Arnett worked for National Geographic magazine, and later for various television networks, most notably CNN. He is known for his coverage of the Vietnam War and the Gulf War. He was awarded the 1966 Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting for his work in Vietnam from 1962 to 1965, mostly reporting for the Associated Press. In 1994, Arnett's book Live from the Battlefield: From Vietnam to Baghdad, 35 Years in the World's War Zones was published. In March 1997, Arnett interviewed Osama bin Laden. The journalism school at the Southern Institute of Technology that was named after him closed in 2015.
Peter Arnett in 1996
Peter Gregg Arnett
13 November 1934
|Awarded the 1966 Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting for his work in Vietnam|
|Spouse(s)||Nina Nguyen (separated 1983)|
Some of Arnett's early days in journalism were in Southeast Asia, particularly Bangkok. He started out running a small English-language newspaper in Laos in 1960. Eventually, he made his way to Vietnam where he became a reporter for the Associated Press, based in Saigon. Writing articles such as "Death of Supply Column 21" attracted the ire of the American government. On 7 July 1963, in what became known as the Double Seven Day scuffle, his nose was bloodied in the widely reported physical altercation between a group of western journalists and South Vietnamese undercover police, while trying to cover Buddhist protests.
He accompanied troops on dozens of missions, including the traumatic battle of Hill 875, in which a detachment was sent to rescue another unit that was stranded in hostile territory. The rescuers themselves were nearly killed during the operation. In September 1972, he joined a group of U.S. peace activists, including William Sloane Coffin and David Dellinger, on a trip to Hanoi, North Vietnam to bring three prisoners of war back to the United States.
Arnett got into trouble writing in an unvarnished manner when reporting stories of ordinary soldiers and civilians. Arnett's writing was often criticized as negative. General William Westmoreland, President Lyndon B. Johnson and others in power pressured AP to get rid of or transfer Arnett.
Arnett wrote the following in one of his most iconic dispatches, published on 7 February 1968, about the provincial capital Bến Tre: "'It became necessary to destroy the town to save it,' a United States major said today. He was talking about the decision by allied commanders to bomb and shell the town regardless of civilian casualties, to rout the Vietcong." The quotation was distorted in subsequent publications, eventually becoming the more familiar, "We had to destroy the village in order to save it." The accuracy of the original quotation and its source have often been called into question. Arnett never revealed his source, except to say that it was one of four officers he interviewed that day. US Army Major Phil Cannella, the senior officer present at Bến Tre, suggested that the quotation might have been a distortion of something he said to Arnett. The New Republic at the time attributed the quotation to US Air Force Major Chester L. Brown. In Walter Cronkite's 1971 book, Eye on the World, Arnett reasserted that the quotation was something "one American major said to me in a moment of revelation."
Arnett was one of the last western reporters in Saigon after its capture by the Vietnam People's Army (NVA). Occupying soldiers showed him how they had entered the city.
Following the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, Arnett was working for Parade and with a contact named Healy entered Afghanistan illegally from Pakistan, both dressed as natives and led by Mujahideen guides. They continued on to a Jalalabad hideaway of approximately fifty rebels. The trip came to an end when Healy fell into the Kunar River, ruining the pair's cameras. Later, Arnett would recount the story to Artyom Borovik who was covering the Soviet side of the war.
Arnett worked for CNN for 18 years ending in 1999. During the Gulf War, he became a household name worldwide when he became the only reporter with live coverage directly from Baghdad. His dramatic reports often had air raid sirens blaring and the sound of US bombs exploding in the background. Together with two other CNN journalists, Bernard Shaw and John Holliman, Arnett brought continuous coverage from Baghdad for the 16 initial intense hours of the war (17 January 1991). Although 40 foreign journalists were present at the Al-Rashid Hotel in Baghdad at the time, only CNN possessed the means — a private phone line connected to neighboring Amman, Jordan — to communicate to the outside world. CNN broadcast Arnett's extended call live for several hours, with a picture of Arnett as video. Soon the other journalists left Iraq, including the two CNN colleagues, which left Arnett as the sole remaining reporter.
His accounts of civilian damage caused by the bombing were not well received by the coalition war administration, who by their constant use of terms like "smart bombs" and "surgical precision" in their public statements, had tried to project an image that civilian casualties would be at a minimum. White House sources would later state that Arnett was being used as a tool for Iraqi disinformation, and CNN received a letter from 34 members of the United States Congress accusing Arnett of "unpatriotic journalism".
