Washington Post foreign correspondent Kevin Sullivan will be online Friday, Feb. 29, at 11 a.m. ET from London to discuss the young royal's deployment and the behind-the-scenes maneuvering to keep the story from being reported.
His presence there had been kept secret from the public in a remarkable deal between the British military and media. But the secret was revealed in two little-noticed articles in an Australian tabloid magazine, and then blasted into the global media spotlight Thursday by the Drudge Report Web site. Harry's deployment immediately became sensational news in London, rekindling an emotional debate about whether the red-haired second son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana should be risking his life in war.
A transcript follows.
Kevin Sullivan: Hello from London. The Ministry of Defense officially called Prince Harry back to the UK this morning, saying all the publicity has jeopardized his safety and the safety of the soldiers serving with him. Lots to talk about, so fire away....
NW, DC: Why in 2008 do we as humans place a higher value on this man's life moreso than others?
His death in combat would be no more of a feather in the Taliban's cap, if we did not treat him as such. If he has elected to serve let him serve just as any other enlisted soldier. If not, just admit he followed this course and served in this capacity strictly for show on behalf of the royal family. Don't they have something comparable to the Coast Guard or civil defense in Britain?
Kevin Sullivan: This question goes to the heart of the matter here. I don't think anyone believes Harry's life is worth more than another person's. There is a feeling, though, that he is something of a symbol of Britain, and that is compounded by the tragic death of his mother. Many people here have told us that Harry's death would be a blow for Britain. So why let him serve? Partly it's tradition--the royal family...
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