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Qantas facing record law suit

KERRY O'BRIEN, PRESENTER: The biggest civil suit in Australian aviation history will play out in a
United States courtroom, with an American lawyer lodging a claim on behalf of passengers and crew
injured during a Qantas flight two years ago.

A computer glitch caused an airbus plane travelling from Singapore to Perth to plummet sharply
twice, injuring more than 100 passengers and staff.

At least two other lawsuits are likely to follow in Australia.

Conor Duffy reports.

CONOR DUFFY, REPORTER: After Qantas Flight QF72 from Singapore to Perth made an emergency landing
at an RAAF base near Exmouth in Western Australia two years ago, passengers described a terrifying
mid-air ordeal.

PASSENGER (Oct. 2008): The worst experience of my life, basically. Um, I didn't know - I thought I
was at death's door.

PASSENGER II (Oct. 2008): I found myself actually in mid-air, unable to drop to the floor and
unable to go up to the ceiling.

CONOR DUFFY: At 12.40pm the captain and support crew heard warning chimes ring out in the cockpit.
Two minutes later, the plane pitched downward and plunged 200 metres. All the pilot could see was
the ocean. He managed to right the aircraft, but just three minutes later, it again turned nose
down and plummeted a further 120 metres.

Unfortunately the first officer was in the bunk when the incident happened. He got a broken nose
out of the manoeuvre. But, the captain, who's an ex-US Navy pilot and Australian Air Force pilot,
very experienced fly-by-wire fast-jet pilot and many, many years in the airline.

CONOR DUFFY: 115 passengers and crew were injured. Now those dramatic events will be examined in an
American court with the three pilots and around 70 passengers taking on the manufacturer of Airbus
and the American company that makes the in-flight computer. Their US attorney, Floyd Wisner, says
the trip has left the passengers and crew with mental scars.

FLOYD WISNER, WISNER LAW FIRM, CHICAGO: Do we really call a occurrence or flight when you go into
two dives when you think you're going to die, is that a risk of flying? A risk of flying is a
little turbulence. I'll take that risk. A risk of going to the two dives when the pilot said all he
could see was ocean. That's not a risk of flying. I would like to see anyone take that risk and fly

CONOR DUFFY: The Australian Air Transport and Safety Bureau has released two interim reports into
the scare and will release its final report soon.

MARTIN DOLAN, AUST. TRANSPORT SAFETY BUREAU: It's true that we have had to put a lot of effort into
trying to discover exactly why the data spikes, the wrong information was being produced by one of
the Adaroos. And that's why it's taken us so long to try and look at the various possible reasons
why that happened. But the step-back from that - if in the circumstance where one of these three
units is producing wrong information, which is what happened in this case, we've now got software
in place that makes sure that that information is ignored and the aircraft will operate safely.

STEVE CREEDY, AVIATION WRITER, THE AUSTRALIAN: There was quite a lot of concern because at this
stage nobody has come out with a definitive answer as to what caused it. At this stage, the air and
safety investigators know the sequence of events and they know essentially what happened, but they
haven't, as far as I'm aware, found yet a root cause for it.

CONOR DUFFY: Two other law firms have confirmed they're planning legal action in Australia and want
to bring claims against Qantas. Qantas declined to be interviewed, but in a statement said it
supported passengers and crew at the time and would continue to do so.

QANTAS STATEMENT (Sept. 20, male voiceover): "Where passengers have sought compensation beyond the
assistance originally provided, we have assessed all requests on an individual basis. We have
settled a number of claims and continue to work with passengers on outstanding claims."

CONOR DUFFY: The courtroom battles have revived a wider debate about the high-tech control systems
used in Airbus aircraft. Some pilots have complained the jets fly-by-wire design gives computers
too much control over the aircraft.

RICHARD WOODWARD: That's a favourite: if you're not an Airbus pilot there's a great belief amongst
particularly Boeing airline pilots that Airbus is too complex. I've flown Airbus for many years and
I currently fly the A380. So, I find the aeroplane an interesting aeroplane to fly. It is highly
complex. As long as you understand what it's doing and why it's doing it, it works very well.

STEVE CREEDY: There has been that debate. It's - there's an old adage that, "To err is human; to
really mess things up, you need a computer." And I know amongst Boeing pilots in particular there
has been a worry that Airbus planes have too much computer control and don't leave enough control
to the pilots.

