One Year Later: The Murder of Stephen Vincent
My post at VAM:
August 3rd, 2005
Freelance Journalist Body Found
Missing since Tuesday, the body of American freelance journalist Steven Vincent was found today. He had been shot. The interpreter who was accompanying him was wounded. Police are working with the British military and the US Embassy to find the killers. A photo of an Vincent’s body being inspected by an Iraqi security guard
accompanies the article.
BAGHDAD, Aug. 3 (Xinhuanet) — American freelance journalist Steven Vincent has been shot dead in the southern Iraqi city of Basra, Iraqi police and the US Embassy said Wednesday.
"I can confirm to you that officials in Basra have recovered the body of journalist Steven Vincent," embassy spokesman Pete Mitchell said.
Police in Basra said the American journalist, together with his female translator, were abducted Tuesday evening by five gunmen in a police car.
Vincent was shot multiple times while the translator was seriously wounded, police said.
"The US Embassy is working with British military and local Iraqi officials in Basra to determine who is responsible for the death of this journalist," the embassy spokesman said.
One would hope that the media would take up the cause of one of their own. The New York Times gets it right, reporting that "The incident involving the reporter, Steven Vincent, an art critic and freelance writer who had worked in Basra for months, was the first time an American journalist has been attacked and killed during the war. A handful of American journalists have died in vehicle accidents or from illness." The Times does note that 19 of these were apparently targeted attacks.
Clearly, Vincent knew too much.
On Sunday, The New York Times printed an article on its op-ed pages that Mr. Vincent had written about the British military in Basra, in which he sharply criticized the British for allowing religious Shiite parties and clerics to take control of Basra and populate the security forces with their followers.
He wrote that a police lieutenant had confirmed for him that a few fellow officers were carrying out assassinations of former members of Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party, apparently in revenge for the oppression of the Shiites under his rule.
"He told me that there is even a sort of ‘death car’: 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," Mr. Vincent wrote.
JW post Via Bill. CP @ GMC.