AP: Colluding With Whom?

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Sep 20, 2006 4:36 PM

Nasty news coverage:

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."

That, apparently, is how you win a Pulitzer.

Press reports have this tone:

The Pentagon defended on Monday its months-long detention of an Associated Press photographer in Iraq, asserting that it has authority to imprison him indefinitely without charges because it believes he had improper ties to insurgents.

But journalism organizations said that covering all sides in the Iraq war sometimes requires contacts with insurgents. They called on the Pentagon to either bring charges against photographer Bilal Hussein so he can defend himself, or release him.

Lots of background, here.

Hussein pics, here.

You think, just maybe, this colors coverage of the war?

Update: Another journalist with close insurgent ties, about 30 years earlier.