Death of Linda Norgrove 68

There is no cause to doubt that the US killed Linda Norgrove accidentally. My sorrow for her and her family is the same as that I feel for the thousands of entirely innocent Afghan and Pakistani civilians killed in US airstrikes.

Nor do I diminsih the responsibility of her captors. But nonetheless, the most worrying point of thw whole incident is the lie propagated by NATO that she was killed by a suicide vest wearing captor.

The suicide vest is of course a potent symbol of Islamic fundamentalist violence, and by invoking it NATO were not only lying about who killed Norgrove, they were reinforcing the image of her captors as religious fanatics, as opposed to local tribesmen.

Most of the Afghan resistance consists of locals motivated by ethnic and cultural factors defending their own soil. The characterisation of them all as Taliban is a bit of propaganda bought wholesale by the media. These may have been local partisans, or just ransom seekers. They may have been hiding a motivation behind a religious facade. There is no evidence I am aware of that the hostage takers wished to die themselves. That is why the “Linda Norgrove killed by suicide vest” lie is key.

So it is very important that an inquiry establishes not just the truth about who killed Linda Norgrove, but whether there was a suicide vest at all anywhere in the incident. Fabric is seldom destroyed by explosion, rather shredded and partially burnt. If the suicide vest is a complete invention, that would be an outrageous lie by NATO.

68 thoughts on “Death of Linda Norgrove

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  • Frazer


    Maybe you have more info than me, but who or what reports have you read to confirm it was a SEAL Team ?

    As to the Brit aspect that the SAS could have done the job better, well I have met many ex DELTA ans SEALS in my time over in Iraq and they do not rate the SAS too highly. The SAS hostage rescue scenario was built on the Iranian Embassy assault in the 80’s, and the myth of them as elite hostage rescue has been splashed by the media ever since.

    I think the ‘jittery hotspurs’ or ‘gung ho soldiers’ may be unfair to the troops selected to perform this operation. I think that the people whom she was working for are more culpable in her death for sending her into the area in the first place, clearly knowing that this was a ‘red zone’ and that any expat is a target for kidnapp and ransom. Personally, having spent 2 years in Afghanistan, I would have gone nowhere near that area without at least 3 Apache helis overhead and me cowering inside a fully armoured vehicle!

    Secondly, humanitarian aid workers are often accused by various Govt’s of’reporting back to home base’

    NOT TRUE. We are neutral and are there to address the needs of the people in conflict situations and are not affiliated to anyone. In fact we try to distance ourselves from this type of thing and are smart enough to realise when we are grilled in a bar by ‘Americans or Brits with nice haircuts and and who want to be your friend’ Craig probably knows a lot more about this than me as he was FCO.

    Anyway, this post may cause lots of posts in defiance etc so I have one more point to asy..Ingi=o..nice fireplace mate !

  • Jon

    Hi all

    Haven’t posted in a while, got used to the blog having gone dark. Plenty of threads for me to catch up on! No major input this time – other than to say welcome back to Craig, and hello to all regular civil contributors here.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Jon, you were very much missed! Hello again. Frazer, thanks for the very useful and pertinent info. from someone who’s been on the ground in a number of conflict-zones.

    I think it is assumed erroneously by some that ‘Western aid-worker/ researcher/whatever = spy’, though I think that occasionally, spies do manage to infiltrate aid agencies and work undercover using one of their multiple possible passports, which then has the effect of giving everyone a bad name and putting lives at risk. This is something that is never considered, it seems; there was lot of furore over Wikileaks but none over the systemic impact of spooks in civil life.

    Mostly, though, except with the most extreme groups who just want to set up video snuff movies, it seems kidnappings of aid workers in areas of unrest/war occur in order to frighten aid agencies away and allow alternative groups to monopolise provision, or else to seek ransom money or a ‘prisoner exchange’. Or maybe all three. What’s your experience of this plexus? Give us the low-down. Thanks.

  • ingo

    Welcome back Jon, we did miss you. Thanks also to Frazer for putting me in my place.

    I’m longing to get an opportunity to go to Afghanistan in a humanitarian capacity of sorts, after having studied the area and the wars in and around it for some time. I do understand the tense and immediate danger of such a situation and the need to have a clear focus on plan A, as well as B, just in case.

    I bow to your superior experience,Frazer.

