Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Bilal and confusion

Kathleen Carroll, executive editor of The A.P., said in an interview: "We believe that Bilal Hussein has been singled out because of his work as a journalist. While we are glad that there is finally some development that may lead to the end of his imprisonment without charges, we are concerned still about the lack of specificity against him. We have long said that Bilal Hussein was nothing more than a reputable A.P. journalist doing his job, and our position about that has not changed."
Mr. Hussein owned a small electrical shop in Falluja, where he lived, when he was recommended to The A.P. and started working as a local fixer and guide before becoming a photojournalist. He covered the American invasion of Falluja in 2004 before being reassigned to Ramadi. The A.P. employs 200 people in Iraq, including reporters, photographers and television reporters, and the majority are Iraqis.
Mr. Hussein's work focused on the effects of the war on Iraqi civilians, said Mr. Gardephe.

The above is Graham Bowley's "U.S. Accuses Iraqi Photographer of Aiding Rebels" in the New York Times. Cowardice and ignorance. They can't argue Free Bilal because this is the paper that pulls reporters out of Iraq when the reporter makes someone uncomfortable.

Yesterday the US military announced a helicopter crash. This morning outlets scramble to figure out what happened. A British helicopter did crash yesterday. Two British soldiers are dead. Whether or not that's the same crash is a source of confusion (Murdoch's Sky News has issued multiple stories in the last two hours alone). The BBC reports:

The US military issued a statement on Tuesday saying two people had been killed and 12 injured when a coalition helicopter crashed near Salman Pak, on the outskirts of the Iraqi capital.
But a spokesman for the UK defence ministry said he could not confirm whether this was the same incident but the details did appear to match.

That pretty much sums up what is known at this point.

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