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CNN What they said then -Eason Jordan 10/25/2002
WNYC Radio ^ | October 25, 2002 | BOB GARFIELD

Posted on 04/11/2003 8:48:52 PM PDT by TooBusy

Eason Jordan

October 25, 2002 BOB GARFIELD: After journalists were expelled from Iraq on Thursday, CNN head of news-gathering Eason Jordan, called the move "a Draconian measure that will sharply curtail the world's knowledge about what is happening in Iraq. Iraq is often displeased with CNN," says Jordan, "but especially this week when the network reported from the scene of that extraordinary protest in Baghdad."

EASON JORDAN: The big beef was that we reported that gunfire was used to disperse the demonstrators which is absolutely irrefutable fact, but the Iraqi government sometimes denies the facts and refuses to acknowledge the truth.

BOB GARFIELD: Well what kind of weird conversation is it with the Iraqi officials that you're having when you're holding up a, a piece of videotape and saying this is black and they're saying no, no that's white. It's bizarre!

EASON JORDAN: Well there are a lot of bizarre things in Iraq, and unfortunately the Iraqi officials refuse to look at the videotape because they said they didn't care what it showed or what was heard on the tape because the reality -the Iraqi reality - was very different from the actual facts.

BOB GARFIELD: I'm sure you have seen Franklin Foer's article in The New Republic which charges that the Western press is appeasing the Iraqi regime in order to maintain its visas -- to be there reporting should a war ultimately break out. What's your take on that?

EASON JORDAN: The writer clearly doesn't have a clear understanding of the realities on the ground because CNN has demonstrated again and again that it has a spine; that it's prepared to be forthright; is forthright in its reporting. We wouldn't have a team in northern Iraq right now if we didn't want to upset the Saddam Hussein regime. We wouldn't report on the demonstration if we didn't want to upset the Saddam Hussein regime. We wouldn't have been thrown out of Iraq already 5 times over the last several years if we were there to please the Saddam Hussein regime. So the story was lopsided, unfair and chose to ignore facts that would refute the premise of the article.

BOB GARFIELD: Well what is the calculus? In the New Republic article he cites the coverage of Saddam Hussein's birthday by CNN which he deemed to be not a huge news event. Are you tossing bones to Saddam Hussein in order to be there when, when it really matters?

EASON JORDAN: No. I don't think that's the case at all. Now, there is Iraqi propaganda that is news! I mean there is propaganda from a lot of governments around the world that is newsworthy and we should report on those things. Saddam Hussein's birthday is a big deal in that country. We're not reading Iraqi propaganda; we're reporting as an independent news organization.

BOB GARFIELD: Back in '91 CNN and Peter Arnett in particular were heavily criticized, mostly by civilians, for reporting from within Baghdad during the U.S. attack in ways that they'd consider to be utter propaganda and to-- out of context and not reflecting the overall reality of Saddam Hussein' regime. Have you analyzed what you can get access to without appearing to be just a propaganda tool for Saddam?

EASON JORDAN: Well absolutely. I mean we work very hard to report forthrightly, to report fairly and to report accurately and if we ever determine we cannot do that, then we would not want to be there; but we do think that some light is better than no light whatsoever. I think that the world, the American people will be shortchanged if foreign journalists are kicked out, because even in Peter Arnett's case there were things that he reported on -- and this is a long time ago now -- but things he reported on that I don't think would have been reported at all had he not been there. We feel committed to our Baghdad presence. We've had a bureau there for 12 years with occasional interruptions when we've been thrown out, but we're not there to please the Iraqi government -- we're not there to displease the Iraqi government - - we're just there to do our job.

BOB GARFIELD: Let's say there's an -- a second Gulf War. Is that the mother of all stories? Do you have to be there? Are there-- decisions you'll make on the margins to be s-- as certain as you possibly can that you will have a presence there?

EASON JORDAN: We'd very much like to be there if there's a second war; but-- we are not going to make journalistic compromises in an effort to make that happen, being mindful that in wartime there is censorship on all sides, and we're prepared to deal with a certain amount of censorship as long as it's not-- extreme, ridiculous censorship where -- which we've actually seen a number of cases in previous conflicts -- not just with Iraq. But-- sure! We want to be there, but it's --we don't want to be there come hell or high water. We want to be there if we can be there and operate as a responsible news organization.

BOB GARFIELD: Very well. Eason Jordan, thank you very much.

EASON JORDAN: Okay, thank you.

BOB GARFIELD: Eason Jordan is the chief news executive and news-gathering president for CNN News Group. He joined us from CNN studios in Atlanta. [MUSIC]

copyright 2002 WNYC Radio

TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: ccrm; cnn; easonjordan; keywordsgohere
because CNN has demonstrated again and again that it has a spine; that it's prepared to be forthright; is forthright in its reporting

The News We -CNN- Kept To Ourselves

1 posted on 04/11/2003 8:48:52 PM PDT by TooBusy
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To: All

Look into my eyes! You Vill not Succeed !

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2 posted on 04/11/2003 8:50:46 PM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: TooBusy
It just gets better and better, doesn't it?

" We've had a bureau there for 12 years with occasional interruptions when we've been thrown out, but we're not there to please the Iraqi government -- we're not there to displease the Iraqi government - - we're just there to do our job."

