A small role in the Rohde story

posted at 7:30 pm on June 20, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

New York Times reporter David Rohde escaped from the Taliban in the frontier areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan after being held captive for seven months.  Neither Rohde nor the Times has given many details of either his capture or his escape, but given the propensity of the Taliban to murder Western hostages, his survival alone testifies to Rohde’s perserverance, and the story of his escape will certainly fascinate all of us, once it is fully told.

Many people may be surprised to hear that a Times reporter had been captured at all.  The NYT took pains to keep the story from leaking, in order to protect Rohde:

Until now, the kidnapping has been kept quiet by The Times and other media organizations out of concern for the men’s safety.

“From the early days of this ordeal, the prevailing view among David’s family, experts in kidnapping cases, officials of several governments and others we consulted was that going public could increase the danger to David and the other hostages. The kidnappers initially said as much,” said Bill Keller, the executive editor of The Times. “We decided to respect that advice, as we have in other kidnapping cases, and a number of other news organizations that learned of David’s plight have done the same. We are enormously grateful for their support.”

On March 12th of this year, I learned through another blogger, whom I will not name at the moment, that Rohde had been abducted.  Obviously, this would have been quite a story, especially given the near-total media silence on the matter.  In searching the Internet, I found only a handful of mentions about the kidnapping, all of them in foreign wire services.

Instead of publishing the story immediately, I called the New York Times to first confirm it, and also to see why they hadn’t reported it themselves.  I spoke to a member of the media relations department, who asked me to refrain from writing about Rohde, explaining their concerns for his safety.  She assured me that they would get in touch with me immediately if any new developments occured, which didn’t happen, but from our conversation it appeared that they had a long list of contacts for that contingency ahead of me.

In the end, I sat on the story.  When it broke today with the happy news of Rohde’s escape, my friend at Gay Patriot sent a critical Twitter to NYT reporter/columnist Nicholas Kristof for the Times’ secrecy to protect their employee but their willingness to expose highly classified national-security programs that put Americans at greater risk for attack.  I agree with Gay Patriot that the way the Times treated Rohde and those stories seems pretty hypocritical, but I would hope that they would take the lesson from this and show much greater restraint in the future in endangering important security programs rather than err on the side of informing the public when it puts lives at risk unnecessarily.

Gay Patriot said that his criticism doesn’t extend to me, and I appreciate that, but I always planned to disclose my decision when the time was right to allow Hot Air readers to deliver their own verdict.  I considered the short-term boost of an quasi-exclusive (a handful of other bloggers had picked this up as foreign media sources reported it) against the risk to someone’s life.  Even though we don’t agree much with the Times, Rohde did what we demanded of reporters in Iraq, which was to go outside their hotel rooms and get the actual stories on the ground, and in doing so he fell victim to terrorists.  I didn’t want to compound that risk and punish him for doing his job correctly by getting a momentary thrill of a semi-scoop that could have gotten him killed, and would have gained me nothing beyond one or two news cycles.

In the end, I agree with Robert Stein at TMV in that one has to balance the public’s right to know with the safety and security of real people.  News organizations might want to think about that in the future, too.

Did I do the right thing?  I’ll be interested in reading your comments.


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Comment pages: 1 2

The problem with being the good guy, is the way we have to treat scum.
.
You did good.

darktood on June 21, 2009 at 3:05 AM

Two wrongs do not a right, make. You did the right thing.

OldEnglish on June 21, 2009 at 3:51 AM

ED: you did the Right thing, and the NYT is also a bunch of Hypocritical Anti-American/Pro-Jihadi Democratic Traitor Leftists!

Dale in Atlanta on June 21, 2009 at 4:48 AM

Ed, agreed that you did the right thing.

Now if only NYT would do the right thing in keeping classified information out of the news, so as to protect American military and civilians…SIGH

Wanderlust on June 21, 2009 at 5:00 AM

Of course you did the right thing; a man’s life was at stake. it’s the hypocrisy of the times that is stunning.

playtime on June 21, 2009 at 6:21 AM

Ed, I think you did the right thing. And the next time the NYT does the wrong thing, I hope you and every other media person who did the right thing on this wipes their face with it.

ProfessorMiao on June 21, 2009 at 6:25 AM

When lives are at stake their is only one choice. Unless of course you are the only news fit to read then, well it’s o.k. sometimes.

faol on June 21, 2009 at 7:04 AM

Without question, the right thing to do.

ztower on June 21, 2009 at 7:55 AM

Did I do the right thing? I’ll be interested in reading your comments.

Yes you did, but now that it’s over, imo, the main thrust of your comments shouldn’t be about whether you did the right thing, it should be an attack on the Times for speaking out of both sides of their mouth.

I wish all you bloggers involved in keeping the secret will together write a scathing piece on the Times’ duplicity.

