Patterico's Pontifications

12/19/2006

Takeaway Points from Marc Danziger’s Post

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:14 am



Marc Danziger’s post on Jam(a)il Hussein was pretty densely packed with information, and assumed a lot of familiarity with the story. I think a lot of people may have missed the takeaway points; I know I did. It took a phone call with Marc before it really sunk in what we do and do not have. Let me try to summarize.

If you have any faith in Marc’s sources — local Iraqi reporters working up the story — here is what they’ve found. There are three takeaway points. Let’s look at them one at a time.

First and foremost:

  • Four mosques were not burned.

The AP would like you to forget it — YOU ARE GET-TING VERRRY SLEEEEPY! — but they did, in fact, make this claim:

The savage revenge attack for Thursday’s slaughter of 215 people in the Shiite Sadr City slum occurred as members of the Mahdi Army militia burned four mosques and several homes while killing 12 other Sunni residents in the once-mixed Hurriyah neighborhood, [police Capt. Jamil] Hussein said.

Which four mosques were supposedly burned, according to the AP?

The militiamen attacked and burned the Ahbab al-Mustafa, Nidaa Allah, al-Muhaimin and al-Qaqaqa mosques in the rampage that did not end until American forces arrived, Hussein said.

The military checked it out, and said it wasn’t true:

Contrary to recent media reporting that four mosques were burned in Hurriya, an Iraqi Army patrol investigating the area found only one mosque had been burned in the neighborhood.

Even this is confused, because the military press release appears to discuss a mosque not named in the AP story: Al Meshaheda. (h/t See Dubya.)

Even if the military were talking about the same four mosques, would our lefty friends believe the military anyway? Well, maybe our lefty friends at the AP would. You see, even the AP‘s Kathleen Carroll seems to have backed off of the “four burned mosques” story. If you look at the AP response to critics, you’ll see a repeated insistence that the story was accurate — in part because they have evidence of one burned mosque.

Shorter Kathleen Carroll:

We stand by our reporting that four mosques were burned. A mosque was, in fact, burned. What do you mean, four? Who said four? Did I say four?

Well, Marc’s sources say that “Capt. Jamil Hussein” was not right about these four mosques having been burned — and that photographic evidence may be on the way:

[T]wo different sources in Hurriyah confirm that at least two of the mosques in question are just fine, are standing strong, a couple of bullet marks on them, but that’s nothing out of the ordinary. We also hear that they are closed for worship from fear of retaliatory attacks. There are two other mosques there that were claimed to have been attacked (the claim was later reduced to one) and we’ll see if we can get some pictures of them all . . .

I’m tempted to start a daily “How Many Days Has It Been Since The AP Claimed Four Mosques Were Burned And Has Failed to Retract the Claim?” feature — but, in a rare display of blogger restraint, I’ll wait for the pictures . . . which I understand may be forthcoming soon.

OK . . . so Marc’s post claims (if you believe his sources) that “Capt. Jam(a)il Hussein” was wrong about the four burned mosques. That’s not terribly surprising, when you look at Marc’s takeaway point number two:

  • Marc has found no evidence of a Capt. Jamil Hussein

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? (And while you’re looking at maps, look at See Dubya’s map on the ubiquitous Jamil Hussein.)

Takeaway point number three:

  • There is a Sergeant Jamail Hussein at the Yarmouk station — and he’s a nasty sort

Marc says that, according to his sources,

there is no Capt. Jamil Hussein at Yarmouk, but there is a Sergeant by that name, with a somewhat dubious reputation (worked directly under Uday, Baathist remnant, etc.)

Marc’s sources may be interviewing Sgt. Hussein and/or his superior(s) soon.

Now, if Sgt. Hussein turns out to be the AP source, this description of the Sergeant is going to need a lot more fleshing out — because, if true, it means that the AP was relying on a Baathist stooge. Put that one in the “Interesting, But Unsubstantiated” category.

