Lara Logan’s ordeal, in her words

When Lara Logan was interviewed on 60 Minutes a few weeks ago, I read some of the news coverage about it, but didn’t watch the program. Now I’ve read the transcript. It is must reading. What happened to Logan was much worse than was indicated by any cursory, dainty news account (such as the New York Times’ story). That’s because what happened to her cannot be summarized, cannot be abridged, you have to read the whole thing in her words. (Or watch the video, on the same page at CBS. The transcript, which is spread over four web pages at the CBS News site, is copied below. )

Logan was plunged into horror for half an hour and thought she was going to be torn apart and die. She conveys very well what she went through and what was going through her mind. Her words are true, in a way that no article about the subject has been true.

At the same time, it must be said that she does not seem to have learned anything from her ordeal. While she is proud of having “broken the silence” on the treatment of Western female journalists in Egypt (a silence-breaking that didn’t take place until three months after the event), her attitude seems to be that regardless of the truth, female journalists must continue doing their jobs, including reporting from Muslim countries. Nor does she have any reflections on the way she and other female Western journalists dress in Muslim countries. I’m not saying that they should cover themselves up like Muslim women, but that maybe they shouldn’t wear the revealing clothing they are used to wearing, which obviously is a huge provocation in that culture, where normally you do not even see women in public, and when you do see one, she is covered in a black bag. The idea of not sending female journalists to Muslim countries at all does not seem to have occurred to her.

She also has no reflections on what the attack on her—coming on the day of Egypt’s “liberation”—says about the Muslim “freedom” she was celebrating when she was sexually assaulted by a mob of Muslim men yelling “Jew!” and almost torn to pieces. Indeed, as Debbie Schlussel has pointed out (see below), Logan in the course of the 2,000 word interview does not once use the words “Muslim” or “Islam.”

So now we have the truth of what was done to Lara Logan in Tahrir Square on February 11, 2011. But that is all we have. The event has not resulted in any new recognition by the West of the realities of Islam, nor in any new understanding of how Westerners should relate to Islam.

Here is the interview:

The night of Feb. 11, the Egyptian dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak was falling. More than 100,000 people filled Cairo’s Tahrir Square in wild celebration. Among those in the crowd was our “60 Minutes” colleague, correspondent Lara Logan.

Lara, a native of South Africa, is an experienced war reporter, but Tahrir Square became her most hazardous assignment.

After the assault: Lara Logan comes home

The “60 Minutes” correspondent on her life since the attack, new fears as a reporter, and the people who helped restore her dignity.

During the revolution, dozens of reporters were assaulted, often by agents of the regime. On the night of the 11th, a mob turned on Lara and her “60 Minutes” team and singled her out in a violent sexual assault. Since then, Lara has been recuperating with her husband and two children.

Now, she is returning to work and she has decided to tell the story of what happened—just once—on “60 Minutes.”

She’s speaking out, she tells us, to add her voice to those who confront sexual violence; to break what she calls the “code of silence.”

Lara arrived in Cairo at a moment of triumph for Egypt. She didn’t imagine, in the hours before midnight, she would be fighting for her life.

Lara Logan: When we drove from the airport into Cairo that night, moments after Mubarak had stepped down, it was unbelievable. It was like unleashing a champagne cork on Egypt.

Logan: I’m anxious to get to the square. I’ve got to be there because this is a moment in history that you don’t want to miss.

Scott Pelley: What does it look like?

Logan: It looks like a party.

Logan: It’s a roar of sound because everyone is so excited and they are singing songs of the revolution and shouting slogans.

Logan: And everybody is, you know, very physical, so you are being jostled and pushed. And sometimes people get closer. And my guys are very protective of me, you know, they want to keep people at bay. It was impossible not to get caught up in the moment, which was real moment of celebration.

Pelley: Tell me about your team.

Logan: Our producer was Max McClellan. My cameraman was Richard Butler.

Logan: We had a local fixer Bahaa, whose job was to bridge the divide for us as foreigners.

Logan: We had two Egyptian drivers with us who were purely there to act as security and bodyguards. And then we had a security person, Ray, who’s done security all over the world.

She reported, without a hint of trouble, for more than an hour.

Pelley: And what happened then?

Logan: Our camera battery went down. And we had to stop for a moment. And suddenly Bahaa looks at me and says, “We’ve gotta get out of here.”

Pelley: He’s Egyptian. He speaks Arabic. And he can hear what the crowd is saying?

Logan: Yes.

