Patterico's Pontifications

1/9/2007

Boehlert Refuses to Correct Error — in Column About Warbloggers’ Refusal to Correct Errors

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:21 am



Media Matters’s Eric Boehlert has this column about conservative bloggers’ alleged refusal to admit error regarding Jamil Hussein.

In the column, Boehlert refuses to admit his own previous error regarding Jamil Hussein.

Who says there’s no irony on the Internet, Joe Rago?

It’s just not all intentional.

Boehlert’s error, you may recall from an earlier post of mine, was made in a recent column, in which he reported that Hussein “was under arrest” Thursday. As evidence, that column cited a report that said only that Hussein “faces” arrest — and which also makes clear that any prosecution is unlikely.

My guess: Boehlert wanted Hussein to have actually been arrested, so that he could pin that on bloggers. So he wished and hoped, and voila! in his mind, it was so. And so that’s what he wrote.

Is he unaware of the error? Nah. Not only did I do a post about it, I left a comment on the column where it occurred.

The site’s three-item corrections page has no correction as of the time this was posted.

Also, I have searched in vain for a correction in either the earlier column or the newer column. No luck. Instead, I see only pontifications like this:

But don’t look for detailed corrections, let alone heartfelt apologies. Being a warblogger means not having to say you’re sorry.

Insert your own punch line.

59 Responses to “Boehlert Refuses to Correct Error — in Column About Warbloggers’ Refusal to Correct Errors”

  1. Are you still calling in airstrikes on Ramadi, Patterico?

    [Oh, hey, it’s the Liberal Avenger with another pointless comment, evidently intended to insult, but too incomprehensible to do so effectively. Hey, LA: last I heard, Michelle Malkin was still going to Iraq. Did you ever say anything about that, I wonder? Do you have anything to say now? — P]

    The Liberal Avenger (c93dac)

  2. Shorter Liberal Avenger: “Hey, look over there!”

    kl (15574e)

  3. Jamilgate was an embarassment to the conservative movement. Admit the error and move on.

    Ed (fcb51d)

  4. Embarassment?

    How so?

    Did someone finally produce the burned bodies and mosques?

    Abraxas (52f32e)

  5. Heh. Funny thread over at MM where Patterico posted (linked above with the word column).

    Dwilkers (4f4ebf)

  6. I say we let Michelle Malkin walk the streets of Baghdad for a few minutes to enable her to finally get the ‘real story’ as to what’s happening over there. What does everyone think?
    http://www.minor-ripper.blogspot.com

    MinorRipper (980332)

  7. Yeah, that is a funny thread. Some people just don’t get / comprehend reality.

    G (722480)

  8. Boehlert is taking a swip at Michelle because of the three parter that the Big Lizards are posting at her site in her absense.

    jpm100 (6dd049)

  9. Insert your own punch line.

    Good day, Sir.

    DRJ (51a774)

  10. Gosh I get tired of the “I found a hypocrite!” posts on blogs. I don’t know if they’re getting more numerous, or if I’m just getting more aware of them now due to hitting some critical mass of exposure.

    Yes, the political world is riddled, steeped, soaked in hypocrisy. Yes, we wish it wasn’t. But there’s so much else to do on a blog (as you’ve proven, Patterico) that the hypocrisy watch each side so vigilantly keeps of the other side is about as interesting as the weather to me these days.

    Phil (88ab5b)

  11. this controversy shows much longer legs than appeared to me at the outset. if i were jamil hussein’s agent, i’d try to get him over here for a round of tv appearances and a breathless “as told to” expose.

    assistant devil's advocate (00b9f8)

  12. Ed,

    Jamilgate was an embarassment to the conservative movement. Admit the error and move on.

    What error? Most conservative bloggers were asking for proof that there was actually an Iraqi police officer named Jamil Hussein. What was wrong with that?

    aunursa (1b5bad)

  13. The answer you’re unable to articulate Ed, is “No. No one has produced the reported bodies and mosques.”

    Mr. Boehlert’s column is a joke; he writes as though the mere existence of a source was the be-all of this controversy. He paints all “warbloggers” (and will someone explain the etymology of that word? It seems as though he’s saying if you blog about the Iraq war, you’re a warblogger. But there are many leftist blogs that deal with the war – yet they aren’t called “warbloggers”. Why?) with the same raggedy-assed brush of having denied the existence of Mr. Hussein. Re-reading what some of those “warbloggers” wrote, it seems that may of them took the denials of the Iraqi government at face value and then asked the very sensible follow-up question of the AP – “Where is he?”

    The AP’s refusal to be held accountable for their stories only exacerbated this situation.

    The entire mess is a sad reflection on the diminished credibility of the major news organs of the world. The BBC is a parasitic, virulently anti-Semitic cancer on the body of the British people, Reuters cannot be trusted to distinguish between a photographer and a terror propagandist, CBS still won’t admit its amateurish, flawed hit-piece on President Bush, NBC stages Muslims at “Red America” events to try to provoke some sort of (hoped-for racist) reaction, the uncountable incidents of liberal bias at the LA Times have on this blog been chronicled by Patterico … the inexhaustibility of this list is only matched by lefty bloggers’ indefatigability in defending the indefensible (see Mr. Boehlert’s column for the latest progressive spin on the Rather debacle).

