Patterico's Pontifications

1/4/2007

Breaking: Jamil Hussein Has Been Found

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 2:41 pm



Jamil Hussein has been found — just where the AP said he was: at the al-Khadra station. (H/t: Allah.) What’s more, he may be arrested.

The Interior Ministry acknowledged Thursday that an Iraqi police officer whose existence had been denied by the Iraqis and the U.S. military is in fact an active member of the force, and said he now faces arrest for speaking to the media.

Ministry spokesman Brig. Abdul-Karim Khalaf, who had previously denied there was any such police employee as Capt. Jamil Hussein, said in an interview that Hussein is an officer assigned to the Khadra police station, as had been reported by The Associated Press.

The captain, whose full name is Jamil Gholaiem Hussein, was one of the sources for an AP story in late November about the burning and shooting of six people during a sectarian attack at a Sunni mosque.

Actually, the story reported that four mosques had been burned, not one — something that the AP has since pretended it never said.

Plenty of questions like that remain unanswered. Still, the AP and crowing lefty bloggers will treat this as total vindication. That’s how the game is played: dumb it down to something simple like “Does Jamil Hussein exist?” and ignore the other issues.

Editor & Publisher begins the crowing here. (Thanks to Dave C.)

UPDATE: As I said two days ago:

While I want to know more about Jam(a)il Hussein, I continue to believe that it is a mistake to focus on his “existence” to the exclusion of focusing on the other problems with the AP story. I am primarily concerned with the fact that the initial AP story on the “burning six” reported that four mosques were burned.

Part of the reason I was concerned is that, while I have doubts about the AP story, I have had doubts all along about the nonexistence of Jamil Hussein. For example, when Marc Danziger said he had checked Yarmouk and Karrada for Jamil Hussein and hadn’t found him, I said:

This one is dicier, but I don’t want to go into the reasons right now. I want to talk to Marc about it more. Suffice it to say that I think his journalists need to do more checking. Hint: aren’t al-Khadra and Karrada different places?

The reason I said this is because the AP had claimed Hussein is currently at al-Khadra — an area that is, I’m told, controlled by the mujahadeen, who have a tacit agreement with the police, according to a knowledgeable (non-military) source I have spoken to. The problem is, therefore, that it’s hard for someone to simply stroll into al-Khadra and check for the guy — despite the incorrect assumption by many people that the AP or Michelle Malkin could easily do so. (I had formerly held that false belief myself until my source set me straight.)

Another question that I’d like answered, now that the guy has been found: is he a “third way” Baathist holdover?

As Drudge says: developing . . .

UPDATE x2: I’ll also note that folks like Allah and myself were very suspicious when it turned out that CENTCOM had put the Ministry of the Interior’s spokesman on a working list of unverified sources — one that was released to the media. This caused me to say on November 30:

If CENTCOM had the name of the official spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior on its working blacklist — and, as Allah points out, garbled his name in e-mails about the press conference — what does that say about the military’s claims regarding Jamil Hussein?

This does not inspire confidence.

(Emphasis in original.)

My point is that the lefties will portray the conservative blogosphere as having uniformly gone off half-cocked on this story. But I don’t think that’s true. You bet I was suspicious of Jam(a)il Hussein’s claims — and I still am — but I was also suspicious of the claims of his non-existence.

I see Allah is apologizing tonight for taking his readers on a wild goose chase. But I don’t think he’s done anything to apologize for. He’s been very careful and appropriately suspicious of all sides at all times. And most of his previous suspicions of the AP are still quite valid today.

UPDATE x3: It’s quite clear that Jamil Hussein will not be prosecuted for speaking to the media. The linked story says:

Khalaf said Thursday that with the arrest of Hussein for breaking police regulations against talking to reporters, the AP would be called to identify him in a lineup as the source of its story.

Should the AP decline to assist in the identification, Khalaf said, the case against Hussein would be dropped. He also said there were no plans to pursue action against the AP should it decline.

I have absolutely no doubt that the AP will decline. So, make no mistake: any lefty handwringing over the government’s alleged crushing of dissent is either ignorant or, more likely, pure posturing.

UPDATE x4: Initial link fixed. I mistakenly posted the E&P link twice. The first link was supposed to be to the AP story.

UPDATE x5: Commenter m.croche notes that I did, initially (on November 27), accept the military/Ministry of the Interior claim that Jamil Hussein was not with the Iraqi police or the MOI. I didn’t say he didn’t exist, or that the AP had made him up; rather, I speculated that he could be an insurgent posing as a policeman. I got a lot more suspicious three days later (November 30), when the MOI spokesman showed up on the list of unverified sources.

If anything, this is a reminder to be skeptical of everything, regardless of the source. I think many of us assumed that MOI knew what they were talking about at first. That was a bad assumption. Thanks to croche for noting that.