Pelley: He understands what no one else in the crew understands?

Logan: That’s right. I was told later that they were saying “Let’s take her pants off.” And it’s like suddenly, before I even know what’s happening, I feel hands grabbing my breasts, grabbing my crotch, grabbing me from behind. I mean—and it’s not one person and then it stops—it’s like one person and another person and another person. And I know Ray is right there, and he’s grabbing at me and screaming, “Lara hold onto me, hold onto me.”

As she was pulled into the frenzy, the camera recorded Lara’s shout: “Stop!”

Logan: And I’m screaming, thinking if I scream, if they know, they’re gonna stop, you know. Someone’s gonna stop them. Or they’re gonna stop themselves. Because this is wrong. And it was the opposite. Because the more I screamed, it turned them into a frenzy.

Someone in the crowd shouted that she was an Israeli, a Jew. Neither is true. But, to the mob, it was a match to gasoline. The savage assault turned into a murderous fury.

Logan: I have one arm on Ray. I’ve lost the fixer, I’ve lost the drivers. I’ve lost everybody except him. And I feel them tearing at my clothing. I think my shirt, my sweater was torn off completely. My shirt was around my neck. I felt the moment that my bra tore. They tore the metal clips of my bra. They tore those open. And I felt that because the air, I felt the air on my chest, on my skin. And I felt them tear out, they literally just tore my pants to shreds. And then I felt my underwear go. And I remember looking up, when my clothes gave way, I remember looking up and seeing them taking pictures with their cell phones, the flashes of their cell phone cameras.

Pelley: Ray reported that he found himself with the sleeve of your jacket in his hand. It had been completely ripped from the rest of the jacket.

Logan: I felt at that moment that Ray was my only hope of survival. You know, he was looking at me and I could see his face and we had a sea of people between us, obviously tearing at both of us, beating us. I didn’t even know that they were beating me with flagpoles and sticks and things, because I couldn’t even feel that. Because I think of the sexual assault, was all I could feel, was their hands raping me over and over and over again.

Pelley: Raping you with their hands?

Logan: Yeah.

Pelley: Nonstop. During this whole time?

Logan: From the front, from the back. And I didn’t know if I could hold onto Ray. I’m holding on to him. I didn’t wanna let go of him. I thought I was gonna die if I lost hold of him.

But in that moment Ray, a former special forces soldier, was torn away.

Logan: When I lost Ray, I thought that was the end. It was like all the adrenaline left my body. ‘Cause I knew in his face when he lost me, he thought I was gonna die. They were tearing my body in every direction at this point, tearing my muscles. And they were trying to tear off chunks of my scalp, they had my head in different directions.

Pelley: Pulling at your hair?

Logan: Oh yeah, not trying to pull out my hair, holding big wads of it, literally trying to tear my scalp off my skull. And I thought, when I thought I am going to die here, my next thought was I can’t believe I just let them kill me, that that was as much fight as I had. That I just gave in and I gave up on my children so easily, how could you do that?

Pelley: Your daughter and your son are one and two years old?

Logan: I had to fight for them. And that’s when I said, “Okay, it’s about staying alive now. I have to just surrender to the sexual assault. What more can they do now? They’re inside you everywhere.” So the only thing to fight for, left to fight for, was my life.

It was a fight she endured about 25 minutes.

Logan: I was no doubt in my mind that I was in the process of dying. I thought, not only am I gonna die here, but it’s gonna be just a torturous death that’s going to go on forever and ever and ever.

Lara was dragged along by the mob until they were stopped by a fence. At that spot, a group of Egyptian women were camped out.

Logan: And I almost fell into the lap of this woman on the ground who was head to toe in black, just her eyes, I remember just her eyes, I could see.

Pelley: Wearing a chador.

Logan: Yes. And she put her arms around me. And oh my God, I can’t tell you what that moment was like for me. I wasn’t safe yet, because the mob was still trying to get at me. But now it wasn’t just about me anymore. It was about their women and that was what saved me, I think. The women kind of closed ranks around me. And I remember one or two, maybe three men standing with them and throwing, the women were throwing water in the crowd. And they were pouring water over me, ‘cause I couldn’t breathe. You know I was I was rasping.

By this time her team had convinced a group of soldiers to go in after her.

