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A Jihadi's "Dream Vacation"

It beggars belief. What else can you say about the unbelievable claims to be found in an op-ed in the June 14 number of The New York Times penned by one Mourad Benchellali? Mr. Benchellali, a French citizen currently awaiting trial in his home country, was released from the Guantanamo Bay prison camp in July 2004. And thus the eminences at the Gray Lady figured he'd make a particularly useful polemicist against Gitmo.

In fact, it appears as if the Times considered Mr. Benchellali so useful that they printed his article, despite its obvious howlers:

In the early summer of 2001, when I was 19, I made the mistake of listening to my older brother and going to Afghanistan on what I thought was a dream vacation. His friends, he said, were going to look after me. They did--channeling me to what turned out to be a Qaeda training camp. For two months, I was there, trapped in the middle of the desert by fear and my own stupidity.

A "dream vacation"? In Afghanistan under the Taliban? What reasonable person would believe that a French citizen would spend his "dream vacation" in the most impoverished country in the Middle East, ruled by the most repressive regime in modern history? What morons would print such obvious palaver?

The Paper of Record, of course. So wound up about Guantanamo Bay, the folks at the Times simply can't think rationally.

Naturally, a little digging on Al Gore's Internet demonstrates that Mr. Benchellali is even less likely to be the naïve good Samaritan he portrays himself to be. In fact, as Michael Radu claims, his father was a radical imam with a terrorist background, and his older brother is a rather committed terrorist himself.

It's no wonder that someone with such a family "unwittingly" chose the mountains of Afghanistan as his "dream vacation" destination. You just don't see the typical Frenchman making such choices. They're not that into burqas.

Thus, when Mr. Benchellali offers his rousing peroration, one has good reason to doubt him:

In Guantanamo, I did see some people for whom jihad is life itself, people whose minds are distorted by extremism and whose souls are full of hatred. But the majority of the faces I remember--the ones that haunt my nights--are of desperation, suffering, incomprehension turned into silent madness.

This makes us wonder: Did Mr. Benchellali see any of his family at Gitmo? We're pretty sure they're in the former category.

(Note: The crack young staff normally "weblog" over at "The Hatemonger's Quarterly," where they are currently contemplating sending Arthur "Pinch" Sulzberger Jr. to Guantanamo Bay.)


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Comments (16)

A "dream vacation"? In A... (Below threshold)

A "dream vacation"? In Afghanistan under the Taliban? What reasonable person would believe that a French citizen would spend his "dream vacation" in the most impoverished country in the Middle East, ruled by the most repressive regime in modern history?


Maybe he likes "roughing it?"


;-)

"Naturally, a little dig... (Below threshold)
mak44:

"Naturally, a little digging on Al Gore's Internet "

If you want to be taken seriously give up the Gore/internet crap that Gore never said.

You Righties love to repeat your lies even as you make an ass of yourself trying to take down the NYTimes.

If you had one shred more of integrity than what you are suggesting about the NYT, you'd cease this Gore/internet BS. It was never said by Gore.

Oy . . . again with the Gor... (Below threshold)

Oy . . . again with the Gore thing?

Gore did, in fact, say, "I took the initiative in creating the internet."

He was indeed the first Senator to see the potential and was an early supporter of opening the 'net up to the public. He had no technical role, of course, beyond popularizing the term, "information superhighway."

It's no worse of an exaggeration than every other claim Gore has made about his past and achievements.

mak44, relax a little, will... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

mak44, relax a little, willya. Teasing Gore about his statement (which, as noted, does have basis in truth) is like teasing Bush about his grammar skills. It's easy, fun, and of no harm.

Club Med Kabul!! ... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

Club Med Kabul!!

My wife and I came this close to going there! The burka-clad "babe" on the cover of the brochure was pretty sweet! But in the end we settled for the "Best Restaurants of the Sudan" tour. Frankly, a tad disappointing.

I suggest sending mak44 a c... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:

I suggest sending mak44 a couple of dollars so he can buy a few clues (or a sense of humor).

Turns out the NYT is lying ... (Below threshold)

Turns out the NYT is lying as usual.

This "innocent" is part of a radical French Islamist family with connections to Zarqawi. France locked the whole bunch up!

Gateway Pundit reports.

The worst part is that the NYT had already reported this in 2004. Once again, they are incapable of fact-checking, even against their own archives.

Damn! I thought we was rid ... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Damn! I thought we was rid of old "mak-i-e 43 2/3" P.S. makie-go hug a tree.

If you want to be taken ... (Below threshold)
Son Of The Godfather:

If you want to be taken seriously give up the Gore/internet crap that Gore never said.

No, because it irks you so (and we LOVE Algore for inventing the internet and ridding us of ManBearPig).

You Righties love to repeat your lies even as you make an ass of yourself trying to take down the NYTimes.

No, the NYT propagates its own lies daily.

Sorry Mak44, you guys lose (again), but thanks for playing!

Anyone see the story on Cap... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

Anyone see the story on Captain's Quarter's Wednesday on how an official Afghan delegation visisted Gitmo a few days ago and declared it "humane"? Wonder how the New York Slimes managed to miss that story?

Mak44 wrote: If you want... (Below threshold)

Mak44 wrote: If you want to be taken seriously...

Mak44 giving advice on how to be taken seriously. That's just a hoot and a half.

The NYT has 'missed' so man... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

The NYT has 'missed' so many obvious *facts* because they are agenda driven, much like a certain poster above who needs a cluebyfour applied briskly to his upper regions.
Mourad Benchellali is a jihadi who was captured but unfortunatly not prosecuted here. Somehow I'm thinking that the Fwench will prosecute him and slam him away for however long they see fit for his crimes.

Ain't it heartwarming to se... (Below threshold)
DOUG BOOK:

Ain't it heartwarming to see the respect the NY Times has for the intellect of its readers.

OReilly was (for a change) ... (Below threshold)

OReilly was (for a change) completely sane on this subject and actually said "shame on you, New York Times" for your lying last night! First I was astounded that he took that tone (and he WAS pissed) but second that he had ALL THE FACTS pretty much straight and proceeded to deconstruct the NYT article point by point. Not that it will affect the moonbat take on this utterly disingenuous story!

OReilly was (for a change) ... (Below threshold)

OReilly was (for a change) completely sane on this subject and actually said "shame on you, New York Times" for your lying last night! First I was astounded that he took that tone (and he WAS pissed) but second that he had ALL THE FACTS pretty much straight and proceeded to deconstruct the NYT article point by point. Not that it will affect the moonbat take on this utterly disingenuous story!

I personally fault the Fren... (Below threshold)

I personally fault the Frenchie for lack of imagination. The Turkish terrorist just returned to his nearest and dearest told lurid tales of being tortured by rabbis and lascivious naked babes. I'm disappointed in Benchie.




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