The AP is standing by that story quoting the alleged Iraqi police official who, the military says, isn’t actually with the police:
The Associated Press is standing by its report that six Sunni men were burned to death in Baghdad Friday by Shiites, even though U.S. military officials have accused the wire service of relying on a source who “is not who he claimed he was,” an Iraqi police captain.
Military officials also say they cannot confirm that the incident took place and have asked AP to retract or correct the story, which was repeated by media around the world and cited as a grim example of Shiites taking revenge for a deadly bombing that killed more than 200 people a day before.
“The attempt to question the existence of the known police officer who spoke to the AP is frankly ludicrous and hints at a certain level of desperation to dispute or suppress the facts of the incident in question,” AP International Editor John Daniszewski said in a statement e-mailed to On Deadline this afternoon.
He added that “we have conducted a thorough review of the sourcing and reporting involved and plan to move a more detailed report about the entire incident soon, with greater detail provided by multiple eye witnesses.”
“The police captain cited in our story has long been known to the AP reporters,” Daniszewski wrote.
“The AP stands by its story.”
But a U.S. military spokesman has told the AP in a letter that “neither we nor Baghdad Police had any reports of such an incident … and could find no one to corroborate the story.”
“Unless you have a credible source to corroborate the story of the people being burned alive, we respectfully request that AP issue a retraction, or a correction at a minimum,” Navy Lt. Michael Dean, the spokesman, wrote to the AP on Monday.
Fascinating. We’ll have to see how this shakes out.
Via commenter steve, who always provides great links.