Logan: Finally, finally some soldiers fought their way through the crowd with batons, beating the mob back, and that was the moment I thought, “I have a chance to get out of here alive.” And I grabbed the first soldier and I did not let him go. I did, boy, I was not letting go of him. And I am screaming and hysterical, I’m like a wild thing at this point. Imagine my hair is everywhere because they tried to tear my scalp to pieces, my clothes are shredded, I am filthy, black with dirt from going down into the filth.

Pelley: The soldiers took you out of there?

Logan: That one soldier that I was holding onto, he threw me over his back and they still had to beat the mob back to get through it, back to the tank, where they had more soldiers.

Pelley: What happened in that moment when you first were reunited with the rest of the crew?

Logan: I remember Max going down on his knees in front of me. And he said, “I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry. “

By the time producer Max McClellan saw Lara, she was in the arms of one of the drivers, dangling as if her legs were broken.

Max McClellan: She looked like a rag doll. She looked completely limp. She looked like someone who was physically, emotionally and mentally spent. Overwhelmed.

The soldiers drove Lara and her “60 Minutes” team back to their hotel, where a doctor examined her.

McClellan: She was basically sore everywhere. Head to toe. It was like she had been through some sort of grinder.

The next morning, Max and Lara flew back to the U.S.

Pelley: When you landed in Washington, you didn’t go home. You went straight to the hospital.

Logan: And I stayed there for four days, which was hard. My muscles were so unbelievably sore, because they were literally stretched from the mob trying to tear my limbs off my body. My joints, every joint in my body was distended. And then they, the more intimate injuries, the injuries, the tearing inside. And the mark of their hands, their fingers all over my body, cuts and everything you could imagine. But no broken bones.

Pelley: Tell me about that moment when you saw your children again.

Logan: I felt like I had been given a second chance that I didn’t deserve. Because I did that to them … I came so close to leaving them, to abandoning them.

Pelley: Do you feel like you’re healing now?

Logan: Oh, definitely. I’m so much stronger.

That night, her attackers faded away in the crowd. It’s not likely anyone involved will be brought to justice. We may never know with certainty whether the regime was targeting a reporter or whether it was simply—and savagely—a criminal mob. It is true, in Egypt in particular, that sexual harassment and violence are common.

Logan: I had no idea how endemic that it is so rife, so widespread, that so many Egyptian men admit to sexual harassing women and think it’s completely acceptable. In fact, blame the women for it.

Pelley: Why are you telling this story now?

Logan: One thing that I am extremely proud of that I didn’t intend is when my female colleagues stood up and said that I’d broken the silence on what all of us have experienced but never talk about.

Pelley: What did they mean by that?

Logan: That women never complain about incidents of sexual violence because you don’t want someone to say, “Well women shouldn’t be out there.” But I think there are a lot of women who experience these kinds of things as journalists and they don’t want it to stop their job because they do it for the same reasons as me—they are committed to what they do. They are not adrenaline junkies you know, they’re not glory hounds, they do it because they believe in being journalists.

- end of initial entry -

LA writes:

A commenter at Jihad Watch quotes Debbie Schlussel’s very harsh assessment of Logan (Schlussel is of course insane, but here she says something that, as harsh as it is, has a significant measure of truth):

“Sorry, but responsible rape victims call out their rapists. Lara Logan won’t. Again, she won’t mention the I (Islam) or M (Muslim) words—they aren’t mentioned once in the interview. That’s because she’s a phony, no better than your average cowardly rape victim who allows the rapist to do it again. She’s much worse, though, because she presented her gang rapists as liberal democrats to the world and never bothered to correct the record. Not even now, well after the fact. And she continues to lie to allow her gang rapists to gang rape again.”

Barbara V. writes:

I had noticed that, too—and while being appalled, wondered if she had been cautioned not to draw any “lessons.” What do you think? There was also nothing in her facial expression to convey horror of the event—actually, way too many smiles for my liking. But I guess that is the American way—“Keep Smiling.” Where, oh where are our brains?! Total disaster.

LA replies:

I haven’t watched the video yet. I will. Which will lead to further commentary …

Ken Hechtman writes:

There are ways for women journalists to report about Muslim fundamentalists and I know a few women who have done it. I know women who have reported on the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, the Pakistani Taliban, the Chechen mujahadeen and the Mahdi Army. That’s just off the top of my head. There’s two techniques they use and they both work. I’ve even seen the same woman alternate between the two.

The first is, they adopt the local version of purdah, headscarf or full burqa, whatever the local rules are. I knew an Austrian woman who interviewed students at Madrassa Haqqania wearing a burqa and talking through the rolled-up window of her car. Their house, their game, their rules.