    Thanks somebody for draging up the info on the SEAL teams endeavours.

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    Whether or not British SAS could have achieved a successful rescue at dawn on 8th Oct. 2010 is of course debatable even without a suitable British helicopter that could operate at high altitude (helicopter shortage – again!), I believe as an ex serviceman the SAS/SBS could and should have been consulted.

    The Guardian reported, ‘The immediate assumption was that the blast had come from a suicide bomb, as it is not unusual for insurgents to slip into suicide vests if there is a risk of attack.’

    This so called ‘assumption’ was reported in the Guardian on Saturday 9 October 2010 at 12.24 BST as, ‘a kidnapped British aid worker in Afghanistan has been murdered by her captors during an attempted rescue by Nato troops.’

    William Hague said,”It is with deep sadness that I must confirm that Linda Norgrove, the British aid worker who had been held hostage in eastern Afghanistan since 26 September, was killed at the hands of her captors in the course of a rescue attempt last night.

    I believe from my information Hague and our government knew FROM THE BEGINNING that a grenade had been thrown before Team Six opened fire on Linda’s captors. The Special forces team could not CONTAIN the information because the operation was observed by Afghani informers who had infiltrated the compound.

    A corruption of my information was reported by Sky on Sunday 10th October.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Yeah, of course the Govt lied. It is normal. Everything that issues from their mouths is a lie. They do not possess the facility to tell the truth. For them, truth is just another form for a lie to assume whenever it is convenient. The politicians are front-men for the City, which itself is the engine of a largely privatised war economy.

    Interesting info. about DAI, Linda Norgrove’s employer.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Why is no-one in the MSM asking these questions? I found ’em in five minutes. It’s open-source info., unlike, say anything whatsoever to do with Hakluyt which has only a portcullis on their website, but which really ought to say:

    ‘We kill. We kill and kill. We kill and kill and kill’.

    Q1: Why is a development charity apparently possibly getting funding (or ‘doing business with’, ‘being sponsored by’) from Monsanto/ Exxon Mobil. This is a little like getting funding/ doing business with/ being sponsored by from the United Fruit Company is 1980s Central America, is it not?

    Q2: What precisely are the links?

    Q3: With such an illustrious set of execs., what have they actually done in their pasts and what really are they now up to?

    Q4: Whose interests might they be serving?

    Q5: Will anyone from our dear MSM contact them to ask these simple Qs?

    There’s a gauntlet, and I’ve just cast it down.

  • CheebaCow

    Wooo! Craig is back and making a flurry of posts.

    It’s my understanding that before the US invasion of Afghanistan aid was generally offered impartially and to where it was most needed. This policy resulted in all the factions respecting the role of aid workers and there was no problem with foreign or local aid workers being killed. Since the US decided to invade, the general policy towards aid was altered and aid became a reward for those who were politically compliant to US interests. The obvious result is that aid workers are now seen as partisan actors and targeted by those resisting the US presence.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Hi there, CheebaCow! How are you?

    That’s very interesting, about aid organisations, etc.

    Amusing that at the mention of two corporate giants, even the shoe company spambots – see just above your post – seem to have become politically energised (!): “These boots are made for walkin’…”, perhaps?!

  • CheebaCow

    Hey Suhayl,

    I’m good, it’s rainy season where I am, so can’t do too much but surf the web and catch up on some mindless TV. Luckily the power has been stable. I hope you’re doing well.

    I see you have been excited by Craig’s reappearance also, at first I thought Tony had stolen your nickname 😉 BTW I kept reading your links as The Asian Dub Foundation (

    Yeah I got a laugh from the political spam bots too.

    dreoilin –

    Good to see you back on the forum. Glad the trolls didn’t scare you away for good =)

    All –

    Anyone else having issues with the site timing out?

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Thanks, Mark, CheebaCow. Monsoon rains…

    Yeah, it’s partly that one can post only one link with each post, so instead of doing all the surfing and then posting all the links with a kind of mini-essay, it’s simpler to run it as a vertical narrative thread, with one post per link, as one searches, so people can follow the dynamic of one’s enquiries and ponderings ‘live’, as it were, as well as one’s reasoning – or at least one’s surfing!

