Tuesday, November 20, 2007

AP Press photographer may be "terrorist media operative"

The US military says it will recommend criminal charges against an Associated Press photographer detained in 2006 on suspicion of helping Iraqi insurgents.

The Pentagon says additional evidence has come to light proving Bilal Hussein is a "terrorist media operative" who infiltrated the news agency.

The above photo is his Pulitzer winner. The amazing thing about this story is how bloggers were all over it before it was even a story. Back in December of 2004 the Belmont Club wondered how this AP photographer could be at the right place at the right time.

Abdul Hussein Al-Obedi of the Associated Press wrote at the time of the photo:

In Baghdad, dozens of gunmen-- unmasked and apparently unafraid to show their faces-- executed three election officials on Sunday, part of their campaign to disrupt next month's parliamentary ballot. ... The deadly strikes Sunday highlighted the apparent ability of the insurgents to launch attacks almost at will, despite confident assessments by U.S. military commanders that they had regained the initiative after last month's campaign against militants in Fallujah.

A photo that sent a clear message, not to just a few, but to the world.
How convenient. And bloggers took notice.

The AP at the time dismissed any charges against Bilal Hussein as "ridiculous' and to this day defend him.