The other way is to dress like a man and carry yourself like you expect to be treated like an honorary man. The only trade-off is you don’t have access to local women. Again, the rules that apply to local men apply to you. That same Austrian woman spent the month of August 2001 living in a Hamas facility for training suicide bombers. Every night, she’d sleep in her sleeping bag in the dorm room with all the boys and it wasn’t a problem. They accepted her as a man. She was very attractive, too. [LA replies: You keep such nice company: journalists who get close to suicide bombers.]

What doesn’t work is dressing for an Upper West Side cocktail party and walking into a Muslim fundamentalist mob. If you don’t understand why it won’t end well, you shouldn’t be there. Classic Naomi Klein story: She was in Iraq, she went to interview some Trotskyite union that took over their factory. Kind of peripheral to the main story if you ask me but that’s her thing so she covered it. Then she wanted to go to a Mahdi Army event later that day. Her fixer told her she had to go back to the hotel and change her clothes first. It wasn’t a good idea to walk into a Muslim fundamentalist mob dressed the way she was. She gave him the whole feminist lecture, you know how it goes, I don’t need to reproduce it, “Whatever we wear, wherever we go,” and all the rest of it. And the fixer said “You pay me to tell you how things work over here. I’m telling you how things work over here.” But Naomi Klein is the Crown Princess of Protest. She doesn’t listen to anybody. She went to the event as she was. The crowd didn’t much like it. But they didn’t touch her. They figured she’s just a woman. She’s not responsible for anything she does. So they beat up her fixer.

May 30

Thor M. writes:

See this video, “Arab Men Should Sexually Harass Israeli Woman As Resistance.”

It should be played along with the 60 Minutes piece.

A female reader writes:

What is glaring to me here is that a mother of very young children would put herself at risk in this way. Women with young children normally possess a heightened sense of danger. It is just instinctive to be more cautious because your children are so dependent and vulnerable. Imagine your mother doing something like this when you were still a baby. It’s an abomination for a mother of young children to enter a combat zone.

And what kind of man lets his wife do this?

Mark Jaws writes:

I am going to analyze the tragic Lara Logan rape from another point of view.

As I have mentioned numerous time before, I grew up in the lower East Side of Manhattan from 1955 to 1977. The neighborhood was in transition from becoming heavily Jewish to predominantly Puerto Rican and black. My elementary school, PS 110, was “tipping” in the 1960s, and by the time I graduated from the 6th grade in 1967 it had become mostly black and Puerto Rican. During my fifth grade year three times I was a victim of “wilding” incidents, in which a gang of Puerto Ricans (all black and mulatto, not Caucasian Puerto Ricans) accosted my on stairwells and grabbed my buttocks and stuck their hands in deep trying to penetrate. I did the best I could to fight them off and they finally dispersed. Furthermore, during my time in a predominantly black and brown middle school (JHS 56) I was accosted three times by black and brown boys with erections rubbing against my buttocks. One of them was a baseball team mate. This is not to say I was being singled out because I was white or Jewish. These “young kids,” as they are referred to by liberals, frequently did these things to each other. But never once did I witness a white Puerto Rican behave in such a manner. Based on my experience, this type of behavior is perpetuated solely by blacks and mulattos. Chinese don’t engage in this behavior either.

A large portion of the Egyptian population is part or mostly black. I think this wilding had more to do with black behavior than with Islam, and I seriously doubt an incident such as this would have occurred in Iran or Syria where the population is overwhelmingly Caucasian. As you know, I am no fan of Islam. Like you, I don’t think Sharia-Moslems belong in the West. But I think this rape had more do with race than with Islam.

LA replies:

I think you are overstating the Negroid element in the Egyptian population. The rape of non-Muslim women is countenanced by Islam. See the current mindblowing item on rape in Norway. All reported rapes in Oslo in the past year Were done by non-Western, i.e., Muslim, men, many of whom tell their victims that their religion ok’s this.

Your addition of the racial element to the picture is valid and worthwhile. But don’t be one of those people who can’t count beyond one. There is a racial element in this, and an Islamic element. And don’t project your personal experience onto the world. There’s weren’t any Muslims in your school when you were growing up, so your personal experience doesn’t tell us anything about Muslims.

Don Hanks writes:

Good that you pointed out that we shouldn’t be sending female journalist to Middle East hot spots.

