Even for the low standards of The New York Times, this is shocking. The so-called “paper of record” on Friday gave print space so a Taliban leader — an unrepentant terrorist — could lecture the United States. In a piece for the February 21 print paper entitled, “What We, the Taliban, Want,” Sirajuddin Haqqani spewed propaganda: “We did not choose our war with the foreign coalition led by the United States. We were forced to defend ourselves.”
The Times donated over 1000 words, allowing Haqqani to blame the United States:
When our representatives started negotiating with the United States in 2018, our confidence that the talks would yield results was close to zero. We did not trust American intentions after 18 years of war and several previous attempts at negotiation that had proved futile.
With no fact check, he even promised equal rights to women:
I am confident that, liberated from foreign domination and interference, we together will find a way to build an Islamic system in which all Afghans have equal rights, where the rights of women that are granted by Islam — from the right to education to the right to work — are protected, and where merit is the basis for equal opportunity.
Slamming this egregious move by the Times, Maureen Callahan of the New York Post explained, “Haqqani has been among the FBI’s Most Wanted for years. There’s a $5 million bounty on his head. Our intelligence agencies don’t even know what he really looks like.”
She also pointed out this irony:
Yet here’s the New York Times, in pleasant communication with a terrorist who — wait for it — once held a New York Times reporter hostage! For eight months! Until he escaped and ran for his life!
Even people within the liberal paper are appalled. Mujib Mashal, the Times’s senior correspondent in Afghanistan, raged:
Here’s how the Times blandly described Haqqani at the end of his op-ed: “Sirajuddin Haqqani is the deputy leader of the Taliban.”
More accurate? What the United States government said in a $5 million reward:
Sirajuddin Haqqani, a senior leader of the Haqqani terrorist network founded by his father Jalaladin Haqqani, maintains close ties to al-Qa’ida. During an interview with an American news organization, Haqqani admitted planning the January 14, 2008 attack against the Serena Hotel in Kabul that killed six people, including American citizen Thor David Hesla.
Here’s what the MRC’s Tim Graham told Fox News on the repugnant move by the Times:
“It’s bizarre that the Times would helpfully publish an op-ed by the deputy leader of the Taliban, yet cannot stand the idea of their newspaper reviewing a New York Times best-seller by Mark Levin. In their mind, one of these men is beyond the pale,” Media Research Center’s Tim Graham told Fox News.