UPDATE x6: Editor & Publisher has a dishonest hit piece up right now. It calls Allahpundit and me “Hussein doubters” — which is deceptive, given that, as shown by the above, we were among the more cautious of the conservatives who blogged about this issue. If anything, we were doubters of conservatives’ claims regarding Hussein, as well as of the AP story in general. E&P also falsely implies that I backed up Allah for his doubts on Hussein, when in fact I backed up Allah for being skeptical about conservatives’ claims regarding Hussein. Up is down. Black is white.

Naturally, E&P ignores the lingering questions, which I address in this post.

I’m reluctant to say more. It’s inevitable that, when you defend yourself — even against an unfair attack — the fact that you are defending yourself makes you sound, well, defensive.

72 Responses to “Breaking: Jamil Hussein Has Been Found”

  1. Have to look at it from the leftest point of view.

    They liked the orginal story + one fact checks out = True

    Gerald (9d8588)

  2. Beats the record of the U.S. military.

    What are they now?

    Oh fer 100?

    Neville Chamberlain (80a4fa)

  3. Well, this is a start to getting some answers. It seems strange that Jamil Hussein would be threatened with arrest for talking to the media against rules, when he was quoted under his whole name.

    Bradley J. Fikes (4ea625)

  4. Neville, do you have the capacity to form a cogent argument or a complete sentence? What do you mean by “Beats the record of the U.S. military”?

    While Patterico asked us to debate nicely, I assert you would have a point to create a basis for debate. Instead you type rants that make me believe that you spend most of your time drooling in the corner and wishing the government would take over your life and take care of you.

    So why do you hate the military so much? Is it because you ventured near a recruiting station and everybody inside starting pointing at you and laughing? You have quite a psychosis. Give us your location, and maybe we can research some possible mental health clinics for you. It might get you away from your computer long enough for your drug-induced hallucinations end.

    Some Other Steve (SOS) (7d7719)

  5. #3 – exactly. If they didn’t want the guy found, why did they not bother hiding his name while the daily Baghdad Bodies reports are *always* from an anonymous source (who always apparently knows the exact number of bodies the police have found across the entire city of Baghdad every single day).

    A guess would be that someone did a little wiretap action and figured out just exactly who was talking to the AP. Now they should apply the same to Reuters and find out who is reporting the daily Baghdad Bodies numbers …. today’s report:

    BAGHDAD – Police found the bodies of 47 people, many tortured and shot to death, in various parts of Baghdad over the past 24 hours, an interior ministry source said.

    Every day Reuters trots out this story. Every day it is one single sentance. Every day it sources the anonly “interior ministry source” or a “police source”. Yesterday they use both “interior ministry and police” … but both anonymous.

    I wonder if it is the same guy. It will be interesting to see if the Baghdad Bodies reports come to a mysterious end.

    crosspatch (9a3304)

  6. So why has it taken all this time to produce him then?

    And where are the bodies of the folks that were burned alive? And what about the mosques that weren’t destroyed?

    I’m making the same point as Patterico of course – the underlying story was the original problem. The failure to produce this guy was just the marker that let you KNOW it was BS.

    So they produced him. Now produce the people set on fire and destroyed buildings claimed in the story. Otherwise its nonsense.

    I also question the timing, since Malkin was OTW over and the attention level was about to increase. I seriously doubt we’ve heard all there is to know about this.

    Dwilkers (4f4ebf)

  7. Here’s the AP’s response.

    [That’s the same story I linked in the post. — P]

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  8. I doubt that Capt. Hussein will be successfully prosecuted since whether or not that happens depends on the AP identifying him (from the AP link above):


    Khalaf said Thursday that with the arrest of Hussein for breaking police regulations against talking to reporters, the AP would be called to identify him in a lineup as the source of its story.

    Should the AP decline to assist in the identification, Khalaf said, the case against Hussein would be dropped. He also said there were no plans to pursue action against the AP should it decline.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  9. Nice post Pat.

    I love how issues of intimidation of witnesses to human rights abuses falls well behind what’s really important … lengthy paragraphs covering your own butt.

    Jamil Hussein does exist … but thanks to the fevered frenzy created by the Interior Ministry, their enablers in the U.S. military and their fevered friends in the righty blogosphere, he may not exist much longer.

    But don’t fret about that.

    [Why would he not exist much longer, Macswain? Because he has been revealed as Jamil Hussein of the al-Khadra station? And who did that? The AP? — P]

    Macswain (76d8da)

  10. Well, Patterico, you’re much smarter and more thoughtful than the parade of nitwits who said he didn’t exist from behind their keyboards.

    The AP has every right to crow about this.

    Geek, Esq. (6f1853)

  11. The AP has a right to “crow about” the existence of this guy, but their story remains questionable, at extreme best. As others have pointed out.

    One fact that is in fact a fact (to beat a fact to death) does not in any way make up for problems with a lot of other things reported as “facts.” So, the sky is indeed up there… but is it actually falling?

