Rep. Liz Cheney reacted strongly to an op-ed that appeared in the New York Times, written by a prominent Taliban leader. Sirajuddin Haqqani, the leader of the so-called Haqqani Network, published a defense of his terrorist organization’s attacks on civilians and coalition forces in Afghanistan.
Cheney, whose view is that the op-ed was a waste of space in the newspaper, asked the Times if they remember 9/11 and whether Haqqani had been compensated for the piece.
I have some questions for @nytimes since they decided to give the Taliban a forum to spew garbage, like, “We did not choose our war…We were forced to defend ourselves.”
1. Remember 9/11?
2. The author is a designated global terrorist. Did you pay him for this piece?
— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) February 20, 2020
Haqqani is not only a global terrorist who has murdered thousands of people over the years, but also the leader of a vast and profitable criminal network. The Haqqanis kidnapped American soldier Bowe Bergdahl and ended up ransoming him to Obama for millions plus the release of five known terrorists. They have kidnapped dozens of other prominent Afghanis and Pakistanis, whose ransoms funded their military operations.
They are involved in a variety of criminal activities, including drug smuggling, sex-trafficking, murder for hire, and extortion.
To give this criminal soulless terrorist a platform to spout his propaganda is unconscionable. Even the Times correspondent in Afghanistan was appalled.
Mujib Mashal, The New York Times senior correspondent in Afghanistan, cast doubts on Haqqani’s portrayal of himself and his organization.
“The piece by Siraj Haqqani in @nytopinion – which’s independent of our news operations & judgment – omits the most fundamental fact: that Siraj is no Taliban peace-maker as he paints himself, that he’s behind some of most ruthless attacks of this war with many civilian lives lost,” he tweeted.
Mashal also posted links to articles by the Times on Haqqani.
“I know people have strong views on this. Sorry, I can’t answer. But, as the bottom of the piece says, our Opinion editors appreciate hearing from, and are ‘committed to publishing a diversity of letters’. So feel free to write to them,” Mashal also tweeted.
The Times defended itself by claiming they publish all points of view.
“We know firsthand how dangerous and destructive the Taliban is,” said Eileen Murphy, senior vice president of communications at the publication, in an emailed statement.
“But, our mission at Times Opinion is to tackle big ideas from a range of newsworthy viewpoints. We’ve actively solicited voices from all sides of the Afghanistan conflict, the government, the Taliban and from citizens,” Murphy added.
Despite many international experts saying that the Haqqanis can’t be trusted, the U.S. is so desperate to leave Afghanistan that we’re willing to make a deal with criminal terrorists to bring it about. It should also be noted that the Haqqanis do not represent the entirety of the Taliban. Mullah Omar’s faction is not involved in the peace talks and would continue the war even with a peace deal.
Publishing anything by this thug was a mistake that the Times should apologize to their readers for.