    Mr. Boehlert is incorrect twice: the first time in his insistence that this is all about the person of Mr. Hussein – it’s not. It’s about Mr. Hussein’s credibility, and the credibility of the news organization that used him as a primary source for many dozens of stories. We simply don’t believe the AP. At least not blindly and not without corroboration. Not anymore. You can see why this fact may tend to infuriate liberals. That is where Mr. Boehlert is wrong again: in addition to the issue not being about whether Mr. Hussein exists or not, the issue is not even about the one improbable story about 6 Iraqis burned alive – it’s about the arrogance that some in the media have towards the public. To the outraged question “They actually expect us to believe this?”, comes the smug answer from the left: “Why, yes, we do.”

    *That* is the problem.

    Mr. Boehlert offers a strikingly threadbare rebuttal to Ms. Malkin (and what is it about her that drives so many on the left absolutely nuts?) again arguing from the specific to the general. He seems to be saying: “Since Jamil Hussein exists, your (Ms. Malkin’s and by extension the entire ‘Warblogosphere’) pronouncements against the “MSM” are invalid. And you’re all hypocrite. And poopyheads.”

    The incandescent hauteur of the left is in full plumage here. It’s almost a guarantee that no lefty troll on this site, or rabid “attaboy!” partisan on Mr. Boehlert’s comment thread will get that they have exposed themselves yet again with this “defense” of the AP.

    Abraxas (2f586f)

  14. I keep seeing a parallel (sorta) between the Jamail Hussein/AP stories and Mike Nifong.

    Imagine the following:

    Mike Nifong declares that several Duke lacrosse players are guilty of rape, says he knows this b/c he has an accuser, Jamila Husseini.

    But for weeks, he fails to produce any sign of the accuser. And meanwhile, folks at the police station and the strip club owner are saying that no one’s worked at the strip club w/ the accuser’s name in quite a while.

    Bloggers meanwhile are noting that there are ATM photos, eyewitness accounts, etc., suggesting they playerswere elsewhere at the time of the attack.

    Now, weeks later, Mike Nifong produces a stripper by the name of Jamila Husseini, who even worked at the strip club (Or did she? Perhaps she worked at a different strip club than the one originally reported.)

    Would this prove that Mike Nifong’s been telling the truth the whole time? No, it would just prove that he actually has a person filing the charges.

    Would this prove the bloggers were wrong in raising questions about Nifong’s behavior, including immediately charging the lacrosse players? No, b/c Nifong, even in producing a plaintiff, still has not answered the questions about ATM photos and cabbie receipts and the like that would militate against arresting or charging the lacrosse players.

    Now, any blogger who said, “Nifong can’t produce the stripper, he’s made the whole thing up” is wrong. But it seems to me that many bloggers who wrote on this were questioning all the evidence, of which the inability to produce the stripper was but one part (albeit a major one).

    Does this mean you can’t trust Nifong at all? That’s probably a question each person needs to answer for themselves.

    Does this mean you can’t trust prosecutors at all? An even better question, one which probably revolves around how many Nifongs are out there….

    Lurking Observer (ea88e8)

  15. I see more of a parallel between Jamail Hussein and Mark Foley.

    Foley’s defenders pointing out his victims were above the age of consent in their home states didn’t really alter the story…

    Now that Jamail has appeared…nothing else really matters in this tale, and those who keep bringing it up are just digging a deeper hole for right-wing bloggers.

    Neville Chamberlain (80a4fa)

  16. Neville,

    Of course, no one (including Foley) denied the contacts with the pages occurred. Your analogy fails because, in this case, there is a legitimate issue whether all the details of Capt. Hussein’s reports are authentic.

    DRJ (51a774)

  17. This post really says a lot about the psychology of thin-skinned Pat. Fresh from a pounding on JamilGate, he finds the best defense is to go on the offense. He jumps all over a semantic error by Boehlert that is the equivalent of a typo. Jeebus, the guy not only links to the story that says Jsamil “faces” arrest, he actually posts the direct quote. The mistake was obvious, nonconsequential and no one could have been misled.

    [I don’t see how I took a “pounding” on JamilGate from Boehlert or anyone else. Because I didn’t deserve one. If you disagree, provide specifics. — P]

    Why no concern over the retaliation being meted out by the Iraqi government against those who tell of human rights abuses? Ahh … because Pat takes comfort in the MOI’s promise not to prosecute. This even though its contradicted by the desire to arrest Jamil and despite Interior’s established connection with torture in the prisoins and proven lack of veracity on this specific incident.

    [As to the Burning Six incident, I have enough questions about the underlying story that I am not assuming — as you do — that there were genuine human rights abuses described in the story. Which is not to say, to forestall your predictable and brainless rejoinder, that there aren’t human rights abuses going on in Iraq. There are, and I have noted that in a recent post, one which was probably too long for you to lipread all the way through. — P]

    But its not accuracy in reporting Pat is after; he needs an ego stroke amidst all his glaring tomfoolery. The post misses yet again the big picture regarding JamilGate. It misses the Interior Ministry’s deception. Where is the standard prosecutorial refrain of why the lie if not guilty of a cover-up?

