Posted

Washington Post Masthead

This has been a lucky stretch for me in getting letters to the editor printed in major daily newspapers. Today the Washington Post ran a badly edited version of this letter I sent in response to Josh White’s report of a former Guantanamo prisoner involved in a suicide bombing in Iraq.

To the Editor:

Your story, Ex-Guantanamo Detainee Joined Iraq Suicide Attack (8 May 2008) states that “the Defense Intelligence Agency has estimated that as many as three dozen former Guantanamo detainees are confirmed or suspected of having returned to terrorist activities.”

This characterization begs the question which is absolutely central — and completely unaddressed in your report — as to whether this activity is, indeed, a “return” to terrorist activities or an initiation into terrorist action prompted, at least in part, by resentment based on the Guantanamo imprisonments. In a system which puts habeas corpus, not to mention release, beyond the reach of most detainees, is it plausible to believe that the DoD had evidence of prior terrorist participation on those it had released?

Mark B. Jacobs
San Francisco, California

This comes less than six months after my letter in the New York Times about the stunning failure of vision in India’s industrial development, which will doom the country to another century of mediocrity, despite its great promise.

In a somewhat related accomplishment, I learned through my friend Dipti Lamba that, in January, the Bangalore Mirror ran a verbatim reprint of my essay on India’s fairness neurosis. (And they did so without my permission or even so much as an email to let me know. Ah, the ethics of Indian journalism!) Whatever flattery might have been bestowed by this thievery was muted when Dee was unable to send me the copy of the article she had spotted — because she had already used it as kitty litter.

Bangalore Mirror Views, MBJ Article

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1 Response to “Posted”


  1. 1 gordo 15 May 2008 at 7:05 pm

    Aaargh! I HATE it when they edit my letters. The whole reason I have a blog is that I couldn’t stand to have my letters butchered by the editor.

    The online age held a lot of promise in this areas, as newspapers began putting comment sections with the stories, but people tend to use these as chat rooms.

    Anyway, thanks for writing the letter. That definitely needed to be said.


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