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The death of Steven Vincent by terrorists in the town of Basra has caused a number of people to turn their attention from the difficulties surrounding Baghdad and the Zarqawi-led foreign band of lunatics operating in that area to the British zone in the south. Before his murder, Vincent wrote about the Shi'ite radicals slowly infiltrating the power structure and their ability to conduct vigilante missions against their former Ba'ath masters, with the British either unable or unwilling to confront them.
Now The Scotsman reports that British authorities have started spreading a story that the already-married Vincent got killed for offering a dowry for his Iraqi interpreter, offending the local Muslims, instead of his writing about the ongoing corruption and violence in Basra:
AN American journalist who was shot dead in Basra last week was executed by Shiite extremists who knew he was intending to marry his Muslim interpreter, it has emerged.
Steven Vincent was shot a week before the planned wedding to Nouriya Itais and had already delivered a $2,500 dowry to her family.
The disclosure casts new light on the grip of Islamic religious sects in the British-run south- east of Iraq - raising concern that they will take control once troops start to withdraw. Mr Vincent was abducted from his hotel three days after writing a piece in the New York Times accusing British officials of allowing religious parties to infiltrate the Basra police.
In America, his death was taken as retribution for his article. But in London yesterday, British officials pointed out that the police in Basra believed it was retribution for his affair.
"We warned him to look after his security in a more professional manner than he was doing," said the official.
What does Fraser Nelson, the Scotsman's political editor, use to report this rather sensational development? A single anonymous source within the British government. Nelson never mentions the fact that Vincent already has a wife and family. Vincent wrote most of his blog posts as open letters to Lisa Vincent, including his last original post on the blog days before his murder. It seems unlikely in the extreme, given Vincent's writings, that this dowry story holds water. Beyond the gossipy official, however, the Scotsman offers no evidence and no corroboration for this nasty rumor -- making the newspaper no different than the sexist Islamists who cannot conceive of men and women having working relationships.
This looks like an attempt by British officials in the Basra region to deflect attention from their administration of the area and Vincent's critical reporting of these shortcomings. Instead of actually addressing that, they found a dupe in the Scotsman to print unsubstantiated and scurrilous gossip about a victim of the violence of which he warned. Shame on everyone involved in this smear job. (link via USS Neverdock)Sphere It View blog reactions
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Tracked on August 11, 2005 10:05 AM
» What? from Murdoc Online
A Disgusting Smear On A Brave Man This apparent attempt to totally discredit Steven Vincent and his writing just gets weirder and weirder. I noted yesterday a Juan Cole piece where Cole claimed that Vincent's lack of knowledge about Islamic... [Read More]
Tracked on August 11, 2005 12:59 PM
Tracked on August 13, 2005 7:06 AM
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