JiangxiDad on June 21, 2009 at 7:59 AM

You did the right thing.

The Times did the left thing.

Shy Guy on June 21, 2009 at 8:11 AM

You did the right thing, Ed. The mere fact that you spend the effort to question your actions speaks of your moral fiber. The Times won’t go through your moral quandry the next time they can damage our national security for the sake of a headline.

itsspideyman on June 21, 2009 at 8:17 AM

You did the right thing Ed. But in all honesty I can’t say I would have done the same, not for a NYT reporter. How many times did the Bush administration ask the NYT not to reveal secrets in the interested of “national security”? Because lives were at stake those of average Americans, soldiers and intelligence operatives. Yet the NYT went right ahead and revealed secrets putting American lives at risk. But when its one of their own they want people to keep silent rather then risk a NYT reporters life. The next time one of their reporters is captured by terrorists they better pray its not me who knows their secret.

Hera on June 21, 2009 at 8:18 AM

What kind of an idiot would believe that this is the ONLY terrorist demand that the Times is following?

Think about it: Why would the Taliban kidnap people if their only goal were media anonymity? If that’s what they wanted, wouldn’t it be a better plan to simply NOT kidnap anyone in the first place? And if all they wanted was to shake someone down for money, then why in the Hell would they target an insolvent company?

This is the Taliban. They kidnap people in order to generate PROPAGANDA. And if they weren’t getting it from this guy directly, then that means they were getting it indirectly.

logis on June 21, 2009 at 8:21 AM

The NYT: we need to keep a lid on this to protect our reporter.

Now let’s go publish some Abu Ghraib pictures, what do you say?

Squiggy on June 21, 2009 at 8:24 AM

While all sane people are glad this journalist is safe, one can only wonder how to contrast the secrecy that kept one man safe versus the lack of secrecy when it came to Bush Administration wire taps and keeping many safe. I guess he is lucky he didn’t work for our former President.

Harold32001 on June 21, 2009 at 8:26 AM

Did I do the right thing?

Absolutely – principles matter.

tru2tx on June 21, 2009 at 8:33 AM

I think people know when they’re doing the right thing, or the wrong thing. You knew what was right and did it. The Times knew what was right and did the wrong thing anyway, for any number of reasons.

In the end, you have to live with yourself and make peace with your decisions.

Sloan Morganstern on June 21, 2009 at 8:38 AM

Ed, of course you did the right thing. A scoop is never a reason to endanger anyone’s life.

Unfortunately, we won’t know if the New York Times has learned that lesson until there is another Republican in the White House.

Jaynie59 on June 21, 2009 at 8:43 AM

you absolutely did the right thing. one wonders though if our media would extend the same courtesy to a reporter from foxnews. (i think i know the answer)

sbvft contributor on June 21, 2009 at 8:43 AM

And to tell you the truth, I have a strong feeling this David Rohde character will write some sympathetic drivel on how the Taliban treated him so much better than our military treated actual Muslim terrorists.

I hope I’m wrong…

Fuzzlenutter on June 20, 2009 at 7:43 PM

The cynic in me says you’re probably not wrong.

But, hopefully, the fact that he escaped means he knew they’d never let him go. With his head, anyway.

And this is the Taliban after all. Liberals go out of their way to defend and excuse anything any Muslim does, up to and including Beslan, but I don’t think I’ve ever read anything from a liberal defending the Taliban. They’re pretty much the only Muslim group that seems to be on the Liberal Muslims We Don’t Like memo.

Jaynie59 on June 21, 2009 at 8:54 AM

Ed,
My opinion is that you did the right thing.
Ever since Captain’s Quarters, you have been instrumental in my staying informed of the events of our world. I believe you have the highest integrity and I thank you for your work.

Unfortunately, we won’t know if the New York Times has learned that lesson until there is another Republican in the White House.

Jaynie59 on June 21, 2009 at 8:43 AM

Ain’t that the truth.

keebs on June 21, 2009 at 9:09 AM

What is the point of kidnapping someone if you are going to keep it a secret? I suspect that Rohde was a go-between for the left and their al qaeda allies. He certainly was more use to al qaeda alive than dead and he was more use to the Times over there instead of back here, or else they would have paid a ransom and got him back a long time ago.

Buddahpundit on June 21, 2009 at 9:16 AM

So the Times paid his ransom but left the driver and translator to hang?
This is the second time something like this has happened to this reporter.
I smell bullshit.

Tony Soprano on June 21, 2009 at 9:19 AM

What is the point of kidnapping someone if you are going to keep it a secret? I suspect that Rohde was a go-between for the left and their al qaeda allies. He certainly was more use to al qaeda alive than dead and he was more use to the Times over there instead of back here, or else they would have paid a ransom and got him back a long time ago.

