January 04, 2007

Game On: AP Claims Jamil Hussein Is Real, Faces Arrest

Well now, aren't things just getting lively?

The Interior Ministry acknowledged Thursday that an Iraqi police officer whose existence had been denied by the Iraqis and the U.S. military is in fact an active member of the force, and said he now faces arrest for speaking to the media.

Ministry spokesman Brig. Abdul-Karim Khalaf, who had previously denied there was any such police employee as Capt. Jamil Hussein, said in an interview that Hussein is an officer assigned to the Khadra police station, as had been reported by The Associated Press.

The captain, whose full name is Jamil Gholaiem Hussein, was one of the sources for an AP story in late November about the burning and shooting of six people during a sectarian attack at a Sunni mosque.

The U.S. military and the Iraqi Interior Ministry raised the doubts about Hussein in questioning the veracity of the AP's initial reporting on the incident, and the Iraqi ministry suggested that many news organization were giving a distorted, exaggerated picture of the conflict in Iraq. Some Internet bloggers spread and amplified these doubts, accusing the AP of having made up Hussein's identity in order to disseminate false news about the war.

We'll get to those accusations momentarily, but lets jump down to the end of the article.

Khalaf did not say whether the U.S. military had ever been told that Hussein in fact exists. Garver, the U.S. military spokesman, said Thursday that he was not aware that the military had ever been told.

Khalaf said Thursday that with the arrest of Hussein for breaking police regulations against talking to reporters, the AP would be called to identify him in a lineup as the source of its story.

Should the AP decline to assist in the identification, Khalaf said, the case against Hussein would be dropped. He also said there were no plans to pursue action against the AP should it decline.

He said police officers sign a pledge not to talk to reporters when they join the force. He did not explain why Jamil Hussein had become an issue now, given that he had been named by AP in dozens of news reports dating back to early 2006. Before that, he had been a reliable source of police information since 2004 but had not been quoted by name.

When contacted for a response moments ago, the U.S military (MNF-I PAO) stated:

Mr Owens,

The validity of the AP story below has not been confirmed at this time.

As it is just several hours after midnight in Iraq, the key players in MNF-I PAO were probably caught in bed, something probably not entirely surprising to the Associated Press. I question the timing.

As far as the AP's story goes, it does raise some very interesting questions, and I think I'll have a very entertaining weekend trying to make sense of it all (which is part of the fun of blogging; I'm loving this).

So it appears Jamil Hussein may be real. Good. that means there is a real person to question regarding 61 mostly uncorroborated stories provided as exclusives by Hussein to the Associated Press.

This includes the story that made him (in)famous, where Hussein and the AP claimed 24 people were killed--six by being pulled from a mosque, doused in kerosene, and purposefully burned alive, where the other 18 merely died in an "inferno" at another mosque under attack--during a series of four mosque attacks. In later AP stories, the four mosques trickled down to one, and 18 of the 24 dead mysteriously disappeared, without the Associated Press releasing a retraction or a correction.

I can hardly wait to see where this leads. Is "Jamilgate" over?

Heck no. It's just getting good...

Update: Allah encapsulates things nicely:

I speculated about a mix up due to the conventions of Arabic names back on November 30th, mainly because Khalaf himself had initially been included on Centcomís list of suspect sources. But that got eaten up by the other (still outstanding) questions: How is it that Hussein was able to comment on attacks all over Baghdad, including some far away from his precinct? How come the AP dropped the detail about four mosques being burned when it was challenged after their first report? Why couldnít Bob Owens find corroborating stories from other media outlets on so many incidents sourced to Hussein? And why werenít Armed Liberalís sources, Eason Jordanís sources, and Michelleís sources collectively able to find this guy? I said last week in writing about Zombieís response to HRW re: the Israeli ambulance attack that ďIíve reached the point where, when one of these blogstorms kicks up, I half-hope the media will produce the smoking gun that proves them right, just so we can have a little faith that theyíre covering sensational incidents with due diligence.Ē Well, hereís the smoking gun. And while I have more faith now in the AP, I have less faith in the certainty of any information I get from Iraq. It took six weeks, with multiple people checking, to confirm the mere existence of a guy whose name, rank, and location were publicly known ó and the issue would still be in doubt if Khalaf hadnít come clean.

