November 19, 2007

AP Photog & Terrorist Propagandist Bilal Hussein to be Charged (UPDATE: Jawa helped nab Bilal Hussein?!?!)

***Bumped: The Jawa Report credited with Bilal Hussein prosecution!! Scroll to end for details***

Above: Curiously, al Qaeda in Iraq fighters pose for Bilal Hussein. Al Qaeda in Iraq is known to routinely murder reporters and photographers. Bilal Hussein, however, was able to get dozens of photos of al Qaeda fighters--many of them posed. He helped the Associated Press win a Pulitzer prize for his photos of his friends in al Qaeda.

Bilal Hussein, a stringer for the Associated Press suspected of having ties to al Qaeda in Iraq, will be charged by the Iraqi government at the request of the U.S. military. Bilal Hussein was caught in an apartment with known members of al Qaeda-- with bomb making material.

Hussein, a native of once al Qaeda in Iraq "capital" Fallujah, alleged the U.S. committed war crimes when it retook the city. Absent from Hussein's reports were photos of al Qaeda torture and murder chambers as they killed any one in the city suspected of being 'too Western'.

True to form, the Associated Press is outraged.

This hot off the AP newswires:

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.

What is the line between spreading enemy propaganda, having contacts with the enemy, and actually being one of the enemy? In war, no such line exists. This is why, as I have argued extensively in the past, Nazi propagandists such as Joseph Goebbels were as guilty of war crimes as any of the other leaders of the Third Reich.

So is Bilal Hussein.

UPDATE: Michelle and I were working on posts simultaneously, she has more photos and background on Bilal Hussein here. Make sure to scroll through the whole thing.

UPDATE II: Bryan has this:

because they’re a global press organization, they’ll get the chance to try Hussein on their own wires and they will get 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.
Indeed. Wouldn't the AP be liable if a victim of terrorism in Iraq, say the family of Salvatore Santoro, were to sue them for their employee's role in the civillian hostage's murder?

Some enterprising lawyer somewhere has to see that there is a direct connection between terrorist propaganda and the deaths of hostages.

So, on top of the pure bad PR of an AP stringer being an al Qaeda propagandist, of course they're going to deny Hussein's involvement. By publishing these propaganda photos on al Qaeda's behalf, isn't the AP liable?

UPDATE: Holy crap, The Jawa Report credited with Bilal Hussein prosecution?!?!

A reader, who wishes to remain anonymous, informs me that The Jawa Report had something to do with Bilal Hussein's prosecution. Apparently Bilal Hussein had been picked up in a raid in which he wasn't the target. That target was a known al Qaeda operative, Hamid Hamad Motib, and bomb making materials were found in the house.

Hussein was arrested and taken to Abu Ghraib, but no one knew who he was. Just another low-level insurgent, I'm guessing.

He had been sitting in Abu Ghraib for a month, and nobody realized that he was the AP photog who had snapped dozens of staged photos with al Qaeda fighters. The reader was in Abu Ghraib as an investigator working on an unrelated case when he saw Bilal Hussein and recognized him from the extensive coverage we had on The Jawa Report.

He reported it up the chain of command and within days Bilal Hussein was transferred to a different facility, NCIS got involved, and eventually a criminal investigation opened on him.

He ends the e-mail with:

THANKS to you guys…you REALLY ARE making an impact on the [the war on terror] ... you can claim credit
Hell, I hope so! I've communicated with the source before, and he seems legit to me.

The Jawa Report, sticking it to al Qaeda propagandists from the comfort of our living rooms. Any one wish to complain about the "chickenhawk" bloggers now?

It's stories like these that make it all worth it!

UPDATE: Glenn wonders if this is another case of Pham Xuan or just a Walter Duranty?

UPDATE: AP digging in, their own internal investigation shows Hussein innocent reporter (aren't all reports, by definition, innocent?)....just extremely lucky that al Qaeda posed for him (dozens of times) ... that terrorists just happen to invite him to see body of murdered hostage....just unlucky to have accidentally invited al Qaeda leader to his house.


UPDATE 11/20: U.S. Military has:

"convincing and irrefutable" evidence that [Bilal Hussein] is connected to the insurgency in Iraq. ...

"additional evidence had come to light that the man was a media operative who had infiltrated The Associated Press."

Presumably they mean Hussein was a media operative for a terrorist group.

Hat tip: Jules Crittenden

UPDATE 11/20: So, how to put the news that the criminal case against Bilal Hussein began because a soldier in Iraq read this blog into context? Had the MSM been the only source of news and information coming out of Iraq, then there would be no case.

Why? Because to the mainstream media (MSM) Bilal Hussein was a hero for his photos of al Qaeda and other terrorist fighters in Iraq. His photos helped the AP get the Pulitzer.

Had Michelle Malkin, who was really at the forefront of this, and other bloggers -- like us -- not been so outraged by photos, then our reader may have never even heard of Bilal Hussein. Can you name another Pulitzer Prize winning photographer off the top of your head?

And as far as we can tell, Hussein would have eventually been let go only to return to his propaganda duties for the terrorists.

So, the blogosphere helped bring to light the outrages that the MSM considers standard operating procedure. Helping produce and disseminate terrorist propaganda is just showing "both sides of the story" to the MSM.

They call it journalistic ethics, we call it treason.

If you'd like to donate to The Jawa Report's "money so Rusty can hire a sitter and take his wife out to dinner so she'll let him park his rear in front of the internet searching for terrorist websites and propaganda" fund, just click below.

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Complete Bilal Hussein archive here.

The Pulitzer and Terrorist Embeds
Bilal Hussein and the Continuing Saga of Insurgent Propaganda via the Media
Bilal Hussein Alive, Still Anti-American
Editor and Publisher Apologizes for Terrorist Embeds *shock*
Pulitzer Prize Given to Terrorists
When Journalists are the Enemy
AP Urges More MSM Propaganda Over Detained Reporter
When Ethics Trump Patriotism and Morality: Ethicsgate
AP Responds to Bloggers: Cite Known Terrorist Sympathizer as Source
AP Reporter in Iraq has Ties to Terrorists
AP Reporter Bilal Hussein Detained for 5 Months

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 06:54 PM | Comments |