    Dan S (8771d0)

  12. Wrong again…don’t you guys ever tire of being wrong about everything?

    Tom (a61d76)

  13. This wouldn’t have been a big controversy if it were about the details of one alleged atrocity in a country where such things are commonplace. So the AP got a story wrong. That kind of thing happens.

    The allegation that was so explosive was that the AP was using a fabricated source. And you had a ton of reality-deniers like the crew at windsofchange bashing the AP’s integrity and professionalism.

    Lucky for people like Marc Danziger that one doesn’t need credibility to blog.

    [That’s a cheap shot, and totally uncalled for. I think Marc was very careful about explaining what he did and didn’t know. — P]

    Geek, Esq. (6f1853)

  14. Not so fast. How do we know there really is an “Interior Ministry” to “confirm” these things?

    Martin Morgan (cd62e1)

  15. AP – 1
    Right-leaning Blogs, the U.S. military and the Iraqi “government” – 0

    It’s a long game, though and this is just one point.

    Still, I gotta question the timing.

    Why would this info be released on the day President Pelosi is crowned if not to totally demoralize the poor ol’ right just as they turn into the loyal opposition?

    Neville Chamberlain (80a4fa)

  16. Nice Catch 22 … coupled with a dose of blame the victim.

    There now seems to be a pretty clear indication that the human rights abusing Interior Ministry in Iraq engages in retaliation against those who reveal human rights abuses.

    Pat, suggests the whistleblowers should either keep their mouths shut or the media ought not print their stories.

    More … Pat plays dumb and ignores that my post was mainly about how he has ignored the retaliation angle to this whole debacle. I’ll say it once again, Pat sure does love him those new Saddams.

    [My UPDATE x3 addresses your phony posturing about the prosecution that will never happen. As for my alleged love of the Iraqi government, you are as full of it as ever. Witness, for example, my criticism of the government for its handling of Saddam’s execution. Do you have any capacity for embarassment? Your criticisms of me are routinely debunked as based on falsehoods, yet you keep coming back for more. Some people would develop a sense of shame after the umpteenth smackdown . . . — P]

    Macswain (76d8da)

  17. So Neville, you still haven’t answered my question about why you despise the military.

    At least now that Hussein has been identified as existing, we can maybe find out how much of the stories have been true and his possible motivations.

    It is interesting to see that our enemies are using similar tactics to our enemies in Vietnam, and so many in America say it is hopeless. Ho Chi Minh guessed that he could out-last us and had his people commit countless atrocities to scare the faint-hearted.

    It is freightening to think that the surrender monkeys in this country could be in the majority. Do you think we should be that weak-willed? Unfortunately there is no quick solution to the problems in the Middle East. Cut-and-run will only make things worse, but I wouldn’t expect you to understand given your lack of knowledge on history.

    Some Other Steve (SOS) (7d7719)

  18. Macswain,

    Any prosecution of Hussein would require the cooperation of the AP. Which will not be forthcoming, as you well know. So get off it.

    Patterico (906bfc)

  19. Not sure if everyone has seen these videos of the US military in Iraq or not, but they are pretty amazing: Hopefully our ‘surge’ will not include too many of these types…
    http://minor-ripper.blogspot.com/2006/12/winning-hearts-and-minds-part-three.html

    MinorRipper (728cd4)

  20. The problem identifying him was probably his desire to stay alive.

    Any way you view this, he’s a marked man. Yes, they will require the AP to identify him, and if the AP refuses, they *say* they will drop the case.

    Malkin’s response: “”Checking it out. Moving forward….”

    [steve, the AP identified him long ago. He evidently didn’t ask for anonymity in any of his 60-odd stories. And the AP said he was at al-Khadra. You seem to be posturing. That’s beneath you. Or it should be. — P]

    steve (8f3e6c)

  21. Patterico,

    First, I apologize for re-posting the link but I thought it would be helpful to have an AP link rather than the E&P link. For one thing, the AP link shows the author as Steven R. Hurst. His byline appears frequently on this topic and his tone is becoming recognizable to me. I think it’s helpful to keep track of these things.

    Second, I want to congratulate you for your good judgment on this story. You’ve said for some time there was a “third way” – that Jamil Hussein might exist but be a Baathist holdover. I think you deserve kudos for your insight.

    [DRJ, my mistake. I did indeed intend to publish the AP link in the first sentence of the post, but accidentally posted the E&P link there instead — meaning that the E&P link was posted twice. You’ll notice that the quoted paragraphs are from the AP story. That’s what I learned about initially, and that’s what I meant to link in the first hyperlink. But I had just found the E&P story and apparently it was accidentally pasted in the first hyperlink.

    As for my alleged good judgment, we don’t know whether Jamil Hussein is a “third way” guy or not. — P]

    DRJ (51a774)

  22. Pat,

    So the Interior Ministry which misled you on this is to be believed on what point … that they will arrest Hussein … but not prosecute him without AP support.

