November 30, 2006

Tonight’s Jamil ‘Captain Tuttle’ Hussein and AP (Always Paranoid) Update

Let’s see (go to Curt’s “UPDATE 1530hrs PST” at the link, and read the whole post to get fully up to date; UPDATE — It’s on the wires; also here):

  • Jamil Hussein has not made an appearance but has supposedly confirmed his story about the burning of the six Sunnis three times. Until we see him, he’s Iraq’s “Captain Tuttle” (one has to wonder if Mr. Hussein is destined to suffer Captain Tuttle’s tragic fate).
  • AP now admits that the part of the original story about four mosques burning is down to one that is “badly damaged by explosives and shows signs of scorching from fire.” I am not aware of any formal correctons sent out to AP subscribers to correct this stunning error.
  • No name identification of the remaining five alleged victims has been done. A person from AP who called me back in response to my phone request to speak with John Daniszewski, and my message left for him (my message was left with a person, not on his VoiceMail), confirmed this fact this afternoon. I informed this person that I was having a hard time believing that in roughly six days, some local Iraqi news outlet hadn’t published the names of the victims yet (that is, if there are really five other victims). I was told they’re “doing all they can.”
  • AP utterly failed to explain how their “story” can possibly be true in light of the following assertion by Brig. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf, spokesman for Iraq’s Interior Ministry: “Khalaf said the ministry had dispatched a team to the Hurriyah neighborhood and to the morgue but found no witnesses or evidence of burned bodies.”

And I’m sorry, AP’s last paragraph so over the top I wonder why they shouldn’t just be booted out the country for being immature, childish jerks:

Under Saddam Hussein’s regime, the government imposed censorship on local media and severely restricted foreign media coverage, monitoring transmissions and sending secret police to follow journalists. Those who violated the rules were expelled and in some cases jailed.

Y’know, Eason Jordan at CNN admitted it (a couple of years before he falsely accused the US military of “targeting journalists“), but surely other media outlets were willing to self-censor their Saddam-era coverage of Iraq to maintain their precious “access.” What Iraq’s Interior Ministry is asking is a courtesy that is no different than any other municipal police department would request and receive, namely that they (the police, and by extension the military in this case) be allowed to have their side of the story presented before news outlets go off half-cocked and issue incomplete and possibly inaccurate reports about what may or may not have happened when incidents take place. Without the context from the police (or military), the chances that errors in reporting will take place are greatly increased. Since the errors and lies in Iraq appear to routinely exaggerate the level of violence and mayhem, and to routinely falsely claim or exaggerate the degree of civilian casualties, AP’s and others’ inaccurate reporting could very well be feeding the anger that leads to the violence. Why should I not think that this is exactly what AP wants?

It seems to me that AP and the rest of the press in Iraq prefers to get their uncorrobated, uncontextualized stories out as fast as they can before the police or military can even respond. Thousands of news outlets therefore get rumors and, as has already been shown in some cases, demonstrable lies passed off as “news.” If they end up being exaggerated, or not true, it’s “oh well,” and nothing else happens. And then these people have the nerve to play the freedom of the press card as the main element of the story (“Iraq Ministry Forms Unit to Monitor News”)? Horsecrap.

The past two weeks have shown anyone with open eyes that it has never only been about the suppression of good news, which has been going on for years. No, it’s much worse than that. The press blindly passes on spin and propaganda from the enemy and questionable (if even existing) sources, and dismisses or ignores what our military or the Iraqi government says. This isn’t journalism; it’s subversion.

The lesson is that no reporting out of Iraq that does not give at least equal play to the military’s or government’s version of events can be believed. Policymakers and planners who are placing any reliance on unbalanced media reports out of Iraq are gullible and dangerous fools.


UPDATE: Other voices –
- Brutally Honest: “Ballsy bastards, eh?”
- USA Today’s On Deadline has an update.
- Hot Air: “…. nothing more than “fake but accurate” with the “fake” part as yet unsettled.”
- SeeDubya at Junkyard Blog: “The answer appears to be that he doesn’t really exist, at least as a Police Captain. But even if he did, AP’s defense is no defense. It just affirms their incompetence.”
- A Syria(s) insight from Dan Riehl.
- Michelle Malkin, at the current end of her day-long post, has confirmed with Centcom that Brig. Gen. Abdul Kareem Khalaf Al-Kenani is legit. See AP? That wasn’t so difficult.
- Dean Esmay totally misses the point in so many ways, and his commenters let him have it. Not four mosques, Dean — ONE. No names of five victims, etc., etc.
- Stephen Spruell at NRO’s Media Blog says “it remains a standoff” (perception, yes; reality, no), but adds this question: “Given our enemy’s goal of driving us from Iraq by undermining domestic political support for our mission there, shouldn’t the AP be making more of an effort to explain fully to its readers just who the hell this guy is?Well yeah; that’s why it is objectively NOT a standoff, Steve.
- Blue Crab Boulevard: “(AP) could have actually done themselves real harm this time. One can but hope.”
- Don Surber’s demand from earlier today stands: “OK, show him. Until then, I can only conclude he does not exist.”
- Confederate Yankee: “In short, we aren’t questioning all of AP’s stories based upon a single story, we are questioning a broken methodology that lead to such a story. There exists in the media’s reporting in Iraq no effective editorial checks at the very root level of reporting, to verify that the most basic elements of the story are indeed factual, much less biased.”
- Ace: “AP dodges the issue, stating they merely erred by calling him an official police spokesman. But that’s not the charge: The charge isn’t that he’s not a spokesman. It’s that he’s not a cop at all.”
- Allah at Hot Air, in the process of vetting the acknowledged difficulties with name similarities, characterizes the final paragraph of the AP report (the Saddam comparison) in his inimitable way as “undistilled douchebaggery.”
- LGF: “(AP) refuse(s) to deal with this endemic rot, even though the corruption has been exposed over and over again.”

