Wednesday, April 2, 2003

Try Arnett for treason, senator says

Tristate reacts to war

WASHINGTON - Correspondent Peter Arnett should be "tried as a traitor" for remarks he made in an interview with Iraqi state television, Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., said Tuesday.

Arnett, a New Zealand native and naturalized U.S. citizen, said in the Sunday interview that Washington's "first war plan has just failed because of Iraqi resistance. ... Clearly, the American war planners misjudged the determination of the Iraqi forces."

NBC and its related network, for which the longtime war reporter had been covering the conflict from Baghdad, dismissed Arnett despite his apologies Monday. Later the same day, London's anti-war Daily Mirror hired him. In Arnett's first report for that paper, he retracted his apology.

"I think he should be brought back and tried as a traitor to the United States of America, for his aiding and abetting the Iraqi government during a war," Bunning said in a conference call with reporters. Later in a speech on the Senate floor, Bunning said: "Mr. Arnett can apologize all he likes for being a `useful idiot' for Saddam and his barbaric regime. But that's not enough for me, and it's certainly not enough for our soldiers and many Americans."

"I think Mr. Arnett should be met at the border and arrested should he come back to America," said Bunning.

Carl Weiser, Enquirer Washington Bureau

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