Award-Winning Photojournalist Held in Iraqi Torture Dungeon
November 21, 2007
According to the Pentagon, Bilal Hussein, an award-winning photographer, is “a terrorist operative who infiltrated the AP.” That’s why he is being held in an Iraqi prison without due process. And that’s why the supposed “new evidence” that “has come to light” about Hussein is secret.
“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,” reports the Associated Press.
AP Associate General Counsel Dave Tomlin “said the AP has faced chronic difficulties in meeting Hussein at the Camp Cropper detention facility in Baghdad and that its own intensive investigations of the case — conducted by a former federal prosecutor, Paul Gardephe — have found no support for allegations he was anything other than a working journalist in a war zone.”
Naturally, simply working as a photojournalist in a “war zone,” that is to say an occupation zone, and taking the wrong photographs is a crime. It makes little sense that a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer would throw his career away and join up with the “insurgents,” that is to say the Iraqi resistance, who are considered terrorists by the United States. Of course, such things are not out of the realm of possibility.
U.S. military officials in Iraq did not immediately respond to AP questions about what precise accusations are planned against Hussein.
Previously, the military has outlined a host of possible lines of investigation, including claims that Hussein offered to provide false identification to a sniper seeking to evade U.S.-led forces and that Hussein took photographs that were synchronized with insurgent blasts.
The AP inquiry found no support for either of those claims. The bulk of the photographs Hussein provided the AP were not about insurgent activity; he detailed both the aftermath of attacks and the daily lives of Iraqis in the war zone. There was no evidence that any images were coordinated with the insurgents or showed the instant of an attack.
For the neocons in charge of the Pentagon merely taking photographs of “the aftermath of attacks and the daily lives of Iraqis in the war zone” is enough to keep Mr. Hussein in the torture dungeons of Camp Cropper indefinitely. “Even if he comes out the other side with an acquittal — as we certainly hope and trust that he will — there is no guarantee that he won’t go right back into detention as a security risk,” said Tomlin. …