I read Nick Kristoff's column in The New York Times last night via Twitter and agree with a lot of what he said in defense of Mr. Mortenson. I feel sorry for him and loathe what he is accused of doing at the same time. I don't agree, however, that he should be given the benefit of the doubt or that we should "reserve judgment" as does Mr. Kristoff. When people take on the responsibility and the privilege of managing huge sums of money for the benefit of a world-wide charity, then they need to be prepared to account for and answer to the public whose money it is they is spending.
I first read about Mortenson's good works in a book called, "Half the Sky," written by Kristoff and his wife, Sheryl WuDunn and was duly impressed. I think I am as disappointed with these accusations as everyone else who was aware of the schools being built in behalf of Afghan and Pakistani girls, whose education has, for centuries, been left to happenstance, serendipity or the kindness of strangers. Nevertheless, his book, "Three cups of Tea," Mr. Mortenson's memoir, is being scrutinized for factual errors, hyping and just plain ol' lying. We must give him the credit that he deserves, certainly, but at the same time, we must demand the answers that will either absolve or condemn him. Let us hope for the former.