Pro-us captive probed

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Last updated on July 21st, 2017 at 03:38 pm

If you ever have the misfortune to be kidnapped in Iraq and be a supporter of the war, you can expect a far-reaching Melbourne Age investigation:

After a far-reaching investigation into Wood’s business activities in Baghdad and London, and into the circumstances surrounding his disappearance and astonishingly coincidental discovery by Iraqi troops on the day he was due to be released, The Sunday Age can reveal for the first time …

The investigation results in 3,067 words trashing Douglas Wood, largely based on the testimony of a former business partner who split with Wood 14 months ago. Wood—who had a “reputation around Baghdad for not paying his bills”—is described as “unreliable” and his business claims as “fanciful”; his “puzzling” kidnapping is said to have taken place “in controversial circumstances”. Cheapskate Wood has given “only”  $US5000 to the widow of one of his Iraqi staffers, killed by the kidnappers. Another trusted Age source, crank cleric Sheikh Taj al-Din al-Hilali, offers that Wood made “disturbing” claims about “his activities in Iraq” in a video so far not released to the media. “His determination to cash in on his harrowing 47 days as a hostage suggests he needs money,” declares the Age, which repeats reports that Wood was paid “in excess of $400,000” for his Network Ten appearance, although Wood subsequently (in an ABC interview referenced by the Age) said the amount was “more like $250,000”. Wood declined to speak to the Age, leading to this bitchy line: “The future may not be all plain sailing for Wood as he continues to hide from public viewbehind his agents and minders …”

By contrast, plain sailing is guaranteed for former human shield Donna Mulhearn, whose puzzling tales from Iraq have attracted no Age investigation. Whatever happened, for example, to Donna’s adoption plans for a limbless Iraqi baby? Were the child’s deformities the result of chemical weapons used by Saddam Hussein, as originally reported, or—as Mulhearn claims—because of wicked American weaponry?

Noura is a D.U baby. That is, she was born with deformities linked to the use of depleted uranium in the 1991 Gulf War. She was born with no arms and legs, so she’s just a torso and a head.

A head, you say? Some DU babies would kill to be so well-equipped. Other questions for the Age’s investigators: How much money has Mulhearn earned from her speaking engagements, and does her availability for same suggest she “needs money”? How did Mulhearn know shots fired at her from an unseen source came from US soldiers? And when she says her “hands were covered with blood” causing her passport to be “stained red” and left “damp with my blood”, shouldn’t there be a hell of a lot more … blood?


Investigate that, losers.

Posted by Tim B. on 07/16/2005 at 11:44 AM
    1. I guess, here’s another Aussie that will need to be investigated.

      Australian Wins World Series of Poker

      Posted by Hellbilly on 2005 07 16 at 01:15 PM • permalink


    1. Why was it left to the blogosphere to investigate Giuliana “The Middle-Aged Witch” Sgrena? Oh, because she was on the “correct” side.

      Posted by Aaron – Freewill on 2005 07 16 at 01:17 PM • permalink


    1. I stopped buying The Age a while back and told them why.  But now I’m on a crusade (sorry with a head tilt for anyone offended by that word) to inform my friends who still subscribe out of habit that this paper is beyond salvation (sorry again – I’m agnostic and any Jihadist out there that might have misinterpreted what I meant will undertand that I am not one of them..I’m safe then?).

      Posted by Melanie on 2005 07 16 at 01:25 PM • permalink


    1. “I want to know the truth about what really happened, about why my husband and Hayder’s father got killed and why Douglas got released. There are big question marks in this story.”

      Maybe Sarah Smiles and Russel Skelton should go to Baghdad and search out his captors for an exclusive interview.

      Posted by BEAM on 2005 07 16 at 01:30 PM • permalink


    1. Dunno about Australian libel laws, but in the US, that paper would be setting itself up for a helluva lawsuit.  Sometimes there’s something to be said for being a country overrun by predatory lawyers.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2005 07 16 at 01:35 PM • permalink


    1. Death throes of a dying newspaper.

      Posted by PW on 2005 07 16 at 01:46 PM • permalink


    1. Not that I want to nitpick, but I’m kinda wondering why the left side of the passport is stained, and the corresponding part of the right side isn’t.  Especially for something that folds closed, like that passport. 

      I’m sure that there’s a reasonable explanation for this, but I rather doubt that we’ll hear it from Donna Mulhearn.  And certainly not from the Age.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2005 07 16 at 04:03 PM • permalink


    1. I’ve never seen an Australian passport, but aren’t the photo pages of passports usually laminated with plastic?  The other page would stain, but the photo page would wipe clean.  There does look like there are some faint stains on the bottom half of the photo page, too.  The rest of her story stinks, though.

