Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Iraq II: Why is Bilal Hussein in Prison?

Why has the U.S. military imprisoned Bilal Hussein, an Iraqi citizen and Pulitzer Prize-winning Associated Press photographer, for the last five months without filing charges or holding a public hearing?

The military says that Hussein is a security threat, but won't say why.
But I know why.

Hussein and the other AP shooters who shared the 2005 Pulitzer for news photography, including my friend Jim "Mac" MacMillan, have been targeted by right wing bloggers like Michelle Malkin, who is convinced that they are in cahoots with insurgents who tip them to car bombings and such so that they can be on scene, cameras in hand, when the flesh flies.

This contention beggars belief, but certainly is a comfy fit with a White House deeply in denial about its failed mission in Iraq and anxious to discredit anyone who has the documentary evidence of that reality like the in-your-face news photos that Hussein took in Ramadi and Fallujah, two towns in Anbar Province that have cycled in and out and back into insurgent control.
All the military will say is that Hussein was captured with two insurgents, including an alleged Al Qaeda leader. Hussein says that he is innocent.

He is not the only Iraqi journalist being held without charges. The exact number is unknown.
I worked with Mac for years and he is cut from the same cloth as all great photojournalists. He is fearless, not afraid to go behind the scenes and has a sixth sense for being in the right place at the right time.

The same goes for Bilal.
Insofar that he has the AP on his side, Bilal is a lucky man. Some 14,000 people are being detained worldwide by the U.S. beyond the reach of established law.

More here.

(Hat tips to Dan Rubin at Blinq and Will Bunch at Attytood.)

No comments: