A New Visions Commentary
paper published June 2003 by The National Center for Public Policy
Research, 501 Capitol Ct., N.E., Washington, DC 20002, 202/543-4110,
Fax 202-543-5975, E-Mail Project21@nationalcenter.org,
Reprints permitted provided source is credited.
After Saddam Hussein's fall, CNN's chief
news executive Eason Jordan confessed to covering up 12 years
of atrocities perpetrated by the Iraqi government. Over the course
of his 13 trips to Iraq, he claimed he grew increasingly distressed
by the things he saw and heard.
Jordan, however, said says he didn't
say anything at the time because he feared for the lives of the
Iraqis on CNN's Baghdad staff.
Jordan told of the government-sponsored
abduction and torture of an Iraqi cameraman employed by CNN who
refused to confirm Jordan was a CIA spy. Jordan was personally
told by Saddam's son Uday of his plans to assassinate two of
his brothers-in-law and King Hussein of Jordan. Jordan felt a
"moral obligation" to tell King Hussein (the King dismissed
the notion). How courageous! But the brothers-in-law, who returned
to Iraq months later, were assassinated.
Jordan also said he sent reporters to
Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq despite threats by the Iraqi
Information Minister. They were later presented with evidence
from the Kurds - including videotaped confessions - that Iraqi
officials did plan to have them killed.
It's very considerate of Jordan not to
want to expose his staff to danger, but it is a good thing others
didn't use his caution as an example.
For example, thank goodness that the
three men who provided the information of the whereabouts of
Saddam Hussein and his inner circle on the night of the initial
bombing weren't so considerate. Hussein may not have been eliminated
that night, but that one act could have successfully ended Operation
Iraqi Freedom almost before it began.
We can all be glad that the Iraqi lawyer
known as Mohammed also wasn't held back by fear. He learned where
PFC Jessica Lynch was held and made several six-mile treks to
a Marine checkpoint from the hospital - drawing the maps and
blueprints that eventually led to her rescue.
Let's be glad that the other brave servicemen
and women of the coalition forces of Operation Iraqi Freedom
did not share Jordan's reservations. They put themselves in harm's
way to do the right thing.
What makes Jordan's revelations even
sadder is that - while we were preparing for war - CNN gave a
disproportionate amount of coverage to anti-Bush, er, anti-war
rallies. Never let facts get in the way of a good story, right
After it was safe to do so, Jordan revealed
how awful he felt for keeping these stories quiet. Perhaps the
Iraqis could learn a thing or two from his courageousness and
heroism. Thank you, brave Eason! Now, let's commence to rounding
up all of Hussein's thugs and give the Iraqis the ability to
determine their own destiny.
I'm perhaps most shocked that Jordan's
confession was published in the New York Times. It is so shocking
to because I would have figured it would detract from their coverage
of our allegedly failing post-war policy in Iraq.
(Geoffrey Moore is a member
of the National Advisory Council of the African-American leadership
network Project 21, and an MBA student and market analyst in
the Chicago area. Comments may be sent to Project21@nationalcenter.org.)
Note: New Visions Commentaries reflect the views of their author,
and not necessarily those of Project 21.