so I guess our troops were just standing in the way, killing civilians left and right at their leisure.

It's a good thing UK journalists were able to reach across international waters to get some statements from Cpl. Harrison's family and commanding officers, so the NY Times could slap a few quotes up in their grateful tribute to his life after again reporting the POSSIBILITY of civilians killed.

Thank you very much, NY Times, for your outrageously biased "news" reporting.

Image: Corporal John Harrison from the Parachute Regiment Photo: MOD

© Jen Shroder


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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