Unconventional thinking about the Middle East.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Arrest This Journalist, Now

This story by Reuter's Michael Georgy about one of Saddam ex-executioners says it all. The not-so-funny punchline is that "Abu Hussein" still works in a law enforcement capacity at the Iraqi Interior Ministry. What Interior Minister Bayan Jabr needs to do first thing tomorrow morning is arrest Michael Georgy and have him reveal the identity of "Abu Hussein." Hey, Pat Fitzgerald put Judy Miller behind bars, and what's good for the goose, is good for the gander.

Let's see a show of hands from those who object? What, would you allow this psychopath to roam free? What if this guy was part of your friendly neighborhood police squad? Would you want him protecting your family?

While Jabr is at it, he should also round-up the Guardian's Ghaith Abdul-Ahad and have him 'share' his notes on 'Abu Theeb'; the insurgent leader in Khan al-Mashahdeh...

What sort of journalistic ethics would protect a source that might kill people? Or is everything permissible in the never-ending quest for a 'hot lead'...

The foreign media is already writing story after story about the flaws of Iraq's democratic experiment. Jabr should not be concerned about negative press; his priority should be to ensure that people like "Abu Hussein" are no longer acting as prison wardens, but are prisoners themselves. And certainly, they should not be cocky enough to gloat to Reuters about their constitutionally-outlawed political loyalties. [Yes, we do have a constitution, and yes, anything to do with the Ba'ath Party or the ancien regime is incriminating.]


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