Reuters Cameraman Held at Abu Ghraib

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And we don't know why, or for how long.

U.S. military spokesmen have refused to say why they are holding Ali Omar Abrahem al-Mashhadani, a 36-year-old freelance cameraman and photographer who has worked for the international news organization for a year in Ramadi, capital of Anbar region.

Lieutenant Colonel Guy Rudisill, spokesman for U.S. detainee operations in Iraq, said the journalist was now in Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison: "He will not be able to have visitors for the next 60 days," he added.

Well, I'm sure there's a good reason. Oh wait.

Last year, three Iraqis working for Reuters were arrested after arriving swiftly in the area where a U.S. helicopter had been shot down near Falluja. The three, and another Iraqi working for U.S. television network NBC, said they were sexually and physically abused by U.S. soldiers for three days before they were released after pressure from the news organizations.

Reuters is still seeking access to the results of a military inquiry into that incident. A summary report exonerated the troops involved but the Iraqis themselves were never questioned by U.S. investigators.

A number of Iraqi journalists working for foreign news organizations have been detained for months at a time by the U.S. military and some are still in custody.

Story here; link via Sploid.

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  1. You have nothing to fear unless you have something to fear.*

    *Or footage. Then you might want to lay low for a while.

  2. I’m sure an apology to Eason Jordan is just around the corner.

  3. *Also, I meant something to hide. Dammit.

  4. Look, they don’t want to hold the guy without visitors for at least 60 days. But the cell is locked. And have you ever actually tried getting the locksmiths at a federal facility to move in less than 60 days? Good luck.

  5. His name is Ali Omar Abrahem al-Mashhadani and we are wondering why he is being held? I’m sure he’s an Al-Qaeda terrorist who is using “press credentials” as a cover to spy on our efforts.
    Look if he was a legit news person he would have been embeded with our troops, so why is anyone even worrying about this? Isn’t that Aruba girl still missing? Spreading our democratic seed is messy don’t you know!

  6. There’s a story in the Washington Post today about three Chinese Muslims who are being held at Gittmo even though the Pentagon cleared them of any wrongdoing 20 months ago. Oh, and they’re still chained to the floor.

    Gittmo, only for the baddest of the bad.

  7. This is another of those stories where I walk away knowing that I don’t know. On the one hand, the willy-nilly capture and detention of Iraqi nationals is troubling. On the other hand, it seems to happen with suspicious frequency that a cameraman is conveniently nearby when troops or civilians are attacked. Almost as if the cameraman were embedded with the Baathists and Islamonuts…

    Gripping hand, there’s just not nearly enough information here for anyone to make even a wild-ass guess as to what’s going on.

  8. Winning thier hearts and minds….

  9. Spreading our democratic seed is messy don’t you know!

    Eww…

  10. What are the odds that every single detainee is sexually abused by US troops before being released?

    They must teach that stuff in basic these days, which is a big change from when I went through basic, we never learned butt fucking or prisoner stacking.

    We learned killing, shooting, how to smash skulls with the butt end of the rifle, and had a smidge of bayonet work. Went without water a lot too.

    Learned how to pop out a guy’s eye and use it for a personalized mini-webcam (see what an empty eye socket looks like you pig?)

    One of the most valuable skills was how to sneak up behind a guy and strangle him in such a way that he would die quietly without being able to touch you or get free. Haven’t needed that skill lately but one never knows.

    Most valuable and likely an unintended consequence was the aquisition of lightning fast reflexes. That’s fading with age, but I still amaze myself every once in a while. Good save, Wine.

  11. Freedom on the march.

  12. ChicogoTom, not to pick nits, but I didn’t realize you were being sarcastic until the “Aruba girl” bit. Everything before that, though obviously intended to be satirical, could easily be found in NRO, The Weekly Standard, or the text of a Congressional Republican’s floor speech.

  13. So how long before a camera is offered that has an emergency eject button, that when pressed will upload it’s data onto the net and email your selected list with the data. Could come in handy for when the cops want the camera that will exonerate you.

  14. Reuters characterizing bus-bombers and baby killers as “freedom fighters” is finally biting them in the ass. Ten bucks says they let this guy rot simply to report on how the troops are sodomizing him.

  15. And, just in case any of the hard-core right-wingers are reading this thread: THIS is why we need to give these people trials and make sure they’re actually guilty, before deciding it’s a good idea to lock them up forever.

  16. characterizing bus-bombers and baby killers as “freedom fighters” is finally biting them in the ass

    Yeah, that’ll teach those bastards to report the news in ways we disapprove of!

    And remember: we don’t need to give the Gitmo prisoners trials, because every single one of them is guilty, and we know this because our government says so.

  17. I was wondering how long it would take to see someone argue “It’s ok, it’s Reuters.”

    1:02, for those of you keeping score at home.

  18. Yes, my last two posts apparently contradicted each other. I could point out that this server’s getting persnickety again and I had reason to believe the first post didn’t go through, but instead I’ll just say loftily that it’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind.

  19. Maybe we should just cut their heads off to weaken their resolve. Geez – I know Libertarians are “supposed” to be anti-war, but this site gets a little ridiculous sometimes.

    Is it at all possible that a reporter could be acting in conjunction with the “freedom fighters?” Or, perhaps, acted in such a way to give a reasonable suspicion that he was putting our soldiers in harms way and that we just don’t know about it?

  20. “On the other hand, it seems to happen with suspicious frequency that a cameraman is conveniently nearby when troops or civilians are attacked.”

    Do you actually have any statistical evidence of that, or did you merely whip it out of your ass?

  21. Not only is it possible, Kid, I’d say it’s a safe enough assumption that we shouldn’t even question it when the military takes a reporter from an outlet the government doesn’t like into custody and won’t tell us why.

  22. Where’s the problem? This Reuter’s guy has been selected to join a fraternity! He just has to go through a little harmless hazing, and then he’s a Brother. Like you would pass up the honor.

    “Thank you, sir! May I have another?”

  23. SY:
    Almost as if the cameraman were embedded with the Baathists and Islamonuts…

    lets assume that the cameraman was embeded with the insurgents, are embeded journalists legitimate targets now? or only when they are embeded with the other side?

  24. “Is it at all possible that a reporter could be acting in conjunction with the “freedom fighters?” Or, perhaps, acted in such a way to give a reasonable suspicion that he was putting our soldiers in harms way and that we just don’t know about it?”

    Kid Handsome brings up a pretty good point–how do we know that any one cameraman didn’t do something that put our soldiers in harm’s way? …or maybe–who knows?–he might know something that could save some soldier’s life!

    …I guess there’s only one way to find out–just throw ’em in Abu Gharib ‘nd torture the shit out of ‘im!

  25. Reuters characterizing bus-bombers and baby killers as “freedom fighters” is finally biting them in the ass.

    Hey, Reagan did it, why not Reuters?

  26. Al Queda propaganda photographer using Rueters as a cover gets busted… western goatee strokers bleat. Same story different day.

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