    I reckon that, without pursuing any kind of witch-hunt, if one blogger took one of the people on the charity’s board/staff, etc. and ran some deep web searches on them, we could then pool the information derived thereof – and see what comes up. It would be useful, too, if there were someone who knew a lot about this whole field. Of course, ‘had connections with’/ ‘worked with’ does not mean ‘worked for’, any more than if someone worked with their local authority on something and then were accused of ‘working for the government’. Obviously, aid agencies have to work with all kinds of govts and many other bodies. But if there are systemic (eg. funding) connections with corporate entities and/or govt agencies whose remit does not seem contiguous with – indeed, may well be antithetical to – the interests of ordinary Afghan (or whatever) people, then there may be a journalistic ‘case’ to be explored.

    A little akin, perhaps, to the tobacco industry and the organisations they set-up to obscure and re-direct the debate.

  • MJ

    “it’s partly that one can post only one link with each post”

    I think it’s two. You can post more than this however by missing out the ‘http://www.’ bit.

  • CheebaCow

    I believe you can post as many links as you want in a single message if you just leave out the ‘http://’ part, eg all your links are simply ‘’.

    Anyway, apparently DAI was acting as a sub-contractor for USAid in this particular instance. The fact that USAid was involved ties back nicely with my first post in this thread. USAid has often been criticised for the politicisation of aid.

    Suhayl inspired me to do a little searching on the companies listed as sponsors of DAI. I was shocked how many of them are mining/oil groups. Exxon Mobil was mentioned already, but there is also BHP Billiton, Chevron, EG LNG, Marathon Oil and Newmont Mining Corporation. Strangely 2 of the listed sponsors are 2 of Americas largest credit agencies. The rest are virtually all banks or quasi govt organisations and a smattering of ‘normal’ companies. If I were looking to work for an NGO, I would give DAI a very wide berth based on who funds them.

    My sense of humour can be very dark at times and as such I couldn’t resist looking at the ‘Careers at DAI’ section. The top and most recent job ‘opportunity’ is the following:

    Title: Afghanistan ACE: PNew Products – Debit/POS Advisor (Agriculture based)

    Location: Kabul, Afghanistan

    Date Posted: 10/14/2010

    I can’t imagine there are too many people jumping at the opportunity.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    CheebaCow, that’s sterling work!! D’you think this is Linda Norgrove’s now-vacant post, or some other? In any case, yes, one wonders who’d apply. I like your dark sense of humour – one needs such humour in such times.

  • CheebaCow

    I definitely meant to imply that the listing was for Linda Norgrove’s post, but honestly I can’t say either way. According to NPR her most recent job was in agricultural development and the job listing is also for work in the agricultural field, but that it hardly 100% confirmation. Truthiness says it’s the same job but my gut says it’s for a different job.

  • anno

    Fog of war has created millions of war crimes openly committed in Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka etc in recent years, with no attempt by out-of-control military and mercenary alike to hide their criminal assaults on men and women civilians.

    Fog of war is the core reason why we always demonstrate against these wars. What happened to the fog of mob rule that used to scare our leaders into a little self-restraint?

    How come Shell plc is opening new oil and gas fields in Kyrgistan before the smoke of ethnic cleansing has even had time to settle down?

    The message the aggressors are giving to the world’s media to pass on to us fools is that these war zones are far too dangerous for you or me to volunteer as witnesses.

    But it doesn’t stop the bastard oil executives and their employees from going there. That’s evidence enough for me that Linda Norgrove’s death was deliberate. There’s no evidence that it wasn’t. The less witnesses to the massacres that are about to unfold, the better, so far as genocidal superpowers

    are concerned.

  • dreoilin

    Hi CheebaCow!

    How’s life treating you?

    Here’s something interesting I found yesterday:

    “A report by Jeremy Scahill in The Nation (Blackwater’s Black Ops, 9/15/2010) revealed that the largest mercenary army in the world, Blackwater (now called Xe Services) clandestine intelligence services was sold to the multinational Monsanto …”

    And further down:

    “Almost simultaneously with the publication of this article in The Nation, the Via Campesina reported the purchase of 500,000 shares of Monsanto, for more than $23 million by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which with this action completed the outing of the mask of “philanthropy …”

    Here’s the whole thing

  • dreoilin

    It’s sounding like an incestuous pile of evil. And Bill Gates somewhere in the middle of it.

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