3 posted on 04/11/2003 8:54:03 PM PDT by CheneyChick (SHAKANAW, Baby!)
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To: TooBusy
4 posted on 04/11/2003 8:55:58 PM PDT by Capt. Jake
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To: TooBusy
And the liberal lies just keep piling up, higher and higher! Have you ever known someone who would tell a lie when the truth would have been easier? I have, and that's the liberals through and through!
5 posted on 04/11/2003 8:56:04 PM PDT by O.C. - Old Cracker
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To: CheneyChick
Who are they kiddin? I would love to know the real motive for the late confession...
6 posted on 04/11/2003 8:58:25 PM PDT by hope (see the implosion of the democRATS, their god Marduk has been utterly put to shame !)
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To: hope
I don't think they expected the backfire on the "news they kept to themselves".
7 posted on 04/11/2003 9:00:23 PM PDT by CheneyChick (SHAKANAW, Baby!)
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To: TooBusy


Stay Strong

8 posted on 04/11/2003 9:01:32 PM PDT by fuzzy122
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To: CheneyChick
Eason Jordan is an old fashioned POS
9 posted on 04/11/2003 9:03:31 PM PDT by TheErnFormerlyKnownAsBig (.45 .46, whatever it takes)
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To: CheneyChick
"I don't think they expected the backfire on the "news they kept to themselves".'

Agreed. I suspect they expected to be congratulated for their character. PAH

Lying bas*@rds. I hope this takes CNN and the rest of the democommies down to even lower depths.

10 posted on 04/11/2003 9:03:57 PM PDT by lawdude
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To: TooBusy
Does anyone believe that this dork can tell us where the WMD's are located? Betcha he can!

11 posted on 04/11/2003 9:05:03 PM PDT by lawdude
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To: TooBusy
Rush read "Howard's" response to the CNN Bozo's "excuses"..

Who’s Responsible For More Deaths, Enron or CNN?

April 11, 2003

Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2003 11:13:25 EDT
Subject: The News We (CNN) Kept to Ourselves

This man is disgusting. He lifts rationalizing to new heights. To tell the truth or not to tell the truth, that is the question. Is it nobler in the mind to tell the truth and save some lives, or to refrain, thus costing more lives over time. Oh, and silly me. I thought it was a journalists duty to report the truth. But not when it interferes with the bottom line apparently. After all CNN might have lost some its position in Iraqi, thus losing its position in the ratings… Oh, wait. It did anyway.

Of what use is it for a “news” organization to maintain a presence in a country if it won't report the news it finds there? Oh, wait. It lets them get scoops, ratings, and, thereby, money. How foolish of me to entertain the thought that their job might be to report the news.

Yet they won't wear flag lapel pins or use the term “we” to refer to freedom-fighting American troops, because that might cast doubt upon their precious “objectivity.” How absolutely vile. This is the lowest. CNN spent millions on the production of an anti American anti military piece of fiction about nerve gas in Vietnam. But will not tell the truth in Iraq because it fears retribution.

Well dude, the retribution is here. CNN like the Baghdad Broadcasting Corp are going down the tubes. I won't watch them again. ''The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.'' Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

This is really the journalistic equivalent of corporate greed. Who is worse: ENRON's Andy Fastow, or CNN's Jordan? I'm sure every crooked corporate titan can justify in their own minds their skullduggery, but they are just grubby businessman. They are not as noble as a 'journalist'.

When it comes down to it, why are we more afraid and concerned about WMD than the leadership of an entire nation? Can't the leadership do worse damage with more far-reaching consequences than a WMD ever could?
The things this man claims to know may have changed the course of history years ago - saving many destroyed families, lives, etc. Sticky situation with an easy solution - stand tall, stand righteous, be strong and do what's right, even if it's not popular or could be done cheaper...

This is very sad. This is indeed, nothing but some pre-emptive CYA by CNN. Too late. If CNN had any integrity, it would have removed it's entire staff in Baghdad when it became aware of such atrocities, fully broadcast the details of those atrocities, and it might have retained a shred of credibility.

It now is confirmed that CNN is not a news organization, it is a pack of pandering leftists who put profits first, and truth last. Funny, isn't that how they always slam those 'evil capitalists' they seem to deplore? Coward! This from an organization that will breathlessly report on anything about the Bush Administration that they perceive (insinuate) to have a hint of scandal: Cheney and the energy plan, Lott's comments, the Bush girls, ties to Enron, yet they cannot tell the truth about a murderous regime.

SAY IT! The only place a reporter can report (or manufacture a lie and report it) without fear is in the US, a country these bums work to tear down with every broadcast. PATHETIC! I'm sure CNN has the same side deal going with the Palestinian authority. This explains so much.

For over a decade CNN has knowingly hidden the truth about Saddam for years. People have been tortured and killed because CNN hid the truth in order to keep an office open in Iraq. But why? They weren’t reporting the truth! Read this news executive’s excuses. His hypocrisy is disgusting.

Why not pull their reporters out of Iraq and tell the truth about Saddam a year ago? They knew then that the truth would have supported George Bush’s policy on Iraq. Knowing what they did about the monster in Baghdad, why did CNN continue their ‘neutral’ editorial stand on going to war against what they knew was a regime of terror? Greed or cowardice?

For the sake of their business (which was knowingly reporting half truths and lies) they have been silent handmaidens to Saddam Hussein. They remained silent when the truth would have saved innocent lives. CNN is an accomplice to Saddam’s murders.

So he warned the King of Jordan.... why not the 2 brother-in-laws? They're dead. This really was disgusting. Out of his own mouth he condemns himself and it's written on paper! I guess confession is good for the soul, but how can he live with himself, knowing what he knew and staying silent. He should have been sitting next to Sec. Powell at the UN...adding his information to World!

