Liz Cheney blasts NYT for publishing op-ed by Taliban leader

Liz Cheney blasts NYT for publishing op-ed by Taliban leader
© Getty Images

Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneySelf-quarantined New York lawmaker: 'We should be in total lockdown' On The Money: Trump hopes to reopen economy by Easter | GOP senators expect stimulus vote on Wednesday | Democratic leaders forecast at least two more relief bills Trump triggers congressional debate with comments on reopening economy MORE (Wyo.), the No. 3 Republican in the House, slammed The New York Times for publishing an op-ed by Sirajuddin Haqqani, a deputy leader of the Taliban, arguing it was inappropriate to give the terrorist organization a platform.  

The Times published a piece by Haqqani on Thursday titled “What We, the Taliban, Want” in which the leader hails the organization's ongoing peace talks with the United States.

Cheney took to social media to condemn the paper’s decision to publish the piece, questioning whether Haqqani was compensated for the piece while bringing up the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against the United States carried out by al Qaeda, which was provided safe haven in Afghanistan by the Taliban.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I have some questions for @nytimes since they decided to give the Taliban a forum to spew garbage, like, 'We did not choose our war...We were forced to defend ourselves.' 1. Remember 9/11?  2. The author is a designated global terrorist. Did you pay him for this piece?,” she tweeted on Thursday. 

Mujib Mashal, The New York Times senior correspondent in Afghanistan, cast doubts on Haqqani's portrayal of himself and his organization.

“The piece by Siraj Haqqani in @nytopinion - which's independent of our news operations & judgment - omits the most fundamental fact: that Siraj is no Taliban peace-maker as he paints himself, that he's behind some of most ruthless attacks of this war with many civilian lives lost,” he tweeted.

Mashal also posted links to articles by the Times on Haqqani.

"I know people have strong views on this. Sorry, I can't answer. But, as the bottom of the piece says, our Opinion editors appreciate hearing from, and are 'committed to publishing a diversity of letters'. So feel free to write to them,” Mashal also tweeted. 

The New York Times defended its decision to publish the op-ed from Haqqani.

ADVERTISEMENT

"We know firsthand how dangerous and destructive the Taliban is," said Eileen Murphy, senior vice president of communications at the publication, in an emailed statement.

"But, our mission at Times Opinion is to tackle big ideas from a range of newsworthy viewpoints. We’ve actively solicited voices from all sides of the Afghanistan conflict, the government, the Taliban and from citizens," Murphy added.

"Sirajuddin Haqqani is one of the negotiators hammering out an agreement with American officials in Doha that could result in American troops leaving Afghanistan. That makes his perspective relevant at this particular moment," she also said.

-- Updated at 4:24 p.m.