Update: Michelle has a nice cross-section of comments in her post on the subject.

The more I look at this, the more I realize that Mickey Kaus got it right:

Capt. Jamil Hussein, controversial AP source, seems to exist. That's one important component of credibility!

Yep, they've got a source that seems to exist. Kathleen Carroll now has the same level of credibility as Mike Nifong. For her sake, I hope she can build a more convincing case.

01/04/07 Update: Corroboration! Sure, it isn't in English and only addresses one story of 61 sourced to Jamil Hussein, but it is a start.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at January 4, 2007 07:05 PM | TrackBack

Excerpted and linked at CENTCOM says AP's "Iraqi police source" isn't Iraqi police -- Part 29. Color this old dog very, very skeptical. So, the Iraqi Police may or may not arrest some dude and claim he's Jamil, then they may or may not put him in a line-up where the AP people can claim "Yes we see him but we aren't going to identify him; must protect our sources, y'know," and we're all supposed to just forget about all those sole-sourced stories that still don't check out? And our source for all this new-found knowledge is ... the AP?

Posted by: Bill Faith at January 4, 2007 07:20 PM

A simple "I was wrong, I apologize" would have sufficed.

Posted by: The Kenosha Kid at January 4, 2007 07:54 PM

Speaking of retards.........

cgui you may just pass the test.

If Bush had drafted you nephew and he absolutely did not want to serve but went, served and died you may not look so idiotic.

As it is you have "sheehanned" your nephew who though I do not know him, is a hero in my eyes.

Posted by: Luke at January 4, 2007 07:54 PM

cgui's comment was deleted for profanity, as many liberals comments are. I'm locking this thread for about an hour while I hit the gym, and while open it again when I get back and can moderate.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at January 4, 2007 08:00 PM

comments back open.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at January 4, 2007 09:36 PM

Can't you, at long last, show the tiniest shred of decency, and just admit that you were wrong? Can't you do that?

Didn't think so.

Posted by: Hed at January 4, 2007 09:59 PM

"A simple "I was wrong, I apologize" would have sufficed."

Well, that's what so many have been trying to get outta the AP for botching the "story," what with no bodies, no smoldering mosques, and no muliple sources.

But does it apologize? Noooooooooooooooooo.


Posted by: Rick at January 4, 2007 10:02 PM

I'm concerned about Captain Hussein's safety at this point.

Posted by: Jackmormon at January 4, 2007 10:03 PM

Seriously, the ink isn't even dry on those newly discovered records. For $10,000 in the right place I could get Captain Kangaroo or the Easter Bunny listed in the Dade county records as a Miami cop.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at January 4, 2007 10:04 PM

Not only are you guys 100x worse than a Dan Rather, when it comes to pushing phony stories that you wish were true, you also seem to have 1/100th the integrity.

You wingnuts are so over.

Posted by: Chick Rainey at January 4, 2007 10:10 PM

Why don't we wait and see what happens next, rather than jumping to conclusions?

Posted by: Assistant Village Idiot at January 4, 2007 10:21 PM

And the timing.


Do you think the AP strongarmed the Iraqi police to give up Jamil .....

Just when Michelle Malkin is about to go over there?

Sounds really fishy to me.

Posted by: Daniel at January 4, 2007 10:25 PM

People who want the bloggers to "admit they're wrong" keep forgetting that the then-missing Jamil Hussein wasn't the big issue. He only became an issue when the burning mosques and the burning people became suspect (to put it mildly). Given he sourced the story which appears to be at least exaggerated, and possibly completely false, "who and where is this guy who has sourced some 61 other stories" becomes a very logical question. I'm delighted they found him. Now some people (other than the AP) need to talk to him and find out what the game was and if the 61 (or whatever number) other stories had any credibility either. And, if he was intentionally fanning the flames of sectarian violence with false stories, it might be nice if that came to light. At best, the AP did at least one lousy job of fact checking (the burning mosques and people), and at worst they were dupes in a game intended to cause damage. It would still be nice to know what this dude's game was, and to see him punished for it if it was intentionally provoking more violence in an already violence ridden Baghdad.

