Patterico's Pontifications


Jamil Hussein’s Name Spread Across the World By . . . Whom?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 2:22 am

Some partisan hack lefties are asserting that Jamil Hussein faces death for being exposed by the Associated Press conservative bloggers. This is pure nonsense. I’ll turn over the floor to Captain Ed:

My inbox has been flooded with charges that Jamil Hussein, now located, has somehow had his life put in jeopardy by the conservative bloggers who demanded to know whether he exists. The AP itself seems to take this stance, even though the AP publicly identified its source by name in dozens of its own articles as well as the city in which he worked (Baghdad). I didn’t realize the starboard side of the blogosphere had readerships that so badly outstripped the AP’s global audience, which easily runs to the hundreds of millions. If Jamil Hussein’s life is truly at risk, I doubt that the 300,000 readers between Michelle, Allahpundit, and Flopping Aces was what pushed him into the limelight.

If anything were to happen to Jamil Hussein, it would not be because some bloggers raised doubts about his employment status and some of the facts he was quoted about. It would be because one of the most widely read news organizations in the world quoted him by name in dozens of stories. This is so obvious it hardly needs to be said — except that so many illogical partisans are denying it.

If you see any lefty making the argument that conservative bloggers put Jamil Hussein at risk of losing his life, you can immediately dismiss them as unserious.

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.

Ed has some good observations about the rest of the saga. I recommend his whole post.

33 Responses to “Jamil Hussein’s Name Spread Across the World By . . . Whom?”

  1. Are you saying the good captain would have been arrested even if right-wing bloggers hadn’t questioned his…existence?

    Neville Chamberlain (80a4fa)

  2. He wasn’t arrested yet. See post below this one.

    See Dubya (f7706f)

  3. an assertion that is laughable under the circumstances, unless the MOI is lying

    Given MOI’s record, it’s not that hard to imagine them lying.
    Anyways, your logic is somewhat similar to one of the killer who says that the victim is to blame for his own death, because it was his own choice to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or the thief that says “it’s not my fault that the window was open”. None of this would happen if the guy had good sense to stay at home. This is pure logic.
    It doesn’t take much imagination to understand that people going around Baghdad looking for Jamil Hussein is something that changes Jamil Hussein’s situation a lot. If it turns out that he was working under alias and bloggers helped uncover his alias, then their role in his possible persecution is obvious. And to argue that people calling for AP to “produce” Jamil had more than zero concern for his safety is ridiculous.
    There could be a lot of arguments about the ethical side of the question, you could say that “it was worth it”, that “the truth is more important” etc., but to say that bloggers had no role whatsoever in Jamil’s possible persecution is extremely illogical.

    NN (f82c0b)

  4. A large and loud lynch mob was formed and made a great deal of noise but ends up falling short of lynching their intended victim. If he ends up getting “lynched,” anyway, by a different lynch mob, does the original mob still bear some responsibility?

    If he was assassinated tomorrow, would his family be justified in thinking that the massive blogswarm had anything to do with it?

    Honest answers only, please.

    The Liberal Avenger (c93dac)

  5. LA: yes, they would. But they would be remiss if they ignored his role as enemy propagandist. He is the sole source for how many AP stories? Forty? Sixty? Do you really think someone can do that, in a war zone, and still be considered an ally?

    He has made it clear which side he is on.

    Bostonian (d94f26)

  6. The Right got ahead of itself with some concluding Jamil didn’t exist. Others just had some doubts of his existence and the Left is putting words in their mouths.

    However, now its the Left’s turn. There’s no evidence so far to back up Jamil’s claims. Zero. With the Left jumping to Jamil’s defense there may be a rude awakening as to who they really choose to side with.

    jpm100 (851d24)

  7. NN

    That is a strained analogy, at best.

    Jamil openly carrying on an affair with the AP, who also has no problem in flaunting the relationship. When a few friends start questioning their unsavory relationship, you want to blame them instead of Jamil or AP when the nasty divorce proceedings start.

    Darleen (543cb7)

  8. Things either happen or they don’t.

    The AP’s job is to try to figure out what happened and report it to us.