      Posted by jic on 2005 07 16 at 04:10 PM • permalink


    1. She was born with no arms and legs, so she’s just a torso and a head.

      Bright side – none of those tough Christmas / birthday present issues:
      “What did you get for your birthday, Nouru?”
      “Another fuckin’ hat.”

      Posted by Thon Brocket on 2005 07 16 at 04:11 PM • permalink


    1. Good point, jic.  I don’t remember if they are laminated or not.  That could be the reason.  Thanks!

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2005 07 16 at 04:54 PM • permalink


    1. Dried blood is brown, not red.

      Posted by Rob Crawford on 2005 07 16 at 05:51 PM • permalink


    1. I used to clean surgical instruments for a living, and that looks like drying blood to me.  Does anyone know how long after the alleged incident the photo was taken?

      Posted by jic on 2005 07 16 at 05:59 PM • permalink


    1. Another possibility:  I’ve never photographed dried blood.  Maybe it photographs redder than it appears in real life?

      Posted by jic on 2005 07 16 at 06:05 PM • permalink


    1. So why shouldn’t Douglas Wood profit or otherwise manage the media to his advantage?

      After all the media profits enormously from running his story by increased circulation.

      It was the subject of observations by Nicky and me in June.

      Posted by The Thin Man Returns on 2005 07 16 at 06:15 PM • permalink


    1. Tim, you persist at painting DW as a hero. What exactly does being a hero mean to you? At best, DW is a businessman who went to Iraq to earn some money. He must have weighed the pros and cons of working in such a dangerous enviroment and decided that he would take the risk. Are all private contractors in Iraq heroes? DW was kidnapped and released. I don’t believe for one minute that he, or the other people working there are doing so for altruistic reasons. A soldier who risks his life daily to protet the local Iraqis could be called a hero, but DW? And of course the accusations levelled at him from his former business partner could prove to be true. You are letting your prejudices aginst The Age deny the possibility that occasionally they may get something right.

      Posted by algiga on 2005 07 16 at 07:30 PM • permalink


    1. Algiga, wtf are you talking about? This post doesn’t portray Douglas Woods as a hero, it looks at a shoddy Melbourne Age investigation and points out why it is shoddy.

      Posted by TimT on 2005 07 16 at 07:38 PM • permalink


    1. One revelation from the Doug Wood episode is that journalists and media seem to claim they have some right to interview a private citizen. Wood had committed no crime, is not an elected official and doesn’t rely on his livelihood from publc performance like a sports star or musician.  Nor did he have anything to defend in the public arena.  There was undoubted interest in his story but no-one in his position can or should be forced to front up to journalists (on the journo’s terms).

      His refusal to speak to the Age, besides showing considerable discernment, is consistent with his statement after his last (unpaid) interview with the ABC that he would now drop out of the public eye.

      God media people can be scum.

      And don’t get me started on Mulhearn. I’m not willing to once again trawl through articles about her. Where did she claim the blood came from on her passport? Looks like the blood from a nasty paper cut.

      Posted by Francis H on 2005 07 16 at 07:40 PM • permalink


    1. I feel sorry for little Noura. No child deserves a life like that and I pray that

      However what about the thousands and thousands of DU adults (Democratic Underground) that have never developed a brain or spine? Donna could be adopting them by the truck load, but no, she’s only adopting someone who’ll maximize her PR worth. Heartless bitch. Fuck I hate people like that.

      As for those Age quiffs… you know what they say about newspaper people. They’re the guys who ride in after a massacre and shoot the survivors.

      Posted by Arty on 2005 07 16 at 07:46 PM • permalink


    1. These girly men don’t seem to have a problem with the sleazy Mr. Habib’s 250,000 bucks, and if they do, it’s the nine network they attack. I knew Mr. Wood’s fate was sealed when he roared “God bless America” after his release. I was watching ABC news at the time and I actually said to myself, “you’re gonna get it now!”

      Posted by Brian on 2005 07 16 at 09:46 PM • permalink


    1. Algiga “And of course the accusations levelled at him from his former business partner could prove to be true.”
      Allegations from a disgruntled former business partner that DW didn’t run his business the way the business partner thought it should be run? So, some bloke who doesn’t like DW bags him and thats enough to thoroughly discredit DW and basically justify his abduction and the murder of his colleagues?
      What sort of fucking dickhead would you be?
      Having a different opinion to the chatterers and supporting Bush and Howard does not mean a person is bad, nor does it justify murder. Likewise, not paying your bills and bullshitting about how big your business is aren’t justification for kidnapping and murder.
      Having been in business for 20 years I can assure you that very few people say nice things about their former business partners after an acrimonious split. And boy, plenty of people tell lies about their business and don’t pay their bills. Its not behaviour that I would indulge in or condone but it sure aint a hanging offence.
      Finally I can see nowhere in the discusions of DW that he has been treated as a hero by Tim. He is just a poor silly bastard who got treated terribly by a mob of criminal scumbags and was lucky enough to survive. I wish him a long, happy and prosperous life.