FLOYD WISNER: What Airbus is proud to talk about is how that their - their fly-by-wire aircraft,
this type of aircraft, makes the aircraft pilot-proof. Well how bout makin' it computer-proof? When
we have a problem with a computer takes over an aircraft and does not let a pilot fly it, that's a

CONOR DUFFY: Richard Woodward from the Pilots Association says Airbus has updated its software
since that fateful flight and believes pilot training is a far bigger concern than automated flight

RICHARD WOODWARD: When things fail, unless they fail in a simple mode, you get a complex series of
failures such as in this event, it's quite easy for the crew to get startled and overwhelmed by
events. So, we're seeing a trend around the world, only a small trend, where accidents are
happening where the crew are not dealing appropriately with that particular incident.

CONOR DUFFY: Qantas continues to operate 24 Airbus 330s across its group fleet and says it has
complete faith in the aircraft.

KERRY O'BRIEN: In a statement released late today, Airbus says the investigation into the cause of
the incident is continuing and that any suggestion all the facts are known is premature. It's
promised to assist the Australian Transport Safety Bureau with its investigation. Conor Duffy with
that report.

Rob Oakeshott joins the program

KERRY O'BRIEN, PRESENTER: Rob Oakeshott, one of three independents to support a minority Labor
government, has announced tonight after meeting with Coalition Leader Tony Abbott that he is now
reluctant to nominate for Speaker in the new Parliament.

Last week, after knocking back Julia Gillard's offer of a Cabinet post for Regional Affairs, Mr
Oakeshott took both major parties by surprise when he canvassed the possibility of becoming
Speaker. Under the Constitution, by becoming Speaker he would lose his right to vote, other than as
a casting vote in the event of a tie.

Mr Oakeshott argued that under a parliamentary reform agreement signed by Labor and the Coalition
12 days ago, he could be paired on each vote with another MP who intended to vote the opposite way
to his own intention. In other words, neither would vote, effectively giving him a deliberative
vote by default.

The Coalition has argued that by definition Mr Oakeshott could not be paired, because under Section
40 of the Constitution, he doesn't get a vote.

The Prime Minister is taking legal advice - or was taking legal advice - before announcing whether
she'd support the independent or not, but in the interim, Mr Oakeshott saw the Opposition Leader
today, and for clarification on his position - and apparently that meeting didn't go very well -
and Rob Oakeshott joins me now.

That's a little bit complicated, Mr Oakeshott, ...


KERRY O'BRIEN: But why, after your meeting with Tony Abbott, are you now reluctant to continue the
prospect of becoming Speaker?

ROB OAKESHOTT: Look, the reform agreement of the last 20-odd days was put together under Section 50
of the Australian Constitution, where members of Parliament can reach agreements for the good
working order of the House. This is a tight Parliament on the numbers. And anyone has to be given
some flexibility in some form not to give up numbers when it is so tight. So that was the very
point of that exercise. It engaged both the Labor Party and the Liberal Party. This is a reform
document that everyone's got skin in the game on. Unfortunately, it looks like there's a bit of
drifting from both the black letter and the spirit of one section of that agreement, the Section
2.1 in regards to the independence of the Speaker's role. And in that instance, where there is no
goodwill from the members or there is a perceived drifting on the goodwill from members of
Parliament, regardless of which side of politics, obviously I and any other member who values their
vote on the floor of the Parliament wouldn't be interested in that Speaker's position.

KERRY O'BRIEN: You'd have to acknowledge that for many sections of the Constitution, there will
always be legal argument - not just political argument, legal argument, and it's certainly valid
for the opposition to argue legally that Section 40 of the Constitution in the spirit of the law
and they would say the letter of the law doesn't allow you to have a vote and by pairing you are
kind of getting around that.

ROB OAKESHOTT: And my response to that is there was always at tension in the way the numbers fell
in this Parliament between Section 40, which is about voting rights on the floor of the Parliament,
and Section 50, without sounding too dry, which is in relation to the House having the ability to
work solutions to the problems that are in front of them, essentially. And that was always the
tension. That was part of the agreement that was reached. I would hope, and the disappointing thing
is that due diligence was done by all parties before agreements were reached, before group hugs
were had. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like ...

KERRY O'BRIEN: There was only one and there might not be another.

