Bilal Hussein to be tried in the Iraqi justice system

posted at 5:00 pm on November 19, 2007 by Bryan

Bilal Hussein is the AP stringer photographer who was arrested in Iraq by US forces in April 2006 and held on suspicion that he had serious connections to terrorists. Trying him in the Iraqi justice system does make sense. Whether he’s guilty or not (and the evidence suggests that he’s as guilty as a Kennedy in a sorority house), his alleged crimes were against the Iraqi people and committed inside Iraq. But the Associated (with terrorists) Press isn’t 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.

Isn’t announcing the means and venue of trial at least a step in the direction of vindication if you believe, as the AP does, that he’s innocent? Would they have him just tossed out without the chance to at least clear his name?

Evidently not. 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.

But they didn’t earn the Associated (with terrorists) Press nickname for being shrinking violets, did they?

Update: Michelle has much more. She has owned this story since Hussein’s arrest 19 months ago.

Update: Rusty Shackleford, terrorist hunter.

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Its was never about the trial but just about playing politics to get their man released.

They dont care if he is guilty or not.

William Amos on November 19, 2007 at 5:02 PM

Isn’t one of the aspects of “democracy” that we’ve been fighting for, besides the vote of course, is a free and indedpendent judiciary? Could this be a first step?

Grantman on November 19, 2007 at 5:07 PM

I wonder what sort of punishment the Iraqi Justice System doles out for crimes like this. I bet it’s worse than water boarding.

Buy Danish on November 19, 2007 at 5:23 PM

Its was never about the trial but just about playing politics to get their man released.

They dont care if he is guilty or not.

William Amos on November 19, 2007 at 5:02 PM

It’s not about getting their man out, it’s about their ideological position on the war. Hussein’s actions always worked to support their agenda driven ideological point of view. America is the evil great Satanic imperialistic hegemony bent on subjugating the entire world for it’s profit. And they, AP are the knight in shining armor fighting to rescue the poor enslaved proletariat from the vile and evil bourgeois.

doriangrey on November 19, 2007 at 5:27 PM

Its time the Press learns that when aiding and abetting the enemy, a Press badge makes for a poor shield.

.

GT on November 19, 2007 at 5:27 PM

Scott Pelley of CBS probably is telling Hussein that his defense is ” I just report”. Remember when that piece of garbage Pelley interviewed a terrorist and then told Bremer about it? Bremer asked if Pelley had turned him in and Pelley said no. Bremer then asked for the name and he, Bremer, would get him. Pelley said “No, I report”.
I’ve turned off CBS forever ever since then. The AP is no better.

MNDavenotPC on November 19, 2007 at 5:28 PM

I wonder what the AP’s editorial position has been on similar issues that didn’t involve an AP reporter… for example, were they hostile to the idea of US troops being tried in Iraqi courts after Haditha (which the Iraqi government was calling for, weren’t they?), or to Iraqi trials for Blackwater employees?

DaveS on November 19, 2007 at 5:36 PM

You know whats next ? AP News running the story that “evil neocons are just attacking us to keep us distracted from the failure of the war in Iraq

They are predictible thats for sure

William Amos on November 19, 2007 at 5:41 PM

William Amos on November 19, 2007 at 5:41 PM

That actually doesn’t sound like anything I’ve ever heard from the AP.

DaveS on November 19, 2007 at 6:05 PM

AP news

In the so-called blogosphere, where there have long been accusations of bias among photographers and reporters covering the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Middle East, the news of his arrest spurred a visceral sense of vindication.

A number of liberal blogs defended the work of these journalists.

“The broader campaign by the right against war coverage has, with a few exceptions, amounted to little more than thuggery designed to get news orgs to think twice before bringing images back to America of the carnage in the Middle East,” wrote Greg Sargent at The Horse’s Mouth, a blog on reporting and politics, part of The American Prospect’s Web site.

William Amos on November 19, 2007 at 6:29 PM

Bilal Hussein is the AP stringer spy photographer

Kini on November 19, 2007 at 8:04 PM

he’s as guilty as a Kennedy in a sorority house

THAT my friends is comedy gold!!!

commonsensehoosier on November 19, 2007 at 9:25 PM

For Bilal, it’s time to pray for Mercy.

Zorro on November 20, 2007 at 7:07 AM

Is anyone actually surprised that they found a terrorist sympathizer working for the AP?

rplat on November 20, 2007 at 8:25 AM

he’s as guilty as a Kennedy in a sorority_____ house
THAT my friends is comedy gold!!!

commonsensehoosier on November 19, 2007 at 9:25 PM

Bryan’s too much the gentleman, so fill in the blank.

hillbillyjim on November 20, 2007 at 1:39 PM