Patterico's Pontifications


A Gruesome Taste of Things to Come

Filed under: General,War — Patterico @ 7:40 am

The L.A. Times reports that “at least 71 corpses were found in the streets of Baghdad” yesterday:

Iraqi soldiers killed 30 suspected insurgents in a furious gun battle Saturday in downtown Baghdad, authorities said, in what appeared to be the opening salvo of a new plan by Prime Minister Nouri Maliki to secure the capital.

Maliki announced the new effort to end bloodshed in Baghdad on Saturday, five months after the U.S. military launched a plan to quell sectarian fighting that is widely regarded as a failure. Killings have steadily increased in the capital as insurgents and Shiite Muslim militia death squads continue to operate with impunity.

Maliki’s speech, to commemorate Iraqi Army Day, took place on a day when at least 71 corpses were found in the streets of Baghdad, one of the largest such discoveries in a civil war in which scores of bodies turn up daily.

Most of the victims had been bound, blindfolded, tortured and executed with gunshots to the chest or head. Twenty-seven of the bodies were found near the Sheik Omar cemetery, a Sunni Arab burial ground in downtown Baghdad. Some of the victims had been strangled.

Many of the dead were presumed to be the victims of Shiite death squads, police sources said.

Tell me: if we simply abandon Iraq to the enemy, will these death squads stop?

If you believe that, you are living in a fantasy world.

I have said that the war in Iraq was a mistake. But even if you agree with me, that doesn’t dictate how we deal with the aftermath. As I said yesterday, if we simply beat a hasty retreat, we will be setting up Iraq for a terrible disaster. In some ways, we are already doing this.

The gruesome discovery yesterday is just a hint of what’s to come, when we finally do repeat the ignoble end of Vietnam.

Final Catblogging

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:30 am

Kevin Drum has done his last catblogging, as his cat suddenly died recently. (h/t Bradley J. Fikes.)

I am not a fan of cats in general, but I remember how traumatic it was for Mrs. P. to lose her cat, and how sad I was when I learned that our family dog had died.

My sympathies to Kevin.

L.A. Times Corrects Errors in Article About Litvinenko Killer Polonium-210

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 7:07 am

The L.A. Times ran this correction yesterday:

Polonium-210: An article Monday in Section A about the radioactive isotope that killed Russian ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko said that traces of polonium-210 had been found in the U.S. and Europe; no traces have been found in the U.S. The article called polonium-210 the most stable of the element’s isotopes; two isotopes are more stable. The article said polonium-210 completely decays into lead after about three years; about 99.9% decays in that time.

Courtesy of Cathy’s World commenters “doug” and Bradley J. Fikes, I told you about two of these errors on January 3.

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.

Jamil Hussein Not Necessarily Arrested — Reports of His Arrest Appear to Be Based on a Misunderstanding

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:52 am

There’s a rumor spreading that Jamil Hussein has been arrested. I can’t say whether he was or not, but if you’re getting your information from this Jawa Report post, or this Flopping Aces post — whether directly or indirectly — I think you’re the victim of a misunderstanding.

In the Jawa Report post, Rusty Shackleford says:

Curt at Flopping Aces [has] this and more from a source in the Civilian Police Assistance Training Team:

. . . .

….MOI officials have now questioned Captain Jamil Ghlaim at MOI headquarters. Ghlaim continues to deny speaking to AP or any other media outlet.

Rusty seems to be saying that Curt’s CPATT source is saying that Ghlaim has now been questioned at MOI headquarters — the implication being within the past day or two. But this is a misreading of Curt’s post, which is not particularly clear. Curt quotes an e-mail from a CPATT representative, and later has this passage:

Additionally, this may very well be the same guy that the MoI had believed was the Jamil Hussein we were looking for last week but he denied on December 21st that he was ever a source for the AP:

my CPATT sources informed me today that MOI officials have now questioned Captain Jamil Ghlaim at MOI headquarters. Ghlaim continues to deny speaking to AP or any other media outlet.

When you read that quote, it initially reads like it could be Curt claiming that his CPATT source says Ghlaim has been questioned recently at MOI headquarters. It’s not. It’s Curt quoting this December 21 post from Michelle Malkin, which said:

Meanwhile, my CPATT sources informed me today that MOI officials have now questioned Captain Jamil Ghlaim at MOI headquarters. Ghlaim continues to deny speaking to AP or any other media outlet.

It’s the same language. That language originated from Michelle Malkin’s December 21 post, not Curt’s recent post.

In other words, Curt isn’t saying that his CPATT source told him Ghlaim was recently questioned. Curt is just saying that the man identified by the MOI as being Jamil Hussein, al-Khadra cop, may be the same guy who (according to Michelle Malkin’s CPATT sources) denied being the AP source back in December.

Got it?

So hold your horses, everyone. Maybe Hussein has been arrested — but these posts don’t prove it.

I tried leaving a comment at Rusty’s site to this effect, but couldn’t post. I e-mailed him, but there has been no update. Now my comments section is swimming with the rumor. This post is merely an attempt to nip that rumor in the bud.

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