The situation is complicated by a certain retracted Malkin post, and the reasons it was retracted. Supposedly, someone admitted to our military that he was the source. Then the military did a take-back. What happened there? Mistake? OPSEC issue? (h/t See Dubya, again.) You be the judge!

Yes, it’s all a bit cryptic — and nothing here is a full solution, I’ll grant you — but not a bad start, either . . . once you understand what we do and do not know.

67 Responses to “Takeaway Points from Marc Danziger’s Post”

  1. Linda M. Wagner, AP’s Director of Media Relations and Public Affairs, Manhattan, wrote a Letter to the Editor of the New York Post published 12/15/06 that provides in part:

    “As an independent, global-news organization covering Iraq, AP uses sources beyond those that the Iraqi government considers “authorized.”

    Ever since an AP reporter first met Captain Jamil Hussein, AP has found him to be a reliable source. AP reported that the Iraq Interior Ministry says his name is not on its recent list of authorized police employees; nevertheless, we believe that AP can use him as a source.

    Moreover, other sources have confirmed his information.”

    I think the onus is on the AP to identify these “other sources” and exactly what information they’ve “confirmed.” And apart from the issues surrounding Capt. Hussein, there are continuing questions about the AP reporter(s):

    1. Who is the intrepid reporter that “first met Capt. Jamil Hussein” and why haven’t we heard from him/her?

    2. Did this same reporter contact Capt. Hussein again and again and again (51 times according to SeeDubya) to report the many stories for which Capt. Hussein was the original source, or did Capt. Hussein have multiple AP contacts?

    3. Whether there are one or more AP reporters working with Capt. Hussein, why haven’t these reporter(s) come forward with information to help verify Capt. Hussein and his information?

    DRJ (a5fa81)

  2. Maybe the AP’s sources are the same sources it used before the second Iraq war. After all, if CNN wortked hand in glove with the Sadaamites whos is to say that other news organizations did not do the same.

    davod (5fdaa2)

  3. DRJ–because of the way the AP credits their reporters, it’s difficult to tell who is responsible for which aspects of a particular story. An awful lot of them did originate with Qais al-Bashir, though I’m not saying he’s the exclusive AP pipeline for these stories.

    Don’t know if you saw this, but it looks like one of them, Kim Gamel, tried to check up on Bashir and found his numbers didn’t match up. (At least it’s her byline on the story.)

    Whether that kind of verification is the norm, I don’t know.

    See-Dubya (f7706f)

  4. And the names of Marc Danziger’s reporters are?

    I didn’t see that info in his post…

    Neville Chamberlain (80a4fa)

  5. SeeDubya,

    Thank you for your comment. I’ve seen al-Bashir’s name given as the AP reporter who frequently used Capt. Hussein as a source – it might have been one of your comments or posts that made that point. Perhaps Neville won’t believe this but I’m trying to give the AP the benefit of the doubt – I assume Capt. Hussein may be real but that he’s unable to come forward for security or other reasons.

    Even if that is so, there are other ways the AP can provide background on Capt. Hussein’s stories. One of those ways is to produce the AP reporter(s) so they can explain how they got their stories and provide background that might enhance their reliability. Of course, producing the reporter(s) might also raise more doubts if their stories are inconsistent or weak. In my view, as long as the AP fails to produce Capt. Hussein or the reporters, that failure to produce – in and of itself – causes me to question all of the AP’s reports.

    Neville,

    At some point, I expect Armed Liberal to provide identifying or background information on his sources if we are to rely on his information. People are entitled to believe or not to believe what he says if he ultimately credits unnamed and unproduced sources – just as we are also entitled to do the same with the AP’s stories now that legitimate questions have been raised about its reporter(s) and Capt. Hussein.

    DRJ (a5fa81)

  6. “… if Sgt. Hussein turns out to be the AP source”

    Was he the source? I thought that there were other witnesses interviewed who supported the story.

