December 5, 2008

AP's terror photographer honored in NYC

By David Paulin

It was during Iraq's most savage violence that a former shopkeeper named Bilal Hussein proved an invaluable asset to the Associated Press as one of its hastily trained photographers. His chummy ties to terrorists --“insurgents” as the AP's stories called them – enabled him to produce remarkable close-up photos of them and their grisly handiwork. In 2005, one of Hussein's photos of the Battle of Fallujah helped the AP snag a Pulitzer Prize for a package of Iraq photos in breaking-news photography. Like other Iraqi AP photographers, Hussein had the uncanny ability to show up just as an attack occurred.

As Iraq was gripped by unspeakable atrocities and violence that many likened to a civil war, U.S. military authorities detained Hussein, citing what they described as his troubling links to terrorists and terror-related activities. They called him a “terrorist media operative,” much to the outrage of AP executives and lawyers.

What ever became of Hussein?

After two years in prison, he escaped the possibility of a criminal trial when he was freed under a general amnesty that took effect seven months ago. He did not, however, return in disgrace to his old life as a shopkeeper in Fallujah, selling phone cards and computers.

Instead, Hussein returned to the AP in good standing, and last week he was honored by a glittery audience of media elites and celebrities at Manhattan's posh Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.

Hussein spoke to the captivated audience on a subject dear to his heart – journalism ethics.

For the rest of the article, go to The American Thinker.