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August 3, 2005
Terrorists Murder Author, Blogger Steven Vincent

The BBC reports this morning that author and blogger Steven Vincent was kidnapped and murdered by terrorists near Basra. His female Iraqi translator survived the kidnapping, but the terrorists dumped Vincent's bullet-ridden body outside of the city within hours of his kidnapping:

The pair were kidnapped by five gunmen in a police car as they left a currency exchange shop, Lt Col Karim al-Zaidi said.

"Both were later shot, but Vincent was killed, while the girl [translator] is alive," said Mr Zaidi.

Mr Vincent was shot several times in the head and body, said Mr Zaidi. The translator, Nour Weidi, was seriously wounded.

This death hits closer to home for me. Steven had appeared on our radio show several months ago when his book In The Red Zone first came out. While Steven supported the general war effort in Iraq, his writings did not fall into the category of cheerleading for Bush or every part of the American strategy. He wrote and spoke movingly about the tragedy of the Iraqi people -- the tragedy of the long oppression of Saddam Hussein, and the tragedy of their liberation and difficulty in adjusting to their new status. His book was personal, gripping, and brilliant -- a must-read for anyone wanting to know about Iraq and the war.

Lately, the BBC says, Vincent had written about the issues in the British sector around Basra. He had told people about Shi'a radicals infiltrating the local police in the area, taking advantage of their position to assassinate former Ba'ath party members. His kidnappers may come from that group, rather than a Zarqawi faction; one would suppose that the latter would have taken advantage of Vincent's notoriety in the West for a ransom demand or at least a videotaped execution and statement. His business relationship with Nour Weidi could also have offended locals -- he wrote about that danger in his book, and it could explain why she got shot as well as Vincent.

Unfortunately, we will likely never know the full circumstances.

This is quite a blow for everyone who cares about the Iraq issue, the blogosphere, journalism -- but most of all, for those of us whom Steven touched in one small way or another. He knew the risks and went to Iraq anyway because he felt that the stories and voices of the Iraqi people must be heard. That kind of courage will be missed most of all.

Godspeed and farewell, Steven.

UPDATE and BUMP: Smash has a great suggestion on how to best show your condolences for the Vincent family. Mark Tapscott has a great suggestion as to how to remember Vincent for his work: add him to the Freedom Forum's journalist memorial.

Other reactions from the blogosphere:

Michelle Malkin (with links)
Marc Landers
Lorie Byrd
Arthur Chrenkoff
Publius Pundit
Mark Tapscott
La Shawn Barber
Cori Dauber
James Joyner
Jim Henley
Danny Glover (National Journal)

NARN links:

Power Line
Mitch Berg
King Banaian
Fraters Libertas

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at August 3, 2005 8:59 PM

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Terrorists Murder Author, Blogger Steven Vincent:

» Stephen Vincent, RIP from Tapscott's Copy Desk
A blogger and published book author who was in Iraq because he insisted on reporting things the old-fashioned way - actually witnessing events and people - Vincent was a pioneer in the development of the Blogosphere. He should be honored along with a... [Read More]

Tracked on August 3, 2005 5:50 AM

» Steven Vincent,, RIP from La Shawn Barber's Corner
I didn't know journalist and blogger Steven Vincent, but I remember getting e-mails about him and his book, In the Red Zone: A Journey Into the Soul of Iraq. He was murdered in Iraq today. I didn't take the time to get to know him, and now it's too ... [Read More]

Tracked on August 3, 2005 6:34 AM

» Iraqi Insurgents kill blogger from Danny Carlton: codenamed "Jack Lewis"
From the BBC... A US freelance reporter, Steven Vincent, has been shot dead by unknown gunmen in Basra, southern Iraq,... [Read More]

Tracked on August 3, 2005 9:23 AM

» RIP: American Journalist Steven Vincent from The Political Teen
Vincent has a blog here. I am guessing that he was killed by the same people he wrote about. Its sad to hear what happened and I am glad he is getting a lot of attention in the blogs and the media. [Read More]

Tracked on August 3, 2005 11:38 AM

» Blogger/Journalist Steven Vincent murdered in Iraq (PM UPDATE) from Sister Toldjah
From Smash, here's a good way to show your condolences to the Vincent family [Read More]

Tracked on August 3, 2005 10:42 PM

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