Eric P. Schmitt

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Eric P. Schmitt (born 1959) is a Pulitzer Prize–winning American journalist who writes for The New York Times . [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [ excessive citations ] He has twice shared a Pulitzer Prize, [1] in 2009, with some of his New York Times colleagues for international reporting.[ year needed ]



Schmitt was born November 2, 1959, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and raised in the Bay Area. His B.A., in political science and third world development, was awarded by Williams College in 1982. [8]

He worked reporting on education at the Tri-City Herald of Kennewick, Washington, for a year. [8]

In 1983 he became an employee of The New York Times, and has been there ever since. For his first year, his position was the clerk of James Reston, the senior columnist. He covered a variety of areas from 1984 to 1990, including an investigation of HUD affairs in Puerto Rico in the spring of 1990. [8]

In 1990 he took the title of Pentagon Correspondent, which led him to cover stories such as the Gulf War in early 1991, Somalia in December 1992, and Haiti in September 1994. [8]

In 1996 he became a domestic correspondent covering the United States Congress and immigration. [8]

Upon the September 11 attacks in 2001, he returned to covering the Pentagon, focusing on U.S. national security. As of 2010 his assignment is the war on terrorism. [8]

Major reporting

Schmitt is notable for breaking the story that the Obama administration was planning to reverse the Bush policy of holding captives in extrajudicial detention in American internment facilities in Afghanistan, without allowing them to learn why they were being held. [9] On September 12, 2009, Schmitt, quoting officials who did not want to go on the record by name, that Bagram captives would be allowed to request to review and challenge the allegations that lead to their detention.

In 2004 Schmitt reported that on the fears of rape held by female GIs in Iraq at the hands of their fellow GIs. [10] [11] Schmitt was interviewed by National Public Radio on the DoD's response to the GI's fears.

Schmitt was one of the New York Times journalists who played a key role in reporting the homicide of several Afghan captives in U.S. custody at the Bagram Air Base internment facility in 2003 and 2004. [12] [13]

In 2006 Schmitt and a colleague reported on bribery concerns that involved Major Gloria Davis, an officer in the United States Army who was found dead from a gunshot wound shortly thereafter. [14]

In 2011, he published a book, Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America's Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda with Thom Shanker, his colleague at the New York Times. His book provides a more in-depth view of the war on terror and what U.S. intelligence agencies know about al-Qaeda's inner workings in a narrative journalism format. [15]

Related Research Articles

Sayed Nabi Siddiqui is an Afghan police officer who alleges that in August 2003 he was stripped naked by U.S.-led coalition forces, and beaten and photographed at the U.S. base in Gardez. Siddiqui also alleged he was subjected to sexual abuse, taunting and sleep deprivation. On May 12, 2004, the U.S. military announced it had opened an investigation into the allegations.

Mullah Habibullah was an Afghan who died while in US custody on December 4, 2002. His death was one of those classed as a homicide, though the initial military statement described his death as due to natural causes.

Bagram torture and prisoner abuse

In 2005, The New York Times obtained a 2,000-page United States Army investigatory report concerning the homicides of two unarmed civilian Afghan prisoners by U.S. military personnel in December 2002 at the Bagram Theater Internment Facility in Bagram, Afghanistan and general treatment of prisoners. The two prisoners, Habibullah and Dilawar, were repeatedly chained to the ceiling and beaten, resulting in their deaths. Military coroners ruled that both the prisoners' deaths were homicides. Autopsies revealed severe trauma to both prisoners' legs, describing the trauma as comparable to being run over by a bus. Seven soldiers were charged in 2005.

Dilawar (torture victim) Afghan torture victim

Dilawar, also known as Dilawar of Yakubi, was an Afghan taxi driver who was tortured to death by US army soldiers at the Bagram Collection Point, a US military detention center in Afghanistan.

Hajji Sahib Rohullah Wakil is a citizen of Afghanistan who was held in extrajudicial detention in the United States Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba. His Guantanamo Internment Serial Number was 798. American intelligence analysts estimate he was born in 1962, in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. He has since been transferred from Guantanamo Bay to the American wing of the Pol-e-Charkhi prison in Kabul, Afghanistan. On November 18, 2019 the U.S. Department of the Treasury designated him for supporting activities of the ISIS branch in Afghanistan.

