Tilted Forum Project Discussion Community  

Go Back   Tilted Forum Project Discussion Community > The Academy > Tilted Politics

View Poll Results: Should Newsweek Have Reported Both Accounts of the U.S.Treatment of Gulab?
Newsweek Should Not Report Negative Foreigners' Accounts About the U.S. Military 1 4.76%
The First Newsweek Account Was Appropriate, After U.S. Military Approved It. 0 0%
Newsweek Should Have Published Both Accounts, With Less Negative Details. 1 4.76%
Newsweek Should Report the Facts, Causing the U.S.Military to Reexamine It's Methods 19 90.48%
Voters: 21. You may not vote on this poll

LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 05-15-2006, 08:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
Should Newsweek Report U.S. Abuse of the Afghan Who Rescued the Wounded Navy Sea?

A Friend in Need
The proud Afghan risked all to save a Navy SEAL. Now, feeling abandoned, he is facing death threats.
By Ron Moreau and Sami Yousafzai

April 17, 2006 issue - Even with all the troubles that followed, Mohammad Gulab says he's still glad he saved the U.S. Navy SEAL. "I have no regrets for what I did," the 32-year-old Afghan told NEWSWEEK recently. "I'm proud of my action." Nevertheless, he says, "I never imagined I would pay such a price." Last June, foraging for edible plants in the forest near his home in the Kunar-province village of Sabray, Gulab discovered a wounded commando, the lone survivor of a four-man squad that had been caught in a Taliban ambush. Communicating by hand signs, Gulab brought the injured stranger home, fed and sheltered him for two days and helped contact a U.S. rescue team to airlift him out.

Gulab has been paying for his kindness ever since. Al Qaeda and the Taliban dominate much of Kunar's mountainous backcountry. Death threats soon forced Gulab to abandon his home, his possessions and even his pickup truck. Insurgents burned down his little lumber business in Sabray. He and his wife and their six children moved in with his brother-in-law near the U.S. base at Asadabad, the provincial capital. Three months ago Gulab and his brother-in-law tried going back to Sabray. Insurgents ambushed them. Gulab was unhurt, but his brother-in-law was shot in the chest and nearly died. The threats persist. "You are close to death," a letter warned recently. "You are counting your last days and nights."

Gulab's story says a lot about how Al Qaeda and its allies have been able to defy four and a half years of U.S. efforts to clear them out of Afghanistan. The key is the power they wield over villagers in strongholds like Kunar, on the Pakistani frontier. For years the province has been high on the list of suspected Osama bin Laden hideouts. "If the enemy didn't have local support, they couldn't survive here," says the deputy governor, Noor Mohammed. Since the Soviet occupation in the 1980s, jihadists have been amassing influence through scare tactics, tribal loyalties and cash. A little money can purchase big leverage in an area where entire villages sometimes subsist on a few thousand dollars a year, and many foreign jihadists have insinuated themselves into the Pashtun social fabric by marrying into local families. "The enemy knows the culture and exploits it," says Col. John Nicholson, who commands U.S. forces along several hundred miles of saw-toothed borderland.

Al Qaeda effectively owns much of Kunar. "There is little or no government control over most of the mountain villages," says an Afghan intelligence officer in Asadabad, asking not to be named because of the nature of his work. Many local Afghan officials are afraid to visit their home villages. Fighters entering Kunar from Pakistan have grown increasingly brazen in their movements. "This year they are so bold, they are coming in broad daylight," says the Afghan intelligence officer. Around Gulab's home village, even the natives stay out of certain areas that have been staked off by the jihadists.

Fear wasn't enough to keep Gulab from helping the commando he found in the woods last June. The Afghan says he had heard about the previous day's ambush and knew that local insurgents were hunting an American who had escaped, but Gulab believed he had to do the right thing. Under the mountain tribes' code of honor—Pashtunwali, they call it—there's a sacred duty to give shelter and assistance to anyone in need. Using gestures, Gulab indicated that he meant no harm. The injured stranger signed back that he understood and lowered his automatic rifle.

Word spread fast among Gulab's neighbors that he had taken an American into the village's protection. The jihadists soon heard the same thing. Their commander, an Afghan named Qari Muhammad Ismail, sent the villagers a written demand for the fugitive. Gulab and other village men answered with a message of their own: "If you want him, you will have to kill us all." Sabray has roughly 300 households altogether. "The Arabs and Taliban didn't want to fight the village," says Gulab.