ROB OAKESHOTT: Well, that's right! Unfortunately on this specific item - and there's 22 separate
items in this reform agreement - on this specific item it doesn't look like due diligence was done
by other parties. I am confident from my advice that it stacks up in regards to Section 40, so long
as - and this is the critical factor - so long as there is goodwill and agreement from all members.
And from the meeting today there is obvious tension still alive. And therefore from my position, in
light of that, you know, it's a step too far for this independent to go for that Speaker's spot.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Now, for whatever reason, you resisted the temptation offered by Julia Gillard to
become a minister in the Government, the temptation potentially to do good even for your own
electorate as well as the rest of regional Australia by being the Regional Affairs Minister and
influencing directly policy outcomes, and also the temptation potentially, because you're human
like the rest of us, just to have the exercise of power and the money and the influence that went
with it. Having resisted that temptation, why go down this other path and risk being seen as
opportunistic on this front?

ROB OAKESHOTT: Because of the agreement. You know, the agreement was solid that this was an
independent Speaker's role and it was separate from government and it still allowed for some local
member rights in the ability for that role to be fulfilled. So, you could participate in private
members' time within the Parliament, there is still that casting vote in a tight Parliament and the
third and the one that's causing some concern and controversy is, as per the agreement by all
parties, that issue of pairing rights. Now once that starts to shift, obviously I step back and
obviously now the two major parties have to resolve this speakership position, which is gonna be
difficult for them to resolve over the next three or four days.

KERRY O'BRIEN: But just staying with your own position, you'd have to acknowledge that there would
automatically be people out there who the moment you put up your hand for the speakership would
say, "Ahhh, feet of clay. This man's no different to many others. He's after the pursuit of power.
He's just wanting to cash in on this position that he finds himself in."

ROB OAKESHOTT: Oh, look, I can't control how people perceive their politics. It was with all good
intent. You know, the knocking back of the ministry, I would hope, would demonstrate clearly in the
last two weeks that I'm - it's not about self-interest, in my view, and the pursuit of an
independent Speaker's role with some clear new definitions as part of a reform package that's
pretty exciting, I think is something that all 150 members of Parliament, if that agreement
actually holds, should've been chasing and could've been chasing. So I'm no different in that case
to the other 150 members. But, you know, it's up to ...

KERRY O'BRIEN: But on the sheer practicality of how that this would've functioned, with you as an
independent speaker needing potentially a different pair every time there was a vote on
legislation, in other words, the pair would only work on the basis that somebody else would be
found to counter the way you would've voted. So if you were gonna vote for a bill, they'd have to
find somebody to vote against. If you were gonna vote against a bill, they'd have had to find
somebody to vote for. So, surely that was impractical.

ROB OAKESHOTT: Well, first of all it was agreed by all parties, so again that should've been
considered when others, if they're gonna raise the practicalities of it. In reality, there is
probably about one division a day in regards to substantive legislation. Pairing already by its
very nature is pre-organised. The two parties already talk to each other in a pre-organised fashion
about, "Joe Blow's away, therefore you've gotta remove one of yours." It's a spin on that which
isn't that much more difficult than what is already in play, and it was being done for all the
right reasons of trying to unlock this situation of a 76-74 parliament. If we don't have that and
if it's not an independent from the crossbenches, we have potentially a Mexican standoff in a
week's time where both sides, in the pretence of being magnanimous, are offering someone from the
other side, when in all reality what they're trying to do is remove one of their numbers in a
straight political exercise. That was identified. We tried to address it. Obviously that's now
drifting a bit. We're back to square one.

KERRY O'BRIEN: But I wonder if you weren't being somewhat naive in hoping and expecting that within
the Coalition ranks, which includes the National Party, there's obviously been some history of ill
will and discord between yourself and the National Party over years. Was it too much to expect that
they would embrace - as a member of the Coalition, that they would embrace you as a genuinely
independent Speaker? And having voted effectively against the Coalition in supporting Labor for
minority government?

ROB OAKESHOTT: We shook hands on an agreement. We looked each other in the eye. We reached verbal
agreement and we reached written agreement. Naive to believe that everyone in politics understands
in Australia today what a verbal, eyeballing, handshake written agreement means? Maybe. I would
hope that the other 21 aspects of this reform document stack up and do survive the next week. They
are important for the way public policy is delivered in this country. I would just hope a few
people are maybe a bit more honest over the next few days that this is not a constitutional issue,
this is not a practical issue. Clearly, as you raise, there are some political issues. If that's
the case, say it and let's move on and try and pick a good Speaker for the next Parliament.

