David Rohde, New York Times Reporter, Escapes Taliban in Afghanistan

In a scene straight out of 2008’s Iron Man movie, New York Times Reporter and Pulitzer Prize Winner David Rohde and a local reporter, Tahir Ludin, escaped Taliban captivity by climbing over a wall. They had been abducted along with their driver, Asadullah Mangal, on Nov. 10, 2008.  For the past 7 months, they were held captive in the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan. So maybe it wasn’t like Iron Man with all the explosions and gunfire as they made their escape. Regardless, we are extremely excited about David’s return to America.

One of the more interesting aspects of this ordeal is that it was kept relatively quiet by all major media outlets in the United States:

From the early days of this ordeal, the prevailing view among David’s family, experts in kidnapping cases, officials of several governments and others we consulted was that going public could increase the danger to David and the other hostages. The kidnappers initially said as much,” said Bill Keller, the executive editor of The Times. “We decided to respect that advice, as we have in other kidnapping cases, and a number of other news organizations that learned of David’s plight have done the same. We are enormously grateful for their support. (source)

This is one of those times where I’m happy that the US media held back a little on this story. If David’s abduction had become a viral internet/news story, I do not think he would have ever been able to escape. Welcome home, David. Get back to that awesome reporting.

For more on David Rohde’s amazing escape from the Taliban:

  • Media Stayed Silent on Kidnapping (Washington Post)
  • New York Times journalist David Rohde escapes Taliban (Telegraph.co.uk)
  • Why Did Nobody Pick Up The David Rohde Kidnapping Story? (Gawker.com)
  • New York Times Reporter Rohde Escapes From Taliban, NYT Says (Bloomberg)
  • Secretary of State Clinton on David Rohde’s Return to Freedom (State.gov)