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WSJ Reporter Daniel Pearl allegedly killed
February 1, 2002 11:44 AM   Subscribe

WSJ Reporter Daniel Pearl allegedly killed I certainly hope the reports aren't true. By placing the international media under seige, the stakes of the "war" against terrorism will rise drastically.
posted by prozaction (51 comments total)

 
Journalists have been under seige since day one. I don't see how this kidnapping/murder changes anything, it's just more bad news.
posted by techgnollogic at 12:02 PM on February 1, 2002


By placing the international media under seige, the stakes of the "war" against terrorism will rise drastically.

Congrats. That's the underinformed overstatement of the new year. This is nothing new.

Why is "war" in quotes?
posted by donkeyschlong at 12:21 PM on February 1, 2002


The reporting on this seems a little thin as yet -- I confess I don't like news stories which use an "allegedly" to justify going early.
posted by BT at 12:56 PM on February 1, 2002


This must be terrible for his wife, the not knowing etc. and she is pregnant with their first child.

Not sure at all if this changes any stakes, kidnapping is not a new phenomenon.
posted by bittennails at 12:56 PM on February 1, 2002


i dunno about this incident being simply 'more bad news,' but it's certainly true that it isn't anything we haven't heard before.
posted by prozaction at 1:04 PM on February 1, 2002


Sure, it is wrong to kidnap and kill but.... This guy knew what he was getting into. So far as I know this guy was in enemy territory and was probably aware of the risks. What pisses me off is how he could do this while his wife is about to have a baby.
posted by sadie01221975 at 1:05 PM on February 1, 2002


hope this isn't true, part of me wants Proof, but then i remember the pic with the gun to his head, and i don't think i'd like to see the proof they will offer.
posted by th3ph17 at 1:06 PM on February 1, 2002


kidnapping is not a new phenomenon.

But it's not effective in the modern world. Here's an interesting editorial in the NYT from a former hostage of the Islamic Jihad. His captors concluded that kidnapping in not a "useful tactic."
posted by Llama-Lime at 1:06 PM on February 1, 2002




They (America's Adversaries) are shooting themselves in th foot.
This will certainly have a chilling effect on news coverage. and that makes it easier for the US to do what they want a without the watchful gaze of the news vultures to attend to.

In a related news item, the word Civilization was removed today from the english lexicon for reasons of obsolescence and irony.
posted by BentPenguin at 1:18 PM on February 1, 2002


There's an AP wire release on an apparent email saying Pearl had been killed here.

If so, it's just messed up; the people who did this are thugs and murderers, and there isn't much more you need to know about them. Whatever political cause they thought they were furthering is just crap.
posted by mattpfeff at 1:30 PM on February 1, 2002


we should be declaring "War Against Television"
posted by blackholebrain at 1:37 PM on February 1, 2002


why would the wall street journal send a reported to the middle east? cuz there's big money in wars.
posted by quonsar at 1:54 PM on February 1, 2002


What pisses me off is how he could do this while his wife is about to have a baby.

Oh, spare me...

Guess what, sadie. She knew what she was getting into when she married him and got pregnant, didn't she? www.fuckedpriorities.com
posted by jpoulos at 1:56 PM on February 1, 2002


Pakistan isn't enemy territory, Sadie. Considering the benefit that an open society derives from journalists who are willing to put themselves at risk to gather first-hand information, I don't think it's the best time to heap scorn on the practice.
posted by rcade at 2:23 PM on February 1, 2002


Also, Sadie, he wasn't in "enemy territory" -- Karachi is a fairly lawless city, but most of it is run-of-the-mill third-world-country petty-thievery lawlessness, and Pakistan has always been an ally of the U.S., for better or worse.

Pulling stuff out of your ass is a pretty useless way to process the news.
posted by donkeyschlong at 2:23 PM on February 1, 2002


rcade beat me by a few seconds. Consider it a double smackdown. :)
posted by donkeyschlong at 2:24 PM on February 1, 2002


So far as I know this guy was in enemy territory and was probably aware of the risks.

I can't even believe that that statement came from a human being. The man was in PAKISTAN for cripes sake. Pakistan is not the enemy. If you wish to justify Pearl's aiding and abetting his own (possible) murder, you'll have to do a whole lot better than that. He was abducted by terrorists (not Bushes comic-book badguys spinning on the axis of evil, but the real damn thing). Yes, Pearl should have been aware that Terrorists operate in Pakistan, as you should be aware that Terrorists operate in America now. So if you get kidnapped and shot, well so be it. You should have known the risks, right?