Buddahpundit on June 21, 2009 at 9:16 AM

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Muslim cultures. I hope Robert Spencer shows up here because he could explain it well.

If the political gain became more important than the ransom money, then they probably would have killed him whether the ransom was paid or not. Most likely on video.

Jaynie59 on June 21, 2009 at 9:33 AM

You did the right thing. So did, in this case, the NYT. None of us possess an abstract “right to know” that trumped the priority of increasing this man’s chance to live.

Chuckles3 on June 21, 2009 at 9:33 AM

Ed

I am supposed to believe a CBS Poll?

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/06/19/opinion/polls/main5098517.shtml?tag=cbsContent;cbsCarousel

Sure, now put one up for ABC, CNN, and NBC, I bet those Polls will be different huh? The Corporate Media is astroturfing for Obama, it isn’t a secret, and I wouldn’t believe any polls by any of these networks. I bet if MSNBC put up a Poll it would be fair and balanced/SARC.

Dr Evil on June 21, 2009 at 9:43 AM

From the NYT’s article at the link [bold added]:

“Kidnapping, tragically, is a flourishing industry in much of the world,” Mr. Keller said. “As other victims have told us, discussing your strategy just offers guidance for future kidnappers.”

Mr. Rohde, 41, had traveled to Kabul in early November to work on a book about the history of American involvement in Afghanistan when he was invited to interview a Taliban commander. Before setting out, Mr. Rohde instructed The Times’s bureau in Kabul on whom to notify if he did not return. He also indicated that he believed the interview was important and that he would be all right.

Mr. Rohde joined The Times staff in 1996 after winning a Pulitzer Prize in international reporting for documenting the massacre of Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica.

Uh oh. Me thinks we have another liberal moron on our hands.

Can’t wait to read his book.

Jaynie59 on June 21, 2009 at 9:44 AM

“Did I do the right thing? I’ll be interested in reading your comments.”

No you didn’t because I don’t believe he was kidnapped. I went and Google some stories by Mr. Rohde and found time and again he wrote articles in support of terrorist and bashing the US. This sounds like a complete setup by the NYT and Mr. Rohde to drum up support for themselves when they have been crashing and burning.

JeffinSac on June 21, 2009 at 9:44 AM

If the political gain became more important than the ransom money, then they probably would have killed him whether the ransom was paid or not. Most likely on video.
Jaynie59 on June 21, 2009 at 9:33 AM

And then the Taliban would have demanded that be kept quiet too?

Of course not. They may be crazy, but they’re not retarded. They know full well that the New York Times is not a source of money; it is a source of publicity.

Why in the Hell would they demand that the media keep THIS kidnapping quiet, while they loudly and constantly trumpet all the rest of their kidnappings?

Of course the Taliban will take ransoms. But they are not the Mafia; the last thing in the world they want is to be lost in the shadows.

Like ALL Taliban kidnappings, this one was done to generate favorable media coverage.

logis on June 21, 2009 at 9:50 AM

When we stop publishing news about the evil acts of terrorists, we cannot expect the public to recognize the extent of terrorist activities.

T J Green on June 21, 2009 at 9:50 AM

When we stop publishing news about the evil acts of terrorists, we cannot expect the public to recognize the extent of terrorist activities.
T J Green on June 21, 2009 at 9:50 AM

The purpose of terrorism is to terrorize.

And that doesn’t happen without media support.

logis on June 21, 2009 at 10:01 AM

I believe you did the Right Thing Ed. You felt on your own Conscience that a man’s life was at stake and you followed your conscience.

If only the NYT had a conscience to follow it seems.

Chaz706 on June 21, 2009 at 10:15 AM

The Times and left wingers in general count on conservatives consciences. They know we have them and use them against us…….They, on the other hand dont have any. They are completely consciousless, their cause outweighs anything they will do harm to anyone who stands in their way . I sometimes have a strong debate within myself ………….are they right?

coninnyc on June 21, 2009 at 10:15 AM

Obviously you did the proper thing. Equally obvious, the Times has repeatedly done the evil thing.

This scoop would be nothing in comparison to your reporting on the Canadian corruption scandal a couple years ago in any event.

burt on June 21, 2009 at 10:20 AM

And the notion that a Taliban kidnap victim would be left unshackled and would ever be given the opening to “escape” is all the evidence you need that this was no kidnap victim. Our Hollywood conditioning is the only reason anyone would believe it for a second.

The question is: Why did the NYT pull their envoy to al qaeda at this time? The likely answer is that it was becoming dangerous for him. Perhaps military strikes in the area or they learned of military plans to strike near their envoy’s position in the near future. Another possibility is that they are getting ready for their “Obama kills Osama” charade and they wouldn’t be able to explain why there was no retaliation against an American captive.