    Psyberian (490f62)

  7. Psyberian,
    There were two other sources in the original story. IIRC, one recanted his story and the second one can’t be found any more.

    Darkmage (4de99c)

  8. There were two other sources in the original story. – Darkmage

    This post needs a correction then. How many were interviewed after the original story?

    ‘You think that the witness who disappeared might be afraid for their lives? Just maybe? Or maybe they’ve already been killed.

    Psyberian (490f62)

  9. It seems, in a big picture sort of way, the AP filed a story that was based more on rumor or malicious gossip than fact and won’t admit it has a problem. Everyone is getting wrapped up in the details of what the AP did wrong when the AP still hasn’t admitted it was wrong. The number mosques involved seems to be enough to prove the AP’s “Dan Rather” moment and should be enough to stop defense of this story by the AP and anyone else.

    Bill (5a12bf)

  10. Psy,

    What needs correcting and why?

    Patterico (de0616)

  11. Amazing stuff. I wonder — would Google Earth have before-and-after pictures of the mosques? Just joking about that, but our surveillance planes certainly can do a flyover with minimal risk.

    Perhaps AP needs an ombudsman/devil’s advocate to poke holes in dubious stories and make the reporters produce the evidence or recant.

    Bradley J. Fikes (19f52f)

  12. You guys can spin this thing from here to the moon. It doesn’t change the simple fact that this war is a complete disaster and the blood of thousands is on our hands.

    David Ehrenstein (af13fc)

  13. The timeline here seems curious. According to the military press release, the only mosque fire they can confirm was set AFTER the Iraqi Army started canvassing to check reports of mosque fires:

    At approximately 3:50 p.m., a local civilian reported to the patrol that armed insurgents had set the Al-Nidaa mosque on fire by throwing a gas container into the mosque. The patrol pursued the insurgents but lost contact with them.

    The Soldiers called the fire department and set up a cordon around the mosque. Local fire trucks responded to the scene and extinguished the fire at approximately 4:00 p.m. The mosque sustained smoke and fire damage in the entry way but was not destroyed.

    Were multiple fires set at this one mosque? The AP claims it has after-the-fact pictures of burn marks at another one. Were these same soldiers there during the initial assault?

    I’m slightly uncomfortable with the U.S. military relying on the Iraqi Army to verify events in which its own kind are accused of gross dereliction, i.e., standing by and doing nothing during the rampage. Hurriyah should not be a ‘no-go’ area for Americans challenging American media, not to mention a Times of London account relating the same events with different eyewitness quotes.

    My guess is molotov cocktails were used at multiple sites, that all are indeed “intact” and that two once showed visible marks. None may bear any burn evidence at all, a month later.

    There’s certainly a tone of exaggeration in the media reporting of these events. They probably intended to convey images of charred, smoldering rubble where mosques once stood. You can be also “burned alive” and not “burned to death,” if bystanders intervene.

    steve (576c8c)

  14. Pat, I gotta credit you and your blog for scaring up the dumbest damn trolls on the entire Intratubes.

    David Ehrenstein claims we “can spin this thing from here to the moon”. Who’s spinning, Dave? And how the hell do you know what’s spin when the media’s making shit up? That’s the point, Corky.

    Troll, giving us your permission to spin when the issue is how we’re being spun by the media is truly thick. Do you have any idea how silly you look?

    spongeworthy (45b30e)

  15. Who’s spinning, Dave? And how the hell do you know what’s spin when the media’s making shit up?

    Patterico’s spinning. Are the thousands we’ve mercilessly slaughtered in this affair “shit” that “the media” simply “made up”?

    Are there pictures of flower-strewn streets with the citizens welcoming us as liberators that the AP has hidden from view the better to satisfy its Al Queda masters?

    And what’s with “Corky”?