Two weeks into the war, Arnett was able to obtain an exclusive, uncensored interview with Saddam Hussein. The Gulf War became the first war to be seen truly live on TV, due to Arnett's reporting from the "other side", for a period of five weeks.
About halfway through the war the CIA approached Mr. Arnett. They believed that the Iraqi military was operating a high-level communication network from the basement of the Al Rashid Hotel, which is where Mr. Arnett and a few others from CNN were staying. The CIA wanted him out so the Air Force could bomb the hotel, but Mr. Arnett refused. He said he had been given a tour of the hotel and denied there was such a facility.
The report, titled The Valley of Death, claimed that the United States Army had used sarin against a group of deserting U.S. soldiers in Laos in 1970. The men allegedly involved were an elite Green Beret A-Team. The report was expressly approved by both CNN Chairman Tom Johnson and CNN President Rick Kaplan. In response, the Pentagon commissioned another report contradicting CNN's. CNN subsequently conducted its own investigation, which concluded that the "journalism [in the Valley of Death] was flawed" and retracted the story. While all 12 men of the Green Beret A-Team were wounded in action during Operation Tailwind, no sarin was involved.
Due to the US government's insistence that the CNN report was flawed, three or more of the individuals responsible were fired or forced to resign. Arnett was reprimanded, and eventually left the network.
The co-producers of the report, April Oliver and Jack Smith, were dismissed. They sued Time Warner, the parent company of CNN, claiming they had been wrongfully fired, and Time Warner ultimately paid millions of dollars to settle their lawsuits, along with other suits brought by military personnel who claimed to have been libeled in the Oliver/Smith report. Senior producer Pam Hill and others resigned. Oliver was later quoted by the World Socialist Web Site (International Committee of the Fourth International) as saying that:
[Arnett's] firing was a direct result of Pentagon pressure. Perry Smith [a retired USAF major general and former CNN consultant who resigned in protest over the Tailwind report] told The Wall Street Journal last July that CNN would not get cooperation from the Pentagon unless Peter Arnett was fired. ... They will do anything to stem the flow of information.— April Oliver
On assignment for NBC and National Geographic, Arnett went to Iraq in 2003 to cover the U.S. invasion. After a press meeting there he granted an interview to state-run Iraqi TV on 31 March 2003, in which he stated:
[N]ow America is re-appraising the battlefield, delaying the war against Iraq, maybe a week, and re-writing [sic] the war plan. The first plan has failed because of Iraqi resistance[;] now they are trying to write another war plan.
Earlier in the interview he said:
[O]ur reports about civilian casualties here, about the resistance of the Iraqi forces, are going back to the United States. It helps those who oppose the war when you challenge the policy to develop their arguments.— Peter Arnett
When Arnett's remarks sparked a "firestorm of protest", NBC initially defended him, saying he had given the interview as a professional courtesy and that his remarks were "analytical in nature". A day later, though, NBC, MSNBC and National Geographic all severed their relationships with Arnett. In response to Arnett's statement on Iraqi TV, NBC stated:
It was wrong for Mr. Arnett to grant an interview with state-controlled Iraqi TV, especially at a time of war and it was wrong for him to discuss his personal observations and opinions.
My stupid misjudgment was to spend fifteen minutes in an impromptu interview with Iraqi television. I said in that interview essentially what we all know about the war, that there have been delays in implementing policy, there have been surprises.— Peter Arnett
Later that day, Arnett was hired by the British tabloid, The Daily Mirror, which had opposed the war. A couple of days later he was also assigned to Greek television channel NET television, and Belgian VTM.
He retired as a field reporter in 2007. He now lives in Los Angeles and teaches journalism at Shantou University in China. The now-defunct Peter Arnett School of Journalism was named for him at the Southern Institute of Technology in New Zealand.
In 1964, Arnett married a Vietnamese woman, Nina Nguyen; they had two children, Elsa and Andrew. In 1983, Nina and Peter separated. They divorced more than 20 years later.
Elsa Arnett attended Stuyvesant High School in New York and Harvard University. After graduating, she went into journalism, became a reporter, worked for several months on The Washington Post as an intern and then joined The Boston Globe. Elsa Arnett is married to former White House lawyer John Yoo.