    What do you think they’ii going to do with him while they hold him? Remember those prisons with all the human rights abuses that Condi swore would be inspected … why don’t you tell your readers how those inspections are coming? Uhm … they were dropped after more human rights abuses kept getting discovered.

    Maybe you missed it, but its not the prosecuting that’s the problem … it’s the extra-judicial drills.

    Macswain (76d8da)

  23. MacSwain,

    By your reasoning, if we can’t believe the Iraq MOI on their promise not to prosecute Hussein if the AP doesn’t ID him, then how can we believe them when they claim they found the real Capt. Jamil Hussein? If they’ve been wrong on everything else, why should we selectively believe them on that one point?

    DRJ (51a774)

  24. Hey Dwilkers,

    Your comment was quoted in a Michelle Malkin post.

    Patterico (906bfc)

  25. Game On: Has Jamil Hussein Been Found?…

    That’s actually good news. There’s the potential to actually question a live body on the issues he raised in more than 60 stories, and in particular the incidents that caught Curt at Flopping Aces’ attention. This is where things get interesting….

    A Blog For All (59ce3a)

  26. Jamil identified, facing arrest?…

    Did I waste the afternoon writing poetry? Ode To Jamil “Yesterday upon the stair, I met a man who wasn’t there. He wasn’t there again today, So should we care What he has to say?

    Bill's Bites (72c8fd)

  27. Added a link to your post at CENTCOM says AP’s “Iraqi police source” isn’t Iraqi police — Part 29. A short excerpt from my post:

    You know where this is going, people. Check out this paragraph from the AP piece Michelle linked to:

    Hussein told the AP on Wednesday that he learned the arrest warrant would be issued when he returned to work on Thursday after the Eid al-Adha holiday. His phone was turned off Thursday and he could not be reached for further comment.

    What we’re going to be hearing by Saturday is:

    “Jamil’s afraid of getting arrested so he’s gone so deep underground that even his old AP contacts can’t find him. But we really did talk to him last week. Really we did. Really!”

    Bill Faith (3cc7e8)

  28. Now, perhaps you wingnuts can find Osama bin Laden, Mullah Omar and the missing WMD!

    The Liberal Avenger (c93dac)

  29. Well, what-do-ya-know… I think I’ll just keep believing the AP over our military propaganda.

    Keep asking those questions. ‘Looks like the game is keep grilling them until you find something wrong. But remember, the main issue here is whether six people were burned alive. Most of the rest is only minutiae that are forgotten in a flash.

    Psyberian, the Infuriating (bfbfee)

  30. The Interior Ministry was pressured to disavow its Hussein storyline by a besieged but still-influential news agency. In the end, all this proved was the right rattled some MSM cages. As See-Dubya notes, “There is much to be said on this, and it appears there is some crow to be digested.”

    The AP is allowed to attribute a “burning mosques” story to an actual police captain in a neighborhood Patterico acknowledges is too dangerous for the AP itself to go (unless the captain previously proved unreliable). By all customary standards, they should have followed-up sooner. But Baghdad ain’t South Philly. You pile into the Humvee and think it’s safe and wind up in rehab next to Kimberly Dozier.

    As a famous blogger said only this past week, “It just goes to show: you can’t get a consistent story about anything out of Iraq — even when the event is videotaped.”

    steve (8f3e6c)

  31. Until now, I assumed that if Jamil Hussein existed, the AP was keeping him under wraps either because he could be arguably linked to insurgents or because they feared for his safety. But what if Capt. Hussein was also a mystery to the AP? Perhaps the only link the AP has to Capt. Hussein is through their indigenous stringers, so the AP doesn’t know much more about Capt. Hussein than we do.

    DRJ (51a774)

  32. Psyberian, the Infuriating #29:

    Well, what-do-ya-know… I think I’ll just keep believing the AP over our military propaganda.


    I’m ignore your use of the term propaganda and focus on the substance of your statement. It’s one thing to believe the press at times and to believe the military at other times, depending on the evidence and circumstances. But it’s quite another to always believe one and to always disbelieve the other. That’s a tad anti-American, don’t you think?

    DRJ (51a774)

  33. The AP has every right to crow about this.

    By that logic, Dan Rather and CBS have every right to crow about the fake memos that ran on 60 Minutes, ‘cuz there really was a guy named Jerry Killian.

    Xrlq (6a3c55)

  34. DRJ, I don’t believe that it is un-American to call the military’s PR machine propaganda. They try to save face, so to speak, and I guess that is as it should be. But they have a stake in what is put out there about them. They’re hardly a dis-interested third party. Also, they’ve fabricated too many stories in the recent past, so they’ve lost almost all credibility with me. For example, the Tillman story was nothing but a big lie in an attempt to cover up their mistakes.

    But don’t take this the wrong way – most of the people putting their lives on the line for us deserve all of the praise they get and more.

    Psyberian, the Infuriating (bfbfee)

  35. From the AP article:

    Khalaf told the AP that an arrest warrant had been issued for the captain for having contacts with the media in violation of the ministry’s regulations.

