AP: CENTCOM to Call Out Fake "Burned Alive" Source Tomorrow

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Nov 29, 2006 5:16 PM

Via Pajamas Media, LGF has word that CENTCOM and Iraqis are planning to address the Capt. Jamil Hussein matter tomorrow:

Sir:

I have just learned from Mr. Costlow, mentioned below, that Brig. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf, the official Ministry of Interior spokesmen, will begin his regularly scheduled press conference at noon tomorrow with a statement that Capt. Jamil Hussein, is not a Baghdad police officer or an MOI employee.

See Dub points out that the AP, in its rewritten "burned alive" story, implied that the blog storm set off by questions about Hussein might have been, umm, encouraged by a P.R. company paid to represent the American military.

The dispute comes at a time when the military is taking a more active role in dealing with the media.

The AP reported on Sept. 26 that a Washington-based firm, the Lincoln Group, had won a two-year contract to monitor reporting on the Iraq conflict in English-language and Arabic media outlets.

That contract succeeded one held by another Washington firm, The Rendon Group. Controversy had arisen around the Lincoln Group in 2005 when it was disclosed that it was part of a U.S. military operation to pay Iraqi newspapers to run positive stories about U.S. military activities.

So the AP would like to insinuate that this blog-storm was somehow seeded by a DC media-relations group? That's the only reason I can see that they would bother to include this little aside. Which is pretty laughable, you know.

Like I said, I'm not really even that offended by this insinuation because the AP's credibility has been wounded and they're just flailing around desperately looking for someone to blame it on besides themselves.

Allah, always the one to call the dogs off the delicious red meat, looks at the new witnesses in the new story and finds them convincing:

It’s true that the five other victims weren’t named, but the witness did say they all belonged to the al-Mashadani tribe. It’s also true that one of the original witnesses recanted, but only after someone from the Iraqi defense ministry paid him a little visit. And then there’s this, from the new AP story:

On Tuesday, two AP reporters also went back to the Hurriyah neighborhood around the Mustafa mosque and found three witnesses who independently gave accounts of the attack. Others in the neighborhood said they were afraid to talk about what happened…

Two of the witnesses — a 45-year-old bookshop owner and a 48-year-old neighborhood grocery owner — gave nearly identical accounts of what happened. A third, a physician, said he saw the attack on the mosque from his home, saw it burning and heard people in the streets screaming that people had been set on fire. All three men are Sunni Muslims.

The phony police captain is important but the veracity of the story is more important, and it doesn’t turn on him. Unless I’m missing something there are only three ways the witnesses could have independently corroborated each other: (1) it happened the way they said it happened, (2) they got together beforehand, made up a story about six Sunnis being burned alive, and made extra sure to get their details straight in case some reporter came calling, or (3) the AP deliberately put them up to it or invented the story whole cloth, witnesses included. Occam’s Razor says it’s number one; to believe it’s number three, you have to believe the AP is capable of journalistic fraud on a scale that’s an order of magnitude beyond what we’ve seen from the media, as bad as they’ve been.

Update: This accidentally got published before I was done opining, but the links a updates above are all good. I'll opine later.