Michael Kelly Redux
Though less well known than editor and columnist Michael Kelly, much will be made of the death of Steven Vincent in Iraq, mainly because he was a blogger who died in Iraq. Unlike those of us who pretend that their blogging qualifies them as a journalist, Vincent was a real journalist who may have bitten off a bit more than he could chew.
Police said Vincent, a Web blogger who had been living in New York, had been staying in Basra for several months working on a book.
In an opinion column printed in The New York Times on July 31, Vincent wrote that Basraâ€™s police force had been heavily infiltrated by members of Shiite political groups, including those loyal to radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.
Vincent quoted an unidentified Iraqi police lieutenant as saying that some police were behind many of the assassinations of former Baath Party members that have taken place in Basra.
â€œHe told me that there is even a sort of â€œdeath carâ€ â€” a white Toyota Mark II that glides through the city streets, carrying off-duty police officers in the pay of extremist religious groups to their next assignment,â€ he wrote.
Vincent was also critical of the British military, which is responsible for security in Basra, for turning a blind eye to abuses of power by Shiite extremists in the city.
Without agreeing with Mr. Vincent’s beliefs, you have to give him credit for actually going into the belly of the beast to write about it.
Starting today (Wednesday) expect a major movement by the 101st Fighting Keyboarders to deify Mr. Vincent. They’re pretty big on letting others die for their sins.