    David Ehrenstein (af13fc)

  16. Jamail Hussein and Karen Toshima…

    CENTCOM says AP’s Iraqi police source isn’t Iraqi police — Part 21 — Continued from this post. Takeaway Points from Marc Danziger’s Post Patterico Marc Danziger’s post on Jam(a)il Hussein was pretty densely packed with information, and assume…

    Bill's Bites (72c8fd)

  17. You tell me, Corky. You seem comfortable with the media fudging facts as long as they always fudge them in a fashion that fits your views. You’re as dishonest as they seem to be, and stupid enough to admit it. You’re being spun like a freaking top and you’re pleased about it–until you figure there’s an audience for the truth. Now you’re incensed.

    Buckets of irony are spilled, but nary a drop gets on the troll.

    spongeworthy (45b30e)

  18. I predict Michelle Malkin will never set foot in Iraq and also will never account for her retracted statement that Jamil Hussein’s “real name is CPT Jamil Ghdaab. He is a police officer and he’s admitted to being the AP contact.”

    http://www.smalltownveteran.net/bills_bites/2006/12/breaking_jamil_.html

    It also seems likely “photographic evidence” from the mosques will be inconclusive this long after the event.

    steve (576c8c)

  19. You seem comfortable with the media fudging facts as long as they always fudge them in a fashion that fits your views. You’re as dishonest as they seem to be, and stupid enough to admit it. You’re being spun like a freaking top and you’re pleased about it–until you figure there’s an audience for the truth. Now you’re incensed.

    Step away from the pocket mirror and nobody gets hurt.

    David Ehrenstein (af13fc)

  20. all reporters make mistakes. it is a much greater journalistic error to knowingly stand behind a false account than to make a mistake in the first place, if indeed that’s what happened here.
    at this point, the only objectively ascertainable truth about this matter is contained in the wavefronts propagating away from the event, and they’re well outside the solar system by now.

    assistant devil's advocate (143e3f)

  21. David E.,

    There is no doubt that the Iraq war didn’t go as planned, and the outcome far worse than hoped for. That’s not the issue here. But if we are getting bad information in Iraq, aren’t you curious to know exactly what did happen? To fix what went wrong, we need accurate information. In this case, specifically, we need to know how high are the tensions running between Sunni and Shias. If the story paints a false picture, the public will be misled. I’d rather we not have gone in there in the first place, but reality-based people should be interested in . . . reality.

    We place a huge amount of trust in the AP to get it right. With that trust comes great responsibility. I wish the AP would do more than a cursory investigation and reiterate the shopworn We-stand-by-our-story.

    Bradley J. Fikes (a87f50)

  22. aren’t you curious to know exactly what did happen?

    Yes, but we’re not likely to learn that for some time — of ever. We’re STILL arguing over Vietnam you know.

    To fix what went wrong, we need accurate information. In this case, specifically, we need to know how high are the tensions running between Sunni and Shias.

    Considering the fact that Dear Leader doesn’t know the difference betweenthe Sunnis and the Shias (“I thought they were both Muslim,” being the thigh-slapper of the year) how high the “tensions” are running matters very little. He says we should settle for nothing less than “Victory.”

    Over whom is needless to say never mentioned.

    We place a huge amount of trust in the AP to get it right.

    Who’s this “we” Kimo Sabe? The AP is a news source in the midst of a civil war fought on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood, street-by-street basis. The “Fog of War” was neevr foggier. Patterico can bitch and moan all he likes but it doesn’t alter the Big Picture — a criminal act on a massive scale.

    David Ehrenstein (af13fc)

  23. “getting bad information in Iraq…”
    amounted to questions about one 3 paragraph story in an ocean of others nearly identical to it. This you grab onto to avoid thinking about the ocean itself. I can’t really think of any other reason. This is criminal; as much as the lack of planning and oversight throughout the whole pathetic fiasco.
    You’re arguing over a molehill and ignoring the mountain. You’re arguing over a zit surrounded by a melanoma.
    “There is no doubt that the Iraq war didn’t go as planned,”

    It wasn’t even planned, it was dreamed, and to you its still a dream.

