Dr. Dawg

"She was only a blogger"

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This story is all questions and no answers.

Former BC businesswoman Beverley Giesbrecht, later Khadija Abdul Qahaar, died miserably in the hands of the Taliban sometime in 2009, or possibly in 2010. She had been their captive since November 2008.

The Tyee’s Claude Adams provides the backstory here.

Nothing that we know about this woman adds up. All of the existing narratives have huge gaps. My personal speculation, for what it’s worth, is that this journalist-wannabe launched her infamous website “Jihad Unspun” to get her into rooms and caves that would otherwise have been barred to her. The CIA had nothing to do with it, but irresponsible commentary to that effect may have played a role in her death. We’ll never know.

My hed is an offhand comment made by a Pakistani journalist. In the grand and the small scheme of things, she just didn’t matter.

And that brings us to this morning’s revelations: that she didn’t matter to the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, either—and that they lied to the contrary.

In May 2011, the Department of Foreign Affairs revealed to CBC News that it believed Giesbrecht had died in captivity sometime in 2010, but a spokesperson added that it was continuing “to pursue all appropriate channels” to determine what happened.

Documents obtained by CBC News through an access to information request, however, show that months earlier the department not only believed Giesbrecht was dead, but had told the RCMP it didn’t need to investigate.

Unlike her friends, I am not “stunned by this revelation.” The Department of Foreign Affairs houses some of the most notorious tale-spinners in Ottawa. The stream of lies vomited forth by DFAIT officials while fellow-citizens Abousfian Abdelrazik and Suaad Hagi Mohamud found themselves in African jails are examples that leap readily to mind.

But to what end, in this case? To punish a convert to Islam? To present a sunny and benign face to the public after considerable bad press over its treatment of Abdelrazik and others? Or is lying simply the default position of the Harper administration?

A curious matter, in any case. Maybe one of those real journalists will follow it up.

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on April 18, 2012 11:09 AM.

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