In her compelling keynote address at the Better Government Association’s annual luncheon on Tuesday, CBS correspondent Lara Logan speaks out on Afghanistan, the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Logan was the reporter who was brutally raped and beaten during the Arab Spring.
As the United States prepares to leave the battlefields of Afghanistan, she questions our decision to withdraw from that part of the world and discusses the dangers of “politics directing national security” rather than other way around.
“As a reporter doing investigative work,” Logan says, “I chose this subject because I can’t stand that there’s a major lie being propagated about the real situation.”
She continues, “There’s a distinction between investigating something to find out what the real situation is, and trying to prove something that you believe is true. They’re two very different things, and the second one is a very dangerous thing and is the enemy of great journalism.”
Of our years in Afghanistan, she quotes Ryan Crocker, former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq as follows: “We’ve killed all the slow and stupid ones. The ones that are left are more committed, and they didn’t become any more kinder or gentler in the last eleven years.”
Perhaps as a reminder of her own experience, she said, “Al Qaeda changed the nature of journalism forever when they slit Daniel Pearl’s throat on camera.”
Her final words were in response to the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, which resulted in the loss of four American lives, including that of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.
“I hope to God that you’re sending in your best clandestine warriors who are going to exact revenge and let the world know that the United States will not be attacked on its own soil, that its ambassadors will not be murdered and that the United States will not stand by and do nothing about it.”
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