    It misses the U.S. Military’s willingness to go along with the Iraqi government’s dishonesty on issues of human rights abuses.

    Pat, of course, also fails to dissect why the righty blogs were so hot & bothered by this particular story in the first place. It was an effort to intimidate the media into not covering stories about human rights abuses in Iraq perpetrated by anyone other than Al Qaeda terrorists; especially those acts perpetrated by those who our efforts have enabled. If a media outlet posts a story on this subject, the righty wingnuts will subject the piece to Nth degree fact checking and call for the journalists’ and editors’ heads on a collective platter, even for the minutest of errors. The message from the right to the media — Best just not to cover such issues.

    [It was an effort to get to the truth. — P]

    Macswain (76d8da)

  18. Has Jamail appeared? All I know so far is AP says he does exist, and some others seem to agree, but I haven’t heard he’s put in an appearance in public and answered that he is indeed AP’s source.

    I don’t even accept, at present, that he is indeed their source. How is AP saying now, “see, that is him,” waving generally in the direction of Iraq, any different from them saying before “we have a source, a Captain in the Police in Baghdad, who saw these things?”

    And I’m not even from Missouri.

    But show me anyway.

    Dan S (8771d0)

  19. Actually, while Foley was a creep, if his counterparts were of age, then he did not do anything illegal. Indeed, if he thought that his victims were of-age, then, again, it may not be illegal.

    Or are we at the point where even the appearance of impropriety is to be considered tantamount to criminality, in which case perhaps we should be ending the career of William Jefferson (D-LA) as promptly?

    Ah, what’s the point?! This is Neville we’re talking about. Logic never applies.

    Lurking Observer (ea88e8)

  20. “I see more of a parallel between Jamail Hussein and Mark Foley.”

    Of course you do.

    How surprising.

    “Now that Jamail has appeared…nothing else really matters in this tale…”

    And that’s precisely the point at which the left loses the thread of media criticism. The fact of his existence does not produce burned, dead Iraqis or burned, gutted mosques. Neither you, NC, nor any other progressive that I’ve read has addressed the “right-wing bloggers” questions of the accuracy of these stories. Why? Why is it now so imperative, now that Mr. Hussein’s identity has been putatively established, for lefties to, in the words of commenter Ed above, “move on”? Why can’t they look seriously at the questions of bias that have very real antecedents in the stories the media has flung forth from the Middle East?

    There may or may not be a difference between what actually happened here and what progressives want to have happened. However, the AP has not made their case and they are not interested in backing up their reporting. Therefore, independent verification is required.

    There’s another difference between the left and right partisans in the approach to this story (and the other stories) offered up by the AP: “right-wing bloggers” (not all of them, but many) admit that the story(ies) might be true. I have heard of *no* left wing bloggers admit that it(they) might be false.

    Abraxas (2f586f)

  21. Foley’s defenders pointing out his victims were above the age of consent in their home states didn’t really alter the story…

    I read a lot of stuff on the net and I never saw anything like that on either side. In fact I never read anyone I’d describe as a Foley defender.

    So link it up please.

    But for the record, age is what would define criminal behavior in our society.

    Dwilkers (4f4ebf)

  22. Abraxas,

    Did someone finally produce the burned bodies

    Are you necrophiliac? Do you understand that this request is completely insane? Do you want to go to the Holocaust conference in Tehran and call for all those “mythical” bodies to be produced? Don’t you understand that “producing” 1.5-month-dead bodies in Baghdad is a totally impractical request?

    …Hey, Pat, you keep on repeating this line: “our intentions in pursuing this story is merely the truth, not proving that everything is swell in Baghdad, and don’t you lefties dare misrepesent us”.
    Nevertheless, here’s a quote from Michelle Malkin’s guest-blogger:

    If he is not a reliable source — or worse, if he does not actually exist (and despite AP’s claim to have verified his existence, we still don’t know for sure from independent reporters not employed by AP) — then what are we to make of these 62 stories we have read during the last two years? Those stories are the only evidence we have of systematic, widespread slaughter of Sunnis by death squads.

    In other words, this guy claims that the belief that there is ethnic cleansing perpetuated by Shia militias going on in Baghad hinges on the credibility of Jamil Hussein. There is no civil war going on in Baghad, it’s only good guys (Shia) vs. bad guys (Sunni). Never mind the fact that you can read about ethnic cleansing and death squads on virtually every Iraqi blog — and everywhere else.
    The thing that this guest-blogger says is outright denial, of the very Holocaust-denial sort. He’s not some “far-right unhinged maniac”. He’s the guy guest-blogging at Malkin’s place, with Malkin being the symbol of “Jamil Hussein truth” movement.
    There are, indeed, some legitimate questions about Jamil Hussein. But to claim that “Jamil Hussein truth” movement is about truth, and not about “proving” some fantastic politically motivated illusion, is quite hard with such posts as one I quoted being around. That fact that this guy is, in effect, Al-Sadr’s apologist makes it doubly disturbing.

    NN (f82c0b)

  23. I guess that’s the point, Ab.

    There is no story here anymore.

