The News We Kept to Ourselves

(New York Times) - Eason Jordan 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 lives. I knew that CNN could not report that Saddam Hussein's eldest son, Uday, told me in 1995 that he intended to assassinate two of his brothers-in-law who had defected. A few months later Uday lured the brothers-in-law back to Baghdad, where they were soon killed. An aide to Uday 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. One senior official of the Information Ministry has long been missing all his fingernails.

2003-04-10 00:00:00

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