Death, Especially Violent Death, is a Very Painful Experience

By Harry Greaves

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
August 13, 2005


Mr. Editor:

I read Tarloh's open letter on your website after I wrote. Since she chose that medium to query me, I am choosing the same medium to respond. I would therefore like my response to be carried in the same publiction.


I read your open letter, which was forwarded to me by a friend. It was most distressing. I was in your company on a number of occasions in the United States, while I was living there. I think we even exchanged brief words. I was not aware that thre were burning questions to which you sought answers. You never asked and I never presumed.

Death, especially violent death, is a very painful experience. And one is always sensitive to visiting on those closely associated with death a reprise of their painful experience, unless one is invited so to do. I would have considered it the height of insensitivity to re-open the subject of your husband's death with you unless I received explicit signals from you to that effect. Hence my silence on the subject.

I do not claim to know everything about what preceded or followed "November 12", but I do know some of what occurred and would be more than happy to share with you that knowledge if that is what you desire. I am in Liberia and have been living here since 2002. So, if the occasion arises, I would be glad to meet with you and tell you all that I know.

Lastly, while I can understand your pain, I think it would be a misunderstanding of the facts for you to assume that your late husband, for whom I developed a great deal of respect during the period of our short association, was the sole victim of that tragedy and that somehow everyone else involved in that enterprise simply used him. Many mistakes were made by everyone, including him, and as you will learn from that part of the story with which I am familiar, along with the tragedy went a great deal of selflessness, bravery and patriotism on the part of a number of people.