I have a telephone book in which there are still some phone numbers of a handful of people who have died, but whose deaths I cannot digest, and never will. People so full of life, whose voices I can still hear, whose faces I still see, whose ideas I treasure, whose humanity will always be with me.
Now we’ve lost Michael Kelly, who died on the battlefield in one of those stupid accidents that are so typical of war. And the only consolations for this terrible loss are that he died young, at the height of his powers, and that he died doing what he did best and what gave him his unique authority and his strong voice: searching for the truth and presenting it to us in his wonderfully spare and vigorous prose.
His reporting from Iraq was the best, his editorship of The Atlantic was the best, his political commentary was the best. He was a tough guy, an honest man, a great writer, and a national treasure.
— Michael Ledeen, an NRO contributing editor, is most recently the author of The War Against the Terror Masters. Ledeen, Resident Scholar in the Freedom Chair at the American Enterprise Institute, can be reached through Benador Associates.