Questions Over Greg Mortenson's Stories: CBS 60 Minutes, 17 April 2011
Hat tip to Galrahn at Information Dissemination via Twitter. Carolyn Kellogg at the Los Angeles Times (Investigation throws 'Three Cups of Tea' author Greg Mortenson's charity work into doubt) reports that:
An investigation by "60 Minutes" to be broadcast this weekend will cite multiple sources that contend some of the most inspiring stories in Greg Mortenson's books "Three Cups of Tea" and "Stones into Schools" are not true.
Greg Mortenson's response so far, via the Central Asia Institute web page:
An Important Message from Greg Mortenson
Afghanistan and Pakistan are fascinating, inspiring countries full of wonderful people. They are also complex places torn by conflicting loyalties, and some who do not want our mission of educating girls to succeed. I stand by the information conveyed in my book, and by the value of CAl's work in empowering local communities to build and operate schools that have educated more than 60,000 students. I continue to be heartened by the many messages of support I receive from our local partners in cities and villages across Afghanistan and Pakistan, who are determined not to let unjustified attacks stop the important work being done to create a better future for their children. For further questions, concerns and inquires, please email email@example.com.
Mortenson Under Fire from '60 Minutes', Bozeman Philanthropist Denies Allegations by Gail Schontzler, Bozeman Daily Chronicle. BLUF: "He denied several "60 Minutes" allegations, and defended his financial dealings, but appeared to concede that one key story in his book was not literally true."
Board of Directors, Central Asia Institute: Responses to 60 Minutes Questions. "Following (at the link) are questions that were asked by producers of the program 60 Minutes, exactly as they were asked of us, and the answers that we are providing to 60 Minutes."
Three-cup Monte by Carl Prine at Line of Departure. BLUF: "Like the best swindles, Dr Greg keeps his rap simple: The sexy svengali who tickles, teases and touches your soul while his mitt wiggles into your purse; the Ponzi peddler paying a fortunate few to fleece the rapacious many; the book cooker who dangles dubious data and dividends to draw Dow dollars; the quack selling pharmaceutical enhancements to the same guy who never gets the chance to try them out at the clip joint."
60 Minutes: Questions over Greg Mortenson's Stories - CBS transcript
Does It Matter If The Military's Fave Scholar Sells Three Cups of Snake Oil? - Spencer Ackerman, Danger Room. BLUF: "... Danger Room pal Niel Smith argues that the Army has institutionalized counterinsurgency so poorly that officers can fool themselves into embracing caricatures of it. And that's how Mortenson's tea can taste a lot like snake oil."
Via the Central Asia Institute website:
Stranger than Fiction: What We're Really Losing with Greg Mortenson's Fall by Joshua Foust, PBS. BLUF: "Just because you can't help everyone doesn't mean you should help no one. Sadly, Mortenson's good work is going to be overshadowed - possibly destroyed - by this scandal (albeit one that looks like it was largely of his own making). And the losers, besides wide-eyed Americans who've lost an unassailable hero, will ultimately be the people his schools were helping."
Greg Mortenson Speaks interview by Alex Heard, Outside. "The embattled director of the Central Asia Institute responds to allegations of financial mismanagement and that he fabricated stories in his bestselling book Three Cups of Tea."