      Posted by Harold on 2005 07 16 at 09:48 PM • permalink


    1. No word yet from David Marr on what he’s learned about the Shady Sheikh’s involvement in the Doug Wood affair as he promised on the Insiders program about a month ago.
      Strange isn’t it?

      Posted by Brian on 2005 07 16 at 09:51 PM • permalink


    1. “I don’t believe for one minute that he, or the other people working there are doing so for altruistic reasons.”

      Exactly – an accurate observation. Who works for altruistic reasons? I don’t but I suppose Peace Corps types do. People work in the anywhere middle east do so for tax and financial reasons. You have lower security and expect a premium return for that – danger money, if you like.

      This Australian peaceniks are sickening in their hypocrisy. If they were genuinely concerned about the human condition they could volunteer to work, unappreciated, in remote aboriginal settlements for no glory, no publicity, no kudos.

      On depeleted uranium, it doesn’t cause birth defects. Birth defects in Iraq are attributed the Saddam’s use of mustard gas, which is known to cause birth defects.

      Posted by walterplinge on 2005 07 16 at 09:54 PM • permalink


    1. The GarbAge has sunk to a new low with this effort – all entirely predictable from the moment Wood said “God bless America”.

      I’d compare it to toilet paper, but even toilet paper doesn’t arrive with the shit already on it.

      Posted by Craig Mc on 2005 07 16 at 11:22 PM • permalink


    1. Good gawd, that Age tripe is a crude hatchet job William Randolph Hearst would have been proud of.

      Posted by Spiny Norman on 2005 07 16 at 11:38 PM • permalink


    1. I don’t thhink even Hearst would sink to that depth, Spiny!

      What is amusing about this is is predictabilty. IIRC, Numerous sites said this would happen. I am surprised it has taken so long.


      Posted by MarkL on 2005 07 17 at 01:49 AM • permalink


    1. Algia, Mr. Wood was a fortunate man who survived captivity under terrorists.  That makes him a lucky man. 

      He earned a living by working where his skills were needed—that makes him a shrewd business man.  Not to mention a smart man, because one goes to where the work is.  He was fortunate to have a job that helped others, even if some government paid most of the bills.

      As others have noted, he has never been accounted as a “hero” by Tim.  In fact, Tim pointed out the true heros in that drama, the Iraqi soldiers who rescued him.

      The only people calling him anything are the leftards who are against the war in the first place, and view his survival and subseqent good fortune as contrary to their beliefs. 

      No?  Habib made a bunch of money off Iraq.  Do you think he is a vile person?  Or a hero?

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2005 07 17 at 08:10 AM • permalink


    1. Reposted from a dead thread:

      People who volunteer as human shields should be tried as war criminals. They are intentionally creating a situation in which a disproportional response is required of one warring party, which is against the Geneva Protocols. Link

      Article 51, paragraph 5 of the Geneva Protocols specifically states that an indiscriminate [i.e., illegal] attack is

      (b) an attack which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated.

      and that in paragraph 7,

      7. The presence or movements of the civilian population or individual civilians shall not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations, in particular in attempts to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield, favour or impede military operations. The Parties to the conflict shall not direct the movement of the civilian population or individual civilians in order to attempt to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield military operations.

      Thus, human shields are presenting themselves to one warring party to help perpetrate a war crime while they attempt to induce the other warring party into the commission of a war crime.

      Jurjen pointed this out during the run-up to the Iraq war.

      Posted by Some0Seppo on 2005 07 17 at 10:22 AM • permalink


    1. Melanie, you have a convert in me – I will never pay to read that rag again. (ps. sorry about the ‘convert’ word)

      Posted by larrikin on 2005 07 17 at 11:44 PM • permalink


    1. No thappy with you Thon and your comment.

      Posted by crash on 2005 07 18 at 04:09 AM • permalink


    1. I imagine that “linked to”, in this usage means “some completely ignorant idiot said it was totally caused by depleted uranium, and who cares about that whole science thing anyway?”.

      Last I checked, even the not-especially-pro-American folks at the WHO didn’t think depleted uranium caused babies to have no limbs. (“No developmental or reproductive effects have been reported in humans.” … but they’re obviously Bushalliburtitler lackeys, right?)

      Posted by Sigivald on 2005 07 18 at 05:19 PM • permalink


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