But that isn’t the MAIN point: this throws into question the whole “democracy movement” and the West’s irrational support for it. We are supporting terrorists and anti-Semites who are trying to overthrow governments that, while not perfect or ideal, are stable and have cooperated with Israel and recognized its right to exist. The question for your readers is:

What is the difference between supporting these people and supporting Hitler?

Judith H. writes:

Logan says:

That women never complain about incidents of sexual violence because you don’t want someone to say, “Well women shouldn’t be out there.” But I think there are a lot of women who experience these kinds of things as journalists and they don’t want it to stop their job because they do it for the same reasons as me—they are committed to what they do. They are not adrenaline junkies you know, they’re not glory hounds, they do it because they believe in being journalists.

Perhaps I should wait until I’ve seen the video, read Debbie Schlussel, and obtained more insights into this, but my first reaction is that she not only does not see the political implications of Muslim behavior towards Western women, she is, of all things, turning this into an event emblematic of what happens to women when they are just trying to do their job. She is turning herself into a woman victimized because she is a hard-working career girl, not because of dictates in the Koran. Extrapolating just a bit, I would say that she is setting the stage for an endless series of rapes as well as false rape accusations, and there will be an even greater rush of women into journalism and into Muslim lands so that they too can experience the trials and tribulations of being a hard-working reporter committed to journalism. Something like this happened after the Clarence Thomas affair when lawsuits brought by outraged female workers suddenly pullulated in the nightly news. This was when men really began to be—justifiably—frightened by women, whose word was never doubted and yet who had lied, embroidered or even contrived to bring about some kind of sexual “event” just to prove men were beasts and women victims. The workplace has been unbearable ever since those hearings, though Thomas survived the attempt to destroy him.

On a similar note (though it may not appear to be similar at first) there was no flood of incriminations from feminists against Dominique Strauss-Kahn. The criticisms I read of his conduct came primarily from more conservative writers and officials who knew about his behavior from way back and who called it “addictive,” “out of control” or “pathological.” But feminists of the Socialist block were appalled at OUR behavior, not at his.

So, the event means nothing. The only thing that counts is which ideology is being protected or harmed by the event, such as a rape, or gang violence, and which ideology stands to gain or lose by the whole truth coming out.

Vivek G. writes:

There are other aspects of the interview which need to be emphasized.

1. Notwithstanding the extremely disturbing nature, it also reads like an essay. An essay on “How I was sexually assaulted.” It reads as if someone was given that as a topic in exam and was focusing on meticulously describing his imagination, rather than narrate a reality and make sense of it. [LA replies: I don’t know what you’re talking about. She describes an ordeal of a kind that very few people have gone through in which she was almost killed, and she tells it so that the reader can feel what she was going through.]

2. The refusal to use the “I” word or “M” word could be because, they have struck terror in her mind. So I-M have succeeded! Recall Koranic injunctions?

3. In light of point 1, notice the following: “Someone in the crowd shouted that she was an Israeli, a Jew. Neither is true … ” What a nonchalant way of describing things! It looks as though if such a thing was done to an Israeli/Jew woman then the act would, in some sense, be justified. [LA replies: I don’t agree with you. How else was that fact to be reported? The fact was: someone in the crowd yelled that she was a Jew, and she is not a Jew.]

Amongst other things, one of the most important things to be done, especially for the benefit of much younger women (say 18 years) who want to pursue journalism and think of Logan or her like as their role model:

1. Logan, besides all the well deserved sympathy that she has got and will get, also deserves a stern, hard dressing down. If she is willing to learn from her experience then she needs to be told what she needs to learn the most. Otherwise she must be told that she risks losing all future sympathy related to similar occurrences in the future. Freedom comes with responsibility. You cannot have it both ways. Or if one may use a harsher version: if you want to have it both ways then you risk ending up having it every which way, the way Logan had it for forty minutes.

2. “I felt like I had been given a second chance that I didn’t deserve. Because I did that to them … I came so close to leaving them, to abandoning them … ” Women, when they are close to death, feel the primary commitment that they have, towards their young children. So you can be as ambitious as you want, you can be as committed to your profession as you want, but do remember the primary commitment. Imagine what if Logan had indeed died in the assault? You don’t want to die feeling that you ignored your calling. Could some woman comment on this please?

May 30

Kidist Paulos Asrat writes:

I came to the same conclusion as your female correspondent when I asked why Lara Logan isn’t taking care of her vulnerable toddler “and instead off running to duck bombs.” Still, I had also predicted that she would soon be back in the “field” to resume her responsible reporting.