The next night, Gulab and his neighbors took their guest to a nearby cave. For two days they took turns standing guard with his weapon while a village elder traveled to the Americans in Asadabad, carrying a letter the SEAL had written and a piece of his uniform. Four days after the ambush, a U.S. military team finally arrived to secure the village. That night a helicopter carried the wounded man and Gulab to the U.S. base.

There, Gulab says, the SEAL thanked him and promised to send him $200,000 as a reward. The Afghan also claims that U.S. officers, knowing that he and his family would be in danger because of his heroism, promised to relocate them to America within two months. (The military denies such an offer was made.) All he has now is a $250-a-month job at the base as a construction laborer. "I sacrificed everything," he says. "Now no one cares."

After several requests for comment on Gulab's story, NEWSWEEK got an e-mail from Col. Jim Yonts, a public-affairs officer in Kabul. "The U.S. military undertook many positive actions toward this individual and the other Afghans of the area to show our national gratitude and respect," he wrote. "I can not discuss the issue of the U.S. Navy SEAL promising money, but I can tell you that there was never an expectation to arrange relocation for this individual or his family." The military has no authority to make such an offer, he explained. The SEAL, who remains on active duty, declined to comment via his attorney, Alan Schwartz, an "entertainment lawyer" in Santa Monica, Calif. Gulab only shakes his head: "Why would anyone else want to cooperate with the U.S. now?"
<b>Then....Newsweek reported, the U.S. military retaliated against Gulab for complaining about the personal costs for the risks he took by rescuing and sheltering the wounded....Navy Seal.</b>
By Sami Yousafzai
Updated: 2:39 p.m. ET May 13, 2006

With Friends Like These...
Update: An Afghan who risked all to rescue a wounded Navy SEAL finds trouble with the Taliban—and the U.S. military

.....Late on Friday, April 14—the week NEWSWEEK's story appeared—Gulab's phone rang. The caller told him to come to the U.S. base at 11 the next morning, and Gulab barely slept that night, thinking the Americans were going to relocate him and his family out of danger. When he reported to the main gate on Saturday, he found a pair of U.S. soldiers waiting for him. <b>They checked his name—and then handcuffed and blindfolded him, hauling him off to an unlit room in a remote corner of the base. There, he says, he was placed in a cage so cramped that he could neither stand up nor lie down.

Hours later, two Americans and an interpreter entered the room and began interrogating him.</b> Most of the questions were about his life and his family, although Gulab couldn't imagine why. He was sure his captors knew exactly who he was, he says. They inquired about ties to al Qaeda, a question he considered insulting. Hadn't he saved an American commando's life? And the interrogators kept returning to the subject of his contacts with NEWSWEEK. They had searched him and found a NEWSWEEK reporter's business card with an Islamabad address. The interrogators kept asking when he had been to Pakistan and where had gone, although he told them he had not traveled to the Pakistani capital.

<b>Gulab says the session lasted more than an hour. It was only the first in a series that continued until the afternoon of the fourth day. Then the Americans told him he was free to go home. He had trouble walking after spending so much time locked up in a cramped cage. His captors never told him why he had been detained, he says, but before his release, one of the interrogators offered some advice: "Stay away from reporters. It will be in your best interest."</b>

NEWSWEEK has repeatedly asked the U.S. military to clarify the incident. Lt. <b>Col. Paul Fitzpatrick, a public-affairs officer at U.S. headquarters in Bagram, sent this reply via email: "Mr. Gulab was detained and questioned by coalition forces and released.</b> I can't discuss any details of why he was questioned but it was not related to his interview with Newsweek." The Pentagon has not responded to several requests for comment. The Taliban and its friends are not so reticent. After word got out that the Americans had locked up Gulab, someone left a message affixed to the wall of his brother-in-law's house. "This is your punishment from God in this world," the note said, "and a taste of what you will get on the day of judgment." Gulab continues to believe he did the right thing by saving the SEAL.
Is the U.S. Military/Intelligence complex, working under the directives and policies of the current administration, if this story is true, going to straighen out it's act sooner....or at all...because of Newsweek's two reports on Mr. Gulab, or should Newsweek have submitted it's first interview with Mr. Gulab to the U.S. Military Press Office so the initial complaints of Mr. Gulab could be scrubbed.