Posted by: irishlad317 at January 4, 2007 10:50 PM

AP was right. CENTCOM was wrong. You were wrong. So your conclusion is that you should continue to doubt the AP while believing what you've been told about the situation in Iraq by CENTCOM. I see. Just remember, none of your posts were titled "AP Source Slightly Miscounts Number of Dead In Horrific Baghdad Slaughter", they were all about Jamil Hussein's lack of existence, so don't try to pretend that the controversy was about something else now.

BTW Rick (in comments), the US military confirmed at least one of the smoldering mosques and there are pictures confirming it so you might want to try to move the goal posts a skosh more.

Posted by: Mojo at January 4, 2007 11:07 PM

My local news just reported that a couple of guys had their legs blown off when a bunch of iraqi kids threw multiple grenades into their vehicle. it wasn't even the top story locally.

I don't think the ap, or anybody, has to make up horrific acts and tragedies over there. There's plenty. Unless channel 7 news in arkansas is in on the fraud, as well.

Iraq is a fiasco. If you can't see that, you have a problem.

Posted by: DL at January 4, 2007 11:14 PM

Bill said: And our source for all this new-found knowledge is ... the AP?

Well bill - the source is actually the interior ministry. AP is the news organization. And i just bet you if the interior ministry didn't say what was reported by the ap, they woulda denied it.

Posted by: DL at January 4, 2007 11:18 PM

Gotta love the last comment: "[he was also a] reliable source of police information since 2004 but had not been quoted by name."

They're saying he was reliable!? on what basis?--that he reliably would have a new shocking story every week? LOL

Posted by: alfonso at January 4, 2007 11:21 PM

see, this is what I love about wing nuts. The idea of being personally responsible for the crap they publish, and the effect it has, just totally ESCAPES them!

Take this blogger, who has beens screaming for weeks that the source never existed.

He was, in fact. WRONG. The Shiite thugs running Iraq LIED. Centcom LIED. And Malkin, Confederate Yankee, et al, fell for those lies, hook, line, and sinker.

In fact, they get this Iraqi police captain - who has been a long-standing source for the AP - arrested, probably tortured, and possibly killed. They did that. His blood is on their hands.

Yankee and Malkin and the rest of the Deluded, cling desperately to the "the media is making it all up" fairy tale, because they still refuse to face the undeniable reality of the situation.

Here are the FACTS: Bush lied the country into war and then screwed it up totally. The situation in Iraq is WORSE than has been reported by the American Media.

And this whole mess is completely, totally, and uniquivocably Bush's fault.

Keep frantically spinning your fairy tales, guys. The rest of the country has long since faced reality - eventually you will have to, too.

You'll just have bloodier hands than the rest of us.

Posted by: reality-based at January 4, 2007 11:25 PM

Well, if we're going to play rhetorical games, would you be willing to state, then, Mojo (et. al) that:

"Jamil Hussein exists, therefore EVERYTHING he has said regarding the conditions in Iraq and EVERYTHING the Associated Press has reported regarding those conditions with Jamil as the single source are wholly true or at the very least unintentionally exaggerated or falsified?"

Will you be willing to state that? Yes or no?

Hint: Jayson Blair reported some things correctly, too. He was still a fraud.

Posted by: Grayson at January 4, 2007 11:30 PM

Wow, it doesn't take much bait to get them out of the woodwork, does it?

"Slightly miscounted" mosques were burned to the ground/one door was slightly vandalized. Anyone other than me see something more than a "slight" reporting error here?

18 people were murdered in cold blood, six men were dragged out into the streets and doused with kerosene and burned to death while coalition forces watched and did of the sort happened at all. Anyone other than me see something more than a "slight" reporting error here?

A regular police officer in an area around Northwestern University in Evanston is reporting as the sole source about events in Hyde Park near the University of Chicago, about events near Comiskey Park, near Wrigley Field, near Chicago Stadium and in Naperville. The sole source. Does anyone other than me have even the slightest curiosity as to how he knows the intimate details of these events...BEFORE anyone else does?

And is anyone the least bit concerned when it is PROVEN that he's dead wrong?

