Reporters on the Job
• Unwilling to be Collateral Damage: Correspondent Joshua Mitnick thought twice before he went out to cover the release of Hamas militant leader Sheikh Hassan Youssef as he was released from an Israeli jail (page 4).
"The last two Hamas leaders I interviewed have since been assassinated by Israeli forces. I once interviewed Abdel Azziz Rantisi, and the following day Israel made an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate him," says Josh. "That was a little close for comfort." Rantisi was later killed.
But Josh figured that there was a reasonable window of safety when he attended Youssef's press conference "during the couple of hours after he was released from prison," he says. "It was probably OK to be in proximity to him."
• To Shower, or Not to Shower: Marines in Fallujah are beginning to cycle back to the rear, at Camp Fallujah, for a day of rest, to call home, to take a hot shower, and eat real food in the dining hall, says staff writer Scott Peterson, who's embedded with a Marine unit (this page). "After two weeks without such amenities, some marines have been looking forward to a day back. But others aren't so sure they want the break," says Scott.
"When they are on this front-line, and alert to all the dangers here, the marines are locked into a certain mind-set," he says "Some want to stay at the front until their time here completely ends. Others just want to keep their focus on the fight - and on being close to their buddies. Many say they couldn't bear it if something happened to the unit, and they were not there. One told me: 'I'm so dirty now, it's better just to stay dirty, until it's over."
David Clark Scott