What pisses me off is how many comments have pointed out that nothing here changes because the press have always been targets. Personally, I think BentPenguin hit the bullseye.

quonsar, do you have a point, or are you just spewing to be heard?
posted by Wulfgar! at 2:39 PM on February 1, 2002


Of course the email is fake. It claims that Pearl's body is "in the graveyards of Karachi."

Pearl is not Muslim. Thus, no religious Muslim would permit their graveyard to be polluted with his remains. There may be a single separate non-Muslim cemetery, singular, in Karachi. But I doubt it.

That doesn't mean he hasn't already been killed. I just find the email hard to believe.
posted by luriete at 2:41 PM on February 1, 2002


What part of "you're either with us or you're against us" do these people not understand?

And this means Bush gets to blow up another 'istan too, right?

... and not find the culprits.
posted by tsarfan at 2:43 PM on February 1, 2002


tsarfan, enough already. Pakistan is not offering the terrorists within its borders training grounds and carte blanche run of the place.
posted by Wulfgar! at 2:52 PM on February 1, 2002


Wulfgar, I completely disagree, pakistan has offered terrorists, namely the LeT (Lashkar e Taiba) and the Harkat al Mujhaideen full access to training grounds in POK regions, and the Mullahs have the run of the place, and don't you worry soon enough India will bomb these guys to hell, we just need someone like Indira Gandhi with a few balls to pull it off.

Though this is in no way supporting tsarfan's comment, just that I love to point out misinformation about pakistan.
posted by bittennails at 3:04 PM on February 1, 2002


my remarks were aimed at our fine leader who is getting his ass handed to him by a bunch of fellow illiterates, despite all the texan machismo he tries to fake.

economy: still crap
osama: still on the loose
americans: still getting killed.

if GW even had a hint of class he'd go back to his ranch and help his daddy build a library filled with all their collective failures.
posted by tsarfan at 3:07 PM on February 1, 2002


bittennails, I stand corrected, (though links to the relevant info would have helped). However, the blanket idea that Bush and his side show will bomb the whole world just to prove liberal Americans as superior in thought is repulsive. I have read enough to believe that Pakistan (the govt. thereof) will do what it can to assist in the hunt for the perpetrators of this kidnapping/murder.
posted by Wulfgar! at 3:11 PM on February 1, 2002


Sorry Wulfgar, here is a link that outlines state sponsored terrorism by pakistan.

And yes Musharraf will help, he has to, without US support no way would he still be in power.
posted by bittennails at 3:22 PM on February 1, 2002


My father is a reporter. I can't stop thinking about this guy.
posted by swerve at 3:54 PM on February 1, 2002


tsarfan, I'd want to agree with you that Shrub is proving his worthlessness and is proving that the conservative ideals he follows are the reason why our country is tanking economically and why the terrorists are picking us off one by one. However, can you honestly believe that Gore or Nader could have done better? I think under the circumstances Shrub's doing the best he can, and I hate to admit it but it's a pretty good job. However, with Shrub we got his family's enemies. Same as with his father a decade ago.

This thing's bigger than the presidency. I mean we can't blame it on Shrub. America is being attacked on many fronts by terrorism, and killing journalists is just one of the more visible. There's been absolutely no proof, but I hazzard to speculate that America is being attacked economically. I still think this is really about oil.

Even though his family has officially disowned him publically, it is feasible that Osama's doing his little part to take out the family's competition. There's also been links tying terrorists to drug trafficking, and diamond trades. We're looking at Osama and his like-minded followers and contemporaries as if they're petty thugs. Looks to me like they're an international organized crime ring. They're anything but petty.

The Pearl Kidnapping didn't ring true with the rest of it though. Either that happened from an unrelated terrorist wanna-be group, or they were forced to shut him up. I don't think they ever intended to give him back. He got too close. He knew too much.
posted by ZachsMind at 4:02 PM on February 1, 2002


For the record, Bittennails' vituperatively anti-Pakistan bias has come up before.
posted by donkeyschlong at 4:09 PM on February 1, 2002


Actualy, from what I've read it's unlikely, the kidnappers were trying to get money a while ago, and the person who sent the email used diffrent spelling, etc. And didn't send any pictures.