    If an insurgent and an American GI both witness a car bombing and AP interviews the insurgent to find out that “a car exploded,” is there any problem with that information?

    There is tremendous irony in the conservative blogosphere complaining that Jamail Hussein or anyone else for that matter can’t actually know what is going on throughout Iraq when you guys are constantly defining the war to your own perverse specifications from the safety of your surburban basement blogging stations.

    I’m sure that Patterico believes deeply in his heart that he knows more about what happened in Ramadi the night of the alleged airstrikes than any journalist. The stupidity and arrogance of that position is astonishing.

    So what do you say, guys?

    The Marines at Haditha were fired upon, right?

    The car carrying the Italian Secret Service agent who was shot rescuing Julia Sgrena was driving too fast, right?

    Hezbollah delivered the bodies of children to the wreckage of that building in Qana to stage a massacre, right?

    The Liberal Avenger (c93dac)

  9. OT, but after reading the extremely silly and disgusting hit piece on the Gates Foundation trumpeted on the front page of the Times, this morning, I would recommend to Bill that he pack up the charity and just start buying art or maybe sports teams. Stop trying to do good if you’re not going to good on the terms of the Times’ investment police.

    If you haven’t read the article (and I hope Patterico gets to it), the claim is that the Gates Foundation has a “dark cloud” hanging over it because – wait for it – it invests in (gasp!) diversified blue chip stocks.

    Although the Gates Foundation already excludes tobacco companies from its investment portfolio, the Times and the “socially conscious” investment fund managers the piece shills for contend that the Gates’ diversified (and prudent) investment strategy is not PC enough. Thus, a Sunday front page attack piece on the world’s largest philanthropic organization.

    Apparently, the Times thinks that it’s somehow evil to have a diversified portfolio if that means you might own shares in the wrong type of companies.

    The Times’ thesis means that everyone who owns an IRA or a 401k that includes a stock index fund (mostly every one of us) is helping to, in their words, “harm” the world. What a ridiculous premise.

    Perhaps, we need an expose on some of these socially conscious investment raters who arbitrarily decide that investing in giant corporations like Pfizer, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan or even Microsoft is “good”, but owning stock in Pepsi, Disney or Oracle is “bad”.

    The public needs to understand the power they must have to get such fellating front page treatment in one of the nation’s largest newspapers.

    CalDevil (352c60)

  10. Geez, LA, I think you left out the chickenhawk meme in your shrill little screed.

    Better review your index cards… don’t disappoint Markos.

    Darleen (543cb7)

  11. You’d better be careful, CalDevil. Bill Gates is a liberal and everyone here knows that liberals cannot be trusted.

    The Liberal Avenger (c93dac)

  12. Darleen:

    It’s simple… Have conservative bloggers been engaging in precisely the same intellectually dishonest behavior of which they are attributing to the AP?

    Yes or no?

    The Liberal Avenger (c93dac)

  13. That is a strained analogy, at best.

    Jamil openly carrying on an affair with the AP, who also has no problem in flaunting the relationship. When a few friends start questioning their unsavory relationship, you want to blame them instead of Jamil or AP when the nasty divorce proceedings start.

    So far I haven’t seen conclusive evidence that Jamil is guilty of anything besides staying in the way of Shia murderers and their protectors in MOI. If it turns out that that he is indeed Al-Qaeda propagandist, as claimed, I will see this situation differently, but so far it seems that going after Jamil means not “uncovering unsavory relationship”, but carrying water for “Islamofascists” in Iraqi government, and his “propaganda” is similar to “Zionist propaganda” with its “outrageous rumors” about gas chambers in WWII times (remember, this is how news about Holocaust were branded then).
    To carry water for Iraqi government after the madness of Saddam’s execution is beyond wishful thinking, but borders on criminal. Same goes for the unfounded (as opposed to founded) attacks on Lancet Study that smell of Holocaust denial.

    NN (9c16c2)

  14. LA

    Which “conservative” bloggers? As Patterico and Allah have already shown, this ‘monolithic’ wingnutteria which has “unfairly slandered” AP is a myth of Media Matters/Greenwald/Amanda Marcotte.

