March 16, 2005
I saw the passengers getting off the plane from Baghdad, the one that we were about to get on. They walked by behind a glass wall; one guy had his head, eye, arm and leg bandaged. He must have gotten blown up.
The passengers were mainly freelance security guys, journalists and Iraqis on a shopping tour in Jordan. Two security guys sat behind me on the plane and swapped stories about who had gotten shot. I put on my headphones. Whenever I took them off they were still at it. I overheard words like "nerve damage."
Their translator sat next to me. His right arm twitched and his right leg kept tapping. I figured he wanted a cigarette.
Typical corkscrew into Baghdad. The wing to my right lifted up and I felt myself sink into the seat. It seemed such a nice sunny morning, not possible for anyone to try and shoot at us. I looked out at the brown dirt fields, waiting for the flash of an RPG, but nothing happened.
They did not let us off the plane right away. I took off my headphones. Someone said there was mortar fire, and that's why they were keeping us in. After a few minutes they let us out.
There had been a car bomb on the airport road earlier that morning, killing
four. I put on my vest and helmet, then smacked the helmet with both palms
of my hands, like a football helmet. Smack.
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Thank you for the work you are doing. Please, please replay the whole series. This is so important.
— Brian (Geneva, IL)
Dear Steve Harrigan,
I have been watching your stories all week. I wondered when a news organization was going to do the right thing and expose the incredible cruelty and injustice being carried out in the name of peace in Congo. I am so thankful that you and FOX News have spoken out against this outrage by the UN "peacekeepers." I hope and I pray that people everywhere will cry out against this tragedy and demand that it come to an end. May God bless you as you continue to speak out. Please do not let this story get lost somewhere!
— Lorraine (MI)
Why is it that when money gets stolen, or a celebrity supposedly rapes a child, or even Martha Stewart gets out of jail we have hours of endless media coverage? When hundreds or even more children in Africa get abused, tortured, raped, killed, and all the rest that happens there all we get are small segments crammed in between the ridiculous stories that are shoved down our throats. As one of the few reporters that covers anything real anymore, thanks for getting some attention for this story.
Your reporting this week has made me cry, then made me mad. I applaud you for the courage to expose this outrage. Can there be anyone who has not heard this report not be outraged? I am very proud to be a FOX watcher and have always been very impressed with your reports especially from Iraq this past year. Now I want to know what can be done to stop the disgusting behavior of some U.N. employees. I almost called them peacekeepers. What can I do personally. I want to yell at someone and demand that these men are punished. Is there no accountability anywhere anymore? This outrage must be stopped. Thank you very much for your courage, Mr. Harrigan.
— Janis (Westcliffe, CO)
Dear Mr. Harrigan,
I cannot speak because of the knot in my throat, and I have not slept well after seeing your report. What happened to these little girls cannot be hid behind U.N. public relations.
God bless you for what you have done for the children.
— Louise (Hastings, FL)
Dear Mr. Harrigan,
I have to tell you that your reports were excellent yet some of the most disturbing I have seen in quite a long time. I want to thank you for the time you took to enlighten us to the absolutely reprehensible conduct of the U.N. in The Congo.
Please know that I have written to my Congressman John McHugh here in New York and asked for a complete investigation. If every American seeing your report does the same we will have the criminals in the U.N. on the run.
With Deepest Gratitude,
Dear Mr Harrigan,
I have been watching your story all week and my soul is crying. I too would like to know what we can do about this. I am at a loss at what else to say. There doesn't seem to be any words to say, except words that I would probably be ashamed for later. Thank you for bringing this story to us.
I'm glad to see that someone has finally seen through the U.N. thugs! You can't leave third world troops under the supervision of incompetent, greedy commanders and expect anything less!
— Bob (Cora, WY)
This has to be one of the most disgusting abuses of power in recent memory. It begs a number of questions. Why is the U.S. still supporting this "humanitarian" organization, and aren't we condoning these horrendous acts if we continue to do so?
— Meghan (Appomattox,VA)
We are lucky to have you to go to the trouble spots and send us the stories we should see. Your reports from the Congo are powerful and moving. Your work is appreciated.
It would be nice to think there is someone at the U.N. with more than excuses and promises.
— Phyllis (Middleburg, FL)
Dear Mr. Harrigan,
I am so incensed by this story. What can we do? How do we help? Please cover how we can help in your story, if possible. I have heard more and more on this story in recent days. I am so heartbroken for these children. I couldn't help but write. Thank you for covering the story.
Mrs. Elva Frye
Excellent story! Maybe Bill O'Reilly will help put legs on this one...I have one question... Who will investigate the U.N.? Liberty and justice should be a worldwide opportunity.
Thank you for letting me bloviate. (Thanks Bill!)
— Russ (Rochester Hills, MI)
Dear Mr Harrigan,
My heart is breaking after reading about the horrors these baby girls have been through, and I am angry.
How dare these blue hat 'saviors' come in and destroy these girls. Many of them will end up in prostitution, drugs and violence. This is disgusting. What is the U.N. doing about it? Why isn't this top news? This is far worse then the 'oil for food' fiasco. What can I do? How can I help these girls?
— Vicki (Ft Leonard Wood, MO)
May God bless you for the work you are doing. What can we do besides feeling sorrow and or pity? If we tell the story and offer no real help, we are nothing more than story tellers. What now?
— Annette (Rio Hondo, Texas)
I have never been so moved and deeply hurt by a story. Seeing these innocent beautiful children so decimated by evil is heartbreaking. I genuinely want to help these little girls who have been savagely raped by the horrible men working for the U.N. I would like to send financial help directly to any organization that is set up to care for these children. I would also like to organize people to write letters to our government officials so these atrocities can be stopped. Please either let me know who to contact for more information or do a story so we can find out what can be done to aid these innocent victims.
Thank you for bringing these events to our attention . . . your work is truly appreciated!
As a retired U.S. Army officer and an American I am outraged at the thought the U.N. would put forces in place to deter aggression and assist local populations only to have those so-called soldiers commit such atrocities. Would you please publicly disclose what countries provided these forces to the U.N. for the peacekeeping operation so that we may all voice our outrage to the U.N. but to the consulates of those representative countries? Further, I am just as angered at Save the Children who refuse to accept that such things are happening and doing nothing about it.
— Eddie (El Paso, TX)
Steve Harrigan currently serves as a Miami-based correspondent for Fox News Channel (FNC). He joined the network in 2001 as a Moscow-based correspondent.