One intresting thing is that Hamas actualy decried the kiddnapping, and these are people who use suicide bombers.
posted by delmoi at 4:24 PM on February 1, 2002


ZachsMind, I was pretty much with you until that last paragraph, it seems simplistic to blame everything on Bush (I'm no fan of his and I don't want to derail the thread in that direction but it certainly doesn't seem to me that he's getting his ass handed to him), and to expect that he'd be able to fix tsarfan's list of problems practically overnight (especially since I suspect that the people who think he's ineffective would object to what would have to be done to get the economy and Osama and national security sorted out quickly...if it were possible, which I don't think it is).

From what I know of it, this kidnapping has the flavour of small potatoes to me as well (not that I'm an expert by any means but as has been pointed out, kidnapping is pretty ineffective), and the whole War On Terra is merely providing them with extra words to use when issuing their demands. But I don't think this has anything to do with Daniel Pearl having any sekrit knowledge, I think he just happened to be an American reporter in Pakistan. I certainly hope he's still a living one.
posted by biscotti at 4:31 PM on February 1, 2002


Pulling stuff out of your ass is a pretty useless way to process the news.

rcade beat me by a few seconds. Consider it a double smackdown. :)


i think the final mefi smackdown is going to be between donkeyschlong and rcade since they'll be the only ones left after they've driven everyone else away and only have each other to insult.

was it necessary to be so rude to sophie? can't they have a dissenting opinion without being so nasty and taking such obvious pleasure in it? does it make them feel good to put down people they think are less informed than they are?

this might have been a forum for sophie to learn something or expand her horizons but instead it was turned into a self-congratulatory circle jerk between two people with self esteem so low that they can only feel good about themselves by tearing someone else down.

i feel sorry for them and i'm sorry, sophie, that they were such dicks. you have a right to be heard.
posted by centrs at 4:39 PM on February 1, 2002


actually, i apologize rcade. it appears to just be donkeyschlong that was rude.
posted by centrs at 4:41 PM on February 1, 2002


Is this supposed email solid enough to be reported?
Or is the rush for a scoop outstripping sense here?

I am just wondering.....
posted by bunnyfire at 4:43 PM on February 1, 2002


Pakistan is not the enemy.

Check back in a couple months....
posted by rushmc at 4:46 PM on February 1, 2002


Bush is getting his ass handed to him? You've obviously missed that whole liberation-of-Afghanistan-from-the-Taliban thing. Or the hundreds-of-Al-Queda-members-captured-and-held-in-Guantanamo part. Or the only-a-handful-of-American-casualties-while-accomplishing-all-of-this part.

I can't tell whether you formed this opinion due to naivete or blind stupidity.
posted by Danelope at 4:48 PM on February 1, 2002


Although finding brain dead frat boys in the Republican party who are only where they are because of their fathers, is like shooting fish in barrel, I don't think I could have found a less-effective, sillier, more idiotic imbecile who considers himself Conservative.

But I don't blame Jr. for all of these problems, I blame most of it on his party, you know, the boys and gurls who are running this whole scam.

Politically, the fact that his old man was CIA ,and Reagan's co-conspirator, brings up even more unneccesarry baggage that any clear-thinking individual would have known was going to cause problems if he was elected... or putsched in.

So yes, I would had preferred the son of the senator from Tennessee or the Greenie to handle any number of assignments, especially dealing with guys with chips on their shoulders and literally nothing to lose.

And yes, I certainly think that either of those other fellows would have handled this much more diplomatically, and they may have even caught the sob's by now.

There is something to be said for finesse, a trait that Gore had bucketloads of and GW couldn't even spell.

There have been hundreds of journalists who have had "too much" information, rarely do they get killed so quickly for it, if that, indeed was the case here. It only happens when the bad guys think they can totally get away with it, and rarely has a Bush been able to get their man.
posted by tsarfan at 4:49 PM on February 1, 2002


Danelope,

you give me unlimited resources, vastly superior military gadgets, and a perfectly good excuse to declare martial law on most of the planet and i think i could round up 100+ bad guys too.

The goal was to get Osama and to stop this crap.