The book, as well as the film, features Arnett's work as part of Wiener's crew in Baghdad, which he joined after tensions between Iraq and the West were escalating toward an imminent military encounter. CNN sent Arnett to Baghdad because of his experience in covering military conflicts. Arnett was part of the live coverage beginning on January 17, 1991, the start of the Gulf War air campaign, where he and colleagues Bernard Shaw and John Holliman kept broadcasting from their Al-Rasheed Hotel room amid extensive aerial bombing by the Western Coalition forces.
|Booknotes interview with Arnett on Live from the Battlefield, 20 February 1994, C-SPAN|
Elsa Arnett is my daughter. She's 25 years of age, born in Saigon. My wife was a Vietnamese woman. We separated a few years ago, but we're still in touch. Elsa, a bright young lady, and she went to Stuyvesant High School in New York, as an accomplished student, went on to Harvard University. I never had a university education. Well, Elsa compensated for that by going to Harvard University and graduating with high honors and, lo and behold, went into journalism, became a reporter, worked for several months on The Washington Post as an intern and then joined The Boston Globe; spent a couple of years there and, thank goodness, agreed to help me get this book done.
The following lists events that happened during 1934 in New Zealand.1966 Pulitzer Prize
The following are the Pulitzer Prizes for 1966.7th TCA Awards
The 7th TCA Awards were presented by the Television Critics Association. The ceremony was held on July 26, 1991, at the Universal City Hilton in Los Angeles, Calif.Abu Ghraib
Abu Ghraib ( (listen); Arabic: أبو غريب, Abū Ghurayb) is a city in the Baghdad Governorate of Iraq, located just west of Baghdad's city center, or northwest of Baghdad International Airport. It has a population of 189,000 (2003). The old road to Jordan passes through Abu Ghraib. The government of Iraq created the city and Abu Ghraib District in 1944.
The placename has been translated as "father of little crows" (in the sense of "place abundant in small crows"), but this translation has been suspected of being a "folk etymology", and the name may be related to gharb 'west' instead.Abu Ghraib was known for the Abu Ghraib Infant Formula Plant, which Western intelligence agencies perennially claimed to be a biological weapons production facility. The plant was built in 1980 and painted with a dappled camouflage pattern during the Iran–Iraq War. It was bombed during the Gulf War, and the Iraqi government allowed CNN reporter Peter Arnett to film the destroyed building along with a conspicuous hand-painted sign that read, "baby milk factory". Iraq partially rebuilt the facility afterward, and US Secretary of State Colin Powell falsely cited it again as a weapons production plant in the run-up to the Iraq War, even though the CIA’s own investigation had concluded that the site had been bombed “in the mistaken belief that it was a key BW [Biological Weapon] facility.” Also, an examination of suspected weapons facilities by the Iraq Survey Group later determined that the plant, in disuse for some time, housed discarded infant formula, but found no evidence of weapons production.The city is also the site of Abu Ghraib prison, which was one of the sites where political dissidents were incarcerated under former ruler Saddam Hussein. Thousands of these dissidents were tortured and executed. After Saddam Hussein's fall, the Abu Ghraib prison was used by American forces in Iraq. In 2003, Abu Ghraib prison earned international notoriety for the torture and abuses by members of the United States Army during the post-invasion period.Al Primo
Albert Thomas Primo (born 1935) is a television news executive who was credited with creating the Eyewitness News format.Amara Walker
Amara Sohn-Walker ( ; née Sohn) is an American journalist and news anchor. She currently anchors CNN International's CNN Today with colleague Michael Holmes.Bruce McGill
Bruce Travis McGill (born July 11, 1950) is an American actor. He is perhaps best known for his work with director Michael Mann in the movies The Insider (1999), Ali (2001), and Collateral (2004). McGill's other notable film roles include Daniel Simpson "D-Day" Day in John Landis' Animal House, Com. Matuzak in Timecop, Reverend Larson in Shallow Hal, Gene Revell in The Sum of All Fears, and Lt. Brooks in Ride Along and its sequel Ride Along 2.
Bruce McGill's television roles include Jack Dalton on MacGyver (1985–1992) and Det. Vince Korsak on Rizzoli & Isles (2010–2016). He also had recurring roles as Captain Braxton on Star Trek Voyager (1999) and voicing Lloyd Waterman, the owner of Waterman cable, on The Cleveland Show (2012–2014). He played Ralph Houk in Billy Crystal's made-for-television film 61* (2001).