UPDATE 2: Curt at Flopping Aces has a direct Q&A answer to the “burned bodies” question at his “UPDATE 1545hrs PST”:

Q There is conflicting news about burning six people in one of the Baghdad neighborhoods. What is the truth about this incident?

A This is another rumor; we dispatched our forces to the area where the rumor claimed the burning took place and found nothing. We also send a team to Al-Dab Aladly (medical center) and I was in touch with this center. No one can confirm any burned, dead body was received. MOD also has no information about this incident, either.

UPDATE 3: Countercolumn — “Kathleen Carroll, You May Resign Your Post.” Carroll is the same person who criticized the critics of Green Helmet Guy and the fauxtography in Lebanon. She was shown to be a complete fool, and her news organization exposed as a complete tool. The AP’s Board of Directors needs to be asking serious questions, assuming they don’t want to see the American press’s print circulation drop faster than Carl Lewis used to sprint.

UPDATE 4: Gateway Pundit and Strategy Page have a tremendously important question about the validity of recent death toll claims in Iraq.

UPDATE 5: More (to be updated continually for a while) from Democracy Project; Right Wing Nut House; a soldier checking in with American Thinker (“A review of the databases that painstakingly record every single incident in Iraq shows no evidence or report of the event. It is hard to believe that something as momentous as this would have escaped the notice of both the U.S. military and the entire Iraqi government.”);



  1. CENTCOM and Iraqi Governent say AP’s “Iraqi police source” isn’t Iraqi police…

    Continued from this post As promised: Iraqi spokesman says AP police source is phony; Update: NYT blog picks up the storyAllahpundit Centcom said he’d mention it at today’s MOI presser, and so he did:[W]e have some of the respected news…

    Trackback by Bill's Bites — November 30, 2006 @ 9:44 pm

  2. Thanks for the research and comments. We need you.

    Comment by Doug from Brady Lake, Ohio, USA — November 30, 2006 @ 9:45 pm

  3. [...] Courtesy of BizzyBlog: [...]

    Pingback by » Blog Archive » Tonight’s Jamil ‘Captain Tuttle’ Hussein and AP (Always Paranoid) Update — November 30, 2006 @ 9:48 pm

  4. Iraq to Combat the AP…

    As best they can:Iraq’s Interior Ministry said Thursday it had formed a special unit to monitor news coverage and vowed to take legal action against journalists who failed to correct stories the ministry deemed to be incorrect. Brig. Gen. Abdul-Karim…

    Trackback by Brutally Honest — November 30, 2006 @ 10:04 pm

  5. Getting The News From The Enemy, Update IV…

    HT Flopping Aces

    Here’s more on this developing story from Curt at Flopping Aces. I’m starting a new thread because the other was getting a little long in the tooth :-).

    AP issued a press release standing by it’s story. Iraq……

    Trackback by Rocket's Brain Trust — November 30, 2006 @ 10:24 pm

  6. [...] :::UPDATED:::Scroll down for original post::: Bizzy Blog has some very interesting information (confirmed by phone, it must be said) up at his blog. The AP apparently doesn’t know 5 victim names. This on top of the “4 burning mosques” seeming to be only 1. (H/T Larwyn) :::END UPDATE::: [...]

    Pingback by The Anchoress » An “I dood it” roundup! - UPDATE - — November 30, 2006 @ 11:01 pm

  7. [...] Hell, they can’t even find the supposed names of those who were burnt: (via BizzyBlog) [...]

    Pingback by Flopping Aces - Backup — December 1, 2006 @ 12:39 am

  8. So you’d rather believe a tool of the Bushite’s Lincoln Group
    news management ops than the AP. Some patriot. I can see why this story would raise questions. Who could believe such barbarity could possibly occur in Iraq?

    Comment by Mickey Finn — December 1, 2006 @ 1:26 am

  9. #8, I’d rather believe the military and the OIM than the AP when the AP can’t provide the proof, won’t produce Hussein, and have already backtracked a major part of the story.

    The question isn’t whether something like this could happen (similar things HAVE happened in France, BTW), but whether or not this particular incident DID happen.

    And if you believe the AP without skepticism, you’re not only a tool, but a fool.

    Comment by TBlumer — December 1, 2006 @ 1:34 am

  10. Hmmmh…A government Ministry of Truth? Now that really sounds like a great idea! Maybe we should set one up here? To deal with the Daily Kos and Greewnwalds, at least.

    I wonder how severe the legal remedy can be?

    Comment by Ed — December 1, 2006 @ 11:34 am

  11. #10, kidding aside, we have a civil legal system with potental for redress if AP or others cross the line with deliberate and/or proven lies they won’t retract. All the Iraqis are saying is they want a similar system. Did anyone say anything about criminal prosecution? Uh, I don’t think so. So what justification is there for the Saddam comparison? NONE.

    Comment by TBlumer — December 1, 2006 @ 11:54 am

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