Buddahpundit on June 21, 2009 at 10:27 AM

Of course you did the right thing, Ed. It’s just a little odd when the NYTimes also does the right thing.

myrenovations on June 21, 2009 at 10:34 AM

I hate everything the NYT stands for.

As always, the right did right.

eaglesdontflock on June 21, 2009 at 10:34 AM

What is the point of kidnapping someone if you are going to keep it a secret? I suspect that Rohde was a go-between for the left and their al qaeda allies. He certainly was more use to al qaeda alive than dead and he was more use to the Times over there instead of back here, or else they would have paid a ransom and got him back a long time ago.

Buddahpundit on June 21, 2009 at 9:16 AM

Good points. Ed?

JiangxiDad on June 21, 2009 at 10:40 AM

The purpose of terrorism is to terrorize.

And that doesn’t happen without media support.

logis on June 21, 2009 at 10:01 AM

I suggest you learn a little bit more about Islam.

And then the Taliban would have demanded that be kept quiet too?

Of course not. They may be crazy, but they’re not retarded. They know full well that the New York Times is not a source of money; it is a source of publicity.

Why in the Hell would they demand that the media keep THIS kidnapping quiet, while they loudly and constantly trumpet all the rest of their kidnappings?

Of course the Taliban will take ransoms. But they are not the Mafia; the last thing in the world they want is to be lost in the shadows.

Like ALL Taliban kidnappings, this one was done to generate favorable media coverage.

logis on June 21, 2009 at 9:50 AM

I didn’t read the article the same way. The NYT kept it quiet on the advice of terrorism experts, and not based on the demands of the kidnappers. That’s the way I read it.

As far as the Taliban not being the same as the Mafia? Of course you’re right. The Mafia is basically a business enterprise whose activities are illegal and/or immoral in all civilized societies. They truly do operate at the fringe and their goal is money and the power money brings.

Islamic terrorism is Muslims defending Islam. Defense of Islam is any Muslims duty, and death in defense of Islam is the highest honor any Muslim can hope to achieve. The mere existence of non-Muslims is an insult to Islam.

Their goal is global domination for Islam.

Jaynie59 on June 21, 2009 at 10:46 AM

Forgive this cynical, less trusting former counterintelligence guy but does this story pass the sniff test?

When was the last time a reporter was kidnapped and the kidnappers didn’t tell the world?

When was the last time a reporter was kidnapped and he/she wasn’t forced to make video recorded messages to the world denouncing whatever the kidnappers were against?

I’m sorry, but without some more evidence that this was real, I’m firmly in the skeptical corner.

E9RET on June 21, 2009 at 11:04 AM

Looks like the Times was prepared to pay $5 million in ransom.

JammieWearingFool on June 21, 2009 at 11:29 AM

Ed, thanks for doing the right thing. Now capitalize on it by pointing our in a more vocal fashion that the Times will be silent to protect their own (in Congrerss as well as on staff) but has no problem jeopardizing the lives of our national security personnel

I agree with this statement.
Use the fact that you and so many others did the right thing to instruct the NYTimes that the “right thing” should be universally applied.

MayBee on June 21, 2009 at 11:33 AM

The purpose of terrorism is to terrorize.
logis on June 21, 2009 at 10:01 AM

I suggest you learn a little bit more about Islam.
Jaynie59 on June 21, 2009 at 10:46 AM

I suggest that you put down the Koran down for a few seconds and learn a little bit more about the English language.

There is a reason that people get kidnapped. And even the craziest extremist in the world wouldn’t do it to STOP the New York Times from reporting about his acts of terrorism when he could get precisely the same effect from simply not doing it in the first place.

And once you’ve mastered some rudimentary grammar skills (don’t worry; it won’t take very much at all), then go and look up up a copy of the NYT from June of 2003. You’d see that their editors publically admitted that they had been slanting their coverage to support Saddam’s regime for years because they were afraid of what Saddam would do to them.

And in your perusal of the New York Times, you are sure to also notice one more tiny little fact: They report about terrorist kidnappings all the freaking time!!!

But you shouldn’t even need to know any of that stuff. The only reason the media could possibly have to selectively keep quiet about THEIR OWN hostages is because they don’t want the world to know that they are operating directly under Al qaida’s orders.

logis on June 21, 2009 at 11:35 AM

When was the last time a reporter was kidnapped and the kidnappers didn’t tell the world?

When was the last time a reporter was kidnapped and he/she wasn’t forced to make video recorded messages to the world denouncing whatever the kidnappers were against?

E9RET on June 21, 2009 at 11:04 AM

That happens all the time.

But the only time you HEAR ABOUT reporters being kidnapped is when their kidnappers aren’t happy with a story that paper printed.

…Or when the kidnappers were so pleased that they released a prisoner.

I’ll give you three guesses which one happened in this case.