    Hussein told the AP on Wednesday that he learned the arrest warrant would be issued when he returned to work on Thursday after the Eid al-Adha holiday. His phone was turned off Thursday and he could not be reached for further comment.

    I guess this means we may never hear directly from Capt. Hussein on the 60+ AP reports that used him as a source, since the AP will probably assert that he is banned by law from talking to the press. On the other hand, the AP probably wants to continue to use Capt. Hussein and others like him as sources. That’s a fine line the AP plans to walk.

    DRJ (51a774)

  36. Something doesn’t smell right about this latest disclosure, in a previous story Jamil Gholiam Hussein denied he was talking to the AP and now he admits it to the AP? And if Khalaf admitted Hussein exists, where is the other press agencies coverage of the press conference this was annonuced at? Why is CentCom unaware of this disclosure? Why do I get the feeling that this is either the Iraqi MOI trying to smoke out Hussein, or the AP trying to pull a fast one to cover a trail from some dedicated searchers getting ready to go over there and look for this guy?

    kubob (aa4d50)

  37. Psyberian,

    Thank you for responding in such a thoughtful way. (How un-Infuriating of you!) I appreciate your desire to be skeptical of what you read and your recognization that the military has a dog in the fight, so to speak. I just can’t understand why you would completely disbelieve anything the military says. That doesn’t seem logical to me.

    DRJ (51a774)

  38. There’s no such word as recognization. There is a word called recognition and I intended to use it in my last comment. My apologies for the error, and I’m quitting for the evening so I can’t do any more damage to the English language tonight.

    DRJ (51a774)

  39. Also from the linked AP article:

    He said police officers sign a pledge not to talk to reporters when they join the force. He did not explain why Jamil Hussein had become an issue now, given that he had been named by AP in dozens of news reports dating back to early 2006. Before that, he had been a (httpreliable source of police information since 2004 but had not been quoted by name.

    Apparently more than the 60+ AP stories identified by Curt at Flopping Aces can be sourced to Capt. Hussein. I believe Curt’s list of Jamil Hussein stories date from April 2006 through November 2006. (Link here.) I wonder how many more stories used Capt. Hussein as a source? And why did he change to a named source in April 2006?

    DRJ (51a774)

  40. Jamil Hussein Lives! … Maybe…

    The Associated Press’ Stephen Hurst writes today that Capt. Jamil Hussein, the AP source on the highly doubtful burning Sunnis story, among others, exists, and may be subject to arrest in Iraq for his unauthorized talks to the press. I’ve…

    Joust The Facts (72c8fd)

  41. Prosecuted for speaking to the media? Iraq is totally on the way to democracy!

    actus (10527e)

  42. But remember, the main issue here is whether six people were burned alive. Most of the rest is only minutiae that are forgotten in a flash.

    And the evidence is against the AP on that issue.

    Patterico (906bfc)

  43. Regarding Mark Danziger, perhaps Patterico didn’t see this post.

    “It’s Just A Scratch”

    In a display of clueless arrogance unmatched since the Black Knight refused to yield to King Arthur, the AP replies to its critics on l’affaire Jamail Hussein:

    Here’s the problem, Ms. Carroll. We don’t believe he exists. If he doesn’t exist, much of your reporting from Iraq is subject to dispute. If your reporting from Iraq is subject to dispute, your credibility is pretty much blown apart – and I don’t know what else you have to sell.

    Because we (individuals) aren’t customers of AP, they can afford to ignore our unhappiness. But as we transfer our discontent with their poor professionalism to the newspapers that are their customers – and, for example, cancel our subscriptions in large part because we don’t see the value of subscribing – the AP will be called to account.

    Danziger is living proof that a person doesn’t need to be accurate, fair or credible to run a blog.

    I mean, has he been right about anything regarding the Iraq war? He mocked people who opposed the Iraq invasion. He belittled people who realized in 2004 that it was a mistake. He poured scorn on people who said that Iraq was headed towards civil war. He said that WE WILL WIN IN IRAQ, DAMMIT before conceding that the war is a strategic failure.

    If he had any shame, he’d STFU about Iraq and refrain from criticizing anyone’s credibilty on what’s going on in Iraq, since just about everyone else on the planet has been two steps ahead of him in that regard.

    Geek, Esq. (f0f644)

  44. I agree, something stinks here. I know Baghdad is a rough place, but according to Google Earth, Al-Khadra is only several miles West of the green zone, roughly half way between it and the Baghdad Airport. It took six weeks to find him right where AP said he would be? AP never seemed to have trouble finding him until people started asking questions about his existance. He hasn’t been quoted in a story since.

    Yeah, he probably is a real person but more than likely a proganda puppet affiliated with the insurgency. AP got spooked when people started asking questions as they knew they were printing questionable stuff from a questionable source so they stone-walled. Now they will claim they have been vindicated and hope it just blows over. I hope all those blogs that have done such great work on this (Flopping Aces, Conferate Yankee, Malkin, Patterico, Hot Air, etc.) don’t call it quits out of embarrasment. There is more to come out here.

