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Good Reads: An Afghan periled, a Pakistani reporter killed, and journalism after 9/11

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"I know the details of his family's life intimately – the Friday visits to the mosque to maintain appearances, although most of the brothers are not particularly religious; the ceremonial holiday sacrifices of a goat, which then is divided between poorer neighbors; the marital arguments; the after-dinner dancing. At a certain point I stopped being a guest and became a member of the household, someone who is invited to help prepare savory bolani pancakes for the family of 30, who is allowed to do the dishes after dinner. B. and his brothers call me khuhar: sister. His mother calls me Anna diwana, dokhtar-e-man: crazy Anna, my daughter. When I last said good-bye to them, two weeks ago, they joked that they would leave the dishes in the sink until I return."

It’s staggering to think that America has been at war, continually, for a decade. It’s a given that there are risks involved in covering those wars, something that war correspondents like the Monitor's Scott Peterson know all too well. (See Scott's story yesterday on how divisions among Libyan rebels are growing.) But what is different about the past decade is the way in which governments have used the rhetoric of national security to clamp down on the press.

In Pakistan, Syed Saleem Shahzad was well known for his scoops, and his ability to make and keep contacts with Islamic insurgents and with Pakistani security officials alike. It was a murky world he lived in, one that took courage and one that required great risks. And then, on May 30, Mr. Shazad was found dead, his body submerged in a canal outside of Islamabad. Friends immediately blamed Pakistan’s shadowy military intelligence service, the Inter-Services Intelligence directorate (ISI).

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