    The next time right-wing bloggers start squealing about an AP story, The AP will just say “Jamail Hussein” and move on.

    Denying this story was about whether Jamail Hussein existed or not now that he appears is…kinda sad, actually.

    Neville Chamberlain (80a4fa)

  24. Denying this story was about whether Jamail Hussein existed or not now that he appears is…kinda sad, actually.

    Not being able to read is even sadder.

    sharon (dfeb10)

  25. So, the fact that Nifong produced a person charging rape solves the problem? Am I reading this right?

    Shoot, so, if the Duke lacrosse players actually hired this woman, and now she charges rape, obviously a rape occurred?

    This is the level of argument I’m seeing here: If there is a Jamail Hussein, and he said that Sunnis were burnt to death and mosques were destroyed, ipso facto it must have occurred?

    As for producing bodies 1.5 months later, isn’t this the whole point of providing proof? You don’t think that it’s possible to provide evidence of people burnt to death?

    But what about the mosques? There were claims of video footage shot while the mosques were being destroyed. Where is this footage? Or is that as “unreasonable” as identifying people who were supposedly burnt to death?

    Levels of evidentiary proof that would never pass muster here are apparently acceptable levels, when it comes to the Fourth Estate. NN and company holds a key part of the system of checks-and-balances to a laughably low standard, one which would truly make the Patriot Act a path to jack-booted thuggery if it were applied across the system of government.

    Lurking Observer (ea88e8)

  26. NN,

    “Are you necrophiliac? Do you understand that this request is completely insane?”

    So the answer to my initial question is, I take it, “no”.

    And really – “Are you necrophiliac?”

    This is the best you can come up with to deflect attention from the fact there is no objective evidence to support the burned bodies story?

    Why no, it’s not:

    “Do you want to go to the Holocaust conference…”

    Putting forth an irrelevant point to buttress an argument against a position your political opponents keep saying they *are not taking*, all the while invoking Godwin’s Law?

    That’s gotta’ be some kind of trifecta. Congratulations … or something.

    Nice of you to stipulate there is no evidence of these alleged burnings, other than by an “eyewitness” that may or may not exist, may or may not have said what was attributed to him by the AP, wasn’t produced by the AP when very serious questions about the credibility of its reporting were being asked, and still has yet to speak to an independent arbiter. You would think that there would have been some sort of protest, or “Arab street uprising” there in response to such a deed as serial mosque burnings. I hear the Arab street is big into uprisings. The AP reporting, meanwhile, is just risible.

    And NC,

    “There is no story here anymore.”

    You don’t get to decide what the rest of the world talks about.

    I’ll let everyone draw their own conclusions as to why you choose not to answer the questions posed to you – in good faith – in my last post.

    Abraxas (2f586f)

  27. Shorter PaddyEff: Excuse me, you big bully Boehlert slapping my ass across the parking lot with your logic and holding me up to public ridicule for being publicly ridiculous, you seem to have some broccoli in your teeth.

    [Shorter dj: I’m too dim to notice Boehlert doesn’t mention Patterico. Oh: and as a Glenn Greenwald fan, I care only about factual errors that hurt my side. I don’t give a crap about the truth in general.]

    djangone (381f2e)

  28. …He paints all “warbloggers” (and will someone explain the etymology of that word? It seems as though he’s saying if you blog about the Iraq war, you’re a warblogger….

    Could it be they want to invoke something along the lines of “war monger?” i.e., If you are conservative (i.e., anyone skeptical or dismissive of left-wing blather) then you are a war monger.

    Dubya (c16726)

  29. As for producing bodies 1.5 months later, isn’t this the whole point of providing proof? You don’t think that it’s possible to provide evidence of people burnt to death?

    This is not criminal proceeding. Nobody is charged with killing those Sunnies. The idea that AP should not report violence in Baghdad unless it can trace every dead body in a city where 50-100 fresh bodies are found every day is beyond insane. This is not “9/11 was inside job” level insanity, this is “9/11 never happened” level insanity.

    This is the level of argument I’m seeing here: If there is a Jamail Hussein, and he said that Sunnis were burnt to death and mosques were destroyed, ipso facto it must have occurred?

    The question is: what proves do you have that he is a liar?
    1) MOI and CENTCOM stated that Jamil Hussein is definitely is not a police officer. This turned out not to be true. MOI and CENTCOM were proven to be liars. No “Jamil Hussien is a liar” proof here.
    2) He reported four mosques burnt (not burnt to the ground, mind you), while it appears that only one of them was seriously damaged (according to MOI and CENTCOM, both proven to be liars). I personally addressed this problem zillion times. A genuine “fog of war” blunder, in my opinion. Police radio chatter mistranslated, that’s all.
    3) He was a source for bad news for two years. What kind of good news do you expect to hear from Baghdad cop?

    The question is, what real grounds do you have to doubt Jamil’s credibility? Besides MOI’s lie and crazy-sounding “let us see the burnt bodies”?

    NN (9c16c2)

  30. Dubya:

    Having been around for a little while, I believe you are correct. There actually even used to be a site called “warbloggerwatch,” when each side was creating “–watch” sites to monitor their putative opponents.