    AF (8f7ccc)

  24. The truth of the Sunni mosque immolation story matters to me because it was the catalyst that turned the American media from speculating about an Iraq civil war to flatly declaring there is one.

    As catalogued in a Editor & Publisher article published 11/28/06, the change in media’s rhetoric occurred the prior weekend. Left unstated was the fact that this was immediately after the AP published the mosque immolation story on 11/24/06. The various print and TV media was careful to note that there had been civil war speculation for some time – and that’s true – but it’s also clear this incident of alleged Shite-on-Sunni violence was the final straw for the American media. It was their Walter Cronkite moment.

    Reasonable people can declare that Iraq is engulfed in a civil war but I think reasonable people should agree also that the underlying facts that contributed to that declaration should be true.

    DRJ (a5fa81)

  25. It’s a game to see if someone in the Internet age can mine contrary evidence from their American bedroom or office cubicle and upstage both the corporate media and the military. Each has a reputation for leaving out what is inconvenient or off-message. I don’t think anyone here thinks this hobby exercise diminishes the Iraqi “big picture.” We – and I shouldn’t speak for everyone – fancy ourselves more clever and better-informed than the ‘reliable’ authority figures, of which Iraq has almost none.

    steve (576c8c)

  26. Steve,

    I don’t see this the way you do. To me, it’s more of a “garbage in, garbage out” scenario. The quality of my judgments about Iraq are only as good as the facts I’m given by the various sources, including the AP.

    DRJ (a5fa81)

  27. Yes, the war’s going poorly. It’s been going poorly since the insurgents figured out how upset Americans get with car bombs and kidnapings. Since then, they have been playing to the media rather than undertaking any operations that might actually defeat Coalition forces.

    Since the only way we can lose this thing is if we choose to, I’m not surprised some “Americans” are perfectly happy to see war coverage slanted toward chaos and defeat. Settling scores with Dear Leader trumps winning in Iraq, right?

    But whatever you do, don’t question their patriotism!

    spongeworthy (45b30e)

  28. It’s been going poorly since the insurgents figured out how upset Americans get with car bombs and kidnapings. Since then, they have been playing to the media rather than undertaking any operations that might actually defeat Coalition forces.

    Oh so this is all about “playing to the media” rather than the unleasing of a conflict between Sunnis and Shiites than has been going on long before the existence of media. Neat!

    Since the only way we can lose this thing is if we choose to

    You sound just like Greg Kinnear in Little Miss Sunshine.

    Settling scores with Dear Leader trumps winning in Iraq, right?

    Winning what and from whom?

    But whatever you do, don’t question their patriotism!

    Oh go right ahead — don’t let me stop you.

    David Ehrenstein (af13fc)

  29. Bradley: you’re missing David E.’s greater point: the Iraq War sucks, so any media distortions (or even outright deceptions) that make it look like the Iraq War sucks even more than it really does are no big deal. Fake but accurate, dontcha know.

    David E.: who is the “Dear Leader” of whom you speak? Silvestre Reyes?

    Xrlq (f52b4f)

  30. Dubbya of course.

    I await your accurate reports of how splendidly everything’s going Xrlq

    David Ehrenstein (af13fc)

  31. Has anyone (Patterico, Curt, SeeDubya, Armed Liberal, Allah, ?) posted information on these related claims of Iraq atrocities sourced to Capt. Hussein in an 11/25/06 AP follow-up article?

    “Police Capt. Jamil Hussein said Iraqi soldiers at a nearby army post failed to intervene in the burnings of Sunnis carried out by suspected members of the Shiite Mahdi Army militia, or in subsequent attacks that torched four Sunni mosques and killed at least 19 other Sunnis, including women and children, in the same northwest Baghdad area.”

