READ a news story about how Thompson’s reporting led to indictments at txlo.com/glover it “the ultimate neighborhood watch.” Herrington, for his part, recounted his ordeal in Spike Lee’s documentary When the Levees Broke. But until now no one has ever seriously scrutinized what happened in Algiers Point during those days, and nobody has asked the obvious questions. Were the gunmen, as they claim, just trying to fend off looters? Or does Herrington’s experience point to a different, far uglier truth? Over the course of an 18-month investigation, I tracked down figures on all sides of the gunfire, speaking with the shooters of Algiers Point, gunshot survivors and those who witnessed the bloodshed. I interviewed police officers, forensic pathologists, firefighters, historians, medical doctors and private citizens, and studied more than 800 autopsies and piles of state death records. What emerged was a disturbing picture of New Orleans in the days after the storm, when the city fractured along racial fault lines as its government collapsed. Herrington and Alexander’s experience fits into a broader pattern of violence in which, evidence indicates, at least 11 people were shot. In each case the targets were African-American men, while the shooters, it appears, were all white. The new information should reframe our understanding of the catastrophe. Immediately after the storm, the media portrayed African Americans as looters and thugsMayor Ray Nagin, for example, told Oprah Winfrey that “hundreds of gang members” were marauding through the Superdome. Now it’s clear that some of the most serious crimes committed during that time were the work of gun-toting white males. So far, their crimes have gone unpunished. No one was ever arrested for shooting Herrington, Alexander and Collinsin fact, there was never an investigation. I found this story repeated over and over during my days in New Orleans. As a reporter who has spent more than a decade covering crime, I was startled to meet so many people with so much detailed information about potentially serious offenses, none of whom had ever been interviewed by police detectives. BROWSE Bartosiewicz’s other stories at petrabart.com HONORABLE MENTION The Intelligence FactoryHow America Makes Its Enemies Disappear by PETRA BARTOSIEWICZ From Harper ‘s In “The Intelligence Factory,” Petra Bartosiewicz goes to Pakistan in search of the real story of Aafia Siddiqui, an MITtrained neuroscientist who was accused of opening fire on a group of U.S. Army officers and FBI agents at a police station in Afghanistan \(only Siddiqui was are mysterious. According to documents, Siddiqui was found wandering around a square in the Afghan city of Ghazni with instructions for creating biological weapons and jars full of dangerous chemicals but she was not charged with any crime other than the shooting incident. Siddiqui’s whereabouts for the five years before the shooting is in dispute. Some say she was being held in a secret prison, either by the U.S. or Pakistani government, while others say she was hiding in the terrorist underground. Despite speaking with everyone from Pakistani intelligence officers to members of Siddiqui’s family, Bartosiewicz never uncovers the truth about Siddiqui. Not even close. Every person interviewed swore to a completely different version of the truth, and all had their own motives for lying. The remarkable thing about Bartosiewicz’s deft writing and reporting is that despite \(or perhaps she creates a clear and damning portrait of the fallout from the U.S. government’s voracious appetite for human intelligence on terrorist groupsa demand that can never be satiated and seems to demand an endless supply of suspects. As this task is outsourced across the globe, Bartosiewicz shows how easy it is for innocent people to be caught up in the war on terror, seized by authoritarian regimes who are producan FBI affidavit that compares intelligence gathering on terrorism to the “construction of a mosaic,” explaining how suspects may not even realize they are in possession of important intelligence, so they could be held because the agency was “unable to rule out” their importance. Bartosiewicz points out what happened to Latin American countries that served U.S. intelligence agencies during the dirty wars of the ’70s and ’80s: They were toppled. As she writes about Pakistan, “A recent poll found that the only nation they find more threatening than India, whose nuclear missiles point directly at them, is the United States. And they have begun to hold their leaders accountable for the The continued political appetite for a global war on terror has led to a commodification of “actionable intelligence,” which is a product, chiefly, of human prisoners like Aafia Siddiqui. FROM “THE INTELLIGENCE FACTORY” association.” In other words, the policy is backfiring. As “The Intelligence Factory” chillingly illustrates, Siddiqui is just one of thousands held by the United States and its allies whose identities, and the reasons for their capture, may never become clear. PetraBartosiewicz is afreelancewriter living inBrooklyn. NE Her forthcoming book, The Best Terrorists We Could Find, an investigation of terrorism trials in the U.S. since 9/11, will be published by Nation Books in 2010. 30 1 THE TEXAS OBSERVER WWW.TEXASOBSERVER.ORG
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