Tuesday, December 26, 2006

'Crack some more skulls at the NYT'

ABC's The Blotter has a poorly written and edited article about a New York Times journalist allegedly beaten by Pakistani agents:

New York Times correspondent Carlotta Gall tells ABC News she was assaulted by plain-clothed government security agents while reporting in Quetta, a Pakistani city near the Afghan frontier where NATO suspects the Taliban hides its shadow government.

Akhtar Soomro, a freelance Pakistani photographer working with Gall, was detained for five-and-a-half hours. According to Gall, the agents broke down the door to her hotel room, after she refused to let them enter, and began to seize her notebooks and laptop. When she tried to stop them, she says one of the men punched her twice in the face and head.

"I fell backwards onto a coffee table smashing the crockery," she recalled in a written account of the incident. "I have heavy bruising on my arms, on my temple and my cheekbone, and swelling on my left eye and a sprained knee."

Gall says the agents accused her and Soomro of trying to meet the Taliban. They identified themselves as working for Pakistan's Special Branch, an undercover police department, but Gall said other local reporters identified them as employees from one of the country's two powerful spy agencies: Inter-Services Intelligence or Military Intelligence.

Somehow, ABC left the "when" out of their story, but the Committee to Protect Journalists notes that it occurred on December 19.

From a Los Angeles Times report published two days after Gall's alleged assault:

Pakistan's security branches demonstrate far more efficiency in keeping track of Western outsiders, including foreign journalists, whose movements in and around Quetta are closely monitored.

New York Times reporter Carlotta Gall was questioned this week by Pakistani security agents who forced their way into her Quetta hotel room and at one point struck her in the face, she said. Gall's notes and laptop were seized but later returned. The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad said it was looking into the incident.

Here's an excerpt from one of Gall's most recent Times articles on the Taliban in Pakistan:

Islamic militants are using a recent peace deal with the government to consolidate their hold in northern Pakistan, vastly expanding their training of suicide bombers and other recruits and fortifying alliances with Al Qaeda and foreign fighters, diplomats and intelligence officials from several nations say. The result, they say, is virtually a Taliban mini-state.

The militants, the officials say, are openly flouting the terms of the September accord in North Waziristan, under which they agreed to end cross-border help for the Taliban insurgency that revived in Afghanistan with new force this year.

The area is becoming a magnet for an influx of foreign fighters, who not only challenge government authority in the area, but are even wresting control from local tribes and spreading their influence to neighboring areas, according to several American and NATO officials and Pakistani and Afghan intelligence officials.

This year more than 100 local leaders, government sympathizers or accused "American spies" have been killed, several of them in beheadings, as the militants have used a reign of terror to impose what President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan calls a creeping "Talibanization." Last year, at least 100 others were also killed.

But, evidently, some American conservatives don't care about the Talibanization of Pakistan, and would prefer Western journalists to stay the fuck out of Dodge and keep their freaking traps shut, as shown by some repulsive comments left at ABC's The Blotter.

Here's some of the heartless, misinformed and callow samples left there:

Dan Pearl was not beheaded by Paki special agents. This NYT stringer should watch her neck. I wonder if the NYT is holding back on this for a reason we can only guess, such as the Eason Jordan rule? Posted by: daveinboca | Dec 26, 2006 1:45:24 PM

"Investigative journalists" are becoming an endangered species. If they were, in fact, getting ready to meet with the Taliban they should have been arrested. Just stick to reporting the news instead of creating a news event. You might live longer. Posted by: John Wilkins | Dec 26, 2006 1:48:35 PM

When will you liberals finally figure out that the Muslims want to kill you? Posted by: XXX | Dec 26, 2006 1:48:55 PM

Let's see: - You are in a foreign country. - You refuse to allow the government agents, police, etc. into your hotel room. You refuse to surrender documents that are requested by these government agents. - You act like you are above the law. And now you are looking for sympathy because they were doing their job. You were lucky to teeth left to talk with and unbroken fingers with which to write this dribble. So solly! Posted by: Jack Morris | Dec 26, 2006 1:51:19 PM

Serves her right for trying to meet with a sworn enemy of America. When will the NYT finally admit their treason? Posted by: John Burgeson | Dec 26, 2006 2:05:49 PM

Glad to hear the Pakistani secret police are doing their jobs in silencing the Taliban and Al Queda propoganda arm AKA New York Times. Nice job guys, keep up the good work. Crack some more skulls at the NYT. Posted by: Tim Mills | Dec 26, 2006 2:22:00 PM

There's plenty more, but you get the idea.

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