    The warbloggers, back then, were those who supported going to war over Afghanistan and blogged about it (which also gives you an idea of who was opposing them and gives the lie to the idea that somehow no one opposed the Afghan war, any more than anyone opposed confronting the USSR).

    ‘Course, those who were blogging on the war (and labeled warbloggers) have evolved. Some opposed the Iraq War, some have come to oppose the Iraq War. Some have stopped blogging entirely, for a variety of reasons. Some have even died, again, from a variety of causes (including combat).

    Lurking Observer (ea88e8)

  31. You would think that there would have been some sort of protest, or “Arab street uprising” there in response to such a deed as serial mosque burnings.

    This is the most inane argument in this controversy I’ve seen. Even if this incident was an urban legend, it was a widely-spread urban legend.

    Capt. Hussein was not the sole source for the story, as some bloggers have said. AP only quoted him after the alleged incident made its rounds on local Iraqi message boards and was circulated extensively by SMS messages in Baghdad. The Sunni tribal sheikh who first mentioned the story on Al-Jazeera was later “visited” by an Iraqi Defense Ministry delegation and then he sinisterly retracted his account.

    Six people killed at once in “business as usual” in Baghdad, in case you didn’t know. And what kind of special “Arab street uprising” are you talking about? You didn’t notice that Sunnies are fighting Shias non-stop in Baghdad?

    NN (9c16c2)

  32. Putting forth an irrelevant point to buttress an argument against a position your political opponents keep saying they *are not taking*, all the while invoking Godwin’s Law?

    You are taking a position that there were no Sunnies burnt unless their bodies are produced. Can’t see any difference from Holocaust-denying argument.

    NN (d035f8)

  33. in response to such a deed as serial mosque burnings.

    Sorry, didn’t notice that you were talking about serial mosque burnings, not people’s here. As I said zillion times, there’s a difference between something being “burnt” and “burnt to the ground”, and this is probably key to the issue. Nevertheless, there’s nothing special about mosques being burnt in Baghdad:

    Mosques have been burned before in Baghdad, so I also can’t see why that would be surprising to some American bloggers. Just check my YouTube page on the sidebar for examples.

    NN (9c16c2)

  34. Lt. Kije identified, facing arrest? — Day 5 …

    Updated and bumped — Jamil who? Part 34 of a series. Continued from this post. What Happened to the AP’s Hurriyah Mosque Attack Video?Confederate Yankee Kathleen Carroll continues to attack those questioning her news organization’s ability to turn …

    Bill's Bites (72c8fd)

  35. […] Patterico corrects a correcter who wants corrections — and is not correctly entitled to them. […]

    BizzyBlog » While Waiting for a Jamil Ghdaab Gulaim Hussein Skywalker Resolution (34f45e)

  36. NN,

    “This is not criminal proceeding.”

    What you haven’t yet grasped is this *is* in fact a trial. A trial of the AP’s credibility. They stand accused of malpractice, and there are a good many people who are leaning toward a “guilty” verdict unless exculpatory evidence is produced. I get that you believe them when they say 6 Iraqis were set on fire, or 600,000 Iraqi civilians were killed, but – well – I’m having my doubts, and they don’t help their cause by providing as backup evidence … nothing.

    “You are taking a position that there were no Sunnies burnt unless their bodies are produced”

    Sorry, no. That’s not my position.

    I simply asked for evidence to support the AP’s statement that there were burnt Iraqis and mosques.

    The points I actually made apart from that query stand unrefuted.

    Feel free though, to try again – and tackle some of the questions that I laid out for NC.

    And not to rub another man’s rhubarb, but:

    “The question is: what proves do you have that he is a liar?”

    C’mon – you’re letting your Bush Hatred creep in. Do a quick “ctrl f” and search for the words “lie” and “liar”. Who’s the only poster who uses them? Your shrill defense of a compromised position doesn’t do you credit. Possible denouements to this affair that preclude the “lying” portion of question:

    1. He may be mistaken, and is passing along a report that he believes to be true but was previously fabricated (see your “rumor” defense).

    2. He may have been misquoted or mistranslated.

    3. The AP has been stonewalling for absolutely no reason whatsoever.

    This is by no means an exhaustive list.

    Why not simply admit that there may – *MAY* – be problems with these stories and let’s wait for the fullest possible explanations from folks who actually care about the accuracy of what we’re being told about Iraq.

    It seems strange that on this issue, instead of waiting for all the facts to come out, the left would rather declare victory and go home.

    Oh, wait – no it doesn’t.

    Abraxas (2f586f)

  37. Your “court” may have a little more credibility had they not let slide the phony reasons why we invaded Iraq in the first place, NN.

    Letting the axe murderers go free while trying to execute jaywalkers doesn’t inspire confidence in your…judgement.

    Neville Chamberlain (80a4fa)

  38. Hey NC,

    I’ll presume you didn’t mean to sling snark in NN’s direction?

    Thought about those questions yet? While you’re figuring out a way to weasel-word your replies, let’s take a look at a fine example of lefty argumentation, shall we?

    “Your ‘court’ may have a little more credibility had they not let slide the phony reasons why we invaded Iraq in the first place”

    First of all, that sentence makes absolutely no sense, either standing alone or in context with anything else written on this board. But I’ll pretend you are making a cogent, coherent and even somewhat telling remark, and respond …

    The liberation of Iraq has what, precisely, to do with the AP’s lack of credibility?