KERRY O'BRIEN: One effect that your announcement of interest in the speakership did have was to
cause Tony Abbott to express respect for the Labor speaker in the last Parliament, Harry Jenkins,
and that he would prefer to see Harry Jenkins as Speaker. Now that's actually not a bad start, is
it, to a more bipartisan or more sensible approach to the Parliament?

ROB OAKESHOTT: Isn't it fascinating? Three weeks ago, it was fairies and pixie dust when a unity
ticket was mentioned; now we're actually seeing that. But that is actually, in my view, an example
of potentially what's gonna be played out over the next few days is, due to the raw numbers, under
the pretence of being magnanimous, we are gonna see one side offer up one from the other side and
vice versa.

KERRY O'BRIEN: But if they do balance each other out, isn't that the desired outcome?

ROB OAKESHOTT: Well, not if - well if constitutions - you know, if rhetoric is to be believed, then
someone is losing a pairing right as a Speaker and therefore that affects substantially the numbers
on the floor of the House. So a few people now have to either start to rethink some of their
rhetoric, and let's see whether they truly do believe it's a Section 40 issue or really a Rob
Oakeshott issue.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Now, speaking about Rob Oakeshott issues, people still talk about that moment when
you fronted the media with Tony Windsor to announce which side you were going to support. Have you
looked back at the video of that not so brief moment in our political history, and was it as much
agony for you looking back as it was for the rest of the country as you were doing it?

ROB OAKESHOTT: Yeah, I could only get to about 10 minutes of it. No. Look, yeah, maybe I spoke too
long. I'm quite open about that. But the reason I did was to try and get some substantial issues
out there and to really try and explain the process that I went through; that it wasn't some ...

KERRY O'BRIEN: But it did look a very agonising time for you.

ROB OAKESHOTT: Well, it was and so I wanted people - not just the 17 minutes, but the 17 days, and
so I wanted people to see that.

KERRY O'BRIEN: They did. They definitely saw that.

ROB OAKESHOTT: Well, and, you know, I accept, you know, the twits and all the various criticisms of
17 minutes, but I hope people do put it in the context of: this was a big issue for this country,
not just for myself. And the issues raised, I would love to see debated more as a consequence, and
I haven't. I've seen comments about a 17-minute speech, but not so much about the regional
education crisis. We're starting to see a re-engagement on a climate change debate. We're starting
to see a regional broadband debate. We're starting to see stability in the Parliament start to be
discussed, like we are tonight, and that's good. So, yeah, I'll cop some hits for 17 minutes, but I
hope we can get down to the substance some time soon.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Rob Oakeshott, thanks for talking with us.

ROB OAKESHOTT: Thanks, Kerry.

Low donor rates put patients at risk

KERRY O'BRIEN, PRESENTER: More than 80 per cent of Australians are in favour of organ donation and
the nation has a world-class reputation for successful transplant outcomes.

So you'd think that Australia would be at the top of the list of countries saving lives through
organ transplantation.

Instead, an extremely low organ donation rate means a long waiting list, a wait some patients don't

Part of the problem is that fewer than one in five Australians have discussed their wishes with
loved ones and it is the next of kin who have the final say on whether organ donation can proceed.

18 months ago the Federal Government announced a $150 million program to boost transplant numbers,
but critics say the program is flawed and change isn't happening quickly enough.

Tracy Bowden reports.

TRACY BOWDEN, REPORTER: It's approaching midnight and in the Intensive Care Unit at St. George
Hospital in Sydney's south, an organ donation team is in the midst of a delicate process.

They've given their consent to proceed with organ donation.

TRACY BOWDEN: A man in his late 40s who suffered a brain haemorrhage has been declared brain-dead.

I think it would be fairly hopeful that he will be a good heart/lung donor at this point in time.

And hopefully we'll be going to theatre in probably about three hours from now.

TRACY BOWDEN: Within 24 hours, a critically ill patient in another state will be given a new chance
at life with a lung transplant, proof to some that Australia's organ donation system is getting

JEREMY CHAPMAN, ADVISOR, ORGAN & TISSUE AUTHORITY: Finally, after 20 years of mucking around, we've
got a system that's being put into place.

