Media Whitewash: Kidnapped Americans Were Military Trainers Visiting a Baghdad Brothel
Initial reports claimed that the three Americans kidnapped in Baghdad on Monday were airport employees visiting a friend. Not quite.
One of the major themes we cover here at Russia Insider is how "trusted" media outlets create carefully-worded narratives to protect national and corporate interests. The recent kidnapping of three Americans in Baghdad is a perfect example of this miserable phenomenon.
Here's how the Washington Post initially framed this story:
Three Americans reported missing from a Baghdad neighborhood were kidnapped by militiamen from an apartment in the capital...the Americans are employed as contractors at Baghdad International Airport.
We'll return to the "airport employees" claim in a moment. But if you continue reading the story, WaPo concedes that the Americans weren't visiting a typical "apartment":
[A] resident of the apartment building where the Americans were reportedly seized said they were taken from a second-story apartment that he described as a well-known brothel. The police major general also said the apartment was a brothel. The resident said the apartment is subject to frequent raids by Asaib Ahl al-Haq, although typically the men found inside are simply told to leave. He said that he witnessed part of the raid but that it happened late at night and was over quickly.
The Baghdad Operations Command described the apartment as “suspicious” in its statement. An intelligence officer assigned to Dora said that agents had raided the apartment in the wake of the kidnappings and found whiskey bottles but that the residence had been abandoned. The owner of the apartment is a man locals refer to as Abu Maria, the intelligence officer and other residents in the area said. Abu Maria is known for throwing illicit parties, they said.
So the airport employees were kidnapped in a brothel. Heartbreaking. What's next, they're not even airport employees? According to The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, at least two of the three Americans were working as defense contractors for General Dynamics:
Two of three missing US civilians kidnapped by Shiite militia forces in Baghdad at the weekend are believed to have been working on a “critical” multimillion dollar deal to train Iraq’s counter-terrorism forces in the fight against the so-called Islamic State.
The Bureau has learned that a contract for US defence giant General Dynamics to provide services to Iraq’s government was quietly renewed by Washington without any formal tendering process towards the end of last year.
The deal had to be rushed through, according to a Federal procurement document, which stated: “Time is critically short due to the nature and complexity of international negotiations and agreement.”
Yeah, because who needs a "formal process" for a multi-million dollar contract? Especially when your contractors spend their free time at brothels. Let's just call them "airport employees".
So the story went from "airport employees kidnapped while visiting a friend" to "General Dynamics contractors kidnapped while visiting a brothel." And now we're told that Iran is (indirectly) responsible for their kidnapping.
Imagine how this story would be framed if the contractors were Russian.