Ahmed Muhammed Haza al-Darbi is a citizen of Saudi Arabia who was held in the United States Guantanamo Bay detainment camps, in Cuba from August 2002 to May 2018; in May 2018, he was transferred to Saudi Arabia's custody. He was the only terrorist held at Guantanamo released during President Donald Trump's administration. Al-Darbi was born on January 9, 1975, in Ta'if, Saudi Arabia. He was arrested in Azerbaijan in June 2002, renditioned by United States forces to Afghanistan, where he was held at Bagram Air Force Base, and then transferred to Guantanamo in August that year.

Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan Member of al-Qaeda

Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan was the leader of al-Qaeda in Somalia. He was listed on the FBI's third major "wanted" list, the FBI Seeking Information - War on Terrorism list, for his association with multiple attacks in Kenya in 2002, as well as his possible involvement in the 1998 United States embassy bombings, in which over 250 people lost their lives.

American counter-terrorism analysts justified the continued extrajudicial detention of many Guantanamo captives because they were suspected of staying in al-Qaeda safe houses, or guest houses—or because names matching theirs, or their "known alias" were found in the suspect houses.

Sirajuddin Haqqani

Sirajuddin Haqqani is a military leader hailing from Afghanistan, who, as deputy leader of the Taliban, had previously overseen armed combat against American and coalition forces, reportedly from a base within North Waziristan in Pakistan. Sirajuddin Haqqani is the leader of the Haqqani network, a sub-set of the Taliban organisation, and scion of the Haqqani clan. Haqqani is currently deputy leader under the Taliban supreme commander, Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada. However, it was later acknowledged on 7 May 2020 that late Taliban founder Mohammad Omar's son Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob had become head of the Taliban military commission, thus making him the insurgents' new military chief.

Carlotta Gall British journalist and author

Carlotta Gall is a British journalist and author. She covered Afghanistan and Pakistan for The New York Times for twelve years. She is currently the Istanbul bureau chief for The New York Times covering Turkey.

Stephen Farrell (journalist)

Stephen Farrell is a journalist who works for Reuters news agency. He holds both Irish and British citizenship. Farrell worked for The Times from 1995 to 2007, reporting from Kosovo, India, Afghanistan and the Middle East, including Iraq. In 2007, he joined The New York Times, and reported from the Middle East, Afghanistan and Libya, later moving to New York and London. Since January 2018, Farrell has been based in Jerusalem as the bureau chief of Reuters.

The Parwan Detention Facility is Afghanistan's main military prison. Situated next to the Bagram Air Base in the Parwan Province of Afghanistan, the prison was built by the U.S. during the G.W. Bush administration. The Parwan Detention Facility, which houses foreign and local combatants (terrorists), has been maintained by the Afghan National Army.

Lists of former Guantanamo Bay detainees alleged to have returned to terrorism

Some former detainees who were held by the US at Guantanamo Bay detention camp have engaged in terrorism or militant activity since their release.

Jawed Ahmad (Jojo) was an Afghan reporter working for Canadian media outlet CTV who was arrested by American troops and declared an enemy combatant, while working with NATO at Kandahar Airport on October 26, 2007.

2003 Lejay firefight

A skirmish occurred on the morning of February 10, 2003 outside Lejay, a small village in the northern, mountainous part of Helmand Province, Afghanistan. The village is in the Baghran valley, and one of the few highways in Afghanistan passes through it. American intelligence analysts assert that the village is the focus of the Opium Trade.

Tina Monshipour Foster

Tina Monshipour Foster is an Iranian-American lawyer and director of the International Justice Network.

Parkhudin is a citizen of Afghanistan who was held in extrajudicial detention in the Bagram Collection Point and in the United States Guantanamo Bay detainment camps in Cuba. His Guantanamo Internment Serial Number was 896.

Muhammad Jafar Jamal al-Kahtani

Muhammad Jafar Jamal al-Kahtani is a citizen of Saudi Arabia who was a captive held in extrajudicial detention in the United States' Bagram Theater Internment Facility. He has been described as one of the four men responsible for an escape from Bagram, on July 11, 2005. According to Eric Schmitt and Tim Golden of the New York Times, US officials didn't first identify him and Omar al Farouq under their real names, when they first escaped.