Not among the leftists. He exists, therefore he's "truthy".

The real question is "What did Jamil not know and when did he not know it".

Posted by: cfbleachers at January 4, 2007 11:49 PM

"reality-based," do you have the first clue what you are talking about?

AP--not any blogger--has been broadcasting Jamil Hussein's name since April 24, 2006. If anyone set him up for a fall because his identity was revealed, it was they. If he is to be arrested, then you admit he broke the law, and is not a very trustworthy police officer. As for the torture/death angle, that was already refuted in the AP's own report. Odds are that he will walk.

As for who lied, when, and how, that still remains to be seen, and you can rest assured we'll do what we can to get to the bottom of it, as I have attempted for the past several weeks. As a prime example, I just obtained evidence in an Arabic online outlet that corroborated one of Hussein's 61 stories. To date, AP never attempted to do the same, nor has anyone else. Why? I want to know the truth, while you cling to BDS so tightly your knuckles are turning white.

Do you even know a soldier or marine that has been to Iraq? I'm guessing you don't, because one thing the overwhelming majority of them that I've heard of, and every single on I've met has shared, has been the comment that the media is covering the war so incorrectly (whether through bias, infiltration, or incompetency sems to be the big debate) that when they see the media reports, they get very angry, becuase it is like they are not even reporting the same war.

You got a clue who Pat Dollard is? He was a Hollywood agent who quit pimping the pretty people to go film the war. He got blown up twice, saw Marines he befriended die. He's putting out a documentary series on the war, and while he was in Iraq, he saw firsthand how inaccurate the media was, as they reported his death. He wrote to me a little while ago:

It's vastly common knowledge in the media that stringers are not widely reliable sources of information. I remember standing in the Ramadi Government Center days before the last election, while CNN and Reuters were reporting that the place had just been overrun, and we were all maybe dead. It was an odd day, because not even a shot had been fired there. I found out about the CNN and Reuters story because an ashen young Marine came back from the little phone room, upset because he had just spent 20 minutes calming down his hysterical wife who had heard the report. The report had been fed to Reuters from one of their many insurgent stringers; and the stringer was intent, as many are, to issue propaganda in support of his insurgent comrades.

You don't know jack.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at January 4, 2007 11:58 PM

Keep in mind guys, the AP has already admitted their original report was wrong, as the U.S. military asserted. The U.S. government issued a passport to Mohammed Atta AFTER 9/11, so I'm not surprised Iraq's government (which has been for all of what? three years?) initially had trouble finding him.

Jamil Hussein only became interesting when he couldn't be found, and his existence only began to be questioned due to the AP's ineptitude in producing him. The fact they finally have just makes you wonder how they can be that incompetent, and that doesn't inspire confidence in anything they report.

Also, there's the unresolved problem of how Jamil Hussein could have been the source for 61 stories in many districts. It seems likely he was just repeating what he heard on the grapevine.

Posted by: TallDave at January 5, 2007 12:00 AM

"""It took six weeks, with multiple people checking, to confirm the mere existence of a guy whose name, rank, and location were publicly known ó and the issue would still be in doubt if Khalaf hadnít come clean."""

Stange admission considering the word "credibility" has been thrown around a lot in regard to this story.

And despite the fact that with all these people trying their best to even merely confirm the existance of a named person assigned to a fixed location in Baghdad for six weeks, and they couldn't even achieve even that, they are somehow encouraged in by the fact that they will do better now that he has been threatened with imprisonment for talking to the press without authorisation.

Honestly, you could really only have brought less to the table in terms of research ability if you couldn't find Baghdad on a map. And somehow none of it is predictable. Yeah stay tuned for another exciting chapter in the ongoing series:
"Stories that cannot be confirmed by bloggers with no ability to confirm them"

Like any other outcome was possible. Sheesh.

Posted by: Tank at January 5, 2007 12:11 AM

I can't tell if Tank is denigrating bloggers, the AP, or both.

Posted by: Slartibartfast at January 5, 2007 12:14 AM

Do you think the AP strongarmed...

AP can't "strong arm" anyone. They can however park a Mercedes in someone's driveway and hand'em the keys, or hand'em a sack full of cash and write it all off as a business expenses.