(And here’s a clue: the paper involved was the New York Times.)

logis on June 21, 2009 at 11:44 AM

BeeeeEsssss!

How many kidnappings has that paper publicized in the past? Just do a search on ‘yemen kidnap’ on their site. I got 2270 hits this morning.

They have absolutely no basis for their new-found moral high ground.

Filthy propagandists.

Peri Winkle on June 21, 2009 at 11:48 AM

Yes, Ed, you did good.
If true morals and real ethics are to make a strong comeback, we need to realize what takes priority in these circumstances.
I doubt the failing rag nyt will be so discreet in the future, we can hope they find some morals, but we know where you stand.
.
Stand Proud, Ed.
There are more important things in the world than media stories.

shooter on June 21, 2009 at 12:13 PM

Deer NYTimes,

Please remember this the next time a tasty morsel of a government secret comes across your desk. Not publishing it may save lives.

I R A Darth Aggie on June 21, 2009 at 12:37 PM

but I would hope that they would take the lesson from this and show much greater restraint in the future in endangering important security programs rather than err on the side of informing the public when it puts lives at risk unnecessarily

You’re a dreaming ninkompoop.

No wonder you’re such a cotton-ball throwing putz.

If you were convinced that you did the right thing, why did you even have to ask us?

The right thing to do would’ve been to go public under the auspice of it definitely being in the public interest but that you most certainly don’t want to endanger Rhodes (wink wink) and then when the Times complains, make it a nationally syndicated teachable moment!!

But NOOOOO!!

You couldn’t because you are a weak, very weak kneed, hubris filled blogger.

This makes me absolutely not, to ever…. take you seriously, (just like the New York Slimes) which is going to pay me off in spades because I don’t have to study your posts now.
I can just glance over them and know that whatever you write, you are an empty suit with a white balding head, instead of short black curly hair.

Pathetic.

Very pathetic.

Mcguyver on June 21, 2009 at 1:25 PM

Ed, in the future, if you want to know how I roll in making these decisions, such as the Letterman/Palin scuffle and now this, please, pretty please, refer to your friend Rush Limbaugh, who agrees with me that the aggressor sets the rules.

Any other questions?

Maybe you should call Rush (or me) next time.

John McCain is worthless, so who else can you call?

Mcguyver on June 21, 2009 at 1:34 PM

Looks like the Times was prepared to pay $5 million in ransom.

JammieWearingFool on June 21, 2009 at 11:29 AM

How does AIG factor in this? Isn’t that the company that Obama stole a hundred billion dollars from the US taxpayers to bailout? According to the article, they are apparently insuring against multi-million dollar ransoms to be paid to invisible captors on behalf of a company that supposedly sends their employees straight into Taliban camps. How much does the Times have to pay for this kind of insurance?

This is a good way for them to finanace al qaeda with our money. Or, if the NYT needs money, they could stage a kidnapping situation and collect the ransom for themselves. No investigation would be possible because the scene of the phony incident could never be investigated.

Since AIG is involved, our politicians need to get involved since they are forcing me to cover this insurance policy.

Buddahpundit on June 21, 2009 at 2:18 PM

How does AIG factor in this? Isn’t that the company that Obama stole a hundred billion dollars from the US taxpayers to bailout? According to the article, they are apparently insuring against multi-million dollar ransoms to be paid to invisible captors on behalf of a company that supposedly sends their employees straight into Taliban camps. How much does the Times have to pay for this kind of insurance?
Buddahpundit on June 21, 2009 at 2:18 PM

If you keep paying the losses of someone who keeps intentionally walking into the same trap over and over again, technically you’re not insuring against extortion – you’re subsidizing it.

Insurance auditors are a pain even when you’re talking about normal policies. What would the Times do to keep its kidnapping rider rates from being higher than its policy limit?

Promise to stop doing “inside scoops” on the Taliban?

Promise to give them more favorable press?

If they do the first thing, they’ll lose their only stock in trade: the cache of being the leading organ of the United States liberal media. And I’m pretty sure that second thing isn’t even possible.

logis on June 21, 2009 at 3:43 PM

There is a reason that people get kidnapped. And even the craziest extremist in the world wouldn’t do it to STOP the New York Times from reporting about his acts of terrorism when he could get precisely the same effect from simply not doing it in the first place.

logis on June 21, 2009 at 11:35 AM

The biggest mistake being made today by so-called “thinking” people is the absolute refusal to recognize the problem.

You have no clue what you’re talking about. You can debate and argue all the motives in the world, but like all the rest of the “root cause” crowd, until you look at Islam you will never understand their “reason”.

