The News We Kept to Ourselves

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/04/11/opinion/11JORD.html


The News We Kept to Ourselves


By EASON JORDAN


Eason Jordan is chief news executive at CNN.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…