    “Phony reasons?”

    How about the “Genuine” reasons:

    The liberation of millions.

    The overthrow of a murderous tyrant. (he was executed recently – don’t know if you heard. If you’ll give me your email address I’ll send over an e-sympathy card)

    The (finally!) dedicated opposition to genocidal radicals in their own backyards.

    There are others, but I’m sure you get the point. Oh – and the WMDs? Saddam did in fact, use them. That’s a little helpful fact to have on hand if you’re going to start the “Bush Lied” nonsense again.

    You’re welcome.

    “Letting the axe murderers go free while trying to execute jaywalkers doesn’t inspire confidence in your…judgement.”

    See above – we executed the murderer.

    And I’m not trying to inspire “[your] confidence…”. I’m telling the AP that if they don’t get their act together I’m not trusting them again.

    To put it bluntly: I don’t care about *you* (nothing personal). I care that the *information* I’m getting from Iraq is accurate and complete.

    Abraxas (2f586f)

  39. What you haven’t yet grasped is this *is* in fact a trial. A trial of the AP’s credibility.

    What you haven’t grasped is different standards. Absence of bodies makes it very hard for criminal persecution to go on. Nobody ever said that journalistic standards have a rule “don’t report violence in the civil war unless you can produce bodies of victims 1.5 months later”.

    “You are taking a position that there were no Sunnies burnt unless their bodies are produced”

    Sorry, no. That’s not my position.

    I simply asked for evidence to support the AP’s statement that there were burnt Iraqis and mosques.

    OK, so what made you write:

    Did someone finally produce the burned bodies

    I find it hard to reconcile with your statement that you are not asking for the bodies to be produced.

    C’mon – you’re letting your Bush Hatred creep in.

    What has this to do with Bush?

    3. The AP has been stonewalling for absolutely no reason whatsoever.

    AP was not “producing” Jamil Hussein for perfectly understandable reasons. AP is not “staying by” four burnt mosques report, which was probably a result of the mistranslation of the word “burn”. AP re-checked reports about six burnt Sunnies and found additional witnesses. To ask for the bodies is crazy. What else do you want them to do?

    Why not simply admit that there may – *MAY* – be problems with these stories and let’s wait for the fullest possible explanations from folks who actually care about the accuracy of what we’re being told about Iraq.

    I don’t argue with the fact that there are some problems here. But, seriously, I doubt abilities of those folks to find the truth.
    You know, with this Malkin’s guest-blogger claiming that Hussein’s reports are the only evidence of Shia’s death squad activity, and the guy at the other thread here claiming that Hussein is Al-Qaeda’s mouthpiece, it was really strange to actually read those “61 stories”. As it turns out, there’s absolutely no sectarian bias there. If you, folks, can’t even get this right, I’m afraid investigative journalism is just not for you.

    NN (9c16c2)

  40. There’s just as much evidence that we did indeed invade Iraq for its $10+ trillion oil reserves, ab.

    The recent rush to give away 75% of Iraq’s future oil revenue to Exxon and pals makes it even more likely.

    Absent the ability to look into people’s hearts, we have to settle for looking at who benefits…to see the answers to such questions as “why?”

    Neville Chamberlain (80a4fa)

  41. “Absence of bodies makes it very hard for criminal persecution to go on.”

    Absence of bodies also make it very hard to presume a war crime. But I noticed that hasn’t stopped the AP’s supporters.

    MY rule for journalistic standards is – “if you can’t back it up, don’t pass it on.” Seems simple to me, but maybe you’re right – maybe we’re asking too much from the media.

    “’I simply asked for evidence to support the AP’s statement that there were burnt Iraqis and mosques.’

    OK, so what made you write:

    ‘Did someone finally produce the burned bodies’”

    What made me write it? The desire for someone to produce evidence to support the AP’s statement that there were burnt Iraqis and mosques. WHICH. IS. JUST. WHAT. I. SAID. I. ASKED. FOR.

    I have never said that unless bodies can be produced, there were no burnt Iraqis.

    Never.

    “I find it hard to reconcile with your statement that you are not asking for the bodies to be produced.”

    You’re again misreading me. I did *not* write what your summary indicates. Please quote me correctly (as I attempt to do with you and others here) if you are determined to keep this conversation going. Get someone to help you with the logic of our collective statements if you still don’t see it. (no, I’m not kidding, and I’m not trying to snark at you – you’re misunderstanding of my remarks seem to flow from your initial misrepresentation of them).

    I await your apology for the “necrophilia” comment. That’s an incredibly nasty thing to write about someone you don’t know, but I suspect that’s why you wrote it.

    “What has this to do with Bush?”

    Not Bush. Bush hatred. The left’s reflexive attack on anyone they don’t like, don’t agree with or is of another opinion that reached (and has sustained since) a fever pitch, coincidentally enough, around the time that President George W. Bush was inaugurated. The progressive line seems to be “The person we disagree with isn’t wrong – he’s a liar.”

    “To ask for the bodies is crazy.”