    None of the right-wing blogs should be apologizing as far as I’m concerned. AP brought this on themselves by their unresponsiveness. I think we Conservatives are often so concerned about being associated with the Micheal Savage lunatic fringe types that we become far too conciliatory when challenged.

    Jeff C (428193)

  45. Geek, Esq. #43,

    In fairness to bloggers, a person doesn’t need to be accurate, fair or credible to comment at a blog either.

    DRJ (51a774)

  46. Patterico1: “My point is that the lefties will portray the conservative blogosphere as having uniformly gone off half-cocked on this story. But I don’t think that’s true. You bet I was suspicious of Jam(a)il Hussein’s claims — and I still am — but I was also suspicious of the claims of his non-existence.”

    Patterico2: Another Reason Not to Trust the Reporting Coming Out of Iraq: “Here’s the short version: an “Iraqi Police Captain” whom the AP has been quoting for months — is not, in fact, with the Iraqi Police or the Ministry of the Interior.”

    Unfortunately, I can’t seem to reproduce Patterico’s hyperventilating boldface here.

    http://patterico.com/2006/11/27/5451/another-reason-not-to-trust-the-reporting-coming-out-of-iraq/

    m.croche (7ed4b4)

  47. Well m,

    Like the tide, people seem to ebb and flow between reasonableness and partisan aneurysm on the internets…at low tide, P is one of the more reasonable righties around.

    He did put a cap in poor David’s ass yesterday, though, even though it was obviously his time of the month….

    Neville Chamberlain (80a4fa)

  48. (For what it’s worth, that 11-27 post by Patterico links approvingly to one by SeeDubya which begins:

    “Does AP Iraqi writer Qais al-Bashir have super powers?

    It’s looking like AP Baghdad correspondent Qais al-Bashir is the only one who can see this mysterious, non-existent “Captain Jamil Hussein”. Well, it’s not for certain yet, but al Bashir is the common element in four stories involving Captain Snuffleupagus. Er, Jamil Hussein:”

    m.croche (7ed4b4)

  49. Note that even in the 11-27 post I didn’t say he didn’t *exist* but rather I accepted the claim by the MOI that he wasn’t an official policeman.

    As I say in the UPDATE x5 above, I got more suspicious on 11-30 when there was a list of unverified sources with the spokesman’s name on it.

    So croche doesn’t impeach me, exactly. I was indeed suspicious of claims of his non-existence. Bbut he does make a good point that I initially accepted the MOI claim.

    Patterico (906bfc)

  50. The comment about linking approvingly to See Dubya is, by contrast, typical m.croche bullshit. I don’t say a thing that indicates I agreed with the idea that he didn’t exist.

    I say:

    See Dubya is following up on the AP reporter in posts here and here.

    The latter post is a little bombshell of its own (a “bomblet”?), since See Dubya has found a connection between that AP reporter and the incident in Ramadi I have been discussing here in recent days.

    You should be a civil lawyer, croche, with your ability to paint false implications with clever wording.

    Patterico (906bfc)

  51. Also, his entire post, when read in context, was far more measured.

    Patterico (906bfc)

  52. Patterico, as far as I can determine, you haven’t taken the first step in disproving that the six were burned alive there. All you’ve done is question the sources and nit-pik the details. What evidence is there against it then other than the military’s denial of it?

    Psyberian, the Infuriating (bfbfee)

  53. So is malkin still going to Iraq? Maybe she can waltz around and look for the dead people? I’m really looking forward to hearing about the logistics of that.

    actus (10527e)

  54. How convenient is it that he is’nt allowed to talk to the press any longer?If this story is true,it gives him perfect cover to not answer any more questions that need to be asked to verify his stories?

    tim oliver (da1260)

  55. Yes Tim, clearly the Iraqi government is a puppet of MSNBC (or is it the other way around?) and they are now silencing him to cover their own chicanery. I presume that, as usual, the burden is on the left to prove otherwise.

    That’s how the game is played: dumb it down to something simple like “Does Jamil Hussein exist?” and ignore the other issues.

    Patterico, I don’t think you can be blamed for being on point on a potentially huge story. However, this statement of yours is extremely disingenuous. You and a handful of righty bloggers own this baby, and it now appears that Hussein not only exists but is who AP said he was. I’m not saying don’t keep digging re the alleged mosque burning. But you raised the issue and IMHO you ought to take your lumps. The reason you are back to square one is not lefty spin – far from it. It’s because the facts didn’t cooperate with your suspicion – this time.

    Seeing your argument, I suspect that if we find out that Capt. Hussein at some point lied about what he ate for breakfast, we will be subjected to another round of triumphalism from the right,as if that proves the entire MSM is in league against the American people.

    biwah (2dcf66)

  56. …not to mention that if he is silenced by the government with AP’s cooperation we will hear howling from the right; if AP refuses to cooperate in the illegal prosecution of a source we will hear howling from the right; if he is assassinated we will hear howling from the right.

