Rosen had already made up his mind about Iraq from the start of his career, as well. Whether or not he had expressed his views directly to his editors when he first went to that country, by December of 2010 he had certainly gone on record about what he had thought back in 2003:
I got to Baghdad April 13, 2003, and that was really the beginning of my career as a journalist. I was very curious; I knew…that we weren’t going to get the full story, we weren’t going to get the point of view of the Iraqi people. It was clear that the war was predicated on lies to the American people and the US Government and US military wouldn’t be able to understand or deal with the culture and politics of Iraq.
So I came with a real curiosity and a certain sense of anger as well, just for being lied to.
In recent years Rosen has become quite bold in stating his biases. He says he’s “closest to being an anarchist” and that some of his views are “extreme” and “angry”:
In April 2008, when asked by then-senator Joe Biden what could be done to improve the situation in Iraq, Rosen replied: “As a journalist, I’m uncomfortable advising an imperialist power about how to be a more efficient imperialist power. I don’t think we’re there for the interests of the Iraqi people.”
Here’s another bit of insight into Rosen’s attitudes and allegiances, from an answer he gave in August of 2010 to a question about whether it was irresponsible of Wikileaks to leave the names of Afghan informants in the reports they published. Here is Rosen’s reply:
The answer is “so what?” in part….If you’re trying to undermine the war then I don’t think it’s a catastrophic event.
Even I would say that WikiLeaks should have been more careful in concealing the names of people who could face violent retribution as a result of this. But let’s also remember that these are people who are collaborating with a foreign occupier that’s oppressing their fellow countrymen….[A]s somebody who thinks that war is wrong, and this war in particular…I think undermining that war in any way possible is a good thing.
It is that latter statement especially that should have given Rosen’s editors pause. Not only does it fit in with the idea that Rosen is about as far from objectivity as it is possible to be, but the words “in any way possible” for achieving his goal of undermining the war in Afghanistan suggest an ends-justify-the-means mentality.
So what fueled Rosen’s anger at Logan? When he tweeted that Logan was a war monger, and asked where her buddy McChrystal was, he seems to have been referring to an incident in the summer of 2010 in which Logan had criticized Michael Hastings, the author of the Rolling Stone article that had led to General McChrystal’s forced resignation. Logan spoke at length about the duty embedded reporters owe to the military to gain their trust honestly; and not to later betray them by speaking about things that were supposed to be off the record, as she felt Hastings had. Logan also said, “Michael Hastings has never served his country the way McChrystal has.”
Imagine how that talk of loyalty sat with Rosen, the man who had spoken so callously of the possibility of death for Afghan informants as a result of press leaks, and the person who had this to say about his own embed experience with the Taliban:
i’m a journalist, not an american journalist…journalists regularly embed with the american military when it is conducting operations, attacks, killing. whats the difference [between embedding with the Americans and embedding with the Taliban]?
It seems that Rosen has been getting away with making outrageous statements for so long that it’s no wonder that he felt emboldened to tweet away and mock Logan with impunity. This time, though, he happened to have hit on a subject that was offensive to leftist sensibilities as well as those on the right — and he discovered that there are finally consequences, even for Nir Rosen. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.