His father, Thomas L.
To Be a Friend Is Fatal | Book by Kirk W. Johnson | Official Publisher Page | Simon & Schuster
Johnson, was a policy advisor to the Illinois Attorney General. As a fifteen-year-old, Johnson visited Egypt with his grandmother, and began studying Arabic in evening classes at the College of DuPage, skipping his high school graduation to attend the Arabic Language Institute at the American University in Cairo.
Johnson was opposed to the Iraq War, but felt an ethical obligation to help with the reconstruction efforts, which he supported as a way of righting a wrong.
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After returning from Iraq, he was contacted by his former Iraqi colleagues, who were running for their lives as a result of working for the U. Government during the war. In December , he wrote an op-ed for the "Los Angeles Times" calling upon the government to open its doors to these allies.
To Be a Friend Is Fatal
In response, he was flooded with petitions from thousands of refugees, leading him to found the List Project to Resettle Iraqi Allies, a non-profit that marshaled hundreds of attorneys from the nations top law firms to represent their cases on a pro bono basis. Over the subsequent eight years, the List Project helped over 2, U.
His injuries drew him into a dark depression and increasing paranoia, until correspondence with former Iraqi co-workers provided a route away from his personal demons. Through emails, Johnson heard stories and saw videos detailing the threats, physical abuse and assassinations waiting for the former Iraqi employees of the American military and government. Johnson makes sharp criticisms of the maddening government administrations that continue to block the implementation of this project.
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To Be a Friend Is Fatal
One day, Johnson received an email from an Iraqi friend, Yaghdan: People are trying to kill me and I need your help. Kirk W.
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Johnson's story is about America's shame, and also its honor. This is an essential book.
- Kirk W. Johnson.
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His is a story that arcs from charity to futility to pain to charity again, and how much he needs to tell it equals how much it deserves to be read.