History Commons Groups

September 23, 2009

In Praise of Wikipedia


I know that Wikipedia takes some stick, in particular from traditional media, about some problems that creep in, but I have to say that I quite like it. Here’s one reason. We have a few entries about an FBI agent called Robert Fuller, who was involved in the failed search for Pentagon hijackers Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi in the weeks before the attacks. The entries cover what he did at this time and they’ve been up for quite a while.

However, if you look at the Wikipedia entry on him, you get a brief outline of this and also, tagged onto the bottom, a couple of recent news stories that mentioned him. Specifically, he was involved in the interrogation of celebrated detainee Salim Hamdan (of v. Rumsfeld fame) and failed to read him his rights. In addition, he interrogated Omar Khadr, getting him to incriminate Maher Arar (Canadian citizen rendered from New York to Syria and tortured there, now back home and cleared of any wrongdoing). Finally, there is a story of his handling of an informant who got so frustrated with the bureau that he set himself on fire in front of the White House.

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