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John Adams Blog

The blog of The Antient and Honourable John Adams Society, Minnesota's Conservative Debating Society www.johnadamssociety.org

Monday, December 27, 2004


What is the proper term when an American business knowingly helps our enemy, in wartime, implement a tactic designed to defeat us? Specifically, suppose this tactic is basically useless without the cooperation of this or some other similar American business.

In a series of excellent posts (just keep scrolling down), Wretchard at the Belmont Club has catalogued the episode on the front page of every American newspaper of the Iraqi terrorists executing three election workers in broad daylight on a busy Baghdad street. At first Wretchard wrote “It may have been pure luck, but it was surely the longest of odds that would have brought an Associated Press cameraman to the site of a surprise attack on two Iraqi electoral workers.”

It turns out, of course, that it was not pure luck. The AP has admitted that its Iraqi photographer was tipped off by the terrorists. He was not, of course, told “come to Haifa street at 10 AM to witness us execute some election workers.” Instead, according to Salon, he was simply told something like “come to see a `demonstration’ on Haifa street at 10 AM.”

Killing three election workers has no military value. It hardly makes it directly harder to run an election. The point of the entire episode was to 1) make Iraqis afraid, and 2) make Americans disheartened, which, if this causes America to pull out of Iraq, is the terrorists best shot at victory. Each of these goals requires the publicity that the AP willingly gave them.

When receiving the tip, the AP had three choices. 1) Alert the Americans. 2) Simply ignore it, or 3) Show up, camera ready. I don’t know if option three is legally treason, but if it isn’t then we need a new word in English to describe it, because it’s damn close.