Will Newsweek's two Gulab reports increase the likelihood of the U.S. winning the "hearts and minds" of ordinary Afghanis?

I don't know if it is possible, but the chances of convincing Afghanis that supporting and cooperating with the U.S. Military, IMO increases because Newsweek published both Gulab reports....
host is offline  
Old 05-16-2006, 06:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
Lennonite Priest
pan6467's Avatar
Location: Mansfield, Ohio USA
Sounds to me like the military is more worried about sources to the media than they are the Taliban or Al Quida.

It most definately reeks of a signal to the press and their sources that no one over there is safe to speak out.

Along with the domestic wiretaps on journalists now, I am starting to wonder if this adminstration's real war is not against the "terrorists" but against the press leaking stories of how they are abusing their powers.
I just love people who use the excuse "I use/do this because I LOVE the feeling/joy/happiness it brings me" and expect you to be ok with that as you watch them destroy their life blindly following. My response is, "I like to put forks in an eletrical socket, just LOVE that feeling, can't ever get enough of it, so will you let me put this copper fork in that electric socket?"
pan6467 is offline  
Old 05-16-2006, 07:11 AM   #3 (permalink)
Maybe we should rename the war on terror to the war on freedom....
Rekna is offline  
Old 05-16-2006, 07:33 AM   #4 (permalink)
Lover - Protector - Teacher
Jinn's Avatar
Location: Seattle, WA
I agree with you 100% that the media should not be concerned with censoring its beliefs to be in line with what the Government wants -- that's simply free press.

But damn man, that's one of the most biased polls I've ever read. You can tell simply by reading the questions where you stand on the issue.
"I'm typing on a computer of science, which is being sent by science wires to a little science server where you can access it. I'm not typing on a computer of philosophy or religion or whatever other thing you think can be used to understand the universe because they're a poor substitute in the role of understanding the universe which exists independent from ourselves." - Willravel
Jinn is offline  
Old 05-16-2006, 11:04 AM   #5 (permalink)
Seaver's Avatar
Location: Fort Worth, TX
This may surprise you, but I voted on the last one in the poll.

People should be rewarded for saving American soldiers, not interrogated. Newsweek reported on facts, there's nothing wrong with it as long as it does not lead to endangering current operations.
Seaver is offline  
Old 05-16-2006, 12:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
highthief's Avatar
Location: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted by JinnKai
I agree with you 100% that the media should not be concerned with censoring its beliefs to be in line with what the Government wants -- that's simply free press.

But damn man, that's one of the most biased polls I've ever read. You can tell simply by reading the questions where you stand on the issue.
That is the entire reason I did not vote in the poll - even though the last option fits my viewpoint best, the bias is annoying.
Si vis pacem parabellum.
highthief is offline  
Old 05-17-2006, 05:44 AM   #7 (permalink)
Extreme moderation
Toaster126's Avatar
Location: Kansas City, yo.
Originally Posted by highthief
That is the entire reason I did not vote in the poll - even though the last option fits my viewpoint best, the bias is annoying.
Ditto. Host, you really need to change how you approach these threads if you want actual discussion. If you just want to rant and give your opinion, use your journal or something...
"The question isn't who is going to let me, it's who is going to stop me." (Ayn Rand)
"The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers." (M. Scott Peck)
Toaster126 is offline  

abuse, afghan, navy, newsweek, report, rescued, sea, wounded

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:01 PM.

Tilted Forum Project

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
© 2002-2012 Tilted Forum Project

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214 215 216 217 218 219 220 221 222 223 224 225 226 227 228 229 230 231 232 233 234 235 236 237 238 239 240 241 242 243 244 245 246 247 248 249 250 251 252 253 254 255 256 257 258 259 260 261 262 263 264 265 266 267 268 269 270 271 272 273 274 275 276 277 278 279 280 281 282 283 284 285 286 287 288 289 290 291 292 293 294 295 296 297 298 299 300 301 302 303 304 305 306 307 308 309 310 311 312 313 314 315 316 317 318 319 320 321 322 323 324 325 326 327 328 329 330 331 332 333 334 335 336 337 338 339 340 341 342 343 344 345 346 347 348 349 350 351 352 353 354 355 356 357 358 359 360