NEW YORK (AP) - 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.
Bilal Hussein is the AP stringer photographer who was arrested in Iraq by US forces in April 2006 and held on suspicion that he had serious connections to terrorists. Trying him in the Iraqi justice system does make sense. Whether he’s guilty or not (and the evidence suggests that he’s as guilty as a Kennedy in a sorority house), his alleged crimes were against the Iraqi people and committed inside Iraq. But the Associated (with terrorists) Press isn’t happy.
Michelle Malkin has a refresher course in Bilal Hussein's career. Please take a moment to go check out those photos, and the accompanying text.
Sweetness and Light recaps Bilal Hussein's oeuvre, and reminds us that "The last two photos are of the heroic “insurgents” who kidnapped and then murdered the Italian national, Salvatore Santoro."
The Belmont Club comments:
The poor performance of government lawyers so far probably means that Bilal Hussein will have better defense lawyers than the prosecution. On the other hand, the plethora of captured insurgent documents and the number of former insurgents who have switched to the coalition side may mean that the government case, if Hussein is guilty, may be unstoppable.
The expression "to the victors go the spoils" is true in more than the military sense. The winners get to write history because theirs by definition is the winning narrative. Bilal Hussein will get his day in court, but the defeat of al-Qaeda in Iraq -- which the press is only now and very reluctantly beginning to admit -- means that many of the "freedom fighters" and "Minutemen" they devoted such space to have gone from Hero to Zero in the land between the rivers. This should be interesting to watch.
And I'll be watching it here. Stay tuned.