Category Archive 'Bilal Hussein'

16 Apr 2008

Bilal Hussein To Be Released

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In another notable instance of official cowardice and incompetence, the US military continued a pattern of appeasing and condoning Iraqi treachery and corruption by acquiescing to the decision of two Iraqi judicial committees to award amnesty to AP photographer & terrorist Bilal Hussein.

AP gloats.

Earlier posts.


They should have released him long ago, having first secured his hands and affixed a rope around his neck, of course.

20 Nov 2007

Bilal Hussein Finally Charged

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AFP: US military brings charges against Bilal Hussein in Iraqi criminal court.

The US military has filed a formal complaint with an Iraqi criminal court accusing a detained, award-winning Associated Press photographer of being a “terrorist media operative,” the Pentagon said Monday.

Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary, said the military made the complaint about Bilal Hussein, who has been held for more than 19 months without charges in US military custody, to Iraq’s Central Criminal Court.

“We believe Bilal Hussein was a terrorist media operative who infiltrated the AP,” he said. “MNF-I possesses convincing and irrefutable evidence that Bilal Hussein is a threat to security and stability as a link to insurgent activity.”

Morrell said an investigative hearing into the case by the court is scheduled to begin on or after November 28.

Hussein was detained April 12, 2006 after marines entered his house in Ramadi to establish a temporary observation post and found bomb-making materials, insurgent propaganda and a surveillance photograph of a US military installation.

Morrell said Hussein, who was part of an AP photo team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2005, had previously aroused suspicion because he was often at the scene insurgent attacks as they occurred.

He said other evidence, which he would not describe, came to light after his detention “that makes it clear that Mr. Hussein is a terrorist media operative who infiltrated the AP.”

But the Associated Press is still vehemently defending its Al Qaeda-affiliated photographer.

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.

In Washington, Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell explained the decision to bring charges now by saying “new evidence has come to light” about Hussein, but said the information would remain in government hands until the formal complaint is filed with Iraqi authorities.

Morrell asserted the military has “convincing and irrefutable evidence that Bilal Hussein is a threat to stability and security in Iraq as a link to insurgent activity” and called Hussein “a terrorist operative who infiltrated the AP.”

AP Associate General Counsel Dave Tomlin rejected the claim: “That’s what the military has been saying for 19 months, but whenever we ask to see what’s so convincing we get back something that isn’t convincing at all.”

The case has drawn attention from press groups as another example of the complications for Iraqis chronicling the war in their homeland—including death squads that target local journalists working for Western media and apparent scrutiny from U.S. intelligence agents.

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.

Tomlin 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 also contends it has been blocked by the military from mounting a comprehensive 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 either to 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 discredited testimony. He also noted that the U.S. military investigators who initially handled the case have left the country. …

While we are hopeful that there could be some resolution to Bilal Hussein’s long detention, we have grave concerns that his rights under the law continue to be ignored and even abused,” said AP President and CEO 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,” Curley added.

It’s ridiculous that the US military has spent 19 months building a case and is trying to bring him to justice via the Iraqi courts. There was ample evidence to have conducted a drumhead court martial under US authority and to have executed Bilal Hussein, as a spy within 24 hours of his arrest.


Previous Bilal Hussein postings

21 Sep 2006

Psychoanalysis Diagnoses Defensive Denial

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ShrinkWrapped puts Slick Willie and the AP on the couch.

One particular, and very clever, defensive maneuver is the veiled negation of the minor error. Often enough, a correct interpretation is undone by a minor factual error, which the patient then can us to negate the entire interpretation, even while appearing to give it careful consideration…

We see this tendency to change the subject to avoid unacceptable thoughts and feelings in much of our public discourse.

For example, the current dispute over the treatment of detainees is a classic example of such misdirection. Bill Clinton was interviewed by NPR this morning. He said that we should not codify the use of torture and that we need to agree that it isn’t right to smack around and torture detainees, some of whom are innocent. In fact, Bill Clinton, often recognized as one of the smartest men to inhabit the White House in recent years, knows quite well that no one in the current Administration is suggesting we routinely torture detainees. The question is how we define torture, not whether we should torture. Is loud music torture? Cold temperatures? A Belly slap? Our interrogators have the right to know what behavior puts them at risk for being sued by the ACLU.

Another example, perhaps more problematic, is currently playing itself out in the blogosphere. Michelle Malkin, among many others, has been following the story of an AP photographer who has been held by coalition forces in Iraq since May, when he was picked up at breakfast with an “al Qaeda in Iraq” leader and another “Insurgent” leader (as per the report by Judy Swallow at the BBC this morning.) Michelle received a note from the AP today disputing her characterization of Bilal Hussein…

..the use of a minor factual error to deny and avoid the implications of Michelle’s column suggests a need for the AP to remain unaware of the effects of their inadvertent complicity.

Three things that can be brought from Psychoanalysis to the situation:

1) When there is a denied, unconscious motivation for behavior, the hidden impulse will continue to press for expression. If the AP (or any MSM outlet) has a need to facilitate enemy propaganda, this will be more and more apparent as time goes on and as attention is paid to those occasions when the impulse breaks through in unmistakable ways. Rathergate and Pallywood are the rules, not the exceptions.

2) When patients use such transparent maneuvers, it is because more effective defenses are no longer working… Once brought into the open, it becomes available for therapeutic work and is a precondition for him changing his behavior. The AP’s transparent and ineffective defense suggests they are having difficulty maintaining their denial and minimization.

3) If Michelle, et al, can avoid polemics, and avoid engaging in arguments over the minor error, it will allow the facts to speak for themselves. This will deny the AP the opportunity to use an argument over minutia to deflect attention away from the most important questions. In this specific case, maintaining the focus on Bilal Hussein and the AP’s overt behavior is the best approach to getting at the facts.

Hat tip to Seneca the Younger.

20 Sep 2006

AP Wants Photographer Linked to Insurgents Released

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AP confirmed what bloggers learned via tips from military sources last April, AP photographer Bilal Hussein was detained, after being captured by American forces in a building in Ramadi, Iraq, with a cache of weapons.

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.”…
In Hussein’s case, the military has not provided any concrete evidence to back up the vague allegations they have raised about him, Curley and other AP executives said.
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.

Hussein proclaims his innocence, according to his Iraqi lawyer, Badie Arief Izzat, and believes he has been unfairly targeted because his photos from Ramadi and Fallujah were deemed unwelcome by the coalition forces.

That Hussein was captured at the same time as insurgents doesn’t make him one of them, said Kathleen Carroll, AP’s executive editor.

No?

Well, how about looking at these photos? or these? AP’s Tom Curley finds nothing inappropriate? Ridiculous. US forces should detain him.

LGF provides a bit more detail on Hussein’s capture.

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.


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