    “According to Hussein, the police official, militiamen rampaged through the district, setting fire to several homes in addition to the four mosques that were bombed and burned.”

    If so, I would appreciate a link.

    DRJ (a5fa81)

  32. David,

    I’m with XRLQ. It was Silvestre Reyes (bless his Texas heart) who has had problems distinguishing between Sunnis and Shites. Can you provide a link to a similar Bushism?

    DRJ (a5fa81)

  33. There I went, and there I found countless dreadfully lame Bushisms, but nary one in which our Dear Leader channeled yours. Did you make up the quote altoghether, or just read about Reyes’s somewhere and mentally attribute it to Bush?

    I await your accurate reports of how splendidly everything’s going Xrlq

    Accuracy? You can’t handle accuracy.

    Xrlq (f52b4f)

  34. I think David E. did “just read about Reyes’s somewhere and mentally attribute it to Bush?”
    As everybody knows Democrats can do no wrong, and when they are percieved to do something wrong, just blame it on Bush.

    G (722480)

  35. Democrats do tons of wrong — mostly be declining to be Democrats. Do you imagine that I’m taken with either Hillary Clinton or Barak Obama?

    Well of course you do, because you stick to the script.

    David Ehrenstein (af13fc)

  36. Script? Haha, ok. I actually had to explain who Barak Obama is to some apolitical friends of mine. I think he’s ok, not even close to Presidential material (yet) but he’s still an impressive man. Anyway, the point is you’re yapping about “Dear Leader” not knowing the difference between Sunni and Shias, though that never happened. And you just had your bookmark of stupid things Bush said in 2006 and just assumed it was in there. Great research btw.

    G (722480)

  37. What do you guys think of Iranian agents listening in on this quest to find Waldo? It seems that Iranians in contact with insurgents willing to die at the drop of a rag might want to derail this behind-enemy-lines fact finding mission, coordinated on public blogs. I’m just sayin…

    The war was won in 3 weeks. The reconstruction is worth winning too.

    Wesson (c20d28)

  38. “I actually had to explain who Barak Obama is to some apolitical friends of mine. I think he’s ok, not even close to Presidential material (yet) but he’s still an impressive man.”

    Really? Why? He has yet to say or do one damn thing to impress me.

    And you just had your bookmark of stupid things Bush said in 2006 and just assumed it was in there. Great research btw.

    A list of Bush stupidities was requested. That’s all.

    willing to die at the drop of a rag

    Oh that’s rich!

    David Ehrenstein (af13fc)

  39. Now, David. I’m not going to facilitate your goalpost-moving based on my comment #33. I asked for “a similar Bushism” to Silvestre Reyes’ Shia-Sunni mixup. I did not request “a list of Bush stupidities” … so try again.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  40. I think he’s talking about Peter Galbraith’s claim that Bush didn’t know the difference between sunni and Shiites, DRJ.

    “During their conversation with the President, Galbraith claims, it became apparent to them that Bush was unfamiliar with the distinction between Sunnis and Shiites.”

    “Galbraith reports that the three of them spent some time explaining to Bush that there are two different sects in Islam–to which the President allegedly responded, ‘I thought the Iraqis were Muslims!'”

    Neville Chamberlain (80a4fa)

  41. You’re not DRJ’s monkey, but you are a monkey…

    patrick (d928f7)

  42. “The aide said that guys like me were ”in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who ”believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ”That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. ”We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

    enjoy your war kids.

    AF (8f7ccc)

  43. One more takeaway point:

    If Centcom knew there was a “Sergeant Jamail Hussein” at the Yarmouk station and failed to report this fact…they have less credibility than the AP…

    Neville Chamberlain (80a4fa)

  44. Admit it, Ehrenstein, you’ve been pwn3d. First you falsely attributed Reyes’s boner to Bush. Then, when called on it, you offered a link to a bunch of irrelevant gibberish, hoping no one would notice. Then, when called on *that*, you moved the goalpost and pretended the irrelevant gibberish is all the discussion was about in the first place. All this within a single comment thread, where anyone can easily scroll up a screen or two and instantly see you are full of crap.

