Posted by Curt on 19 November, 2007 at 4:45 pm. 10 comments already!

The AP just doesn’t know when to quit.  First they’re upset that one of their Iraqi employees, Bilal Hussein, gets arrested with damning evidence showing that he collaborated with the enemy and they demand he be charged or released:

The U.S. military in Iraq has imprisoned an Associated Press
photographer for five months, accusing him of being a security threat
but never filing charges or permitting a public hearing. Military
officials said Bilal Hussein, an Iraqi citizen, was being held for
“imperative reasons of security” under United Nations resolutions. AP
executives said the news cooperative’s review of Hussein’s work did not
find anything to indicate inappropriate contact with insurgents, and
any evidence against him should be brought to the Iraqi criminal
justice system.

Hussein, 35, is a native of Fallujah who began work for the AP in
September 2004. He photographed events in Fallujah and Ramadi until he
was detained on April 12 of this year.

“We want the rule of law to prevail. He either needs to be charged
or released. Indefinite detention is not acceptable,” said Tom Curley,
AP’s president and chief executive officer. “We’ve come to the
conclusion that this is unacceptable under Iraqi law, or Geneva
Conventions, or any military procedure.”

Now that the military has decided to bring charges against the scumbag, giving him his day in court, they are still not happy:

The U.S. military plans to seek a criminal case in an Iraqi court against an
award-winning Associated Press photographer but is refusing to disclose what
evidence or accusations would be presented.

An AP attorney on Monday strongly protested the decision, calling the U.S.
military plans a “sham of due process.” The journalist, Bilal Hussein, has
already been imprisoned without charges for more than 19 months.

A public affairs officer notified the AP on Sunday that the military intends
to submit a written complaint against Hussein that would bring the case into the
Iraqi justice system as early as Nov. 29. Under Iraqi codes, an investigative
magistrate will decide whether there are grounds to try Hussein, 36, who was
seized in the western Iraqi city of Ramadi on April 12, 2006.

Dave Tomlin, associate general counsel for the AP, said the defense for
Hussein is being forced to work “totally in the dark.”

The military has not yet defined the specific charges against Hussein.
Previously, the military has pointed to a range of suspicions that attempt to
link him to insurgent activity.

The AP rejects all the allegations and contends it has been blocked by the
military from mounting a wide-ranging defense for Hussein, who was part of the
AP’s Pulitzer Prize-winning photo team in 2005.

Soon after Hussein was taken into custody, the AP appealed to the U.S.
military to either release him or bring the case to trial — saying there was no
evidence to support his detention. However, Tomlin said that the military is now
attempting to build a case based on “stale” evidence and testimony that has been
discredited. He also noted that the U.S. military investigators who initially
handled the case have left the country.

Hold on a minute.  First the lawyer for the AP, Dave Tomlin, states that the military won’t disclose the evidence against Bilal (which, seeing as how he is not charged yet, is not surprising) and whines that his defense is operating in the dark.  Then in the next breath he states the military is building a case against Bilal with “stale” evidence and testimony. 

Which is it?  Either you know what the evidence is or you don’t.

Their indignation continues with the AP’s President, Tom Curley:

“The steps the U.S. military is now taking continue to deny Bilal his right
to due process and, in turn, may deny him a chance at a fair trial. The
treatment of Bilal represents a miscarriage of the very justice and rule of law
that the United States is claiming to help Iraq achieve. At this point, we
believe the correct recourse is the immediate release of Bilal.”

Which seems to mean, as Michelle Malkin wrote today, that the AP should be the one to try the case….in the court of public opinion of course.  Laws and rules of war be damned.

Bryan thinks the AP needs to step away from the case completely:

And because they’re a global press organization, they’ll get the chance to try
Hussein on their own wires and they will have the power to demonize the US
military, the Iraqi prosecutors and anyone else who disagrees with them. Out of
maintaining the thinnest veneer of objectivity, the AP ought to recuse itself
from reporting on the Hussein case at all.

They ought to, but they won’t.  This will give them days and days of opportunities to talk trash about our military, it’s the AP’s wet dream.

A little refresher on the evidence against this guy:

The military said Hussein was captured with two insurgents, including
Hamid Hamad Motib, an alleged leader of al-Qaida in Iraq. “He has close
relationships with persons known to be responsible for kidnappings,
smuggling, improvised explosive device (IED) attacks and other attacks
on coalition forces,” according to a May 7 e-mail from U.S. Army Maj.
Gen. Jack Gardner, who oversees all coalition detainees in Iraq.

“The information available establishes that he has relationships
with insurgents and is afforded access to insurgent activities outside
the normal scope afforded to journalists conducting legitimate
activities,” Gardner wrote to AP International Editor John Daniszewski.

[…]The military said bomb-making materials were found in the
apartment where Hussein was captured but it never detailed what those
materials were. The military said he tested positive for traces of

And why the military damn well should of been concerned about him.  This Saddam document lays it out succinctly:

Document ISGQ–2005–00026108.pdf  (link)
dated July 25 2000 is a report from an Iraqi Intelligence officer to
different Iraqi Intelligence Directorates talking about information
provided to them from a trusted source that works in the Associated
Press (AP). The information is about the formation a newly formed UN
weapons inspectors team called UNMOVIC.
Translation of page 4 and 5 of ISGQ–2005–00026108.pdf

Republic of Iraq

The Presidency of the Republic

The Intelligence Service

Date: 25/7/2000

Number: 6146


To: 5th / 4th / 13th Directorates

We were informed from one of our sources (the degree of trust in him is good) who works in the American Associated Press Agency [emphasis added] that the agency broadcasted to through computer to its branches worldwide the following. […]

Finally, it appears The Jawa Report helped nab the scumbag.

A reader, who wishes to remain anonymous, informs me that The Jawa
Report had something to do with Bilal Hussein’s prosecution. Apparently
Bilal Hussein had been picked up in a raid in which he wasn’t the
target. That target was a known al Qaeda operative, and bomb making materials were found in the house.

Hussein was arrested and taken to Abu Ghraib, but no one knew who he was. Just another low-level insurgent, I’m guessing.

He had been sitting in Abu Ghraib for a month, and nobody realized
who he was. The reader was in Abu Ghraib as an investigator working on
an unrelated case when he saw Bilal Hussein and recognized him from the
extensive coverage we had on The Jawa Report.

He reported it up the chain of command, and within days Bilal
Hussein was transferred to a different facility and eventually a
criminal investigation opened on him.  

Awesome job guys!

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