Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

The News We (CNN) Kept To Ourselves [must read]
The New York Times ^ | 04/11/03 | EASON JORDAN

Posted on 04/10/2003 9:16:06 PM PDT by Pokey78

ATLANTA — Over the last dozen years I made 13 trips to Baghdad to lobby the government to keep CNN's Baghdad bureau open and to arrange interviews with Iraqi leaders. Each time I visited, I became more distressed by what I saw and heard — awful things that could not be reported because doing so would have jeopardized the lives of Iraqis, particularly those on our Baghdad staff.

For example, in the mid-1990's one of our Iraqi cameramen was abducted. For weeks he was beaten and subjected to electroshock torture in the basement of a secret police headquarters because he refused to confirm the government's ludicrous suspicion that I was the Central Intelligence Agency's Iraq station chief. CNN had been in Baghdad long enough to know that telling the world about the torture of one of its employees would almost certainly have gotten him killed and put his family and co-workers at grave risk.

Working for a foreign news organization provided Iraqi citizens no protection. The secret police terrorized Iraqis working for international press services who were courageous enough to try to provide accurate reporting. Some vanished, never to be heard from again. Others disappeared and then surfaced later with whispered tales of being hauled off and tortured in unimaginable ways. Obviously, other news organizations were in the same bind we were when it came to reporting on their own workers.

We also had to worry that our reporting might endanger Iraqis not on our payroll. I knew that CNN could not report that Saddam Hussein's eldest son, Uday, told me in 1995 that he intended to assassinate two of his brothers-in-law who had defected and also the man giving them asylum, King Hussein of Jordan. If we had gone with the story, I was sure he would have responded by killing the Iraqi translator who was the only other participant in the meeting. After all, secret police thugs brutalized even senior officials of the Information Ministry, just to keep them in line (one such official has long been missing all his fingernails).

Still, I felt I had a moral obligation to warn Jordan's monarch, and I did so the next day. King Hussein dismissed the threat as a madman's rant. A few months later Uday lured the brothers-in-law back to Baghdad; they were soon killed.

I came to know several Iraqi officials well enough that they confided in me that Saddam Hussein was a maniac who had to be removed. One Foreign Ministry officer told me of a colleague who, finding out his brother had been executed by the regime, was forced, as a test of loyalty, to write a letter of congratulations on the act to Saddam Hussein. An aide to Uday once told me why he had no front teeth: henchmen had ripped them out with pliers and told him never to wear dentures, so he would always remember the price to be paid for upsetting his boss. Again, we could not broadcast anything these men said to us.

Last December, when I told Information Minister Muhammad Said al-Sahhaf that we intended to send reporters to Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq, he warned me they would "suffer the severest possible consequences." CNN went ahead, and in March, Kurdish officials presented us with evidence that they had thwarted an armed attack on our quarters in Erbil. This included videotaped confessions of two men identifying themselves as Iraqi intelligence agents who said their bosses in Baghdad told them the hotel actually housed C.I.A. and Israeli agents. The Kurds offered to let us interview the suspects on camera, but we refused, for fear of endangering our staff in Baghdad.

Then there were the events that were not unreported but that nonetheless still haunt me. A 31-year-old Kuwaiti woman, Asrar Qabandi, was captured by Iraqi secret police occupying her country in 1990 for "crimes," one of which included speaking with CNN on the phone. They beat her daily for two months, forcing her father to watch. In January 1991, on the eve of the American-led offensive, they smashed her skull and tore her body apart limb by limb. A plastic bag containing her body parts was left on the doorstep of her family's home.

I felt awful having these stories bottled up inside me. Now that Saddam Hussein's regime is gone, I suspect we will hear many, many more gut-wrenching tales from Iraqis about the decades of torment. At last, these stories can be told freely.

Eason Jordan is chief news executive at CNN.


TOPICS: Breaking News; Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 4thestate5thcolumn; biasmeanslayoffs; blameamericafirst; cablenewsnetwork; ccrm; censorship; chickennoodlenews; clintonnewsnetwork; cnn; cnnajoke; cnnbloodonhands; cnncoconspirator; cnndeception; cnndictators; cnnkeptquiet; cnnknew; cnnlied; cnnlies; coverup; deathsquads; easonjordan; enemedia; genevaconvention; hateamericafirst; iraq; iraqhistory; iraqifreedom; lamestreammedia; leakbeforediscovery; liars; liberalbias; liberalmedia; mediabias; neverforget; reportersuberotrture; rush; saddam; secretpolice; selfcensorship; torture; trysellingthetruth; uday; war; warcrime; warcrimes; wedontreportthat
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-6061-80 ... 1,541-1,559 next last

1 posted on 04/10/2003 9:16:06 PM PDT by Pokey78
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Pokey78
Whaaaaaaaaaa- sniff, sniff
2 posted on 04/10/2003 9:18:32 PM PDT by LiteKeeper
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: All

God Bless This Great Country!


Donate Here By Secure Server

Or mail checks to
FreeRepublic , LLC
PO BOX 9771
FRESNO, CA 93794

or you can use

PayPal at Jimrob@psnw.com

STOP BY AND BUMP THE FUNDRAISER THREAD-
It is in the breaking news sidebar!