    At this point, there are only three legal moves left:

    Admit you were full of crap, and apologize for attempting to cover up your mistake.
    Tell us whose macaca you are. Not DRJ’s – we get that – but whose?
    Permanently forfeit the privilege of being taken seriously by anyone with a pulse, on any topic, in any context.

    Xrlq (2758f2)

  45. See Neville Chamberlain’s post above.

    Your blatant racism is typical of Republicans.

    David Ehrenstein (af13fc)

  46. […] Commenter “Neville Chamberlain” (hey, he chose his own name!) says: One more takeaway point: […]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » Is Sgt. Jamail Hussein a “Third Way” Baathist Holdover? (421107)

  47. What needs correcting and why? – Patterico

    The word “the” implies one. If the Sgt. wasn’t the only witness, then your statement that he was “the AP source” for the story is completely wrong. If you had said that he was “a source,” your report would have been true.

    Psyberian (490f62)

  48. David Ehrenstein is a well-known journalist. He covers movie stars. He does a decent job, for example, of drooling over film-industry PR flacks and examining Lindsay Lohan’s dropped booze bottles, or doing fawning articles on the starlet du jour.

    As for his grasp of international affairs and defense in general? (shrug)

    He’s a frequent commenter at Press Think. His performance, intellectual honesty, and reasoning skills are about the same there as he’s displayed here.

    Draw your own conclusions.

    Jason Van Steenwyk (528e58)

  49. The word “the” implies one. If the Sgt. wasn’t the only witness, then your statement that he was “the AP source” for the story is completely wrong. If you had said that he was “a source,” your report would have been true.

    Piffle. One guy was the AP source called Capt. Jamil Hussein — unless he’s a composite or made up, in which case it’s several people, or no person.

    The issue is: is Sgt. Hussein that guy?

    As in: is he the AP source? Or is he a guy whose name (but not rank) was used by the AP source?

    Anything else is reading too much into it.

    And anyway, see my recent post citing Allah on the AP covering its tracks, if you’re really interested in whether there were other sources. The AP seems unsure, itself!

    Patterico (de0616)

  50. Neville,

    Thank you raising Peter Galbraith’s recent claims. I wish not-my-monkey David E. had linked to Ambassador Galbraith’s newly trumpeted recollections which, if I’m not mistaken, coincided with the recent publication of his book. However, it is a point well taken and I appreciate that you brought this to my attention.

    It’s interesting that Ambassador Galbraith’s current view on Iraq is at odds with his opinion in an NPR interview recorded in February 2003 prior to the Iraq invasion. Hindsight is always 20-20 but in February 2003, Ambassador Galbraith strongly supported the liberation of Iraq. He expressed slight concern that it might result in a Sunni-Shite civil war. His chief concern was for the protection of the Kurds and their integration into an Iraqi federation. Interestingly, he expressed no concerns that I noticed about President Bush or the Bush Administration.

    DRJ (a5fa81)

  51. The issue is: is Sgt. Hussein that guy?

    No, the issue is: where six people burned alive? I could not care less who that guy is.

    Psyberian (490f62)

  52. You’re being infuriating.

    The issue RAISED BY THE PASSAGE THAT YOU CRITICIZED.

    Patterico (de0616)

  53. Plus: if he’s the only named source, then the one issue implicates the other.

    Patterico (de0616)

  54. Ehrenstein:

    “Oh so this is all about “playing to the media” rather than the unleasing of a conflict between Sunnis and Shiites than has been going on long before the existence of media. Neat!

    Wow. That’s rich. Do Ehrenstein REALLY believe the conflict between Sunnis and Shiites has been going since before the existence of media? I mean, the written word on parchment has been around a long time.