And these are the guys who'd like the world to think the USA went to Iraq for the oil? Interesting how "businesses" if they support socialism and Democrats (think Hughes, Apple etc) get a free ride in the media (even when they ARE the media) but businesses who might not support Dems are excoriated (think Haliburton, MicroSoft).

Eason Jordan states that Uday Hussein told him that he was going to assassinate King Hussein of Jordan and his two brothers-in-law who had defected. Jordan says he "felt a moral obligation" to tell King Hussein about the threat. That's all fine and good, but didn't he have the same "moral obligation" to warn Uday's brothers-in-law??? If not personally, at least through US intelligence channels?

Well, he didn't. The brothers-in-law were lured back to Iraq under promises of their well-being - and then executed. CNN has blood on its hands, and I bet this is only the tip of the iceberg. When you know evil exists and you allow it to continue, you are just as responsible as those committing the evil. CNN does the exact SAME THING in Cuba, ever since it arrived there after securing permission to "broadcast" (CNN term for exporting propaganda). The network has a permanent female career correspondent there who, to date, has never uttered a negative word about the government. These people are media high-grade cyanide.

One has to wonder how many lives might have been saved if the press had told the truth about the torture in Iraq. What really angers me is how so many of these news outlets pretended there was no or little basis to the torture stories. Now, all of a sudden, they tell the truth. Perhaps if they had closed their bureaus and gone public with the atrocities hundreds if not thousands might have been saved. A pox on all their houses.

So who is responsible for the deaths of more people? ENRON, Global Crossing, Exxon, the timber industry, Newt Gingrich, and all the other whipping boys of the left ADDED TOGETHER, or CNN? Pull the plug on CNN... they are DONE!

Semper Fi
12 posted on 04/11/2003 9:05:10 PM PDT by river rat (War works......It brings Peace... Give war a chance to destroy Jihadists...)
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To: TooBusy
"I mean we work very hard to report forthrightly, to report fairly and to report accurately and if we ever determine we cannot do that, then we would not want to be there;"


13 posted on 04/11/2003 9:08:04 PM PDT by delacoert
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To: hope
Because ,as a liberal, by admitting to this he is no longer responsible for the pain and death that he supported. He feels much better now.
14 posted on 04/11/2003 9:08:25 PM PDT by TooBusy
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To: TooBusy
To give credit due, I found this linked from here The Volokh Conspiracy . You bang listers should recognize the name Eugene Volokh.
15 posted on 04/11/2003 9:14:06 PM PDT by TooBusy
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To: TooBusy
CNN Transcript 4-10-03

Aaron Brown and Eason Jordan


BROWN: Only now, with the regime of Saddam Hussein effectively finished, have the Iraqi people felt safe enough to come forward with the stories of terror that they have lived through.

We know they were the primary targets of this brutality, but they were not the only targets. In an op-ed tomorrow in "The New York Times," CNN chief news executive Eason Jordan reveals that he was personally threatened and that other CNN staffers were targeted by the Iraqi government, a terror plot. Only now, with the fall of the regime, does CNN feel safe enough to reveal it. We'll talk to Mr. Jordan in a moment.

First: the background.


BROWN (voice-over): Throughout the U.S.-led on attack, the Iraqi information minister, Mohammed Saeed Al-Sahhaf, has been the ultimate voice of denial.

MOHAMMED SAEED AL-SAHHAF, IRAQI INFORMATION MINISTER (through translator): We kicked them out. We pulverized them, defeated them on the outside of the airport.

BROWN: He has not been heard from since Tuesday, but he's been consistently front and center, and recently, obviously, consistently wrong. Many didn't know how to read Sahhaf other than as a source of amusement, with a lot of talk, little follow-through.

EASON JORDAN, CNN CHIEF NEWS EXECUTIVE: He's hard to take seriously, but I've dealt with him for years. And this is a guy who can be deadly serious.

BROWN: CNN's chief news executive, Eason Jordan, has known Sahhaf for years and, now that the regime has fallen, can reveal just how deadly serious Saddam's spokesman can be.

JORDAN: Well, I had a meeting in December with Minister Sahhaf. And during that meeting, I asked for his permission to send a CNN team to northern Iraq, which is actually Kurd-controlled territory. When I asked him this question, he bristled. And he said, "Mr. Jordan, if you send a CNN team there, the severest possible consequences will come to them."

When I said, "What does that mean?" he just snapped back.

He said: "Don't you understand? The severest possible consequences." And to me, it was clear he was talking about assassinating those journalists.

BROWN: Sahhaf and the Iraqi regime did indeed intend to follow through on those threats. CNN has obtained this videotape evidence from Kurdish authorities, evidence that outlines a plan to attack the CNN compound in Irbil in northern Iraq, complete with what Kurdish officials say are confessions from the men who were drafted to carry the attack out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Mohammad (ph), Colonel Ahmad (ph) and Major Anham (ph), they trained me on military intelligence. Then Staff Brigadier Mohammad asked me to blow up Al- Haman (ph) hotel. He said that the Americans and Israelis, according to Mohammad, they have come under the cover of CNN. They're all working for America and Israel intelligence. We want to make Jihad operation.

He said to me that, you should contact with some persons. Sabah (ph) had a plan to blow up Al-Haman hotel. I asked him, what do you have in Al-Haman? As I knew, there is just staff of CNN satellite TV in Al-Haman. He said: No, they are from the CIA working under cover of CNN.

I asked him: What do you want from me? What is your plan? He said: Our plan is to attack them or frighten them or take them as hostages. This is to tell the Americans that, if they attack Iraq, they will have losses. They should pay for their attack.

