Wednesday, August 03, 2005

In Memoriam

With the likes of pseudo-journalists such as Armstrong Wiliams and our greatest homosexual liason to someone in the White House, Jeff Gannon, it's not hard to understand why public perception of the profession's honesty is only a wee-bit higher than a used car salesman. But sometimes, there are journalists that put it all on the line to get the story that matters. Michael Kelly immediately jumps to mind. Today, there's another.

Steven Vincent, a free-lance reporter gathering material for a book on Basra, Iraq, was kidnapped and then murdered. He is the first reporter to be killed (by way not related to an accident) in Iraq. As Edward Wong of the NYTs reports:
The body of the reporter, Steven Vincent, from New York, was found this morning. He had been dumped outdoors after being shot several times, and his hands were tied with a plastic wire, and a red piece of cloth was wrapped around his neck. He and his translator, Ward al-Khal, were kidnapped on Tuesday evening in downtown Basra by masked gunman in a pick-up truck as they left a moneychanger's shop near Mr. Vincent's hotel, police officials said.
Vincent recently had articles published in the National Review and the Christian Science Monitor. A supporter of the war in Iraq, Vincent was angry at the way women were treated and the anti-democratic character of what he dubbed "Islamo-fascists." But he was no sycophant of the coalition war effort, criticizing the U.S. and U.K. for allowing religious zealots to squelch democracy in their pursuit of sharia law. He traveled without a security detail, only with his translator. Mr. Vincent had the courage to do what I only dream about and he paid the ultimate price.

You can read Mr. Vincent's blog of his experiences here.