    And a self-serving myth at that.

    Darleen (543cb7)

  15. NN

    If Jamil was the source for “several burned mosques” which AP silently corrected, AND his credibility has been also shown suspect on many of his other openly sourced stories to AP, then your attempt to equate him with Holocaust revelations is unsavory in the least.

    the madness of Saddams execution

    You have a twisted sense of morality. WTH?

    [I’m guessing he’s talking about the embarrassing manner in which it was carried out. — P]

    Darleen (543cb7)

  16. Which conservative bloggers?

    Every conservative blogger that either posted about or linked to photographs of a destroyed ambulance in Lebanon.

    The Liberal Avenger (c93dac)

  17. Here’s but one example of Darleen scoring Israeli airstrikes in Lebanon this past summer from the safety of her GrannyCabin:


    Check out August:


    You’d think that Darleen was some sort of military/journalism expert!

    [That comment has no apparent purpose other than to run down someone personally. There is an increased number of such comments here lately and I’m asking for it to stop. — P]

    The Liberal Avenger (c93dac)

  18. Fair enough, Patterico.

    The next question is for you, then:

    How does your coverage of what happened in Ramada differ from that of the AP generally?

    [That is a great question, LA. My answer is extensive enough that I think it deserves its own post. I will be traveling today and can’t guarantee when my answer will be posted. The post will not be entirely self-congratulatory, but I will point out some differences where I think my approach has been better — and at least two where it’s clearly worse. — P]

    The Liberal Avenger (c93dac)

  19. If Jamil was the source for several burned mosques which AP silently corrected

    As I said many times, I see “several burned mosques” story as a case of genuine “fog of war”/”lost in translation” blunder. There’s a question of journalistic standards with “silent correction”, but I’m not sure that there’s too much to blame AP here. I remember eleven hijacked planes on 9/11 reported everywhere. That was not an enemy propaganda. In fact, I think that there’s no way you can escape “fog on war” on such days as Baghdad’s 2006’s thanksgiving.
    The idea of the source giving his name and inventing easily verifiable lie for the propaganda purposes strikes me as something extremely improbable.
    Most of the “investigations” of Jamil Hussein’s case I read looked like conspiracy theories.

    You have a twisted sense of morality. WTH?

    Just read NYT’s report about Saddam’s execution, it’s really scary. It seems that U.S. fell into “democracy” and “legitimacy” trap — Al-Maliki’s crowd knows that they are “legitimate” and they can do whatever the heck they want. The “trump card” in Iraqi’s taking (in fact wresting) Saddam from US is especially impressive: “a call to high-ranking Shiite clerics in the holy city of Najaf, asking for approval from the marjaiya, the supreme authority in Iraqi Shiism”.

    [The AP’s “silent correction” issue is one sin. It appears that being overcredulous is another. (Not a unique sin, to be sure.) But I think the main problem is commonplace in Big Media: they failed to tell us what they *didn’t* know as well as what they *did* know. But now I’m starting to answer Liberal Avenger’s question, and I promised to do that in a post. — P]

    NN (d035f8)

  20. LA

    I aggregated links with commentary. Do I claim any “expertise” in military matters? Do I make an appeal to authority?

    How many swallows does it take to make a spring?

    For the record, I’m a proud grandmother.

    Only leftist grandmothers like Nancy Pelosi are authentic enough to be celebrated and heard?

    I don’t have a cabin, and I do have family members and many friends in the military (examples include my twin grandsons’ uncle is a Navy medic attached to the Marines in Pendleton who has done three tours in Iraq, and #3 daughter’s boyfriend is currently training at the Naval Airstation in Pensacola)

    Darleen (543cb7)


    When we’re wrong, we must say so as soon as possible. When we make a correction in the current cycle, we point out the error and its fix in the editor’s note. A correction must always be labeled a correction in the editor’s note. We do not use euphemisms such as “recasts,” “fixes,” “clarifies” or “changes” when correcting a factual error.

    A corrective corrects a mistake from a previous cycle. The AP asks papers or broadcasters that used the erroneous information to use the corrective, too.

    We’re still waiting.