I didn’t imagine it going as far as what Judith H. foresees, where Logan becomes the poster woman for future young female war correspondents running off to Islamic countries, thus setting the stage for them bravely encountering (and “surviving”) rape almost as a kind of war badge. It is an odd juxtaposition of the female reporter as a “victim” and also as a heroic survivor sacrificing herself for the greater good.

May 31

An Indian living in the West writes:

I don’t think she was as oblivious to the danger as many have assumed. She is a white South African and would have grown up in what most Americans would consider a fairly un-PC environment. She would not have been totally oblivious to the danger of attack.

So why did she do it? I think this can be summed up in two words: (a) career; and (b) ambition. The TV journalists (especially American journalists) are obsessed with TRP ratings and getting the maximum number of people hooked onto the idiot box during prime time. This is what drives every journalist’s ambition. Logan sounds like a very ambitious journalist who wants to scale the heights of success as scaled by the most successful men in the business. So she took what was a calculated risk to give her career a huge boost—imagine being the journalist that covers the Egyptian revolution. Your name is forever etched in history. You come back a celebity, write a few books about it, give loads of TV interviews and your career is made. The moolah this brings in is beyond imagination. This is what the journalists thrive on. They are not as stupid or as naive as many of us often think.

However, this calculated risk went toally wrong and it ended in disaster. She has now come out with the story but she does not mention the “I” word or the “M” word. Why not? First of all, what does anyone think would happen to her career if she used those words? I think we can safely say that her career would be totally finished. She would be hounded out of television as a bigot and a racist (her being a white South African makes her even more vulnerable). Secondly, I think she probably feels some sense of loyalty to the Muslim men and women in the crowd who rescued her from almost certain death.

We can learn several lessons from this episode:

(1) Western female journalists will not stop putting themselves in harm’s way. Logan’s story will be flushed down the memory hole shortly. As it is, how many are talking about it now?

(2) No American TV station will dare to keep women out of war zones on grounds of safety. If anyone dared do such a thing, the anti-discrimination law suits would descend upon the TV station like a pack of vultures and they would be devoured in court in no time.

(3) No one will mention anything about Islam’s sanction of the rape of non-Muslim women. This is simply not digestible by the liberal public and so it will not be said.

(4) Logan will recover from this and her career will carry on as before although I don’t think she will take risks like this again. But I don’t think she will stop going into danger zones altogether. Some poor sucker will have to accompany her to save her skin should things get rough again. There will probably more poor suckers than there were this time.

Lastly, I think there is one other reason Logan went to cover that mob. Of course, career and ambition were factors. But the biggest factor of all was that if she had decided not to go on the basis that she would be uniquely at risk because she is a woman, she would have conceded to herself that there are jobs that women are not fit for. That would be virtually impossible for a woman like her (having been fed plenty of NY feminist liberalism) to take. If she accepted such a fact, she would have to concede permanently that covering wars and revolution is the preserve of male journalists and not female journalists. This would be tantamount to committing religious blasphemy in the liberal universe.

So I don’t think anyone is going to learn any lessons from this. One of the lessons I have learnt in my life is that human beings don’t see what is in front of them, they see only what they want to see. The things they don’t like to see, they develop canny ways of avoiding seeing them or thinking about them altogether. Which brings us back to where we started.

Ken Hechtman writes:

You wrote:

You keep such nice company: journalists who get close to suicide bombers.

As it happens, I didn’t go looking for this woman. I found her in the Islamabad hotel I stayed at when I first landed in Pakistan in October 2001. I’d done a three week internet crash course on the modern-day jihadi scene before leaving for Pakistan. She did her PhD on the subject. I immediately realized she knew this stuff way better than I did and I had breakfast with her every morning for a week just so she could school me.

Also, I talk to everybody. That seems to be my role in life. I don’t fully understand it but people will tell me stuff they won’t tell anybody else. I don’t know why but it’s too good to resist. There’s times I’d have kept my left-wing credibility by pulling up my skirts and running away. But I’d rather hear a story nobody else has heard before.

LA writes:

Here is Phyllis Chesler’s reaction to the 60 Minutes interview, written back on May 2 when it was broadcast. She makes some points similar to mine, e.g., “While she has told the truth about what happened to her, her careful, cautious, exceedingly politically correct presentation suggests that many hands were, once again, behind what she said and how she said it.” Chesler’s title is also similar to this entry, “Lara Logan in Her Own Words.”

Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 28, 2011 09:42 AM | Send

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