Jaynie59 on June 21, 2009 at 5:09 PM

For those too young to remember, “the people’s right to know!” was the whole affair swirling around Daniel Ellsberg and the NYT in the 60′s and 70′s in what became known as the “Pentagon Papers”. The NYT opted to print highly classified information which was subsequently highly useful for America’s enemies. To bad some of that loyalty for their own doesn’t extend to the military that makes their first amendment rights worth something.

oldleprechaun on June 21, 2009 at 8:37 PM

Typical liberal media hypocrisy.
Its OK for them to put some one else’s kid in danger, (FOR MONEY) but one of their own, OHH NO, and what is worse, that every one played along with it.
Double standards, BS, pansies and turn-coats.

ColdWarrior57 on June 21, 2009 at 10:00 PM

coninnyc on June 21, 2009 at 10:15 AM
The Times and left wingers in general count on conservatives consciences. They know we have them and use them against us……. They, on the other hand don’t have any. They are completely consciousless, their cause outweighs anything they will do harm to anyone who stands in their way . I sometimes have a strong debate within myself ………….are they right?

When that insight is applied to our mortal enemies, I think so. I would not readily label our fellow Americans, even leftists like the New York Times and their crowd, as being our mortal enemies … yet. Cultural enemies, certainly.

Somewhere, either from Bill Whittle or at BlackFive, there is an article quoting the case that ‘protecting our enemies children endangers ours’. The logic is compelling but the conclusion so hideous that I tried not to remember it clearly (I’m not saying Whittle or BlackFive is promoting that view, only that they examined it). Must we all become monsters to defend ourselves?

If the aggressor determines the rules, what is the role of G-d and Goodness? For our sake and the sake of civilization, we must be able to be tough AND good. That to me is the meaning of righteousness. Look at Michael Yon’s latest photos of Green Berets playing with Philippine children. That is goodness that goes down to the bone, bones of warriors, and that Goodness can transform the dynamics with our more human enemies. No other military has such a presence of that heartistic transforming power, says Yon.

Furthermore, doing G-d’s will doesn’t always guarantee ‘happy’ results. Our obedience to His guidance (our conscience if you like) advances Providence, not our personal situation. No greater love, etc. We are obligated simply to Do The Right Thing, regardless.

And Ed M., you did the right thing. Bless you.

Best regards, Peter Warner.

PeterWarner on June 22, 2009 at 12:58 AM

From my first reading of one of your news reports, I deduced you were a strong voice with a valid opinion on many problems and issues(I hate that word, Issues, it’s coporatespeak), but I digress. If I may say that you are a model of a responsible journalist (one you could find on either side of a story) would the MSM/NYT be as praiseworthy (for keeping their reporter out of harm’s way) when they have done so much to damage the U.S. and other voices (conservative)?
Let me answer my own Question: I think not!

Give yourself a pat on the back for me, anyway. Later, Tor.

tormod on June 22, 2009 at 1:23 AM

Do unto others as you would like to have them do unto you, not how they actually do unto you.

You have to live with your own conscience, so you did the right thing. I would hope you have broken no trust with your readers, because this is exactly what they would expect of you.

gridlock2 on June 22, 2009 at 11:04 AM

I think you set a good example for the NYTimes to follow. I see nothing wrong with how you handled it. Good job!

djfelix on June 22, 2009 at 11:50 AM

We don’t need any reinforcement of the fact that these idiot barbarians are the lowest forms of life on the planet.

Reporting this story would serve no purpose to the readers here.

At this point in time, the ones that get it, got it.
The ones that didn’t are complete morons and will never get it.

Keeping quiet most likely saved this man’s life and would not have changed anyone’s opinions about the terrorists.

bds1976 on June 22, 2009 at 12:18 PM

PeterWarner on June 22, 2009 at 12:58 AM
For our sake and the sake of civilization, we must be able to be tough AND good.

You’re making my point Peter.

Being tough doesn’t mean we are not good.

We, on the so called right of the political spectrum, are not only right, we are also just and correct because we stand on the decent principles that this country was founded on.

The media and the liberals in general, have abrogated their responsibility of truth and fairness in their expressive media channels and have therefore brought us to where we are now, which, is a constitutional crisis.

Those of us who are correct, right and just, no longer have equality in similar media channels and therefore this has created the first stages of a fight for civil fairness.

That to me is the meaning of righteousness.

Perhaps for you it is.

As for me, spare me the sanctimony.

Even Jesus picked up a whip and physically threw out the hypocrites.
As well, Jesus spoke truth to the leader in power at his time and called him a fox.
I know there’s a bunch of you that could never do such a thing like Jesus did, because you are bunch of doo-gooder ninkompoops.

Screw you.

You don’t really care about the disastrous path our country is going down, you merely care about gaining brownies points for being nice.

Double screw you.

Those brownies will be good for the first “bullets” to throw at you, in the impending “fairness civil war”.

Look at Michael Yon’s latest photos of Green Berets playing with Philippine children. That is goodness that goes down to the bone, bones of warriors, and that Goodness can transform the dynamics with our more human enemies. No other military has such a presence of that heartistic transforming power, says Yon.