BROWN: Fortunately, for members of the CNN crew reporting from northern Iraq, the attack was averted when these men were arrested while preparing to blow up the CNN compound with nearly a ton of explosives. But these taped confessions are chilling reminders to just how far Saddam Hussein would go to eliminate those who disagreed with him.

(END VIDEOTAPE) BROWN: Eason Jordan is our chief news executive. He is a colleague and a friend and reporter through and through. And he is with us now.

Mr. Jordan, anything you want to add to that? Was there anything specific, other than sending a crew to the northern part of the country, that seemed to upset the Iraqi government?

JORDAN: Well, Minister Sahhaf felt it was a violation of Iraqi sovereignty for CNN to send a team to northern Iraq against the wishes of the Iraqi government, without the permission of the Iraqi government. And to him, clearly, this was a capital offense.

BROWN: Why did they throw Nic and company out?

JORDAN: There's been a long-running feud here. And the reason I actually met with Minister Sahhaf in December of last year was to appeal to get Jane Arraf, our longtime Baghdad bureau chief, back into the country. Sahhaf said: There's no way she's coming back to this country. She's banned for life.

I said: Well, how about Christiane Amanpour? He said no. How about Wolf Blitzer? He said no. How about Brent Sadler? He said no. He convinced himself that CNN was a part of the CIA. And we heard it from the gentleman on this tape. And a previous information minister accused me personally of being the CIA station chief for all of Iraq. But these people believe in their hearts -- or at least they did -- that CNN was part of the enemy regime.

BROWN: We would come to you almost literally every day, desperate to try and get somebody to talk to us out of Baghdad. And you would every day say, no, no, no. And the reason you would say no was?

JORDAN: The reason we would say no is, once CNN was thrown out on the grounds of being a U.S. government puppet organization in the eyes of the Iraqi leadership, the Iraqi ministry of information leadership called together all of the remaining foreign journalists in Baghdad and said: If any one of you helps CNN in any way, if any one of you speaks on the phone with CNN, you will not just be expelled. In fact, we won't expel you at all. What we will do is, we will imprison you and charge you with spying for the CIA.

BROWN: So they literally attempted to cut what, in moments like this, is the world's television network out of any coverage in Iraq at all?

JORDAN: That's right.

And we received frantic calls from news organizations around the world, begging and pleading that we not use their material, that we not talk to their correspondents, because they felt lives were at risk. And, of course, we respected their wishes.

BROWN: We would put shots from Abu Dhabi TV up, shots from Al- Jazeera TV up. Was that a risky proposition or did the government -- the government obviously was cool with that?

JORDAN: The government did not complain about the Arab networks. I don't know why precisely.

But the AP, Reuters, ITN, and other news organizations were just panic-stricken with the idea that CNN, even just mistakenly, would use some of their material on the air and risk having journalists from those news organizations locked up, maybe for life, in Baghdad.

BROWN: About a minute. Two questions.

This threat is made in December. You kept crews there, our colleagues there, until they were thrown out two weeks ago, 2 1/2 weeks ago. Why?

JORDAN: Our people in Baghdad knew of the threats. In fact, when I met with the minister of information -- and I met with him alone -- I came downstairs and I told my colleagues at the time -- Rym Brahimi was there. I came down and I said: Rym, the minister of information has just threatened to assassinate our colleagues if they go to northern Iraq.

And as we sent more and more people to Baghdad, every single person who went knew of the threat and knew of the risk involved.

BROWN: This is a threat different from the normal warnings that reporters are given. You're going -- I've gotten these from you -- you're going to a dangerous place; you have to make a choice whether you want to go. Did you have concern, as an executive, even giving reporters this sort of option?

JORDAN: It was important for us to be there. And we knew that there was a significant risk. There was significant risk for me, having been accused of being a CIA station chief myself and going to Baghdad. But we felt it was important to tell the story. And risks were taken. And thank goodness everybody survived those risks.

BROWN: And it is because CNN is seen as the world's television network that you were seen as the station chief of the CIA?

JORDAN: Well, there were people in Iraq who believed that CNN was effectively the CIA. In the absence of a U.S. Embassy, in the absence of U.S. diplomats being in Baghdad, they felt, well, the next best way must be CNN. So it's CNN. And they just attached us with that label. And it's been that way for years and years.

BROWN: Eason, thanks for coming in tonight.

JORDAN: Thanks, Aaron.

BROWN: Thank you very much, Eason Jordan, our chief news executive.

16 posted on 04/11/2003 9:27:48 PM PDT by Tall_Texan (Where liberals lead, misery follows.)
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To: TooBusy; CheneyChick
I'm interested to know if CNN warned their Iraqi employees of the danger they faced by working for CNN.

They knew for years what was going on.

CNN: Did you warn the Iraqis you hired that they would become targets of Saddam's henchmen?

17 posted on 04/11/2003 9:30:45 PM PDT by Ken H
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To: TooBusy
CNN Transcript 04-11-03

Paula Zahn and Eason Jordan


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Now that Saddam Hussein's regime has been deposed, some of the most terrifying stories of murder and torture can now be told.
Some of our own CNN colleagues have been threatened, and CNN's chief news executive, Eason Jordan, was accused of working for the CIA. For 12 years, he has kept silent about some of those threats and crimes committed by the regime, because reporting the stories would have cost the lives of people working for and with CNN.

Now, Eason can come forward with those harrowing stories, and in an op-ed piece in today's "New York Times," he does just that. He joins us now from CNN Center in Atlanta.

Eason, welcome.


ZAHN: You write in this op-ed piece about some of the awful things that you were very much aware of, and how tough it has been for you to have all these feelings bottled up inside of you. Share with us some of the -- your most haunting memories of some of these encounters with Iraqis.

