Tuesday on Twitter, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) took a shot at the New York Times in the wake of the killing of al Qaeda leader Ayman Al Zawahiri over its connection to Taliban leader Sirajuddin Haqqani, author of an infamous 2020 Times op-ed titled, “What We, The Taliban, Want.”
The Times drew criticism at the time for platforming Haqqani and identifying him only by his Taliban leadership position and not mentioning the violent Haqqani Network, a U.S.-designated terrorist organization.
Cotton set off an uproar at the Times that same year with his op-ed about possible U.S. military force to assist local enforcement in quelling civil unrest at the time. The op-ed led to a staff revolt, with dozens claiming on social media that the piece had put black Times employees in danger. Editorial page editor James Bennet resigned in the backlash, and the bizarre episode further damaged the paper’s already shaky credibility.
On Tuesday, Cotton couldn’t resist needling the paper: “The @nytimes really needs to improve its process for accepting op-eds. I know there’s some hard feelings on their part, but I’ll promise not to harbor al Qaeda leaders if they want to publish me again,” he wrote on Twitter.