Patterico's Pontifications

11/28/2006

AP: That Iraqi Police Captain is Genuine, and So Is Our Story

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:28 pm



The AP is standing by that story quoting the alleged Iraqi police official who, the military says, isn’t actually with the police:

The Associated Press is standing by its report that six Sunni men were burned to death in Baghdad Friday by Shiites, even though U.S. military officials have accused the wire service of relying on a source who “is not who he claimed he was,” an Iraqi police captain.

Military officials also say they cannot confirm that the incident took place and have asked AP to retract or correct the story, which was repeated by media around the world and cited as a grim example of Shiites taking revenge for a deadly bombing that killed more than 200 people a day before.

“The attempt to question the existence of the known police officer who spoke to the AP is frankly ludicrous and hints at a certain level of desperation to dispute or suppress the facts of the incident in question,” AP International Editor John Daniszewski said in a statement e-mailed to On Deadline this afternoon.

He added that “we have conducted a thorough review of the sourcing and reporting involved and plan to move a more detailed report about the entire incident soon, with greater detail provided by multiple eye witnesses.”

“The police captain cited in our story has long been known to the AP reporters,” Daniszewski wrote.

“The AP stands by its story.”

But a U.S. military spokesman has told the AP in a letter that “neither we nor Baghdad Police had any reports of such an incident … and could find no one to corroborate the story.”

“Unless you have a credible source to corroborate the story of the people being burned alive, we respectfully request that AP issue a retraction, or a correction at a minimum,” Navy Lt. Michael Dean, the spokesman, wrote to the AP on Monday.

Fascinating. We’ll have to see how this shakes out.

Via commenter steve, who always provides great links.

14 Responses to “AP: That Iraqi Police Captain is Genuine, and So Is Our Story”

  1. As I said before, we ran the same AP story, which prompted me to call AP this morning after reading your blog. I got the same verbal denials. But checking how others played it, I noticed that they were a bit more cautious —
    Washington Post “Rumors of yesterday’s atrocities included one report of six Sunni men who emerged from services at a Baghdad mosque and were doused with kerosene and burned alive. But two Baghdad imams, in an interview, denied that the incident took place.”
    New York Times doesn’t mention it all. I too am waiting to see how this shakes out.

    Edward Barrera (0b6502)

  2. Oh, well, does the AP’s “known police officer” happen to occasionally wear a green helmet?

    mokus (b705f5)

  3. Edward Barrera,

    I appreciate your instincts as a journalist to be skeptical and to wait and see the details in AP’s promised follow-up story. Those seem like good qualities for a newspaperman. On the other hand, the wording of the AP’s denial sounds off to me:

    “The attempt to question the existence of the known police officer who spoke to the AP is frankly ludicrous and hints at a certain level of desperation to dispute or suppress the facts of the incident in question,” AP International Editor John Daniszewski said in a statement e-mailed to On Deadline this afternoon.


    Rather than believing in his story, the AP editor’s quote sounds defensive to me. One might even label it overly sensitive. Am I reading too much into it?

    DRJ (0df497)

  4. Part of this story involves the burning/destruction of four (sunni) mosques. It seems to me that those who want to know the truth, or at least the path to the truth, should go out and photograph these supposedly destroyed mosques and set the record straight. Why do I get the feeling that AP’s green zone-based reporters aren’t up to that seemingly trivial task?

    Mescalero (2b96aa)

  5. DRJ,
    Those were exactly the same words used with me. It can’t be fun being in the eye of a blogostorm or have to answer to the blogoshpere. It’s a brave new world and sometimes it’s painful.

    Edward Barrera (c516e0)

  6. MSM – More Carrying of Enemy Propaganda…

    HT Flopping Aces

    *****SCROLL FOR UPDATES*****

    Doesn’t anyone ever check their stories anymore?

    RBT

    *****

    Yesterday there were two incidents that I wrote about involving the use of ……

    Rocket's Brain Trust (fa8fba)

  7. Wise words, Edward. Technology cab make life better but not necessarily easier.

    DRJ (0df497)

  8. Technology can make life better …

    Clearly, it’s time for me to call it a night.

    DRJ (0df497)

  9. Perhaps the name “Capt. Jamil Hussein” is a pseudoname, like Jack Dunphy.

    EFG (4335e6)

  10. What Smacks of Desperation?…

    What the Heck was I Thinking!? (feb53c)

  11. Mescalero, excellent point. Any one have source for recent high-res aerial photography of the locations?

    larry (feb78b)

  12. This is what troubles me – you can find many images of the mutilated dead in Iraq.

    We saw what happened to Menchaca and Tucker.
    The beheading videos.
    The braggadocio of the murderers is always conveniently caught on film, and presented by none other than AP or Reuters.
    The Haditha “Massacre”.

    And surprisingly enough, no photos of this incident. Not of the victims. No images of Capt Jamil Hussein. No images of the burned Mosques.

    If Capt Hussein is real – produce evidence as in images, interviews and the whatnot.

    This is just a re-hash of the Insurgent Propaganda Playbook, Lesson —— (take a stab at a number)

    Enlightened (af3db1)

  13. Also interesting – If you Google Capt Jamil Hussein – almost every site that comes up for the first 5 pages is – right wing.

    Not one Liberal/Left site is commenting on this issue?

    Not true – Malkin has pointed out that Geiger at Huffpo is demanding the right wingers apologize for being wrong about the story.

    Stange that.

    So what gives?

    Enlightened (af3db1)


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