WHAT THE HELL, is what military does, have to do with this subject context!?

Oh! You want to bring the military in to fight for fairness in media!?

Actually…..that’s not a bad idea.
I can just imagine a machine gun toting Green Beret, standing next to the broadcasting script writer…”HEY!! YOU!! That’s not fair and equal time!!”

Thanks for the idea, Peter.

And screw you righteous bastards for letting it come to such a point!

Furthermore, doing G-d’s will doesn’t always guarantee ‘happy’ results. Our obedience to His guidance (our conscience if you like) advances Providence,

Yea…right.

You can just see all the rightousness that has advanced since Roe V. Wade, with the bunch of brownie-point-gathering ninkompoops shaping the conservative agenda, like you.

Screw you again.

..not our personal situation.

The only thing you care about is how “good” you look.

Screw “YOU”!!

What about the country, for God’s sake!?

If the world at large, doesn’t have a country to practice freedom of religion, then we are all screwed!!

No greater love, etc. We are obligated simply to Do The Right Thing, regardless.

The only love you have, is for yourself.
You could never follow in the footsteps of Jesus and be willing to sacrifice your reputation for doing the right thing.

We cannot be monsters when doing the right thing, especially if that right thing is exposing the New York Slimes for the hypocrites that they are.

Look. The worst thing that could’ve happened with Rhodes is that the Times would’ve had to pay the 5 million dollar ransom.

Add to all of this, is the fact, that neither Ed nor Michelle Malkin have really and truly told the rest of the story here.
The fact is that Rhodes was a blatant anti-everything-good-for-America, pro-jihadist hack writer and according to some comments above, the terrorists most likely captured him for a publicity stunt, since it appears that Rhodes may be more in kahoots with the jihadists than with an agenda that puts the safety of Americans first.
If this is true, then both Ed and Michelle are beyond extremely disappointing here!!

It truly saddens me, Michelle (and Ed) that you couldn’t put the story in it’s true plain English context – without a lot of weblink tracer stories.

You are sadly, extremely disappointing, since I believe you have dropped the ball in the biggest way of your entire career, so far.

Whether or not you have the cajones to ACTUALLY show some love for country instead of your immediate sorry little asses, is yet to be known.

Look. I repeat. The worst that could’ve happened to Rhodes is that the Times had to part with 5 million dollars…well, I guess his head on a platter would be worse. But then again so was Daniel Pearl.

Contrast that with a nuclear bomb on the eastern seaboard-beltway-north.

You know…this shit is so easy it’s getting boring.

Can you please give me something hard to think about here?

I am dying of boredom.

Mcguyver on June 22, 2009 at 1:56 PM

Sorry for my response in double quoted blocks.

I am a bored genius, but I’m not perfect.

Mcguyver on June 22, 2009 at 2:00 PM

OK.

Here’s the corrected repost of my misplaced blockquote. Just so nobody understands this in the wrong way (with some editions):

Look at Michael Yon’s latest photos of Green Berets playing with Philippine children. That is goodness that goes down to the bone, bones of warriors, and that Goodness can transform the dynamics with our more human enemies. No other military has such a presence of that heartistic transforming power, says Yon.

WHAT THE HELL, is what military does, have to do with this subject context!?

Oh wait! You want to bring the military in to fight for fairness in media!?

Actually…..that’s not a bad idea.
I can just imagine a machine gun toting Green Beret, standing next to the broadcasting script writer…”HEY!! YOU!! That’s not fair and equal time!!”

Thanks for the idea, Peter.

And screw you righteous bastards for letting it come to such a point!

Furthermore, doing G-d’s will doesn’t always guarantee ‘happy’ results. Our obedience to His guidance (our conscience if you like) advances Providence,

Yea…right.

You can just see all the rightousness that has advanced since Roe V. Wade, with the bunch of brownie-point-gathering ninkompoops shaping the conservative agenda, like you.

Screw you again.

(Forcing the abortion debate down to the state level is the right thing to do, which is all that reversing Roe V. Wade would do)

..not our personal situation.

The only thing you care about is how “good” you look.

Screw “YOU”!!

What about the country, for God’s sake!?

If the world at large, doesn’t have a country to practice freedom of religion, then we are all screwed!!

No greater love, etc. We are obligated simply to Do The Right Thing, regardless.

The only love you have, is for yourself.
You could never follow in the footsteps of Jesus and be willing to sacrifice your reputation for doing the right thing.

We cannot be monsters when doing the right thing, especially when that right thing is forcefully exposing the New York Slimes for the hypocrites that they are, by playing the game with their rules, along with some surprises.

Look. The worst thing that could’ve happened with Rhodes is that the Times would’ve had to pay the 5 million dollar ransom.