    I believe they call that “forensic evidence”. But OK – if you can’t find the bodies, or if no records of the corpses exist (something I would tend to doubt, since even in the reign of the monster Saddam, some sort of records were kept of his mass murders and the final resting places of the bodies), can the AP find the families of these men? Their co-workers? Something? Anything?

    Abraxas (2f586f)

  42. There’s just as much evidence that we did indeed invade Iraq for its $10+ trillion oil reserves, ab.

    The recent rush to give away 75% of Iraq’s future oil revenue to Exxon and pals makes it even more likely.

    Absent the ability to look into people’s hearts, we have to settle for looking at who benefits…to see the answers to such questions as “why?”

    Shorter Neville:

    Bush wanted to give Iraq to Exxon, but absent evidence of that assertion just take my word for it.

    Dubya (c16726)

  43. NC,

    Give it up. You’re out of your depth here.

    I see that your response to substantive argument is simply another half-baked conspiracy. Think real hard about those questions I asked. You don’t have to respond to them here in print. You can simply think about them in the darkest part of night, when it’s just you and yourself. And while you’re answering them honestly to yourself, you can also reflect upon the fact that you could have made the choice in your life to be an honest, caring human being; but instead chose to be a progressive – and not a very good one, either. Many happy returns on that.

    We’re done.

    Abraxas (2f586f)

  44. Absent the ability to look into people’s hearts, we have to settle for looking at who benefits…to see the answers to such questions as “why?”

    Cui bono can be useful as a tool to focus an investigation, but it isn’t an answer. Furthermore I think the above quote is a fine example of an either/or fallacy.

    bonhomme (d737be)

  45. Hehe, abraxas,

    I don’t think Forrest Gump could be out his depth in this half-full intellectual kiddie pool we’re splashing around in.

    There’s plenty of peaople who have gotten very rich off our invasion and occupation of Iraq.

    Forgive me if I’m as skeptical of their statements as you are of the AP’s reports…

    In a perfect world, the amount of money these people have made off our “war” would follow their name whenever they appear on TV or in print.

    Neville Chamberlain (80a4fa)

  46. There’s plenty of peaople who have gotten very rich off our invasion and occupation of Iraq.

    As opposed to all the UN officials, Euro politicians, and former Clinton pardonee Mark Rich who got rich off of Saddam before the occupation on the backs of the Iraqi people.

    jpm100 (851d24)

  47. Your forgetting our “allies” John Howard and the Australians, jpm. They made more money than anyone of the deal. I’m sure your leaving them off the list was entirely accidental.

    But at least these guys were a lot cheaper than the neocons…less than 1% of our current “Iraq management” costs, and…their plan actually worked.

    It’s a fair bet that not a single person pushing for more troops to be sent to Iraq believes they will actually make things better there.

    The only motivation I can see is the $750,000 the U.S. piggybank doles out to “support” each and every soldier sent there…

    Neville Chamberlain (80a4fa)

  48. I’m sure your forgetting it was a private concern in Australia that made the deal. Could Howard have handled the situation better by being more prompt with the investigations, probably, but neither He nor Australia made the deals with Saddam.

    jpm100 (851d24)

  49. Quoth Patterico: “My guess: Boehlert wanted Hussein to have actually been arrested, so that he could pin that on bloggers. So he wished and hoped, and voila! in his mind, it was so. And so that’s what he wrote.”

    … What a statement — a man who claims to base his blog on a search for truth through factual knowledge tells us what goes on inside the mind of another person he hasn’t even spoken too.

    Far out. Let me try this fun trick:

    My guess: Patterico and the other warbloggers wanted Jamil Hussein not to exist, so they could pin the problems in Iraq on the A.P. and the news media. So they wished and hoped (and Patterico called him an “alleged” cop and so forth), and voila! In their minds, it was so. And so that’s what he and the warbloggists wrote, and wrote, and wrote

    Man … that was good.

    [Yeah, that was great. Except for the part where you lied, by saying that I wrote that Jamil Hussein did not exist.

    Other than that: far out, man. Far. Out. — P]

    Harry Eyeball (f86e7d)

  50. Hehe, jpm.

    Howard set up an inquiry that was forbidden from looking into his government’s connection to the Australian oil for food profiteering.

    I’d hardly say that such a cozy setup exonerates him and his cronies in this matter.

    Neville Chamberlain (80a4fa)

  51. Harry here. Sorry dude, I guess i made the mistake of relying on you own post, to wit:

    “There’s no question that I initially believed the MOI’s assertions and took them as fact. If you ask an employer whether someone works for them, you normally expect them to know. It’s obvious that believing them — and especially reporting their claims as fact in a post on November 27 — was a mistake on my part, as I have already acknowledged. I reversed my attitude of unquestioning acceptance within three days, but I should not have been so unquestioning to begin with. Mea culpa. It’s a good lesson for the future to be more skeptical of all sources. At this point I don’t think I’d accept the Iraqi government’s word about anything.”

    Looks like you meant you relied too heavily on the MOI statement that J.H. was not a police officer to “allege-ify” him, but you did not take that to mean he simply wasn’t corporeal (you said rather that he might be some kind of insurgent plant, if I read Nov. 27 correctly). I accept this is a distinction with a difference (non-existent person versus pretend/fraudulent person), so I hereby retract the words “he and” from the last line of my post. Mea culpa.

