Cheney Target Of Terrorist Attack
A suicide bomber attacked the U.S. military base in Afghanistan that Vice President Dick Cheney was visiting Tuesday killing 23 and wounding 20 more.
The story that ran in the Star Tribune was written by Alisa Tang. The story reported that the Taliban was claiming responsibility for the attack but that Cheney was not hurt in the attack. The story reported that one American contractor was killed and one South Korean soldier were killed as well as the 21 Afghan troops. The story reported that Cheney was a target and that he was moved for safety reasons but continued his trip as planned. I think the biggest issue with presenting this story is decoding the chronology and synthesizing the information so that the average reader can understand what happened. The story began early with a brief chronology of events leading up to the attack.
About two hours after the blast, Cheney left on a military flight for Kabul to meet with President Hamid Karzai and other officials, then left Afghanistan.
The vice president had spent the night at the sprawling Bagram Air Base, ate breakfast with the troops, and met with Maj. Gen. David Rodriguez, the commander of U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
He was preparing to leave for a meeting with Karzai when the suicide bomber struck about 10 a.m., sending up a plume of smoke visible by reporters accompanying him. U.S. military officials declared a "red alert'' at the base.
The chronology was placed rather early in the story and this was interesting but I felt that knowing the chronology of events was nice.
An article about the attack also ran in the New York Times, written by Abdul Waheed Wafa and Carlotta Gall. This story handled the attack in a much more in-depth manner. This story reported a discrepancy in the coordination of security forces even while Cheney was present. This discrepancy and lack of communication between the security personnel could have provided a major security breach.
â€śThere has been recent intelligence to suggest that there was the threat of a bombing in the Bagram area,â€? the spokesman, Col. Tom Collins, said at a news briefing in Kabul.
â€śIt is clear there are suicide bombers cells operating in this country,â€? he said. â€śThere are some operating in the city of Kabul, and as our intelligence suggests, they had the capability in the Bagram area.â€?
Yet the Afghan police chief for the Bagram district, Muhammad Salem Ehsas, said Wednesday that he had been unaware of any threat of a suicide bombing in the area. His remarks suggested a lack of coordination among security forces, even at a time when Mr. Cheney was present and security concerns would presumably be heightened.
This discrepancy got raised within the first three graphs of the story and was essentially one of the main points. The NY Times version continued much more in depth and provided much more significant and meaningful quotes.
After reading both of these stories it is evident that the NY Times version was much more comprehensive in its coverage and was, for me, much more satisfying to read. I thought that while the Tang version was acceptable, the NY Times version went above and beyond in the coverage and provided me with much more information than the Tang version. I felt that the NY Times version told me a very important issue in the attack in the first three graphs which was that there was a major security compromise.