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AfghanWarlord Threatens Boston-Area Experts on Afghanistan with Legal Action

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Gulbuddin Hekmatyar is not just any old Afghan warlord. During the Afghan civil war his men shelled the capital city of
Kabul indiscriminately, killing tens of thousands of civilians. Today he fights alongside the Taliban,but the Karzai government, with some encouragement from the American administration, is sending out peace feelers. Last year the London Times reported that a representative of Richard Holbrooke, President Obama's regional envoy, had met with Hekmatyar's representative, Daoud Abedi, who is an Afghan-American businessman to discuss a peace deal.

Now, that same Hekmayar's representative has sent an email threatening legal action to Winchester, Massachusetts-based couple Elizabeth Gould and Paul Fitzgerald, the husband-and-wife authors of a well-regarded book, Invisible History:
Afghanistan's Untold Story.

Mr. Abedi's boss, Hekmatyar, is listed as a "Global Terrorist" by the U.S. State Department, and is reported to have a $25 million price on his head. He survived a U.S. Predator drone strike in 2003. His militias stand accused of some of the worst of the widespread murders, kidnappings, and rapes that took place during the chaos of the civil war. Among his methods were throwing acid in women's faces for not covering up properly and skinning prisoners alive. But that didn't stop him from issuing a threat of legal action againstjournalists for expressing well-documented views about Hekmatyar.

The authors contended in a blog posted last January 25 th, In Afghanistan: Embracing Gulbuddin Hekmatyar Is No Method At All,that Hekmatyar should not be allowed into the Afghan government as a reward for laying down arms. Turning warlords like Hekmatyar to the good has consistently proven to be nothing but bad for the Afghan people.

AbediemailedGould and Fitzgerald, warningthat if Hekmatyar's party, the Hesb-i-Islami ever comes to power, "I promise you, [we] will call on all these so called experts, and knowledgeable sources to come up and clean what they have written, prove it or apologize to the Afghan and international communities for misleading them, or we will not allow their feet in Afghan soil."

Paul Fitzgeraldquestions the logic of this administration. "How is it possible that the Obama administration can allow the representative of a world-class terroristto threaten an American journalist in
America with impunity? This illustrates the contempt this warlord has for America'sdemocratic process. He's trying to do here what he has always done in Afghanistan: intimidate anyone he sees as interfering with his rise to power. This is exactly why he shouldn't be allowed in the Afghangovernment as part of a deal for peace.Part of a peace processmeans talking to your enemies, butGulbuddin Hekmatyaris not interested in peace. He is only interested in taking control of Afghanistan and punishing his enemies. The mention of his name still sends shivers down the spines of many Westerners andAfghans alike."

Gould and Fitzgerald have covered
Afghanistan extensively for overthirty years, and were the first American journalistsallowed into the country after the Soviet invasion of 1979.


Victor Gulotta Gulotta Communicatons, Inc.341 Lexington Street

Tel.: 617-630-9286 Fax: 617-630-1695

Background Sources, History, and Documentation Links

--4/5/10 Gould and Fitzgerald's Huffingtonpost blog describing theexperience with Hekmatyar's representative: "Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, theMessiah of Darkness"

--Gould and Fitzgerald book, "Invisible History, Afghanistan's UntoldStory,"

book website: publisher's website:

--UK Telegraph, "US 'holds direct talks' with Afghanistan insurgents"(Holbrooke deputy meeting with Daud Abedi)

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Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould are the authors of Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story and Crossing Zero The AfPak War at the Turning Point of American Empire and The Voice,a novel. Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, a husband (more...)

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