Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 12, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

A DANGEROUS JOB....Over at the CBS News blog, Brian Montopoli writes about the case of Abdul Ameer Younis Hussein, a CBS cameraman who was shot by a sniper while covering a car bombing in Baghdad:

Hussein was taken to a military hospital, where he was treated and arrested. The film in his camera, the military later said, suggested he might be involved with insurgents....The fact that Hussein was taping the event, it was alleged, suggested he had previous knowledge of the attack. And the tape in the camera was said to be damning; there were suggestions it showed four incidents that proved he was involved in insurgent activity.

[Time passes. After a year in Abu Ghraib, Hussein finally gets a trial.]

Normally Iraqi trials take ten or fifteen minutes, but the presiding three-judge panel knew this one was under intense scrutiny, and it lasted over an hour. The news was good for Hussein: The Iraqi attorney general, whose job it was to prosecute Hussein, said there was no evidence to support the prosecution. He was cleared.

....The tape that was in Hussein's camera, which was supposed to have been so damning, turned out to be less than 20 seconds long. The multiple pieces of evidence against Hussein on it did not exist. The tape shows debris in a road, according to Linda Mason, CBS News Senior Vice President, Standards and Special Projects, and a faint voice can be heard shouting "Allahu akbar" God is good. "Ameer had been accused of chanting this, but he was holding the camera and the microphone was right near the camera, so if he were the one chanting this, you would have heard it," Mason told TV Week.

Hussein's lawyer thinks this is an example of the U.S. military sending a message to the press corps: there are certain things we don't want you to tape. Hussein himself, unsurprisingly, has decided he no longer wants to be a journalist.

Kevin Drum 1:44 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (25)

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Comments

Winning the hearts and minds!

Posted by: anonymous on April 12, 2006 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

Probly stil a terrist. Can't deny it!

Posted by: SqueakyRat on April 12, 2006 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

But Jessica Lynch went Rambo and took out a bunch of ragheads when she was going down! if they got that right, how could they mess anything else up ever! USA! USA! USA!

Posted by: nova silverpill on April 12, 2006 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

His name is "Hussein," right? To GITMO!

Posted by: SqueakyRat on April 12, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Absence of evidence Hussein is a terrorist does not mean evidence of absence Hussein is a terrorist. The military might have evidence Hussein is a terrorist, but they just refuse to release it for security reasons.

Posted by: Al on April 12, 2006 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

But he has a funny name, and he speak Arabic. What other evidence do we need?

Is it a journalist he no longer wants to be, or an American ally?

Posted by: craigie on April 12, 2006 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

Well, we have not established the key piece of evidence:

Does he float?

Posted by: POed Lib on April 12, 2006 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

If only they'd start arresting and torturing people who chant "God is good" in this country, we'd win the war on terrorism.

Posted by: Steve on April 12, 2006 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

Off topic, but have we tried to hide thousands of mini cameras on streets known to be used by the bombers so we can either catch them in the act or at least know a bomb has been placed?

I don't recall one story where the bombers have been caught "in the act" of placing the bomb.

Posted by: Robert on April 12, 2006 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

He doesn't want to be journalist any more, but would he like to be a litigant? Or at least an author?

How about CBS. Do they intend to do more than just put this on their news blog? What about 60 Minutes?

Posted by: youngdr on April 12, 2006 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

Hussein, unsurprisingly, has decided he no longer wants to be a journalist.

Yes, but do you think Fox News will take him?

Posted by: . on April 12, 2006 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

American military, ipso facto, bad.

Journalist who shows up early to a bombing, ipso facto, good.

Rooting for America to win, priceless.

Posted by: Birkel on April 12, 2006 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

Be ready for the grand intellectual musings of Birkel, folks. His eminence has arrived.

Posted by: lib on April 12, 2006 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

He was accused of saying "God is great"? That's like arresting a Catholic, say, for exclaiming "Mother of God!"

Posted by: Stefan on April 12, 2006 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

The fact that Hussein was taping the event, it was alleged, suggested he had previous knowledge of the attack.

How about we start arresting some of those people who taped the planes flying into the World Trade Center? The fact that they were taping the towers suggests they had previous knowledge of the attack....

Posted by: Stefan on April 12, 2006 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

Robert >"...I don't recall one story where the bombers have been caught "in the act" of placing the bomb."

Oh come on now

You can`t have Perpetual War & Perpetual War Profiteering if you actually try and capture the "enemy"

"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." - H. L. Mencken

Posted by: daCascadian on April 12, 2006 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

ipso facto, good.

Right. It's easy to confuse "There was zero evidence against this man" with "You guys believe he's ipso facto good! And you, um, hate the military!"

If you're criminally stupid, that is.

Won't you take me to...Binary Town!? (Talk about it, talk about it, talk about it, talk about iiiiiiiit.)

Posted by: shortstop on April 12, 2006 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

Illegally occupying military, ipso facto, good.

Journalist doing his job, ipso facto, bad.

Birkel spewing propaganda, useless.


Posted by: jayarbee on April 12, 2006 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

No! I never said you guys hate the military.

Interesting thought, that.

I'll take it under advisement.

Posted by: Birkel on April 12, 2006 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

No! I never said you guys hate the military.

Interesting thought, that.

I'll take it under advisement.

BINARY TOOOOOWN! (Ba-buh-buh-buh-buh!)

Posted by: shortstop on April 12, 2006 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

Shit Ann Coulter committed voter fraud,A felony by the way will she be arrested?

Posted by: Rightminded on April 12, 2006 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

hey birkel.

why stop at No! I never said you guys hate the military.

that's too mild.

you should've said No! I never said you guys hate America.

or better still No! I never said you guys are traitors.


Posted by: lib on April 12, 2006 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

Rightminded >"...will she be arrested?"

A ReThuglican arrested for voter fraud in Florida ???

HA HA HA HA

Good one that !

"The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion." - Edmund Burke

Posted by: daCascadian on April 12, 2006 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

So now you guys are down to the argument that you can incorrectly construe what I have written to what you think I actually meant?

It's kinda sad, really.

Posted by: Birkel on April 12, 2006 at 11:23 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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