The black jail is a U.S. military detention camp established in 2002 inside Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan. Distinct from the main prison of the Bagram Internment Facility, the "Black Jail" is run by the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency and U.S. Special Operations Forces. There are numerous allegations of abuse associated with the prison, including beatings, sleep deprivation and forcing inmates into stress positions. U.S. authorities refuse to acknowledge the prison's existence. The facility consists of individual windowless concrete cells, each illuminated by a single light bulb glowing 24 hours a day. Its existence was first reported by journalist Anand Gopal and confirmed by many subsequent investigations.

On January 16, 2010, the United States Department of Defense complied with a court order and made public a heavily redacted list of the detainees held in the Bagram Theater Internment Facility. Detainees started to be held in primitive, temporary quarters, in what was originally called the Bagram Collection Point, from late 2001. Detainees were later moved to an indoor detention center until late 2009, when newly constructed facilities were opened.


  1. 1 2 "The New Information Networks: Challenges and Opportunities for Business, Governments, and Media". Salzburg Global Seminar. 2007-03-13. Retrieved 2009-09-13.[ permanent dead link ]
  2. Dorian de Wind (2009-09-08). "Afghanistan: So Few Options, So Many Risks". The Moderate Voice. Archived from the original on 2009-09-13. Not so, in my opinion, a news analysis in the New York Times this morning by Eric Schmitt and Scott Shane, neither a slouch when it comes to national security issues...
  3. "FO denies alteration allegations". [Pakistani] Daily Times. 2009-08-31. Retrieved 2009-09-13. Pakistan on Sunday 'categorically rejected' accusations levelled against it in an article printed in The New York Times, saying the army had not illegally modified any US-made missiles to increase its land-strike capability. 'No modification has been made to the missiles under reference,' the FO spokesman responded to a question regarding the article, 'US says Pakistan made changes to missiles sold for defence', written by Eric Schmitt and David Sanger. [Commonwealth spelling sic on Daily Times website, tho the headline they cite has the American spelling 'defense' (and has most words capitalized)]
  4. "The FBI Gone Amok". The American Prospect. August 2009. Archived from the original on 2009-09-13. As Eric Schmitt reports in today’s New York Times, FBI agents have been rushing after thousands of terrorism leads, ranging from a missing 55-gallon drum of radioactive material (it was later found on a loading dock) to threats to shopping malls.
  5. Todd Zwillich, Lynn Sherr (2009-09-08). "Afghanistan: A Reporter Freed, An Election in Question". The Takeaway. Archived from the original on 2009-09-13. A raid by commandoes in Afghanistan has freed captured New York Times reporter Stephen Farrell. As is standard practice, the Times did not announce that the reporter had been kidnapped until after his release. Eric Schmitt, terrorism correspondent for the Times, gives us the details of the rescue as well as the back story.
  6. Melissa Block (2008-10-09). "Report: Taliban Gaining Strength In Afghanistan". National Public Radio. Archived from the original on 2009-09-13. Retrieved 2009-08-02. 'For the first time in many years, the intelligence agencies of the U.S. government have come together and have said in the most comprehensive way that the U.S. and allies and Afghan government are in danger of "losing" Afghanistan, essentially,' says Eric Schmitt, who covers terrorism and national security for the Times.
  7. "The Iraq Wars". PBS Newshour. 2003-10-09. Archived from the original on 2009-09-13.
  8. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Eric Schmitt", The New York Times site.
  9. Eric Schmitt (2009-09-12). "U.S. to Expand Review of Detainees in Afghan Prison". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2009-09-13.
  10. Eric Schmitt (2004-02-26). "Military women reporting rapes by U.S. soldiers". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2009-09-13.
  11. "Interview: Eric Schmitt discusses the armed services\' response to recent allegations of sexual assault on US servicewomen". National Public Radio. 2004-02-26. Archived from the original on 2009-09-13.
  12. Carlotta Gall, David Rohde, Eric Schmitt (2004-09-17). "THE REACH OF WAR: THE PRISONS; Afghan Abuse Charges Raise New Questions on Authority". The New York Times . Archived from the original on 2010-11-06. Retrieved 2007-09-21.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  13. Carlotta Gall; David Rohde; Eric Schmitt (March 3, 2003). "Threats and Responses: Prisoners; U.S. Military Investigating Death of Afghan in Custody". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-02-09.
  14. Eric Schmitt; James Glanz (2007-08-01). "U.S. Says Company Bribed Officers for Work in Iraq". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2009-09-13.
  15. Byman, Daniel (2011-09-04). "'Counterstrike,' by Eric Schmitt and Thom Shanker — Review". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 2018-04-28.