    Is there a pattern developing here?

    biwah (2dcf66)

  57. So,do you people care whether the stories this man tells are true or not?Or do you accept what the press says unconditionally?

    Oh,and”that proves the entire MSM is in league against the American people.”I’m glad that we can agree on something. :)

    tim oliver (da1260)

  58. You and a handful of righty bloggers own this baby, and it now appears that Hussein not only exists but is who AP said he was.

    Sorry. I don’t feel that way. If I did, I’d say so.

    I definitely have suspicions about the four burned mosques story this guy pushed. Did and still do.

    And for three days I accepted an unequivocal statement by the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior that this guy was not a policeman.

    Then I saw that their list of unverified sources included their spokesman. Since then, I’ve been interested in the story and have tracked it, but I have also been concerned that the military and/or MOI screwed it up. The quotes are there in the post. I speculated that he really was a policeman, but a Baathist holdover. I said that the AP said he was at al-Khadra and that Marc Danziger’s sources should check that out. I said that the military and MOI did not inspire confidence by releasing a flawed list of unverified sources.

    It’s unfair of you to claim that I “own this baby.”

    I think there has been more than enough there to raise doubts about this: the lack of buzz about such an atrocity, the lack of photos or other hard evidence, the lack of corroboration of Hussein’s claims in 40 stories, the sources who inquired about him and were told no such person had been there at Yarmouk, and his knowledge about attacks all over the city, to name a few troubling aspects.

    And those questions remain unanswered.

    Patterico (906bfc)

  59. Should the AP decline to assist in the identification, Khalaf said, the case against Hussein would be dropped. He also said there were no plans to pursue action against the AP should it decline.

    I have absolutely no doubt that the AP will decline. So, make no mistake: any lefty handwringing over the government’s alleged crushing of dissent is either ignorant or, more likely, pure posturing.

    That doesn’t make sense. The fact that MOI says it won’t pursue Jamil doesn’t prove that they won’t, just as the fact that they said that Jamil didn’t exist proved he didn’t. They are a good liars in the Iraq government, as Saddam’s execution proved.
    Whatever the outcome of the story, MOI’s and and CENTCOM’s credibility, who both stated that Jamil didn’t exist, is diminished by all this.

    NN (9c16c2)

  60. Caring about the truth = presuming all information to be false against the weight of the evidence? With appropriate exception given to the U.S. government of course.

    Straight answer is yes, I care. I was watching this story with some interest, not knowing what the outcome would be. I think folks pursued it looking for MSM blood, but nonetheless in good faith that there was something there.

    biwah (2dcf66)

  61. Check my extensive update regarding the weight of the evidence.

    Patterico (906bfc)

  62. #60, par. 1: I was being a bit facile there.

    make no mistake: any lefty handwringing over the government’s alleged crushing of dissent is either ignorant or, more likely, pure posturing.

    Isn’t this like saying that because NYT refused to give up a source, there’s no possibility that the government is overstepping its bounds by demanding them in the first place (setting the specific merits of that issue aside, of course). Isn’t it like saying that there’s no 4th amendment issue after a cop picks me randomly out of a crowd at a pro-Kucinich rally (some facetiousness here) and demands that I turn out my pockets, just because I ultimately refuse?

    If not, how not? It seems heavy-handed to me, although as long as the US is not involved I won’t be too scandalized by the Iraqi government behaving badly.

    biwah (2dcf66)

  63. CAPTAIN FANTASTIC…

    As I noted then, and previously in an article, nobody could find this guy which was odd for someone in such a prominent position. Even the Iraqi government said he wasn’t on their records.

    Well he’s been found, Captain Hussein is a real guy in the…

    Word Around the Net (eaa046)

  64. Too bad that so few are willing to follow Austin Bay’s fine example.

    http://austinbay.net/blog/index.php?p=1588

    Also, I’m curious where this notion of “wrong about one thing = wrong about everything” comes from.

    Why on earth would anyone embrace such a standard?

    For one thing, it perpetuates a refusal to admit error, which prevents people from making better policy decisions.

    But more importantly, everyone is going to be wrong about something at some time. Why would you put yourself in a position of having to either invalidate your own perspectives or else subscribe to a double standard?

    Let’s raise the debate here, people.

    Tylonius (3d8e08)

  65. […] UPDATE 5: Michelle points to a Patterico commenter who makes a pretty obvious but necessary point: I also question the timing, since Malkin was OTW over and the attention level was about to increase. I seriously doubt we’ve heard all there is to know about this. […]

    BizzyBlog » Jamil Hussein (Delegated) Update (34f45e)

  66. Here’s the last paragraph in the E&P hit piece Patterico linked in Update x6:

    But Tom Zeller, Jr., who runs The New York Times’ blog called The Lede focused not on the positive I.D. of the police captain but on the “unanswered questions” about his reliability as a source, endorsing the conservative bloggers’ view that this “more substantive issue remains unresolved.”