During the 2016 presidential election, McGill narrated a number of commercials promoting Donald Trump and the Republican Party.Buddhist crisis
The Buddhist crisis (Vietnamese: Biến cố Phật giáo) was a period of political and religious tension in South Vietnam between May and November 1963, characterized by a series of repressive acts by the South Vietnamese government and a campaign of civil resistance, led mainly by Buddhist monks.The crisis was precipitated by the shootings of nine unarmed civilians on May 8 in the central city of Huế who were protesting a ban of the Buddhist flag. The crisis ended with a coup in November 1963 by the Army of the Republic of Vietnam, and the arrest and assassination of President Ngô Đình Diệm on November 2, 1963.Charles Chellapah
Charles Chellapah (1939 – 14 February 1966) was a Singaporean photojournalist of Indian origin who was killed on-assignment during the Vietnam War.David Halberstam
David Halberstam (April 10, 1934 – April 23, 2007) was an American journalist and historian, known for his work on the Vietnam War, politics, history, the Civil Rights Movement, business, media, American culture, and later, sports journalism. He won a Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting in 1964. Halberstam was killed in a car crash in 2007, while doing research for a book.Double Seven Day scuffle
The Double Seven Day scuffle was a physical altercation on July 7 (7/7), 1963, in Saigon, South Vietnam. The secret police of Ngô Đình Nhu—the brother of President Ngô Đình Diệm—attacked a group of journalists from the United States who were covering protests held by Buddhists on the ninth anniversary of Diệm's rise to power. Peter Arnett of the Associated Press (AP) was punched on the nose, and the quarrel quickly ended after David Halberstam of The New York Times, being much taller than Nhu's men, counterattacked and caused the secret police to retreat. Arnett and his colleague, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and photographer Malcolm Browne, were later accosted by police at their office and taken away for questioning on suspicion of attacking police officers.
After their release, the journalists went to the US embassy in Saigon to complain about their treatment at the hands of Diệm's officials and asked for US government protection. Their appeals were dismissed, as was a direct appeal to the White House. Through the efforts of US Ambassador Frederick Nolting, the assault charges laid against the journalists were subsequently dropped. Vietnamese Buddhists reacted to the incident by contending that Diệm's men were planning to assassinate monks, while Madame Nhu repeated earlier claims that the US government had been trying to overthrow her brother-in-law. Browne took photographs of Arnett's bloodied face, which were published in newspapers worldwide. This drew further negative attention to the behaviour of the Diệm régime amidst the backdrop of the Buddhist crisis.Ghost Shadows
The Ghost Shadows or GSS (traditional Chinese: 鬼影幫; simplified Chinese: 鬼影帮; Jyutping: gwai2 jing2 bong1) are a Chinese American street gang that was prominent in New York City's Chinatown from the early 1970s to the mid 1990s. Formed in 1971 by immigrants from Taiwan and Hong Kong, the gang is affiliated with the On Leong Tong. They adopted the colors black and white as their clothing to match the name of the set. Throughout the 80s, the gang was often engaged in bloody turf wars with other Chinatown gangs such as the older Flying Dragons, affiliated with Hip Sing Tong and the Division Street Boys affiliated with Tung On Association, and their activities included extortion, kidnapping, murder, racketeering, drug trafficking and illegal gambling. The Ghost Shadows' influence was widespread, having links to Chinatowns in other cities as well as links to Italian-American Mafia families.Holy War, Inc.
Holy War, Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Bin Laden is a book by CNN investigative journalist and documentarian Peter Bergen. It was published in November 2001, two months after the September 11 attacks, and was a New York Times Best Seller in 2001.In the book, Bergen discusses the meteoric rise of Osama bin Laden during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s, and the subsequent evolution and expansion of his terrorist organization, Al-Qaeda. Bergen interviewed bin Laden in person with former CNN journalist Peter Arnett in Afghanistan in 1997.
Holy War, Inc. provides a multi-faceted context that details: (1) how jihadist terrorism evolved from being primarily state-sponsored groups to the independent and sophisticated multinational organization that is Al Qaeda; (2) who made up the groups of people that were willing to leave behind the comforts of home to join what would later become Al Qaeda; (3) where the US went wrong in its covert sponsorship of militants who fought against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s; (4) what motivates bin Laden and his disciples to attack the US and other Western targets; and (5) why bin Laden is revered by many throughout the Muslim world.
