On May 10, Raja Nawaf Farhan al-Mahalawi, the newly appointed governor of Iraq’s Anbar province, was kidnapped by insurgents.
Five days later, according to news reports, he was freed.
But today, more than two weeks after he was freed, he was “found dead along with his militant captors after a clash with U.S. forces.”
Notice anything unusual in this chain of events? You do? No one in the media did. Not one report that I’ve seen of al-Mahalawi’s death mentions that, according to the Iraqi government, he had been freed by his captors 16 days previously. I wonder why. Why wasn’t one editor brave enough to print the following, “Raja Nawaf al-Mahalawi, the governor of Iraq’s Anbar province, was killed along with his kidnappers 16 days after they had released him.” After all, if you’re going to print statements of U.S. and Iraqi officials as legitimate news–that is, if you’re going to print absurdities–why try to hide them?
An examination of what else was happening in Iraq on May 15 explains the mystery. That was the day of Condoleezza Rice’s surprise one-day visit. Evidently, it was too embarrassing for Iraq’s putative leaders to have to meet with their boss while the governor of Iraq’s largest province was being held by the insurgents. So they ‘freed’ him. Simple as that. Reality? It’s no longer a limitation.