JORDAN: Well, the most recent was in December. I met with the information minister of Iraq, Mr. Sahaf, who has become known to the world as this sort of delusional information minister of Saddam Hussein in making all these denials and threats about what was going on with the war.

When I met with him in December, and I've known him for many years, I asked for his permission to send a CNN team to northern Iraq, to Kurd-controlled Iraq, and when I asked for that permission, he bristled and he said if you send those people to northern Iraq, they will suffer the severest possible consequences. And I felt like he was threatening the lives of those people.

So I said, "Sir, would you please clarify for me what that means?"

And he said, "Mr. Jordan, just hear me clearly. Imagine the severest possible consequences."

And so when I left that meeting, I went downstairs in the Information Ministry in Baghdad, and I told my colleagues the information minister of Iraq has just threatened to assassinate our people in northern Iraq, and then just a few weeks later we actually learned from Kurdish authorities in the north that they had uncovered a plot to kill our journalists in northern Iraq, to drive a truck with a ton of explosives into our compound in northern Iraq and to wipe out the entire building and everybody in it.

And so one and one may make two. We cannot say with certainty that Sahaf's threat resulted in this thwarted attack on our staff in northern Iraq, but I fear the worst, and that's just the tip of the iceberg, really. There are many stories of that nature.

ZAHN: Well, while you can't be certain of what the intent was, we have gotten our hands on some videotape that, I think, our audience would find very interesting of someone who really was a witness to this whole plot. We're going to try to play that now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Then, Staff Brigadier Mohammed asked me to blow up al-Mohan (ph) Hotel. He said that the Americans and Israelis, according to Mohammed, they have come under the cover of CNN. They are all working for American and Israeli intelligence. We want to make jihad operation.


ZAHN: Well, Eason, there certainly is no gray area in that sound. They were out to kill CNN employees?

JORDAN: Well, so it seems. These videotaped confessions were provided to us by Kurdish authorities in northern Iraq. There was that gentleman's statement, also a similar statement by another gentleman. They claim to work for Iraqi military intelligence. They claim to be in northern Iraq on this plot on orders of the Baghdad regime, and they said they intended to attack the compound with machine guns as a diversionary tactic, and then suddenly a vehicle loaded with a ton of explosives would go into that compound, and speaking with our security experts, they say if a ton of explosives had been blown up inside our hotel area there in Erbil in northern Iraq that the entire building would have been flattened and everyone inside would have been killed.

ZAHN: Eason, you also sat in a horrible meeting where the life of King Hussein of Jordan was threatened. Tell us what you heard, and how you followed up on that threat.

JORDAN: In 1995, I had a second meeting with the son of Saddam Hussein, his name is Uday Saddam Hussein, he is the eldest son of Saddam Hussein. I asked for a private meeting with him. It was off the record to request and interview with his father, to ask for his help in arranging an interview with Saddam Hussein.

During that meeting, Uday Saddam Hussein said to me that he intended to assassinate the king of Jordan, King Hussein, and that he also intended to assassinate his two brothers-in-law, Hussein Kamal (ph) and Saddam Kamal (ph) who had just a few weeks previously defected to Jordan and provided a lot of fascinating, very interesting detail about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program and arms programs to international authorities.

Uday Saddam Hussein was very upset about this, and he said to my face that he intended to assassinate those three people.

ZAHN: And you later tipped the king of Jordan off?

JORDAN: I told King Hussein the next day in Jordan about that. He dismissed it as a madman's rant, and didn't take it seriously. But a few months later, the two brothers-in-law somehow were lured back to Baghdad after defecting, and they were executed in Baghdad.

ZAHN: Well, your op-ed piece is fascinating. There are a lot of details in there, even those of us that work for you weren't aware of.

You tell a story about a Kuwaiti woman captured by the Iraqi secret police and what happens to her, and I can well understand why you weren't able to go public with this until now.

Eason Jordan, thank you very much for sharing a little bit of your piece with us this morning.

JORDAN: Thanks, Paula.
18 posted on 04/11/2003 9:30:55 PM PDT by Tall_Texan (Where liberals lead, misery follows.)
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To: TooBusy
Didn't Eason Jordan just write an article for the NY Times explaining how CNN was strong armed by the Iraqi government and couldn't report on a lot of stories out of fear of their local staff being murdered by secret police?
19 posted on 04/11/2003 9:33:36 PM PDT by wcentrella
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To: Tall_Texan; hope
ZAHN: You write in this op-ed piece about some of the awful things that you were very much aware of, and how tough it has been for you to have all these feelings bottled up inside of you
20 posted on 04/11/2003 9:49:38 PM PDT by TooBusy
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To: TooBusy
What else are they holding back?
21 posted on 04/11/2003 9:52:12 PM PDT by estjohn
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Comment #22 Removed by Moderator

To: TooBusy
Typical female reporter touchy-feely question.
23 posted on 04/11/2003 9:57:16 PM PDT by Tall_Texan (Where liberals lead, misery follows.)
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To: CheneyChick
One can only hope that there is a very particular section of Hell for people like Mr. Jordan, and those who followed him.

By his own admission, he stood by and watched as people had their fingernails ripped out, or their teeth ripped from their heads for the 'crime' of not pleasing Saddam Hussein.

He stood by, silently, while Saddam Hussein and his merry band of murderers was handing out $25,000.00 checks to the families of people blowing themselves up in Israeli Pizza restaraunts.

And he never said a word. Not one f****** word about it. Not the rapes, not the murders, not the people dropped alive into industrial shredders feet first, not anything....

