Thursday, August 04, 2005


Requiem for a journalist

Angels weep when a real journalist dies, which may explain why so few of them carry handkerchiefs. But just a few days ago, they had cause to buy one. A National Review reporter, Steven Vincent was doing some actual reporting when he apparently got too close to to finding out who is behind the corruption in Basra and was murdered. My deepest condolences to his family. Going to Iraq, outside of the bunkered-up Green Zone, was a brave and decent act. Although the hands that pulled the trigger were presumably Islamic fundamentalists, I don't doubt that there is an entry in the books at some Halliburton subsidiary noting the five bullets that were fired into his head. As Vincent pointed out in the NYT the UK and ultimately the US are responsible for the training of the police and hence the impunity with which death squads operate. Including whichever one, official or not, that decided to end Vincent's life. I didn't want to leave this life having said nothing good about National Review, and this looks like it may be my only opportunity, so here it is: they published Steven Vincent. Now that he's gone, the NRO goes back to having as many real reporters as The New York Times, which is to say, zero.
Wow. Didn't realize he wrote for Buckley's rag. He makes a nice contrast to the "Truth Tour" talk-show-host idiots who barely ventured out of the Green Zone in the two days they were in Baghdad.

Of course, the fact that he's dead and they are not also is a statement in itself. I note that Basra was not one of the places on their itinerary.
I'd gladly buy the "Truth Tour" talkers one-way tickets.

I read some of their "reports."

It's scary to think how stupid one would have to be to believe them.

Basra is far from the worst place in Iraq. *Really* far from. Islamic fundamentalists care about whether women are properly submissive and the correct line of descent from the Prophet, stuff like that. I'd be surprised if they were at the center of financial corruption.

The more I think about, the more I wonder if Vincent was picking up the trail of American-funded death squads. *That* would be dangerous to a journalist's health.

I seem to recall that the car that picked him up was pricy and was marked "Police", though apparently not with official markings. This is the sort of detail that whispers "Death squad."
The Torygraph has a classicly incoherent piece suggesting Vincent may have been killed because of personal involvement with his female Iraqi translator. The lady was also shot in the attack.

Supposedly, Vincent was planning to marry the translator to help her get a visa out of the country. Vincent's wife of 13 years was aware of this plan. A source says this is not a classic honor killing, in which the woman receives all of the bullets. But it might be.

I'm back to square one on this. Maybe Mrs. Vincent put out a hit? Was she in on the scheme to get a nanny? The Torygraph has turned what seemed a simple story into a muddle.

At any rate, Vincent was the only person at NRO who qualified as a journalist.
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