Call me all the names you want, the mission has not been accomplished.
posted by tsarfan at 4:52 PM on February 1, 2002


Zachsmind,Biscotti: The idea that the Pearl kidnappers have different motives were articulated by Dhartung in an interesting post here yesterday. My rejoinder to that is available in the same thread. Take a look.

I would not get into the whole does Pakistan support terrorism debate. The article that Bitternails pointed to is a decent article. Anyone looking for non-Indian source can browse through US state department's 'Patterns of Global Terrorism', published on April, 2000 (thankfully before State department realized that they have to cozy up to Pakistan in order to tackle Afganisthan).
posted by justlooking at 4:54 PM on February 1, 2002


I meant to link here when referring to the Mefi thread, in the previous post.
posted by justlooking at 5:03 PM on February 1, 2002


Pakistan is not the enemy.

Check back in a couple months....


Oh puh-leeze. As the C.I.A's Milton Bearden recently pointed out in the New Yorker, Pakistan's the only country in South Asia that's always cooperated with us.

Glib conjecture notwithstanding, that's a tough legacy to crack.
posted by donkeyschlong at 5:11 PM on February 1, 2002


So far in this thread I've heard three ways that blame for this tragedy has been shifted AWAY from the kidnappers:
1) on Pearl himself, who shoulda known better.
2) on all of Pakistan, which is lawless, sub-civilized and making a mockery of being America's "friend"
3) and on Bush et al, for having the nerve to be President and not be popular with some (or many) people

While I understand that in moments of emotional frustration it's natural to stab at hittable targets, I think it's healthier to concentrate on what is really agrieving most of us. Some poor guy who was just trying to do his job and live his life (have a wife and baby), got his picture taken with a gun to his head and published around the world and probably is being tortured, at least by the fact that minute by minute he doesn't know if it's his last, if it hasn't been his lonely last yet. I hurt when I see the picture because I can't imagine how forlorn and awful I'd be feeling. If that empathetic pain makes you descend into trollery, you're not making me, for one, feel better about the state of the world. Please, be nice to each other -- the world is nasty enough.
posted by dness2 at 6:19 PM on February 1, 2002


...the mission has not been accomplished.

Did I miss something tsarfan, or has your egregiously right-bashing attitude blinded you to the fact that Osama is ONE man? Do you understand that he knew that the US govt. would come after him? Do you understand that if he could mastermind Sept. 11th, (which I'm not fully convinced of) I'm sure he could easily create a plan to hide himself from the world for any given amount of time?

I don't get this type of thinking, tsarfan, I don't...you honestly want us to believe that a specific political party could have found/captured/killed Osama faster than another? Yeesh...do me a favor, throw your blatant partisan politics into the faces of people without rational thought; you'll find more listeners.
posted by BlueTrain at 6:28 PM on February 1, 2002


Oh puh-leeze. As the C.I.A's Milton Bearden recently pointed out in the New Yorker, Pakistan's the only country in South Asia that's always cooperated with us.

From the New Yorker article: Some C.I.A. analysts believe that bin Laden eluded American capture inside Afghanistan with help from elements of the Pakistani intelligence service.

With friends like these, you don't need any enemies.
posted by Rastafari at 7:22 PM on February 1, 2002


bluetrain, yes i can grasp the concept that OBL is one man. even those of us who didnt vote for jr. can tackle that one.

and yes, i can honestly believe that one specific politcal party could have found/captured/killed him faster than the other, it's really not that difficult to fathom, either.

hopefully you're not trying to pass along the idea that Just Because Bush Couldnt Do It, Nobody Could, but it sure sounds like it.

Here's how you don't make friends with countries who may or may not know where OBL is: proclaim Imperialistic garbage like, "you are either with us or against us" as it is bound to polarize some who are on the fence.

Here's another way, refuse deals that would have turned over Osama way back in October. Yeah, he wouldn't have been immediately handed over to the US, but the Bush admin. refused out of cockiness and mistrust of any country that isnt firmly in the hip pocket of the stars and stripes.

That's piss-poor politics that I seriously doubt you would have seen or heard from Gore or Nader (which was the question that I was answering in this thread).

Of course some leaders and teams are better than others at certain objectives. The Republicans flat-out stole an election right before the World. They did it on TV, they did it before our very eyes, they did it with the Democrats standing there with their mouths wide open and stunned. It was brilliant and I will forever be impressed. Houdini would have applauded.

