"He's a Sunni Arab from a tribe in that area. I'm sure he does know some nasty people. But is he a participant in the insurgency? I don't think that's been proven," Daniszewski said.
Information provided to the AP by the military to support the continued detention hasn't withstood scrutiny, when it could be checked, Daniszewski said.
For example, he said, the AP had been told that Hussein was involved with the kidnapping of two Arab journalists in Ramadi.
But those journalists, tracked down by the AP, said Hussein had helped them after they were released by their captors without money or a vehicle in a dangerous part of Ramadi. After a journalist acquaintance put them in touch with Hussein, the photographer picked them up, gave them shelter and helped get them out of town, they said.
The journalists said they had never been contacted by multinational forces for their account.
Horton said the military has provided contradictory accounts of whether Hussein himself was a U.S. target last April or if he was caught up in a broader sweep.
The military said bomb-making materials were found in the apartment where Hussein was captured but it never detailed what those materials were. The military said he tested positive for traces of explosives. Horton said that was virtually guaranteed for anyone on the streets of Ramadi at that time.
Hussein has been a frequent target of conservative critics on the Internet, who raised questions about his images months before the military detained him. One blogger and author, Michelle Malkin, wrote about Hussein's detention on the day of his arrest, saying she'd been tipped by a military source.
Carroll said the role of journalists can be misconstrued and make them a target of critics. But that criticism is misplaced, she said.
"How can you know what a conflict is like if you're only with one side of the combatants?" she said. "Journalism doesn't work if we don't report and photograph all sides."
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