I have personal experience with bribery in the city of Boston. Back around the early 80's, $500 in a brown lunch sack persuaded certain city officials in the Ray Flynn administration to move mountains in minutes expediting certain construction permits. Ask the manager of the Back Bay Hilton how the permits for their walkway canopies were obtained...BRIBES. A $500 bribe to be exact. Delivered in a brown paper lunch bag.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at January 5, 2007 12:32 AM

That was fairly obvious to predict. Also easy to predict is that somehow the AP will be blamed for several amusing weeks of wingnut reindeer games.

Posted by: jpe at January 5, 2007 12:40 AM

Just curious: What kind of legal documentation is recorded/available in Iraq? Are hospital records available? Are death certificates issued? Are autopsies conducted? Are even primitive crime scene investigations conducted? Other than verbal police reports and eyewitness accounts -- and the occassional on-the-scene video, what exists to substantiate anything?

Posted by: Rueful at January 5, 2007 01:20 AM

game on? Game, set, match to the AP. Great shame to Malkin, et al

Posted by: FP at January 5, 2007 01:35 AM

Um, Yankee?

First, for the record, I know a lot of folks serving - all of whom say that the situation is much WORSE than the media has reported.

A direct quote from one: "There are at least twenty horrible things happening around Bagdhad on any given day - some a lot worse than the burning mosque. Everybody know it happened, the AP didin't make it up - but so many people get slaughtered every day in this city, it's old news by now. "

Second, you did not respond to my point that the Iraqi Ministy of the Interios - AKA, Yours and Malkin's trusted source - is controlled by Muqtada Al Sadr's Mahdi Army thugs - you know, the folks who are shooting 20-100 Sunnis in the head every day, and dumping the bodies around Baghdad.

So let's recap, shall we?

1. Shiite thugs from the Minstry of the Interior set Sunnis Mosques on fire and burn some Sunis alive. The AP reports the story, giving many sources, one of whom was Jamil.

2. The Ministry of the Interios - AKA, the Madhi ARmy thugs who perpetrated the crime - deny that the crime occurred, or that the named witness exists. Centcom repeats those lies.

3. Malkin, Yankee, et al, swallow this guff whole, and spend the next month screaming that Jamil does not exist.

4. The Ministry of Interior now announces that Jamil DOES exist, but will be arrested - a blatant threat and, I imagine, a warning to everyone not to talk to the media in the futre.

5. The wing-nut-o-sphere - having swallowed a bunch of Mahdi Army lies whole, and having been proved laughably, horribly, gullibly wrong - so that they are the object of even more derision than usual by those of us in the reality-based community - starts frantically trying to deny they ever said what they said, or did what they did, and oh, Muqtada al-Sadr's guys are STILL telling the truth, and the AP is STILL Lying.

really, its laughable.

and you're "so if he's arrested he must have done something wrong" argument - oh, PLEASE! Do you think all of the murdered Sunni bodies who turn up in Baghdad day after day - most murdered by Al Sadr's thugs in the Ministry of the Interiors - were all ARRESTED FOR CRIMES?!?!?

I would like to ask one question, though -

Why were you and Malkin so eager to accept the word of Muqtada Al Sadr's boys? Are you a big fan of them, or something?

I would expect your next post to at least ADDRESS the fact that the Iraqui Ministry of Interior - your source on all this - is run by the Mahdi army (AKA, your preferred source. )

Posted by: reality based at January 5, 2007 03:24 AM

What kind of legal documentation is recorded/available in Iraq?

Well, at a minimum if you want to get paid, someone has to have a physical record that you're like...actually on the job.

So far, nobody, not AP or the Iraq govt has waved such a record around for the cameras. For that matter they haven't even waved some old burger wrappers around and tried to fake it.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at January 5, 2007 03:32 AM

If the Iraqi Interior Ministry took nearly three bloody weeks to figure out 'oh wait, we do have an employee of this name on our payrolls', maybe Iraq has achieved a level of bloated bureaucracy that they need in order to be a fully successful nation. I salute you, Iraq, for successfully succeeding where other nations have failed! Godspeed!

