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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

ABC News: New York Times Used Bribes To Free Reporter

(image via nytimes)

New York Times reporter David Rohde, who escaped form the Taliban after 7 months of captivity, was aided not just by the silence of at least 40 major news organizations, but also bribes. Brian Ross of ABCNews reports:

"The New York Times used a private security company with ties to the CIA to bribe Taliban guards as part of its seven month effort to gain the freedom of reporter David Rohde and two others taken hostage with him in Afghanistan, according to people involved in the case.

"The bribes paid were in small amounts of only a few hundred dollars at a variety of locations where Rhode was held. It was not clear what role, if any, they may have played in Rohde's daring escape early Saturday.

"The company, the Boston-based American International Security Corporation, AISC, also proposed a possible armed assault to free Rohde but called off those plans when Rohde was moved from Afghanistan into Pakistan where such an assault was deemed more difficult to pull off, the people said.

"Rohde and Afghan journalist Tahir Ludin escaped early Saturday morning from a Taliban compound in Miranshah, Pakistan, a city of 150,000 people considered a stronghold of the Taliban."

Gawker's John Cooke wonders if The New York Times asked for silence on David Rohde's kidnapping in Afghanistan quiet "because they feared for his safety, or because they didn't want to drive up his ransom price?" More here.

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