3 posted on 04/10/2003 9:20:11 PM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78
I knew it was BS when he said they were accused of being CIA. KGB yes, CIA no way in hell.
4 posted on 04/10/2003 9:20:16 PM PDT by SCHROLL
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78
I wonder if Judy Woodruff knows all this.

Or cares.
5 posted on 04/10/2003 9:20:19 PM PDT by Howlin (It's a great day to be an American -- or an Iraqi!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78
I accuse CNN of being complicit in the torture of these people by cooperating with Iraqi authorities just so they could get a camera into Iraq.

It is too late too come clean. They are as guilty as the regime if they knew this was happening and still prostrated themselves just to get a story.

6 posted on 04/10/2003 9:21:16 PM PDT by Henk
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78
"Each time I visited, I became more distressed by what I saw and heard — awful things that could not be reported because doing so would have jeopardized the lives of Iraqis, particularly those on our Baghdad staff."

Bull! I believe these stories were withheld because CNN feared Iraq would have them removed from the country. Whatever the case, I hope that CNN has a severe case of the guilts right now because they were effectively allowing this regime to continue unreported.

7 posted on 04/10/2003 9:21:35 PM PDT by CatOwner
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78
And those bastards at CNN dared question whether we should let the weapons inspectors end the standoff. This makes me sick.
8 posted on 04/10/2003 9:21:56 PM PDT by gunnut
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78
And this from CNN . . . the bastards . . . and even if you buy into CNN's rationale for not going public, how could they still attempt in every way possible to undermine our political will to crush Saddam . . . sickos and bastards . . . CNN and Saddam both . . .
9 posted on 04/10/2003 9:22:41 PM PDT by LikeLight
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: CatOwner
CNN was complicit in this regime's power. CNN was more interested in keeping a bureau open in Baghdad than telling the truth.

That should give us all pause, when we feel forgiving towards the media whores.

10 posted on 04/10/2003 9:23:07 PM PDT by dogbyte12
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78
OK< Hollywood....tell me this is just ok with you. That we should look the other way. That this is someone else's problem...go ahead susan siranwrap...timmy boobins, you tell me that this is fine, you gutless wonders.
11 posted on 04/10/2003 9:23:17 PM PDT by Jewels1091
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Henk
I hardly know what to make of this; I couldn't begin to express what I'm feeling right now.
12 posted on 04/10/2003 9:23:59 PM PDT by Howlin (It's a great day to be an American -- or an Iraqi!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78
So why is CNN relieving themselves of a long kept secret to the NYTimes? Why not report it on CNN, LIVE?
13 posted on 04/10/2003 9:24:21 PM PDT by TaRaRaBoomDeAyGoreLostToday!
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78
By failing to tell any of these stories CNN possibly could have contributed to the Hussein regime enduring and those abuses continuing.

Those stories coming from CNN would likely have had a major impact on the anti-war crowd.

Fortunately, it ended up not mattering.

They should have withdrawn totally from Iraq rather than stay and keep their mouths shut.

It's an interesting debate in journalistic ethics. I see Jordan's point, but I disagree with it.
14 posted on 04/10/2003 9:24:30 PM PDT by John H K
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Carolina; 1Mike; 3catsanadog; ~Kim4VRWC's~; A CA Guy; A Citizen Reporter; abner; Aeronaut; ...
Do not FAIL to read this article.
15 posted on 04/10/2003 9:24:37 PM PDT by Howlin (It's a great day to be an American -- or an Iraqi!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: dogbyte12
I hate to say this, but turn on CNN right now. You won't believe your eyes.
16 posted on 04/10/2003 9:25:50 PM PDT by Howlin (It's a great day to be an American -- or an Iraqi!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Howlin
The Saddam regime corrupted, maimed, or killed everything it touched--from abstract truth, to flesh and blood, to everything in between.

Yet another reason to rejoice in the toppling of Saddam.

17 posted on 04/10/2003 9:27:26 PM PDT by Kevin Curry
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78
I guess to some of these a--holes, the story is more impt. than a life!

For some reason, CNN is more of an appeaser and has aided and abetted for much too long!

If my cameraman and my employees were dying and being tortured, THAT is the story!! What in the hell is a more impt. story that they were working on? My God!
18 posted on 04/10/2003 9:27:43 PM PDT by whadizit
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78
CNN had been in Baghdad long enough to know that telling the world about the torture of one of its employees would almost certainly have gotten him killed and put his family and co-workers at grave risk

This Dreckspass (german word), this idiot enabler of Clinton and and his ilk, this week-kneed scum does not deserve the Freedom that our Founding Fathers pledged their sacred honor for. Sacred honor - this gerbil of the demoronic debauched wouldn't know sacred honor if he were standing under Sadam's statue when it fell on him. They are willing to claim that Westmoreland gassed innocents when he didn't, but they refrain from informing on Sadam when he did.

When I watched CNN I would curse and scream and throw things at the screen. Now I will just turn it off, and sit in stunned silence with the knowledge of that the blood of millions is on their hands - and on the hands of Ted Turner and Jane Fonda. And may God have mercy on their souls.

19 posted on 04/10/2003 9:28:40 PM PDT by AndyJackson
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Howlin
Is that what I think it is, surrendering Iraqi soldiers?
20 posted on 04/10/2003 9:29:41 PM PDT by alnick
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-6061-80 ... 1,541-1,559 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson