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Last April, a CBS cameraman was shot and wounded by US troops at the scene of a fatal car bombing in Mosul, Iraq. Later the Army would announce that
1. The individual had been denounced by Iraqi citizens who were at the scene for being with the terrorists.
2. He had video of at least four car bombings in his camera.
3. He tested positive for explosives residue.
But today's Wall Street Journal has an update - though they don't mention items 1, 2, and 3 in their report:
Three days later, the military released a second statement saying that Mr. Hussein had been "detained for alleged insurgent activity" and there was probable cause to believe he posed "an imperative threat to coalition forces."By the way, Michael Yon mentioned the event here - the soldiers involved were part of Deuce-Four.
That statement has sparked a bitter legal and political dispute with Viacom Inc.'s CBS, which has lobbied senior military and civilian officials to try to win the cameraman's release. Mr. Hussein, who has been unable to see his family or his lawyer since being detained, faces a hearing today in Baghdad that will determine whether he will be released.
CBS News, which insists that its cameraman is innocent, says it has spent tens of thousands of dollars gathering evidence in Iraq that could be presented at review board hearings for Mr. Hussein and hiring a Washington law firm to press his case with the Pentagon, Congress and the State Department. But so far, those efforts have proved fruitless, and the network is publicly discussing aspects of the case for the first time.
Mr. Hussein's story illustrates the difficulty of reporting in Iraq. The Committee to Protect Journalists, a nonprofit organization, describes the country "as the most dangerous place in the world to work as a journalist," noting that 23 journalists were killed there last year and an additional 15 have died so far this year. Because the dangers to Westerners are so great, foreign media outlets frequently rely on Iraqis hired locally to supplement their staff reporting. The Iraqis travel around the country far more than the Westerners and are routinely targeted by insurgents or involved in accidental shootings by Americans. On June 30, for instance, Knight Ridder reporter Yasser Salihee was killed on his day off by a U.S. Army sniper.
Western media organizations increasingly complain that their Iraqi hires are routinely detained by the U.S. military without charges. In addition to Mr. Hussein, at least four Iraqi journalists -- including two cameramen for the Reuters news agency -- remain in American custody. In an interview yesterday with Reuters, Iraqi Justice Minister Abdul Hussein Shandal criticized such detentions and said journalists should be able to film attacks and interview insurgents without fear of being arrested.
CBS describes Mr. Hussein as a timid young man who was so afraid of coming into contact with insurgents that he was warned at least once that he would be fired unless he went into the field more often. The network says it found Mr. Hussein through its local correspondent in Tikrit, an employee who had been on its payroll for two years. It says Mr. Hussein was a graduate of Mosul University where he belonged to a student group that organized a reception for Mosul's new governor that was funded with American money and attended by several U.S. military officers. Mr. Hussein, who is unmarried, lived with his family in a predominantly Kurdish neighborhood where they are some of the only Arabs.
And now it's night in Iraq, and I can't find any online mention of the outcome of that hearing today.
Right, the guy is caught with video of four bombings plus tested positive for explosives residue but CBS believes him innocent.
Somebody at CBS needs to read a copy of the Jihad training manual to understand how they are aiding the enemy.Posted by susan at September 16, 2005 01:03 AM
Guilty or not, Media reporters are not treated kindly by the U.S. Military.
Its a dangerous job but it pays well and Iraqis who are hungry for the money will take chances to get the pictures or story.
Put that up against Soldiers and Marines who trust no one and have to protect themselves and you have a recipe for disaster.
Any way you cut it there are no winners in that kind of situation.
Actually, for the past thirty years the US Military has not been treated very kindly by Media reporters. The assumption held by most Media reporters is that the US Military is some evil industrial complex which must be attacked from every angle.
The irony is that Media reporters are left perplexed as to why the US Military distrusts the Media.Posted by susan at September 16, 2005 03:40 PM
CBS is SO noble!...
It's hiring a law firm to get this cameraman/terrorism suspect released....
By its own admission, the network threatened to FIRE the same guy for not risking his life enough for the network's taste!....
What a crock!Posted by Mike at September 16, 2005 06:17 PM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(4) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)