Journalists know by now what the Bush administration thinks of them. But aggressive pushback in Washington press coverage is one thing. Jailing Associated Press journalists without charging them for up to five months is, well, positively Cheney-esque. So Bilal Hussein is in the Rumsfeld Archipelago, along with around 14,000 others. Hussein is a lucky photographer. He has the head of the Associated press on his side:
"We want the rule of law to prevail. He either needs to be charged or released. Indefinite detention is not acceptable," said Tom Curley, AP's president and chief executive officer. "We've come to the conclusion that this is unacceptable under Iraqi law, or Geneva Conventions, or any military procedure."
If Hussein's experience were extraordinary or an admitted mistake, it would be one thing. But there are far too many stories of Iraqi journalists being detained without charge by U.S. forces to feel reassured that anything close to justice is prevailing. Iraqi journalists who photograph insurgents are often arrested as insurgents. Who's to tell one "haji" from another?
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