What did they know and when did they know it? Mark Tapscott would like to know.

Saddam Hussein had a very trusted source inside AP, according to the translation of another of the thousands of documents captured by U.S. forces that are only slowing being made public. In this particular document, the source inside AP tells Hussein about the formation of UNMOVIC, the UN weapons inspection team.

So if Hussein had a credible source working for him within AP, was it a stringer in a Middle Eastern nation, an Iraqi “dissident” who had become a full-time employee or consultant to AP or a regular AP employee whose decades of agreement with the “Blame America First” school of foreign policy led to a decision to aid one of America’s enemies?

Is this individual still employed by AP? Has this individual gone on to work for another U.S. media organization like The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, etc.?

And I would add my own questions. Is this a one-off, an isolated incident, or could there be more? Do the well-documented politics of journalists make this sort of thing easier for those who can blend in with those sympathies? This should become a top priority in media circles, to root out this sort of infiltration. Reuters may have a contribution to make in this area. Certainly they should have learned a little bit on how to discover a fauxtographer.

For a counter-point, check with the Captain. Given the timing of the memo, he doesn’t see this as being a big deal, and the memo doesn’t describe the nature of the source. This is all well and good, but effort should still go into finding out whether it was a reporter or just a desk clerk. It matters.
This, as well as other documents, have uncovered a lot of information about what was really going on in Iraq, including knowledge of weapons programs. Given what’s still untranslated, Mark notes:

And one more thought: There remain thousands of untranslated documents. We still do not know with any certainty whether in fact Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

Emphasis his, and rightly so. We do know that we’ve recovered approximately 700 shells that contained or were designed to contain chemical weapons. Before people consider our current level of knowledge settled, understand that the fat lady hasn’t sung just yet.

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