Posted by: Viola Johnson at January 5, 2007 03:35 AM

What Reality Based said.

It really IS just a game to you, isn't it, CY?


Posted by: Jody at January 5, 2007 04:06 AM

I don't get the posts that somehow believe this is resolved... what are you guys reading?

Posted by: Ali at January 5, 2007 08:11 AM

Heh. Watching the moonbats try to argue is fun!

Look, there was a reason why people were trying to find this guy. The reason was that the stories weren't adding up. "Reality Based"'s arguments that, "well, so many bad things are going on that it's easy to believe" is just so much more "fake but accurate" baloney.

Now that he's been found (apparently) we can begin asking the real questions--like his being used as a source for so many disparate stories across Iraq. Again, the AP still doesn't have a reasonably explanation for this. These moonbats are acting as if his existence was the only issue at stake. AP's unwillingness to answer its critics is what caused the stir, but the questions haven't even begun to be answered yet.

Many of the stories featuring Hussein were badly sourced otherwise. Even "Reality Based" has to admit that (unless, as I suspect, he is not in touch with reality at all). Verifying the existence of a named source shouldn't be a problem. It wasn't an unusual request, given the doubt surrounding the story. If AP had done its job, the question would have been answered a long time ago.

But evidently there are some out there who are all too eager to think the press unable to make such mistakes. What planet do they live on?

Posted by: ern at January 5, 2007 08:12 AM

I don't seem to remember that the AP reversed their story on the 6 immolations. They did admit that 4 mosques had not been burned down...but stated it was only one. Now we find that the entrance to that mosque shows some damage, but was not burned down.

There is no evidence of any immolations. None. Except some "eye-witnesses" who refuse to be named, and an Imam that recanted his story. The other news agencies have their "eye-witnesses" who say that the immolations did not occur. I guess reality-based would claim that they are all run by the Muqtada's boys too, since they are saying the same thing the Ministry is.

The questions that have to be asked about Captain Tenille...uh...I mean Jamil...are what gave him the right to talk to the news about "rumors" he had heard? Are you really expecting us to believe that he went to all these sites and investigated? How does a cop in Brooklyn know the specifics of an investigation in Queens? It does not make sense. But then again, maybe (and I can speculate just as easily as you reality-based) Jamil is being paid by the Baathists to plant news stories. That is as likely as any other explanation at this point - and seeing as he was the only one that reported this happened, well - applying occams razor - it is more likely that he was wrong.

But, the thing is, that now he can be questioned by multiple people about the stories he reported on. I know - you think asking him questions is "torture". Let's hear what he has to say.

I find it amazing though that the AP sat on this until Malkin (who I do not read often) issued her challenge to Kathleen Carroll. Why didn't AP just take the guy by the ear and go to the Ministry when he was first questioned as a source? That would have saved a lot of hassle.

Posted by: Specter at January 5, 2007 08:15 AM

Hmmm. It took AP this long to bribe some Iraqi into claiming that he's the missing man? Of course they had to train him about what to say when he's asked about those 61 other stories, and that could take time.

I'll wait and see if there's any reason to believe that the guy's genuine. Maybe he is, maybe he isn't. If he is, somebody will have a good opportunity to grill him about those other stories. Maybe he's genuine, but just a liar. We'll see.

I certainly won't take anybody's unsupported word for anything about this case. Does that make me a wingnut?

Posted by: tom swift at January 5, 2007 08:19 AM

Tom Swift - "I certainly won't take anybody's unsupported word for anything about this case. Does that make me a wingnut?"

Short answer: yes. Now can we please go back to real news, like why every month you see the news item "More US troops have died in ever-increasing violence this month since the month of XXX in 2004" and why Bush's half-hearted "surge" isn't going to do diddly-squat to get us on any road to victory.

Posted by: J. at January 5, 2007 08:51 AM

Well, at a minimum if you want to get paid, someone has to have a physical record that you're like...actually on the job.

The Iraqi armed forces are full of "ghost battalions" in which officers pocket the pay of soldiers who never existed or have gone home. "I know of at least one unit which was meant to be 2,200 but the real figure was only 300 men," said a veteran Iraqi politician and member of parliament, Mahmoud Othman. "The US talks about 150,000 Iraqis in the security forces but I doubt if there are more than 40,000."