    Islam relies for its foundation on media – that is, the Quran and the Old and New Testaments.

    And more to the point, how can a conflict that has been going on for centuries already possibly be “unleashed” by the Bush Administration?

    At any rate, I searched for the phrase “I thought they were both muslim.” The only substantiation I could find was someone else quoted it some time ago on Democratic Underground. And didn’t link or substantiate it either.

    There’s Ehrenstein’s “reporting” for ya.

    I guess it works in Hollywood.

    Jason Van Steenwyk (6bd4c5)

  55. See Neville Chamberlain’s [irrelevant] post above.

    Your blatant racism is typical of Republicans.

    I never knew “lying sack o’shit” was a race. My bad.

    Xrlq (f52b4f)

  56. He does a decent job, for example, of drooling over film-industry PR flacks and examining Lindsay Lohan’s dropped booze bottles, or doing fawning articles on the starlet du jour.

    I have never written an article about Lindsay Lohan. Why do you promulgate such an easily Googled lie?

    Wait, don’t tell em — you’re a Republican.

    David Ehrenstein (af13fc)

  57. Really? Too bad. I think a good article on Lindsay could be interesting.

    I retract the bit on Lindsay, with my apologies.

    I don’t read anything you write outside of PressThink, and now here.

    Really, I don’t care.

    Nevertheless, you pointed out a fact I misrepresented. I have no problem acknowledging such and correcting the record.

    You were right to expect it of me.

    So why aren’t we right to expect it of the AP?

    And isn’t it true that Britney Spears is just another anti-Bush celebrity?

    Jason Van Steenwyk (f2fb71)

  58. I don’t read anything you write outside of PressThink, and now here.

    Consult my website. I have been a published writer since 1966, and I am the author of four books.

    David Ehrenstein (af13fc)

  59. […] I do care that the Associated Press still hasn’t acknowledged that the questions about Jamil Hussein really points out some fundamental flaws in the way that news is being collected and reported. But instead of looking at it critically, they seem to essentially be ascribing to the Dan Rather School of Journalism (”Fake, but accurate”). Sure, it sounded better to have a legitimate-sounding name thrown in as the source of the reports of mayhem, but the guy (who ever he is, if he does actually exist) does seem to get around an awful lot. Anyway, this week there really are no developments in the story, despite some excitement (ala the possible existance of either Sgt. Jamail Hussein or Jamil Ghdaab Gulaim / Ghulaim), it hasn’t developed much more. Regardless, the AP is not standing up on this in public, and simply can change their stories in the future to refer to unnamed annonymous “sources” and rewrite their existing stories. […]

    TailOverTeaKettle.com » 100 Hours… (acab5c)

  60. […] P.S. 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. The AP later dialed that back to one mosque, but never admitted error. I’d like to see pictures of those mosques — a possibility that Armed Liberal has dangled in front of us for days. Pictures like that would be a hard fact that we could compare to Jam(a)il Hussein’s story — and if they contradict him, then Owens’s lack of corroboration for 40 other stories takes on new significance. […]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » Does the AP Have a “Scandal” on its Hands? (421107)

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

    Patterico’s Pontifications » Breaking: Jamil Hussein Has Been Found (421107)

  62. […] But after an Iraqi Army patrol went to the mosques in question, the AP later appeared to back off of this claim, saying that they had corroborated claims of a burning at one mosque. […]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » Kaus Sums It Up (421107)

  63. […] I should note that there is a question about the fourth mosque. As I noted on December 19, a military press release from November 25 “appears to discuss a mosque not named in the AP story: Al Meshaheda.” That sounds like “al Mushahiba” (the fourth mosque mentioned in Michelle’s piece) but not like “al-Qaqaqa” (the one named in the AP story). I have e-mailed Michelle about this and she is following up. […]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » AP’s Destroyed Mosques: Not Destroyed (421107)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.1094 secs.