I fancy myself to be a bit of a writer CC, but mere words alone cannot begin to describe the contempt I hold Mr. Jordan in.

He has done the honorable thing by admitting what he has done. Not many people would have the cojones to admit they were personally responsible for a massive coverup. Now all that needs to happen is for him to go into a small room with a pistol and one round.

The blood of countless thousands of Iraqis is on Mr. Jordans hands, as well as the blood of American and British soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines.

Burke said that "All that is necessary for Evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."

Well, Mr. Jordan witnessed Evil first hand and made a conscious decision to do nothing about it. No, that's not quite right. He didn't decide to do 'nothing', he decided to keep his mouth shut while monsters wearing human skin were ripping the fingernails from people who displeased Saddam.

And he admits he knew about it, while it was happening.

Now he gets to right an editorial for the NY Times....

Let him explain himself to the mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters of those that Saddam murdered. I most sincerely hope Mr. Jordan runs into one of those people someday, I really do.


24 posted on 04/11/2003 9:58:07 PM PDT by Lurker ("One man of reason and goodwill is worth more, actually and potentially, than a million fools" AR)
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To: TooBusy
BOB GARFIELD: I'm sure you have seen Franklin Foer's article in The New Republic which charges that the Western press is appeasing the Iraqi regime in order to maintain its visas -- to be there reporting should a war ultimately break out. What's your take on that?

EASON JORDAN: The writer clearly doesn't have a clear understanding of the realities on the ground because CNN has demonstrated again and again that it has a spine; that it's prepared to be forthright; is forthright in its reporting.


What a bunch of shite. Eason Jordan wrote an article detailing horrible things he covered up to maintain their visas. CNN are despot sychophants.
25 posted on 04/11/2003 10:07:49 PM PDT by monkeyshine
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To: Tall_Texan
Actually I think that is why he wrote this piece (and some cya for CNN). These people think some tears ,hugs,and a twelve-step program will wash away the stain. Soon all the talk will be about how hard it was for Mr Jordan and the shameful truth will be forgotten.
26 posted on 04/11/2003 10:11:37 PM PDT by TooBusy
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To: seamole
...Thank you, Richard. Thank you, CNN.", and then he gave him a hug and a kiss on both cheeks...

Maybe it was like when Michael Corleone kissed Fredo.
27 posted on 04/11/2003 10:14:11 PM PDT by small_l_libertarian
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To: monkeyshine
Mort Kondracke on Fox News cited this quote and called it a "flat lie".
28 posted on 04/11/2003 10:43:04 PM PDT by Tall_Texan (Where liberals lead, misery follows.)
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To: Lurker
It's bad enough to be silent about the attrocities one sees, but it is considerably worse to deliberately interfere with people who are attempting a rescue. In my view, CNN did everything they could to obstruct the rescuers, short of throwing rocks at them.

Jordan could have taken people like Paul Begalla aside, told them what he knew, and requested that they knock it off with their disparaging remarks about Bush's Iraq policy on the grounds that it could be encouraging the torturers and discouraging a rescue. Either he didn't do that, or those he told didn't care.

29 posted on 04/11/2003 10:56:39 PM PDT by Dave Olson
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To: TooBusy
Excerpts from Washington Times 4-12-03

In an interview with The Washington Times, Mr. Jordan stood by his decision yesterday, saying he felt "relieved" and was "absolutely sure I did the right thing holding these stories."

CNN coverage, he said, had already offered evidence of "the brutality in Iraq," and the move was not intended to "preserve CNN's presence in Iraq."

"We've already been thrown out of Iraq several times. And we are proud we've been thrown out," he said. CNN correspondents were expelled from Baghdad last month.

Some are baffled by it all.

"I was stunned by that op-ed," Fox News Channel and ABC radio host Sean Hannity told The Times yesterday. "Doesn't CNN have a journalistic obligation to report these kind of details, or to make their reporters aware of them? You can bet if CNN made discoveries about, say, a conservative administration, they would share them."

The editorial "sounds like a confession more than anything," Mr. Hannity said. "And I found it hypocritical."

Rich Noyes, director of research at the conservative Media Research Center, said that "Jordan now admits that CNN kept many of Saddam's secrets.

"Have other networks also censored their own tales of Saddam's evil?" he asked.

"If accurate reporting from Iraq was impossible, why was access to this dictatorship so important in the first place? And what truths about the thugs who run other totalitarian states — like North Korea, Cuba and Syria — are fearful and/or access-hungry reporters hiding from the American public?" Mr. Noyes said.

Tom Rosenstiel of the Project for Excellence in Journalism supports Mr. Jordan's decision, and described him as "obviously tortured" yesterday.

"He wrote an extraordinary and sensible essay," Mr. Rosenstiel said. "He was weighing out his journalistic responsibility and his human responsibility. It's a difficult task, but it comes with the territory of an editor who is responsible for his people — and the news."

Fox News media analyst Eric Burns said he "commended" Mr. Jordan, if he had indeed protected innocent people from harm.

"But why reveal all this now? Maybe CNN wants to cash in on the current pro-liberation sentiment," Mr. Burns said.

"If he had knowledge he couldn't reveal, then I hope that it would at least be reflected in CNN's coverage."

Barbara Cochran of the Radio and TV News Directors Association said Mr. Jordan was right not to reveal information that could endanger lives, citing the association's code of ethics, "which addresses balancing the harm you do with the news you present."
30 posted on 04/11/2003 10:56:43 PM PDT by Tall_Texan (Where liberals lead, misery follows.)
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To: TooBusy
Jim Glassman 4-11-03

"Sins of Omission"

I was shocked and disgusted by an op-ed piece I read today in the New York Times. No, it wasn't by Paul Krugman. It was far more serious: Eason Jordan, chief news executive at CNN, revealing what the headline called "The News We Kept to Ourselves."

