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February 07, 2005

EASON JORDAN UPDATE: Barney Frank is talking:

Rep. Frank said Eason Jordan did assert that there was deliberate targeting of journalists by the U.S. military. After Jordan made the statement, Rep. Frank said he immediately "expressed deep skepticism." Jordan backed off (slightly), Rep. Frank said, "explaining that he wasn't saying it was the policy of the American military to target journalists, but that there may have been individual cases where they were targeted by younger personnel who were not properly disciplined."

Rep. Frank said he didn't pay attention to the audience reaction at the time of the panel, but recalled that Sen. Dodd was "somewhat disturbed" and "somewhat exercised" and that moderator David Gergen also said Jordan's assertions were "disturbing if true." I have a call in to Sen. Dodd's office and sent an e-mail inquiry to Gergen.

I asked Rep. Frank again if his recollection was that Jordan initially maintained that the military had a deliberate policy of targeting journalists. Rep. Frank affirmed that, noting that Jordan subsequently backed away orally and in e-mail that it was official policy, but "left open the question" of whether there were individual cases in which American troops targeted journalists.

After the panel was over and he returned to the U.S., Rep. Frank said he called Jordan and expressed willingness to pursue specific cases if there was any credible evidence that any American troops targeted journalists. "Give me specifics," Rep. Frank said he told Jordan.

Rep. Frank has not yet heard back yet from Jordan.

Read the whole thing.

UPDATE: More, including conflicting stories, here. And there's this observation: "The blogosphere is effectively being stonewalled." Of course, that stonewalling is necessary probably tells us something important about what's going on.

ANOTHER UPDATE: More here.

MORE: This seems a fair inference on the facts so far:

Well, nobody has heard from Jordan, and the reason is that he doesn't have any evidence to back up his charges. Instead, he and CNN want to withdraw the charges, claiming that he was misunderstood.

This certainly seems like a serious embarrassment for CNN already.