U.S. Senator Tom Cotton has written a letter urging the Department of Justice to investigate the Associated Press, CNN, New York Times, and Reuters for their potential collaboration with Hamas on October 7. This collaboration allegedly involved embedding a number of their photojournalists within Hamas' ranks during the raid into southern Israel.
In the letter, Cotton referred to the issue as a "vital matter of national security."
The raid, which saw up to 1,400 killings, most of whom were civilians, sparked Israel's retaliatory attack on the Gaza Strip to dismantle Hamas.
Posting on X, Cotton wrote:
The DOJ needs to immediately open an investigation into whether [Associated Press], [CNN], [NY Times], and [Reuters] committed federal crimes by having journalists embedded with Hamas.
He pinned his letter addressed to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland in the post.
"I write regarding reports that so-called 'journalists' employed by the Associated Press, CNN, New York Times, and Reuters accompanied Hamas terrorists into Israel during the October 7 terror attack," he wrote, citing revelations that a number of photojournalists, whose pictures of the October 7 have been splashed all over the front pages of newspapers worldwide, were embedded with Hamas units.
"These individuals almost certainly knew about the attack in advance, and even participated by accompanying Hamas terrorists during the attack and filming the heinous acts," he continued. "In at least one case, one of the individuals affiliated with these media outlets even took a selfie while being kissed on the cheek by a Hamas leader who helped mastermind the attack."
"Providing material support or assistance, including funding, to a terrorist organization such as Hamas is a federal crime," he added. "The Department of Justice must immediately open a national security investigation into these four media outlets to determine whether they or their leadership committed federal crimes by supporting Hamas terrorists."
Ahead of Cotton's leader, a number of journalists have rushed to the defense of the photographers.
Megan McArdle, a columnist at the Washington Post, wrote in response to news that Israel's internal security agency would be eliminating the photojournalists embedded in Hamas, "I understand Israel's anger, but it's morally wrong and a political mistake to target journalists who rushed to cover a story. Possibly some of them are complicit, I don't know. But Israel should give them the benefit of the doubt."
"We have no idea whether they were told of the attack in advance, whether they simply rushed to cover the breakthrough and followed fighters through, or whether they had any opportunity to prevent the crimes," she continued.