    Tully (e4a26d)

  22. Wait a sec we KNOW that Jamil was passing off phoney stories Now the libs want to argue. “Thats OK its only important that he LIVE to pass on MORE phoney stories”

    Nice to see they are all for lies.

    Bill Amos (b7c504)

  23. Wait a sec we KNOW that Jamil was passing off phoney stories.

    We know no such thing.

    The Liberal Avenger (c93dac)

  24. Lt. Kije identified, facing arrest? — Day 4 …

    Part 32 of a series. Continued from this post. Media Matters’s Eric Boehlert Gets the Facts Wrong — Again Patterico Media Matters’s Eric Boehlert: ignorant? Sloppy? Or dishonestly posturing? (Again.) You make the call! Just yesterday, I said:By t…

    Bill's Bites (72c8fd)

  25. Lib Avenger: No, we don’t know that Jamil was passing off phony stories. Some of us aren’t even sure yet that he exists. We do know someone was passing off phoney stories. How’s that Randy Travis thing go?:

    I guess they’re gonna have to hang somebody,
    And it’s lookin’ like I’m gonna be the one.

    Bill Faith (3cc7e8)

  26. Come on, Bill. Now you’re just making stuff up.

    The Liberal Avenger (c93dac)

  27. Wait a sec we KNOW that Jamil was passing off phoney stories.

    We know no such thing.

    Comment by The Liberal Avenger — 1/7/2007 @ 1:35 pm

    We DO know that Jamil was passing of a phoney story about burning bodies. NO ONE ELSE has any proof of this happening. The ONLY person stating this happened is Jamil and examinations of said Mosques and nearby morgues have NOT turned up any dead.

    The whole story was bogus from the start and AP News passed it on as fact.

    So yes Jamil was caught in a lie and so was the AP News.

    Bill Amos (b7c504)

  28. Wait a sec we KNOW that Jamil was passing off phoney stories.

    We know no such thing.

    And we’re not allowed to ask??? We are expected to accept every utterence of the press no matter the weakness of their credibility, but we are required to doubt every utterence of the administration? No one is allowed to watch the watchers?

    I don’t want to live by those rules.

    Hogarth (a721ef)

  29. And we’re not allowed to ask???

    No, it is not wrong for you to ask questions. It is not wrong to seek the truth. However, presenting an assumption (that Jamil was passing off phoney stories) as a certain fact, as Bill Amos does, is WRONG.

    NN (d035f8)

  30. We know the AP printed a story that wasn’t true, that was sourced to Hussein, and that the AP has printed 60 some odd other stories sourced to Hussein that cannot be corroborated by any other source.

    So, yes, we cannot truly say for certain that Hussein is giving phony stories. We know that ONE phony story was written. That is a fact. Either the AP lied about it, or Hussein was wrong.

    OHNOES (3b3653)

  31. We know the AP printed a story that wasn’t true, that was sourced to Hussein

    We know about one story that appears to be wrong, but it could probably be attributed to mistranslation. (BTW, all the people refer to AP reporting about four mosques burnt to the ground, but AP never did such thing). However, it’s very reasonable that to assume that this case was a result of “fog of war” effect, and extremely unreasonable to assume that this was a result of propaganda.

    60 some odd other stories sourced to Hussein that cannot be corroborated by any other source.

    This is just armchair-google-detective nonsense.

    NN (f82c0b)

  32. You’re right! How can the AP EVER be wrong! Inconceivable! These people have journalism DEGREES, sir! How dare you question them!

    And how DARE you trust the government! They’re always wrong. Why you would ever take their words at face value is ridiculous!

    OHNOES (3b3653)

  33. Shorter NN: “Also, watch me redirect, obfuscate, imply bad faith, and play about a half dozen other verbal shell games to get out of this little trap. Seriously, though, why do you think the AP is involved in a conspiracy to intentionally write stories that support Democrats? Now, while you didn’t actually SAY anything about that, it is clearly true. I mean, look at you crazy wingnuts! You’re all the same! I can substitute these generalizations for debating the issue any day.”

    If the story is wrong due to fog of war, the AP has no business reporting it as fact.

    OHNOES (3b3653)

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