One of the people Ive enormously admired in recent years is Greg Mortenson. Hes a former mountain climber who, after a failed effort to climb the worlds second-highest mountain, K2, began building schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan. In person, Greg is modest, passionate and utterly disorganized. Once he showed up half-an-hour late for a speech, clumping along with just one shoe and then kept his audience spellbound with his tale of building peace through schools. Greg has spent chunks of time traipsing through Afghanistan and Pakistan, constructing schools in impossible places, and he works himself half to death. Instead of driving around in a white S.U.V. with a security detail, he wears local clothes and takes battered local cars to blend in. He justly berates himself for spending too much time on the road and not enough with his wife, Tara Bishop, and their children, Amira and Khyber. Ive counted Greg as a friend, had his family over at my house for lunch and extolled him in my column. He gave a blurb for my most recent book, Half the Sky, and I read his book Three Cups of Tea to my daughter. Its indisputable that Greg has educated many thousands of children, and he has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. And now his lifes work is tottering after a 60 Minutes expos and an online booklet by Jon Krakauer, a onetime supporter. Greg is accused of many offenses: misstating how he got started building schools; lying about a dramatic kidnapping; exaggerating how many schools he has built and operates; and using his charity, the Central Asia Institute, as his personal A.T.M. The attorney general of Montana, where his charity is based, has opened an inquiry into the allegations. I dont know what to make of these accusations. Part of me wishes that all this journalistic energy had been directed instead to ferret out abuses by politicians who allocate government resources to campaign donors rather than to the neediest among us, but thats not a real answer. The critics have raised serious questions that deserve better answers: we need to hold school-builders accountable as well as fat cats. New York Times