TRACY BOWDEN: As many as 2,000 Australians are on organ transplant waiting lists, but the rate of
organ donation here is dire by global standards. With 11.3 deceased organ donors for every million
people, Australia is well behind nations like Norway, the US and Spain.

BRUCE PUSSELL, STAFF SPECIALIST, PRINCE WALES HOSPITAL: We see people who are waiting for an organ
suffering, sometimes dying, on the waiting list.

MARK COLVIN, JOURNALIST: We are a first world country and this donor rate is not a first world
donor rate.

TRACY BOWDEN: Journalist Mark Colvin is used to being an observer. He's spent 35 years covering
stories around the world and is now the presenter of ABC Radio's PM program. But this issue is

MARK COLVIN: It's frustrating. I don't know where the problem lies. I'm not a - I'm neither a
doctor nor an administrator. But I do think that there is a problem and I want it to come to public

TRACY BOWDEN: Back in 1994 while on assignment for the ABC in Africa, Mark Colvin contracted an
illness which triggered a disease which causes inflammation of the blood vessels.

MARK COLVIN: Before the disease was finished with me, I was haemorrhaging blood, my kidneys failed,
my lungs filled with fluid. So I was very, very close to death.

TRACY BOWDEN: The disease is in remission, but the kidney damage is irreparable and getting worse.

So, Mark, is it with some trepidation now that you have the latest round of tests?

MARK COLVIN: Yeah, I've been going through this for quite a while now and every month there's a bit
of suspense, I s'pose. Is this gonna be one where they say, "Right, yes, you've gotta start the
dialysis now"?

TRACY BOWDEN: More than 10,000 Australians are on dialysis; many need a transplant. Other patients
are waiting for other organs, including hearts, lungs and livers.

ANGELA ALLEN: We relocated up here when Indi was listed for transplant. So, yeah, at the moment,
packing boxes and packing up memories.

TRACY BOWDEN: Angela and Peter Allen's daughter Indiana was born with a serious liver condition. As
she got sicker, the only answer was a transplant.

ANGELA ALLEN: We were comforted in the fact that when we first was listed, that the doctors had
said to us that no child had died in the last 10 years waiting for a liver transplant. So as you
can imagine, as a parent, hearing that, you just felt such a relief.

TRACY BOWDEN: But the Allens knew there were no guarantees.

PETER ALLEN: You just get to the point where you just hope every day that one comes, but ...

BRYAN MYERSON, SHARELIFE: And I just felt I've gotta do something. I didn't know what to do, but
I've just gotta do something.

TRACY BOWDEN: Diabetic Bryan Myerson waited three years for a combined kidney-pancreas transplant.
Reinvigorated, he was determined to make sure more Australians could have the same chance.

The architect recruited philanthropic high achievers to form a group called ShareLife. They took a
business approach to what they saw as a problem of supply and demand. After studying successful
systems overseas, ShareLife put a plan to the Federal Government. A key element was having
designated organ donation teams in all hospitals.

BRYAN MYERSON: The way it's handled in the hospitals makes all the difference. If you have the
correct people doing the asking, if you have the correct people educating the family, those are the
things that really make it a dramatic difference.

TRACY BOWDEN: Dedicated organ donation teams were part of then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's $150
million reform package announced in 2008.

Other changes included setting up a national transplant authority and community awareness programs.
The ShareLife plan was factored into the reform package.

JEREMY CHAPMAN: We're getting more patients transplanted and we're getting great results with those
transplants. Most important thing.

TRACY BOWDEN: Australia has one of the highest success rates of organ transplantation in the world,
and one of the key advisers to the Government's reform strategy is convinced the new system is
improving the supply problem.

JEREMY CHAPMAN: This year we 've got a 30 per cent improvement compared with this time last year.

BRUCE PUSSELL: We've gone down and we've come back up again. There has been an improvement, but
it's over a low base from the year before.

TRACY BOWDEN: Mark Colvin's renal specialist Bruce Pussell supports the reforms, but believes that
in many cases the changes aren't filtering down to the hospital wards.

BRUCE PUSSELL: My aim is to get a system in place that does work, that is documented to work, not
some other program which is another manifestation of what's been going on in this country for the
last 20 years.

TRACY BOWDEN: Is it awkward for you to be speaking out about this?