Add to all of this, is the fact, that neither Ed nor Michelle Malkin have really and truly told the rest of the story here.
The fact is that Rhodes was a blatant anti-everything-good-for-America, pro-jihadist hack writer and according to some comments above, the terrorists most likely captured him for a publicity stunt, since it appears that Rhodes may be more in kahoots with the jihadists than with an agenda that puts the safety of Americans first.
If this is true, then both Ed and Michelle are beyond extremely disappointing here!!

It truly saddens me, Michelle (and Ed) that you couldn’t put the story in it’s true plain English context – without a lot of weblink tracer stories.

You are sadly, extremely disappointing, since I believe you have dropped the ball in the biggest way of your entire career, so far.

Whether or not you have the cajones to ACTUALLY show some love for country instead of the immediate “nicey nice” reputations of your sorry little asses, is yet to be known.

Look. I repeat. The worst that could’ve happened to Rhodes is that the Times had to part with 5 million dollars…well, I guess his head on a platter would be worse. But then again so was Daniel Pearl.

Contrast that with a nuclear bomb on the eastern seaboard-beltway-north.

You know…this shit is so easy it’s getting boring.

Can you please give me something hard to think about here?

I am dying of boredom.

Mcguyver on June 22, 2009 at 2:27 PM

When that insight is applied to our mortal enemies, I think so. I would not readily label our fellow Americans, even leftists like the New York Times and their crowd, as being our mortal enemies … yet. Cultural enemies, certainly.
PeterWarner on June 22, 2009 at 12:58 AM

You can’t use the same standards for enemies inside the gate and enemies outside the gate. You’d have to be a madman to slaughter a foreigner for the simple act of trying to turn a latch key — but when it’s your neighbor, the story changes. Barbarians at a distance can be tolerated, but to take the same attitude toward the traitor within is suicide.

If the aggressor determines the rules, what is the role of G-d and Goodness?
PeterWarner on June 22, 2009 at 12:58 AM

This is the essence of western liberalism: treat saints and sinners alike in order to prove how very much better than God you are. When you apply Biblical principles with no no standards, you’re not talking about “righteousness”; what you are talking about its opposite: SELF-righteousness.

Western liberalism is based on Judeo-Christian individual values, but with all the spirituality and concomitant judgmentalism sucked out of it – resulting in a bratty child’s version of the Ten Commandments: “Love everyone – except people who tell me to behave. Everyone should share all their toys – except me, etc… And as long as *I* do what feels right, then I will (somehow, magically) be rewarded in the end.”

Fascism and Communism spring from Islam’s prime collective tenet: “Any means is ‘good’ when it advances the goal of gaining land and subjects. We may feel like we’re living in Hell now; but once the entire globe is under a single yoke, the world will (somehow, magically) become a corporeal Paradise.”

What’s more, the seemingly impossible collaboration between these two utterly inimical world views isn’t a coincidence either. Islam’s institutionalization of Bedouin tribal raiding philosophy was created specifically to predate upon Judeo-Christian Samaritanism; and by exactly the same token, Communism was designed to parasitically exploit the openness inherent to free enterprise.

There’s nothing new under the sun. From the Crusades to Tripoli; through the World Wars and into the current bouts of terrorism… the same fight has been going on for over a thousand years now. There have been lulls, but the war itself has never come anywhere near ending.

logis on June 22, 2009 at 5:48 PM

I’m going to be a contrarian.

Did I do the right thing?

No.

On two occasions, Kellor and his band of leftists violated the espionage act by blowing 2 programs that were successfully tracking down terrorists. Further, they LIED about the details because they were attempting to sabotage George W. Bush.

In the process, they weakened our anti-Al Qaeda capability.

You SHOULD HAVE published the story. You should have ignored their pleas for silence the way THEY ignored the Bush pleas.

If this had cost them their reporter’s life, well that’d be too bad. But their behavior placed all of OUR lives at risk to another terrorist attack.

If David Rohde had been killed as a result, that’d be too bad for him and his family, and we would have mourned. But it also would be a pointed reminder to the NY Times of the need to keep secrets, especially those affecting national security.

I saw Kellor proudly and self-righteously JUSTIFY his leaks. Well, sauce for the goose.

Ernie Pyle, America’s best-known WWII correspondent, said “Every reporter is a citizen of somewhere and a believer in something.” Unfortunately, Keller and publisher Sulzberger do NOT live in America – not as we know and understand it. They live in a leftist, Bush-hating utopia where THEY have no responsibility for violating the Espionage Act, especially if it hurts a political opponent on the right.

Because nothing else than the risk of death to their employee will drive home the lesson that publishing other’s secrets can have unpleasant consequences.

In other words, SCREW THEM!

georgej on June 24, 2009 at 6:50 AM

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