Posted by: The Kenosha Kid at January 5, 2007 09:31 AM

the validity of the story has been confirmed...

ap's source is jamil hussein.

Posted by: allen at January 5, 2007 10:07 AM

game? you are truly an idiot.

Posted by: bc at January 5, 2007 10:14 AM

"BTW Rick (in comments), the US military confirmed at least one of the smoldering mosques and there are pictures confirming it so you might want to try to move the goal posts a skosh more."

Gotta get your Mojo working to move the goalposts yourself. A somewhat singed wall on one mosque versus four gutted mosques. No burned-alive bodies. And *I'm* moving the goalposts? Nosirree. The Spirit of Dan Rather/Mary Mapes--"Truthiness is All That Matters"--moves the whackjobs still.

I love how the moonbats here, fully reality-based, of course, believe CENTCOM's reported unfamiliarity with super-witness Jamil=conspiracy to deny his existance. I may be wrong, but I don't believe it's their business to be aware of every Iraqi police officer, even of substantial rank.

The MOI is a different story, and bears watching. But it's credibility is scarcely worse than AP's.


Posted by: Rick at January 5, 2007 11:11 AM

"Jamil Hussein only became interesting when he couldn't be found, and his existence only began to be questioned due to the AP's ineptitude in producing him. The fact they finally have just makes you wonder how they can be that incompetent, and that doesn't inspire confidence in anything they report."

This "producing him" stuff is confusing to me. Newspapers don't generally "produce" their sources. They quote them in stories, and if they use their names, others can presumably try to find them. But the source doesn't work for the newspaper, has no particular reason to be directed by the newspaper to show up at any place or to have a phone conversation with any person.

If you go ask a reporter to put you in touch with his source, he probably won't do so unless the source has oked that contact.

Posted by: William Swann at January 5, 2007 11:18 AM

Yankee when you get to the bottom of the story on the other hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis from freedom seeds, let us know. The world is riveted to this fascinating truth-seeking story.

Posted by: naked lunch at January 5, 2007 11:30 AM

What William Swann said.

You wingnut tools haven't got a CLUE what's involved in war coverage, do you? You do understand that journalists are being killed while they're trying to report the news from Iraq, don't you? And you have the gall to propose that this is all a "game"? What on earth is wrong with you?

Yes, please, Mrs. Malkin, go to Iraq. Find out "the truth." By all means. Take the NRO clowns and the rest of these smirking doughy-faced cowards of the 101st Fighting Keyboarders who think this is all a game with you. We're eager to hear the results of your unbiased, professional reporting.

Posted by: MzNicky at January 5, 2007 11:34 AM

Congratulations AP, after six weeks you have finally met the absolute MINIMUM standard in attempting to verify this story. You have, probably, proved that your single source is a living breathing Iraqi Policeman. You still have not been able to prove why the original story was so inaccurate. I would hope that AP would continue to investigate the matter, particularly focusing on stringers like Qais al-Bashir, but I am afraid that they will consider the matter closed.

Posted by: BohicaTwentyTwo at January 5, 2007 11:46 AM

Yes "ern", please go over there and ask Mr. Hussein all the questions that only you right-wing bloggers in your anti-"liberal msm" fever frenzy have been dreaming up. While you're at it, maybe you can help get him out of jail, and possibly, escape the country, as I'm sure he is now, thanks to all of your ranting gibberish, a quite juicy target for some insurgents who might like him to shut up.

Posted by: Xanthippas at January 5, 2007 12:05 PM

"...a quite juicy target for some insurgents who might like him to shut up."

A man is cited 61 times as a source in one of the world's foremost news agencies, but only now is he in danger from the insurgents? Why? Is is usefulness finished?

Moonbat-world is a special place, for sure.


Posted by: Rick at January 5, 2007 01:01 PM

Does anybody know where I can get a bumper sticker that reads "I'd rather be a wingnut than a moonbat"? This whole thread just makes me want to get one.

Posted by: Dan at January 5, 2007 01:04 PM

The Iraqi armed forces are full of "ghost battalions" in which officers pocket the pay of soldiers who never existed or have gone home.

