MEDIA

New York Times "Paid Millions" To Release David Rohde From Taliban: Reporter

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

War correspondent Michael Yon, currently in Afghanistan, reports on his Twitter that, according to his sources, the New York Times and its associates paid millions of dollars to secure the release of reporter David Rohde from Taliban capture.

# Kept it all quiet for NYT. Now why are the NYT endangering British hostages in Somalia? NYT needs to shut up. They are endangering British.3:59 AM Nov 1st from web

#I have been told by very close sources that ex-CIA officers helped pay off release for Rohde. I knew this while it was ongoing.3:56 AM Nov 1st from web

#NYT is endangering the hostages in Somalia.3:54 AM Nov 1st from web

#Am told by good sources Rohde is good guy, but still NYT cannot ask for discretion when they don't use it.3:53 AM Nov 1st from web

# Numerous very well placed sources have told me New York Times/associates paid millions to get Rohde release.3:52 AM Nov 1st from web

#New York Times cannot expect quiet about David Rohde when they blab all: http://www.nytimes.com/2009... 3:51 AM Nov 1st from web

It was reported in June that Rohde had "escaped" from the Taliban after seven months in captivity.

Yon is a former Green Beret who has been reporting from Iraq and Afghanistan since 2004. His website describes him as "the premier independent combat journalist of his generation" and his work has appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America," in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, and on CNN, ABC, and FOX.

In June, ABC News reported that the Taliban had initially requested $25 million for Rohde's release, but NYT executive editor Bill Keller told ABC's "This Week" that "no ransom was paid."

According to the ABC report, there was a discussion at the time on whether to pay a ransom for Rohde:

People familiar with the case say there were heated and contentious debates in The New York Times executive offices on the issue, with some of Rohde's colleagues arguing no ransom should be paid for fear it could set a precedent.

"They didn't want to turn every New York Times reporter into an ATM machine for terrorists," said one of the people who was apprised of the discussions.

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