Freedom, Part XI
At Grylliade.org, Cicero Salad links to this column by Tom Curley of the Associated Press:
Bilal Hussein, an Iraqi photographer who helped the Associated Press win a Pulitzer Prize last year, is now in his sixth month in a U.S. Army prison in Iraq. He doesn't understand why he's there, and neither do his AP colleagues.(entire article here)
The Army says it thinks Bilal has too many contacts among insurgents. He has taken pictures the Army thinks could have been made only with the connivance of insurgents. So Bilal himself must be one, too, or at least a sympathizer.
It is a measure of just how dangerous and disorienting Iraq has become that suspicions such as these are considered adequate grounds for locking up a man and throwing away the key.
After more than five months of trying to bring Bilal's case into the daylight, AP is now convinced the Army doesn't care whether Bilal is or isn't an insurgent. The Army doesn't have to care. Bilal is off the street, and the military says it doesn't consider itself accountable to any judicial authority that could question his guilt.
But Bilal's incarceration delivers a further bonus. He is no longer free to circulate in his native Falluja or in Ramadi, taking photographs that coalition commanders would prefer not to see published.
So now we're locking up journalists for taking pictures. Yep, freedom is on the march! How long before our government tries to pull that shit here?