    It must pain the E&P to have to print that the NY Times’ blog doesn’t think this story is over. Maybe that’s why they buried it in the last paragraph.

    DRJ (51a774)

  67. A bold mission to Iraq…

    Update: it appears that, not only is there indeed a Jamil Hussein in existence, he’s been arrested just recently too (also via Michelle)….

    Tel-Chai Nation (59ce3a)

  68. Patterico1:
    “Another Reason Not to Trust the Reporting Coming Out of Iraq
    Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:34 pm
    Curt from Flopping Aces has the story of the day, though you have to scroll all the way to UPDATE XI near the bottom of this post to see it. Allah at Hot Air calls it a “bombshell,” and that was precisely my reaction when I heard about it. Here’s the short version: an “Iraqi Police Captain” whom the AP has been quoting for months — is not, in fact, with the Iraqi Police or the Ministry of the Interior.
    Which means he may well be an insurgent posing as a police officer.
    See Dubya is following up on the AP reporter in posts here and here.”

    Headline and first paragraph of first See Dubya link: “Does AP Iraqi writer Qais al-Bashir have super powers? It’s looking like AP Baghdad correspondent Qais al-Bashir is the only one who can see this mysterious, non-existent “Captain Jamil Hussein”. Well, it’s not for certain yet, but al Bashir is the common element in four stories involving Captain Snuffleupagus. Er, Jamil Hussein:”

    Patterico2: “The comment about linking approvingly to See Dubya is, by contrast, typical m.croche bullshit. I don’t say a thing that indicates I agreed with the idea that he didn’t exist.”

    I believe this is called the Glenn Reynolds defense. Link to falsehoods and then take no responsibility for their accuracy.

    [croche, linking to a post doesn’t impose on me the obligation to agree with every word in the post. Sorry. That’s how it works. — P]

    m.croche (c46190)

  69. Following up on my #39, this explores why the AP started using Capt. Jamil Hussein as a named source in April 2006 rather than continue to use him as an anonymous source:

    “Bloggers and news organizations all over the country are literally asking the question “Who is Jamil Hussein?” Well maybe I can shed a little light on the sources in question. I have been investigating Hussein and some other “unofficial spokesman” named by CENTCOM. The misreporting of one incident may be the least of the Associated Press’s worries. It appears very much like the AP is working with al Jazeera.

    I found two articles here and here both dated in March of 2006. Both of these al Jazeera articles use Jamil Hussein as a source. Curt has searched the AP articles from Iraq and it appears that Jamil Hussein first shows up in the AP articles in April of 2006. For whatever reason, the Captain was an al Jazeera source and switched to being an AP source within weeks.

    Maybe the AP didn’t want it known that one of their sources was, at the same time, a source for al-Jazeera.

    DRJ (51a774)

  70. Actually, the introduction to my prior comment was backwards. The linked post does not explore why the AP started sourcing Capt. Jamil Hussein by name in April 2006, rather it discusses the fact that Capt. Hussein had previously been a source for al-Jazeera stories. My point is that perhaps that explains why, until April 2006, the AP had used Capt. Hussein only as an anonymous source. Perhaps the AP was reluctant to identify him by name until he was no longer providing stories to al-Jazeera.

    DRJ (51a774)

  71. Old news to most here, I suspect, but I’m slower on the uptake. Here’s a quote from the AP article first linked above:

    “Khalaf offered no explanation Thursday for why the ministry had initially denied Hussein’s existence, other than to state that its first search of records failed to turn up his full name. He also declined to say how long the ministry had known of its error and why it had made no attempt in the past six weeks to correct the public record.”

    Interesting twist by the AP, turning its failure to provide information on Capt. Hussein for 6 weeks into the government’s failure for not identifying him sooner. It seems like the AP had more information and a better chance to ID Capt. Hussein than the government, given it had been using him as a source for months or longer.

    And there’s also this quote:

    Hussein was not the original source of the disputed report of the attack; the account was first told on Al-Arabiya satellite television by a Sunni elder, Imad al-Hashimi, who retracted it after members of the Defense Ministry paid him a visit. Several neighborhood residents subsequently gave the AP independent accounts of the Shiite militia attack on a mosque in which six people were set on fire and killed.”

    I’m no expert on this story but I don’t remember seeing this information before. I always thought Capt. Hussein was the original source of reports because of his position with the police. Does this mean Capt. Hussein learned about this story from seeing al-Hashimi on TV?

    DRJ (51a774)

  72. […] And I’ve already addressed the claim that he faces a credible threat of prosecution — an assertion that is laughable under the circumstances, unless the MOI is lying about whether the AP’s cooperation would be required in a prosecution. Because there’s no doubt: the AP’s cooperation will not be forthcoming. […]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » Jamil Hussein’s Name Spread Across the World By . . . Whom? (421107)


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