Michelle Malkin

The Associated Press proudly calls itself the "essential global news network" and a "bastion of the people's right to know around the world." But when it comes to the "people's right to know" whether Associated Press employees are cooperating with terrorists overseas, the "essential global news network's" motto is: Bug off.

On April 12, I learned from military sources that an Associated Press photographer in Iraq, Fallujah native Bilal Hussein, had been captured in Ramadi in an apartment with insurgents and a cache of weapons. This was news. I asked the AP for confirmation. Corporate spokesman Jack Stokes informed me that company officials were "looking into reports that Mr. Hussein was detained by the U.S. military in Iraq but have no further details at this time." After reporting the alleged detention on my blog (michellemalkin.com/archives/005941.htm), I followed up several more times with AP over the past five months for status updates on Hussein. No reply.

On Sept. 17, the Associated Press finally acknowledged that Hussein was being detained. The AP's overdue revelation was likely part of an attempt to drum up sympathy for Hussein, who has made critical public statements against our troops in Fallujah, and undermine Bush administration interrogation efforts involving military detainees. The AP article not only confirmed Hussein's capture, it also revealed (buried deep in the story) that it knew of Hussein's capture from at least May 7 -- when it received an e-mail from U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Jack Gardner revealing bombshell details:

"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."

In fact, the Pentagon said on Monday, after three separate independent reviews, the military had deemed Hussein a security threat with "strong ties to known insurgents . . . involved in activities that were well outside the scope of what you would expect a journalist to be doing in that country." Hussein "tested positive for traces of explosives."

Let me repeat that: An Associated (with terrorists) Press journalist gets caught with an alleged al Qaeda leader and tests positive for bomb-making materials. That. Is. News. How does a news organization explain away its decision to sit on it for five months? Like this: "The AP has worked quietly until now, believing that would be the best approach."


Michelle Malkin

Michelle Malkin is the author of "Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies" (Regnery 2010).

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