NYT Reporter Recounts 7 Months as Prisoner

David Rohde begins first-person account of capture, escape
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 17, 2009 5:05 PM CDT
NYT Reporter Recounts 7 Months as Prisoner
A 1995 file photo of David Rohde.   (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

(Newser) New York Times reporter David Rohde begins a gripping first-person account of his 7 months as a Taliban prisoner in Afghanistan before he managed to escape. In the first of the five-part series, he writes of his capture ("I waited for the sound of gunfire. I knew I might die but remained strangely calm"), his pleas for release ("I wept, hoping it would created sympathy"), and his revelations about the Taliban ("I came to a simple realization: After seven years of reporting in the region, I did not fully understand how extreme" and ambitious the group had become).

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"Our time as prisoners was bewildering. Two phone calls and one letter from my wife sustained me. I kept telling myself—and Tahir and Asad—to be patient and wait. By June, our seventh month in captivity, it had become clear to us that our captors were not seriously negotiating our release. Their arrogance and hypocrisy had become unending, their dishonesty constant. We saw an escape attempt as a last-ditch, foolhardy act that had little chance of success. Yet we still wanted to try." (Read more David Rohde stories.)

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