As Bergen finds, the Soviet–Afghan War had the dual result of making bin Laden famous while also giving bin Laden a feeling that he could go toe-to-toe against a superpower with his "holy warriors" and prevail. These factors, coupled with bin Laden's strong feelings of resentment toward the US for its presence in Saudi Arabia (or the "Land of the Two Holy Places" as he called it) during and after the Persian Gulf War, led to his plotting multiple attacks against the US, and then later to an all-out declaration of war against the West. Ultimately, by green-lighting the September 11 attacks on the United States, bin Laden would then get his desired war.
Holy War was published by Free Press in 2001 as a hardcover (ISBN 0-7432-0502-2). In the same year, Simon & Schuster audio released an abridged audiobook on CD (ISBN 0-7435-2465-9) and audio cassette (ISBN 0-7435-2464-0). Thorndike Press published a largeprint edition in hardcover in 2002 (ISBN 0-7862-4035-0). Free Press released a paperback edition in 2002 (ISBN 0-7432-3495-2). Orion Publishing Company published a paperback in 2004 (ISBN 0-7538-1668-7). The book was translated into 18 languages: Bulgarian, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Norwegian, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Spanish, and Turkish.Interviews of Osama bin Laden
Since the early 1990s, several interviews of Osama bin Laden have appeared in the global media. Among these was an interview by Middle East specialist Robert Fisk. In the interviews, Bin Laden acknowledges having instigated bombings in Khobar and Riyadh, but denies involvement with both the 1993 and 2001 attacks on the WTC towers in New York.
Like the videos of Osama bin Laden, the interviews' authenticity is sometimes regarded as suspect.
Bin Laden himself mentioned some of the interviews directly in a 2004 video, saying "you can read this, if you wish, in my interview with Scott in Time Magazine in 1996, or with Peter Arnett on CNN in 1997, or my meeting with John Weiner in 1998."Live from Baghdad (film)
Live from Baghdad is a television movie produced in 2002 by HBO. It was directed by Mick Jackson and co-written by Robert Wiener based on Wiener's book of the same title. The movie was released during the prelude stage of the Iraq War.
Michael Keaton stars as CNN on-location producer Robert Wiener in Baghdad, Iraq during the Persian Gulf War in 1991. The movie focuses on the news media's (primarily CNN's) coverage of the war. Fundamentally an action–drama, the characters grapple with the ethics and implications of 24-hour journalism in the days leading up to and during the United States-led bombing of Baghdad.New Zealand Americans
New Zealand Americans are Americans who have New Zealand ancestry. According to the 2010 surveys, there are 19,961 New Zealand Americans. Most of them are of European descent, but some hundreds are of indigenous New Zealand descent. Some 925 of those New Zealand-Americans declared they were of Tokelauan origin. The 2000 Census indicated also the existence of 1,994 people of Māori descent in US.
Many New Zealanders came to the United States after World War II. A significant portion (although not the majority) of these immigrants were war brides, because they had married U.S. soldiers who were stationed in the Pacific theater during the war. Since the 1940s, the majority of New Zealanders who have settled in the United States came seeking higher education or employment, especially in work related to finance, import and export, and entertainment industries.
Some small communities of New Zealanders have been created in the Chicago area and in the Green Bay and Madison, Wisconsin areas.Operation Tailwind
Operation Tailwind was a covert incursion into southeastern Laos during the Vietnam War, conducted between 11–14 September 1970. The purpose of the operation was to create a diversion for a Royal Lao Army offensive and to exert pressure on the occupation forces of the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN). It involved a company-sized element of US Army Special Forces and Montagnard commando (Hatchet Force) of the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam Studies and Observations Group (MACV-SOG or SOG).
Nearly 30 years later, Peter Arnett narrated a CNN/Time magazine investigative report about Operation Tailwind produced by April Oliver, Jack Smith, Pam Hill, and others. The report Valley of Death claimed sarin nerve gas had been used, and other war crimes had been committed by US forces during Tailwind. The reaction to the controversial assertions prompted an internal investigation that ended in retraction of those claims by both news organizations, the firing of the producers responsible for the report, and the reprimand, followed by the resignation, of Arnett.Zain Asher
Zain Ejiofor Asher (born 27 August 1983) is a British Nigerian news anchor at CNN International who is based in New York City.
She anchors CNN Newsroom weekdays at 2:30pm ET on CNN International. Previously, Asher co-anchored CNN Newsroom at 1am ET on CNN America. In 2013, Asher joined CNN as a business correspondent based in New York City. In addition to financial reporting for CNN, she also had a monthly column in Money Magazine.
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