The news concerned the atrocities committed by Saddam Hussein's regime. For example:

"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 [Saddam's son] 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."

And these were mild cases. In 13 trips to Baghdad, Jordan heard stories of electroshock torture, beatings and brutal murders. Almost certainly, other journalists, editors and news directors heard them, too. So why weren't these atrocities reported?

"Doing so," wrote Jordan, "would have jeopardized the lives of Iraqis, particularly those on our Baghdad staff."

That explanation just doesn't wash.

Clearly, there were ways to protect the identities of individual victims of the regime's brutality. And, clearly, by reporting the stories, CNN might finally have aroused the outrage of the world, which in turn would have brought Saddam's end closer - either through united, global pressure or through earlier military action.

It appears there is another, more troubling, reason Jordan decided not to report these hideous crimes until the regime was safely out of the way: CNN didn't want to lose its on-the-ground access to a big story.

Anyone who read Franklin Foer's excellent piece last October in The New Republic, would not have been shocked at Jordan's op-ed today. Foer uncovered Saddam's success at manipulating the U.S. media, especially CNN.

"Like their Soviet-bloc predecessors," he wrote, "the Iraqis have become masters of the Orwellian pantomime - the state-orchestrated anti-American rally, the state-led tours of alleged chemical weapons sites that turn out to be baby milk factories - that promotes their distorted reality. And the Iraqi regime has found an audience for these displays in an unlikely place: the U.S. media. It's not because American reporters have an ideological sympathy for Saddam Hussein; broadcasting his propaganda is simply the only way they can continue to work in Iraq."

As for CNN: Foer wrote six months ago that "nobody has schmoozed the [information] ministry harder than the head of CNN's News Group, Eason Jordan, who has traveled to Baghdad twelve times since the Gulf war. In part these trips…consist of network execs promising they will cover its propaganda."

The alternative is no access at all, writes Foer. Among the reporters banned by the regime at the time he wrote the article were Wolf Blitzer and Christiane Amanpour of CNN and Barbara Crossette of the New York Times. Crossette, now retired, had the temerity to file pieces in 1998 "belying Iraqi stories about the horrors of U.N. sanctions."

By contrast, Foer highlights Jane Arraf, CNN's Iraq correspondent for the past four years, "the dean of Western reporters" in the country. I had not read Foer's piece until today, but it goes a long way toward explaining why Arraf appeared, at least to me, to have leaned farthest to the Iraqi side of all U.S. journalists.

Foer wrote three months ago that "nobody better exemplifies [the] go-along-to-get-along reporting strategy…than Arraf. In a segment last month, answering viewer phone calls, Arraf rebutted the charge that Saddam's vanity construction projects have diverted money that could have been used to feed his starving people. Sanctions, she said, have 'tied his hands in some respects.' Later in the same segment, repeating Saddam's constant refrain, she told viewers, 'If there's been anything that's been essentially agreed over the last decade, it's been that the sanctions that are in place by the U.N. and U.S. haven't been working.'"

Foer's piece caused a small stir in journalistic circles, and shortly after it appeared, Bob Garfield interviewed Jordan on WNYC, a New York public-radio station. Garfield asked Jordan his response to the "charges that the Western press is appeasing the Iraqi regime in order to maintain its visas."

Jordan replied that Foer "doesn't have a clear understanding of the realities on the ground because CNN has demonstrated again and again that it has a spine; that it's prepared to be forthright."

What if there is another war? Garfield asked. "Are there decisions you'll make on the margins to be as certain as you possibly can that you will have a presence there?"

Jordan said that he was prepared to deal with a certain amount of censorship, but "we are not going to make journalistic compromises…. We want to be there…and operate as a responsible news organization."

And now, we learn from Jordan's own hand, that he indeed made compromises - severe compromises.

On his 13 trips, Iraqi officials "confided in me that Saddam Hussein was a maniac who had to be removed." Wasn't that news?

He learned that Kurdish officials had thwarted a plan for an armed attack by Iraqis on CNN's headquarters in the northern part of the country. Wasn't that news?

He talked to Iraqis who "whispered tales of being hauled off and tortured in unimaginable ways." He discovered that "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)." Wasn't that news?

Perhaps Jordan and other journalists who suppressed the truth can take comfort that organizations like Human Rights Watch have reported tales of torture. And Jordan ends his Times piece with the story, previously reported, of a brave Kuwaiti woman named Asrar Qabandi, who was captured by Iraqi police just before the U.S. invasion 12 years ago. She was beaten daily for two months, with her father forced to watch. Then, "they smashed her skull and tore her body part limb by limb. A plastic bag containing her body parts was left on the doorstep of her family's home."

Yes, atrocities were reported. But not enough so as to have an effect on world opinion.

Those of us who did not live through the Nazi Holocaust find it hard to understand why so many who knew what was happening stayed silent for so long. They had many reasons.

In the case of Saddam - who tried his best to emulate Hitler and might have succeeded if a coalition of Americans, Brits, Australians and Poles had not put an end to his regime - some of the atrocities did come to light. But, again, not as many as were known.

The world most definitely was not outraged during the United Nations debates earlier this year. How would the public in France and Germany - people who certainly know the meaning of crimes against humanity - have reacted if CNN had reported courageously and completely the episodes that Jordan knew had occurred?