That team won that exercise. That team is losing this one, badly. This is embarrassing.

GWB is a cowboy with a tin star that he stole, he's playing sherrif and his posse has let him down. One reason people vote for Republicans, like I have been known to do on occasion, is because they are allegedly good in situations like these. They're supposed to be strong military leaders, good at foreign policy, experts at making the economy work for the country.

I'm sorry, but capturing guys like Johnny Walker but having no frigging clue where OBL is, while the economy tanks, while an American gets kidnapped and possibly killed, is not my idea of a team living up to its hype.
posted by tsarfan at 8:50 PM on February 1, 2002


that's a tough legacy to crack.

Would you be willing to put some money on it?
posted by rushmc at 8:56 PM on February 1, 2002


I'm sorry, but capturing guys like Johnny Walker but having no frigging clue where OBL is, while the economy tanks, while an American gets kidnapped and possibly killed, is not my idea of a team living up to its hype.

I love BS posturing...I do. Your entire argument is rhetoric and heresy. I'm not claiming to be a Bush supporter, but I require EVIDENCE to be moved in one direction or another. Forget about the election; it's over and irrelevant to the thread at hand. Your references only prove that you're standing on thin ice and have no real proof of anything.

According to your link article, "For the first time, the Taliban offered to hand over Bin Laden for trial in a country other than the US without asking to see evidence first in return for a halt to the bombing, a source close to Pakistan's military leadership said."

Laughable at best...it's almost a given now that the Taliban had no control over Osama. Proof, you ask? Not necessary...why? Because the Taliban are now defeated; Osama and his crew, still well funded and well connected.

GWB is a cowboy with a tin star that he stole, he's playing sherrif and his posse has let him down.

I can think of a billion childish insults towards Gore, Nader, Bush, Cheney, Lieberman...all WORTHLESS, all insults catered toward people who have no proof otherwise.

while the economy tanks,

Have you ever read an economics or history book? ECONOMICS: 2 straight quarters of negative growth constitute a recession...we had ONE. Further, do you understand what a tanking economy is? Early 80's, TANKING economy. Now, we still can't be sure, but it ain't tanking...in fact, this past quarter our economy grew by 0.2%, hardly signs of a recession.

I'm not trying to pick a fight with you, just back some statements up with anything other than rhetoric. Cheesy catchphrases and petty insults can be checked at the door, thanks.
posted by BlueTrain at 9:26 PM on February 1, 2002


Yup, tsarfan, that was indeed a peachy deal. We get one symbolic man, but leave multiple ten thousands of his followers in charge of Afghanistan, and legitimate one of the most insanely retrograde theofascist regimes the planet has seen in many a year. Oh, isn't that a LOVELY outcome. Yes. That would definitely have been better than standing on principle and having an objective of denying Afghanistan as a training base for al Qaeda and any other affiliated terrorist groups, because who cares? As long as we lock up the nearly dead guy with kidney disease, we can go on tee vee and satisfy ...

well, people like tsarfan, apparently.
posted by dhartung at 9:39 PM on February 1, 2002


naivete or blind stupidity

yeah, there's the Mefi spirit.

fuck you all. i used to enjoy coming here. it was a great place to discuss news, and i used to learn a lot and even occasionally find something that made me rethink my position on a particular issue, but now it's all about insulting each other for holding different views and opinions about things.

i'm tired of all this.
posted by tolkhan at 10:44 PM on February 1, 2002


"However, the blanket idea that Bush and his side show will bomb the whole world just to prove liberal Americans as superior in thought is repulsive. "

isn't it? here's hoping he doesn't do it.

but i wouldn't put it past him.
posted by jcterminal at 11:50 PM on February 1, 2002


Forget about the election; it's over and irrelevant to the thread at hand.

Yeah, forget about all those children Mr. X used to molest; it's in the past and irrelevant to the daycare center he wants to open in your neighborhood today.
posted by rushmc at 6:53 AM on February 3, 2002


Yeah, forget about all those children Mr. X used to molest; it's in the past and irrelevant to the daycare center he wants to open in your neighborhood today.

Ridiculous hyperbole, at best. More likely a troll.
posted by BlueTrain at 2:26 PM on February 3, 2002


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