"This account of one man’s struggle is based on interviews with Abu Zeid, a fellow fighter and two women who have known Abu Zeid for years. One is a Syrian-American who met him while touring in Palmyra in 2008 and says she is neutral toward the uprising. The other is Abu Zeid’s girlfriend, a French citizen who has worked in Syria. All asked not to be fully identified to protect family and friends in Syria. Abu Zeid’s account could not be confirmed because of Syria’s restrictions on journalists. It is, however, consistent with what the women said he told them earlier, and with previously reported events." Wait: so trying to corroborate his account is not possible because Syria restricts the press? Do you post this disclaimer whenever you cover Saudi Arabia or other pro-US dictatorships in the region? So you instead rely on his account and on the account on those he assigned? And more importantly: what is the value of this account? So he tells you he interrogated and hit another Syrian: what if the Syrian was innocent? What if he actually slit his throat? Wait: I know your answer. The Syrian government restricts the press and thus you can't determine the veracity of the guy. And this cute line: "Now he is a jobless fugitive in a country bordering Syria". Why not say it was in Lebanon? So you view your role as one to partake in the propaganda of the Hariri family that it is not participating in the armed Syrian rebellion? Why protect the Hariri family here if you don't view yourself as a peg in the Hariri-Saudi press operation in Lebanon.