And so what if CNN had been thrown out of Iraq?

As Foer wrote, "There are alternatives to mindlessly reciting Baghdad's spin. Instead of desperately trying to keep their Baghdad offices open, the networks could scour Kurdistan and Jordan, where there are many recently arrived Iraqis who can talk freely. 'Amman is the place to find out what's really going on in Iraq,' says ex-CIA officer Robert Baer."

Foer also cites "Uncle Saddam," a documentary by Joel Soler, a sort of freedom-loving version of Michael Moore, director of "Roger and Me." Soler ingratiated himself with the Iraqi regime's inner circle and was allowed remarkable inside glimpses. The film, writes Foer, "shows Saddam to be a lunatic, devoid of morality or humanity." It includes a scene of Saddam's unique style of fishing: throwing grenades into a pond and sending aides to retrieve the kill. Soler didn't need a long-term relationship with Saddam.

But Jordan felt that CNN did. "There's an expectation that if anybody is in Iraq, it will be CNN," he told Foer.

That led Foer to conclude, "His answer reveals the fundamental attitude of most Western media: Access to Baghdad is an end in itself, regardless of the…moral caliber of the journalism such access produces."

The irony, of course, is that CNN did get kicked out Baghdad after the war began, but nevertheless acquitted itself well, using the resources of other media and reporting from surrounding nations. Perhaps if the network had been willing to lose access long before, a nation would have been liberated earlier and many, many lives would have been saved.
31 posted on 04/11/2003 11:01:51 PM PDT by Tall_Texan (Where liberals lead, misery follows.)
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To: Tall_Texan
Link to the the Glassman article because those of you who don't read tech central station should

Sins of Omission

32 posted on 04/11/2003 11:23:28 PM PDT by TooBusy
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To: Dave Olson
Oops. In post #29, " they could be encouraging"
33 posted on 04/11/2003 11:43:00 PM PDT by Dave Olson
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To: TooBusy
Eason Jordan: Seppuku ... think about it. Tell your friends.
34 posted on 04/11/2003 11:47:23 PM PDT by spodefly (This is my tag line. There are many like it, but this one is mine.)
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To: TooBusy
He contradicts himself in this interview. On the one hand he says they are in Iraq to upset Saddam's regime, then a few paragraphs later he says they aren't there for that reason but to just do their job. This in addition to all of the lies we now know he told in this interview. There are no words for how utterly contemptible this is.
35 posted on 04/11/2003 11:54:01 PM PDT by ladyinred
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To: TooBusy
What did Eason Jordan know and when did he know it!
36 posted on 04/12/2003 5:45:36 AM PDT by Cosmo (Help pay for the war! Buy a palace time-share in Baghdad !)
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To: TooBusy
You're right..I forgot that the end always justifies the means with liberals...
37 posted on 04/12/2003 7:16:55 AM PDT by hope (see the implosion of the democRATS, their god Marduk has been utterly put to shame !)
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To: hope; TooBusy
So far, this only seems to be playing in the conservative media. CNN and NYT are letting Jordan tell his story but with no criticism, letting him paint it as he wishes. The only outrage seems to come from folks on the right - the people already convinced that CNN's reporting was one-sided.

If you'll notice, CNN is not emphasizing the torture, they are emphasizing the foiled attempt to harm their own reporters. This was what I was responding to with my initial thread (4/10) that seemed to get mostly responses of laughter and disbelief.

After I saw the huge thread on the Times piece, I asked myself if I had somehow missed the "confession" angle. If you re-read the Brown transcript, it was easy to see that the attempt to harm their own reporters was the focus of that story, not the soul-searching over whether to report torture they knew about over the past dozen years.

It was no secret that Saddam was killing and torturing his own people. It was also no secret that the Iraqis had "minders" to try to control the press. This only puts them on the par with many other communist and rogue nations that much of the liberal media allows itself to kiss ass with seemingly no regret (Cuba, China, Vietnam, Angola).

They don't seem interested in reporting the torture, murders and attempts at censorship that go on in those countries while gleefully extolling these workers paradises so why should they be stricken with conscience over Iraq?

Charles Krauthammer on Fox News last night was right. This is a classic example of selling their soul for the story but they whore out there soul over and over again and their consciences are seemingly not seared by it in the least. Flaks like Nic Robertson, Cristiane Amanpour, Peter Arnett and Wolf Blitzer are essentially cheerleaders for totalitarian thugs whose human rights abuses would take more than JimRob's available bandwidth to list.

So the outrage is likely to stay on the right and may open the eyes of a few but I seriously don't expect this to be a seachange moment for CNN or the industry. The Faustian bargain they made with Saddam, they still happily do for Castro and other third-world tyrants without even noticing or acknowledging their culpability.

All it proves is that you aren't getting a full "fair and balanced" story at CNN. And we already knew that.

38 posted on 04/12/2003 7:43:46 AM PDT by Tall_Texan (Where liberals lead, misery follows.)
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To: Lurker
Excellent post, Lurker. Thanks.


39 posted on 04/12/2003 10:52:12 AM PDT by CheneyChick (SHAKANAW, Baby!)
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To: Tall_Texan
Good on Mort Kondrake. It is a flat lie, by Eason Jordan's own admission! CNN is a joke. Jordan should resign. If this were Japan he might even commit hari kari.
40 posted on 04/12/2003 6:30:45 PM PDT by monkeyshine
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To: monkeyshine
This deserves to be bumped.

Both the Washington Post and Times have articles about this today. I'm writing CNN right now to convey my disgust.
41 posted on 04/15/2003 11:11:08 AM PDT by dcretiree
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