BRUCE PUSSELL: Oooh, yes. Ha ha. I have received a lot of criticism from my colleagues around
Australia for speaking out like this. Um ... they see me ... ah ... ah ... as ... um ... ah ...
trying to destroy the national authority. That's not true.

TRACY BOWDEN: Advisors to the Government's Organ & Tissue Authority say it's too soon to criticise
the pace of change and urge patience.

JEREMY CHAPMAN: You know, I don't work to a six-monthly bottom line profit line. It doesn't work
like that for me. I work on long-term changes in the health system that make a difference that
stays forever.

TRACY BOWDEN: Today Mark Colvin is getting the results of his latest blood tests. The news is not

BRUCE PUSSELL: This is the percentage of kidney function left. OK? 100 per cent is normal and this
shows that you're now down to about five per cent.


BRUCE PUSSELL: Yeah. So that's how severe it is. So, we need to start and we need to start dialysis
in order to stop you from becoming ill as a consequence of the severity of the kidney function.

MARK COLVIN: And at this stage I go onto the transplant list.

TRACY BOWDEN: Within 24 hours, Mark Colvin is having his first session of dialysis. In Australia,
the average wait for a deceased donor kidney is four to seven years.

MARK COLVIN: "How long is this going to last?," is what you think to yourself. "How long am I gonna
have to keep going every two days to the hospital, spending five hours in a chair, hooked up,
unable to move, and will I eventually shuffle off this mortal coil without getting a transplant?"

TRACY BOWDEN: The reality is that the health authorities and the members of ShareLife all want the
same thing: more Australian lives saved because of an increase in the number of organ donors. The
issue is whether the right processes have been put in place and is change happening as quickly as
it should?

MARK COLVIN: I don't have any particular hopes for myself. I'm just saying that a lot of people's
lives would be a lot better if we could improve this.

JEREMY CHAPMAN: Is the work all done? No, of course it's not. Absolutely not. There's a huge amount
of work still to do. But is this the right plan being implemented to make change? I certainly
believe so.

ANGELA ALLEN: I just never imagined my life without her.

TRACY BOWDEN: Indiana Allen was still on the waiting list for a liver when she died in the Royal
Children's Hospital in Brisbane at the age of 21 months.

PETER ALLEN: There's other kids up there waiting. You know, they're no - they're going down the
same road we're going down. And we want them to have ...

ANGELA ALLEN: Or went down, darling.

PETER ALLEN: Yeah, went down. Sorry, darl'.

ANGELA ALLEN: Especially our key message is talk to your family, because as things stand at the
moment, you need your family to make that final decision. That's one-off conversation that you have
to have and it can mean all the difference.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Tracy Bowden with that report. And anyone who'd like to register online to be an
organ donor can go to the website and follow the link to the
Australian organ donor register.

and following the link to the Australian organ donor register. That's the program for tonight. We
will be now, goodnight. Closed Captions by CSI This Program is Captioned Live.

THEME MUSIC Hello, I'm Tony Fitzgerald. Tonight's program continues the story of renowned
journalist Michael Ware. When he was a young law graduate, Michael worked as my associate on the
Queensland Court of Appeal. Now he's famous in the United States for his brave reporting from
Middle Eastern war zones. Michael Ware's story concludes tonight but first, this recap.

The face of combat journalism is Michael Ware. He gets the story that no-one has the guts to cover.

Michael Ware is the only Western journalist in regular contact with insurgents.

Once I was in these conflicts, there was a sense of belonging.

I just presumed he would give it all up when he had Jack.

On behalf of your Bad Boys, we present this...

He built up a really, really good team of people.

The Iraqi staff weren't a second family, they were just family. That's the only film I have of my
kidnapping. You see a member of Al-Qaeda stepping out from the median strip pulling the pin on a
grenade. I was being readied for my execution. Through gritted teeth, they literally shoved me
back. Straight after my kidnapping by Al-Qaeda I didn't leave my bedroom for three days. Every time
I got into a car of any description, going anywhere, I had - I immediately wanted to throw up. At
the same time, I was under threat from Al-Qaeda. They were specifically targeting me for something
I'd published. We knew that there was a team coming to kill me. Weapons dealers and others had
warned us. We knew the attack would commence with a bomb. Suddenly at our main checkpoint, a
massive car bomb went off.