    Guess this means my point has no value. Go on ahead and tell us what’s in other people’s heads from here on.

    Harry Eyeball (f86e7d)

  52. Far out.

    Patterico (a8fa4a)

  53. Glad you liked the “far out” — it was the highlight of the post, to be sure. On another matter, you keep a very nice blog here and it’s pleasingly open to others’ p.o.v.’s, but you kinda use the word “lie” a lot. I’ve never met anyone who owned the truth outright — not yet anyway. And by the way, I have come to agree with you that the only salvation for Iraq is 50,000 more U.S. troops for as long as it takes to get a cop on every street corner and civil order restored. We’ve upfucked that place past imagining. I have no problem recriminating and spreading the blame, but the fact is it’s a moral obligation now to fix what we broke. Some things in the world, like lies, are indeed black and white. cheers. Harry.

    Harry Eyeball (f86e7d)

  54. [Personal insults deleted. You may go now. And as anyone who has been paying attention can tell, I’ve been very, very, very patient. — Ed.]

    djangone (381f2e)

  55. Hey, what’s your opinion on these guys’ attempts to look into the minds of right-wingers:

    Greg Sargent at the American Prospect:

    The truth, however, is that with a few exceptions, the righty bloggers and columnists pursuing this attack were never serious about discovering whether or not that original burned-alive episode happened. Their real goal was to scapegoat an enemy within at a time when their cherished war was devolving into a disaster, to discredit the messenger, and to sow doubts about the validity of the war imagery being brought back by that messenger — imagery that was turning the American public against the conflict and causing their beloved leader and party to sink ever deeper in the polls.

    Rick Ellensburg (aka Glenn Greenwald):

    Nobody is less interested in media accuracy than they are. Correcting media mistakes is so plainly not their agenda. They are nothing more than hyper-partisan hysterics who jump on any innuendo or rumor or whispered suspicion as long as it promotes their rigid ideological views and political loyalties and hatreds.

    I searched for your name in the comments at both posts, Harry E., as I know you are critical of trying to look into people’s minds, regardless of the political viewpoint. Didn’t see the comments from you. You must not have known about the posts.

    Now you do.

    Far out.

    Patterico (a8fa4a)

  56. I await your apology for the “necrophilia” comment. That’s an incredibly nasty thing to write about someone you don’t know, but I suspect that’s why you wrote it.

    I’m sorry, but since the Lebanon’s “photogate” with people dissecting photographs of dead bodies and discussing the mechanics of rigor mortis for hours, I just felt that there was something wrong about RW blogosphere. Your “did they finally produce bodies” comment looked disturbing as well. Anyway, I don’t believe that you are necrophiliac, and I’m sorry if I gave an impression that I seriously think that you are such.

    I believe they call that “forensic evidence”. But OK – if you can’t find the bodies, or if no records of the corpses exist (something I would tend to doubt, since even in the reign of the monster Saddam, some sort of records were kept of his mass murders and the final resting places of the bodies)

    There was no chaos under Saddam, in case you didn’t notice. His rule was about order. His killings were systematic.

    can the AP find the families of these men? Their co-workers? Something? Anything?

    Can AP journalists do this without being killed themselves? Given the fact that that place is in the center of ethnic cleansing? Probably not. Do you ask for them to be killed?

    NN (9c16c2)

  57. NN,

    Apology accepted. Thank you for being a stand-up guy and/or girl.

    I must take issue with your statement “There was no chaos under Saddam…”

    I would submit that the attempted genocides of the Marsh Arabs and the Kurds were in fact quite chaotic. Unless you maintain it was an “orderly” genocide.

    “Can AP journalists do this without being killed themselves?”

    If they can’t, or if the risks bother them, then they have no business being over there and pretending to be journalists.

    If that sounds heartless – hear me out: We had a situation in Iraq not long ago where the ruling regime allowed major news organs to “report” only what the regime wanted them to report. If they didn’t – they were kicked out of the country, or worse. Those news organs didn’t tell their viewers/readers that very important fact. Those news organs choose to stay in Iraq and perpetrate a fraud on their customers. In which direction did their credibility go after all of that was revealed?

    Now that “or worse” may be applicable here, or it may not; but if it is, then the AP owes its readers an explanation as to why it can’t come up with the “rest of the story”. Again, it hasn’t done so – it’s been absolutely mute, and that’s not acceptable.

    Abraxas (2f586f)

  58. We had a situation in Iraq not long ago where the ruling regime allowed major news organs to “report” only what the regime wanted them to report.

    Why not name the beast? CNN is an organ, alright, although the excretory kind.

    Dubya (c16726)

  59. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Patterico, Greg Boiczyk. Greg Boiczyk said: RT @Patterico: More @EricBoehlert dishonesty. http://is.gd/GnMsk2 // I'd like to see Boehlert HONESTY one of these days […]

    Tweets that mention Patterico's Pontifications » Boehlert Refuses to Correct Error — in Column About Warbloggers’ Refusal to Correct Errors -- Topsy.com (4dbd94)


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