Sure, that's fine and all. There however records, even if they're fake, when someone makes a payroll.

AP and the MOI have yet to produce even fake records.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at January 5, 2007 01:38 PM

I, like William Swan, find this "producing him" stuff confusing.

The burden of proof falls on the accuser, not the accused.

Those making accusations must provide proof to substantiate those accusations.

He who charged that the police captain doesn't exist must prove that charge.

Now that the Iraqi MOI has recanted, and has said that Capt. Jamil Hussein is indeed on the payroll, there seems to be no evidence to support the charge that he was a fictional character.

This recantation casts doubt on statements of fact made by the MOI.

Charges based on MOI statements must now be subject to a higher standard of proof.

Conversely, AP's statement that Hussein exists has been verified.

In the absence of proof that Capt. Hussein was a fictional person, the charge must be dropped.

If there are other subsequent charges against The AP that proceed from the original charge that Capt. Hussein was fictional, those charges will now be harder to prove.

But again, it is upon those who choose to make charges to supply the proof. The burden is on them.

Posted by: Ego Nemo at January 5, 2007 01:50 PM

Jumping into the snakepit, I'll emphasize personal responsibility. Personal responsibility is the key to solving most of the problems men make for themselves, and in a professional organization like AP, personal responsibility is very clearly assigned through the laws and bylaws governing each of the actors involved in suspect reporting.

Each of the AP journalists, editors, ombudsmen and assorted honchos knows what his own personal responsibility is, and he must act on that responsibility. I'm no journalist, but I expect that the demands of responsibility require, at minimum, that these people work to verify and then publish all work-product records of the suspect 61 stories: releasing all to the public, or at least to investigative reporters not associated with AP. Also Hussein should be produced, in the flesh and on camera, to confirm all he's said.

It's a problem of trust. The AP principals have to get off their duffs at long last, and exercise personal responsibility to solve that problem. So far they've refused to do so. I don't accept their excuses, and neither should anyone else.

(On the lighter side, I see Jamil Hussein is bravely reaching out to the world, even though he's now held in deepest, darkest incommunicado. Check out his, ahem, heroic blog.)

Posted by: tex at January 5, 2007 01:50 PM

Ego Nemo: I, like William Swan, find this "producing him" stuff confusing. The burden of proof falls on the accuser, not the accused.

Then let me unconfuse you.

A professional news organization has produced a batch of stories that are distinctly suspect.

At this point professional responsibility kicks in. The principals must investigate, verify, reconcile, punish, publish, etc., so as to remove suspicion and regain the public's trust.

Unlike a legal case, in which an accuser bears the burden of proof, in matters of journalistic integrity it is the news organization which is on the hook.

Personal responsibility: it's hot.

Still confused?

Posted by: tex at January 5, 2007 02:04 PM

"The burden of proof falls on the accuser, not the accused"

Wow. That's a new one. The AP makes outrageous claims of burning mosques and Sunni massacres. They're called out on their sources, and the burden of proof falls on THOSE WHO CALL THEM OUT?

Of course, you probably think Mike Nifong is being abused as well. How DARE anyone question his motives! What PROOF do they offer of prosecutorial misconduct?

It's a fascinating pathology, moonbattery: The presumption of innocence is paramount, except when applied to the critics of modern liberalism. It is incumbent upon those who question the authority of the AP to provide evidence that they are lying, not for the AP to provide evidence it isn't.

Except, of course, for that pesky self-imposed obligation of the AP to document it's sources. I guess it's really more of a guideline, not a rule.

Oh strange new world...

Posted by: gumbi at January 5, 2007 02:25 PM

Ok I think I got it now. AP should have locked him up so they could produce him if someone questioned his existence.

The fact that they said exactly who he was and the MOI lied about it makes them in the wrong.

Got it.

Thanks Tex

Posted by: crack at January 5, 2007 02:27 PM

"The fact that they said exactly who he was and the MOI lied about it makes them in the wrong."

Crack (me up),

MOI was wrong to either lie about Hussein, or be so inept at personnel matters that he was unheard of to them.

AP was wrong to take dictation from a single source, particularly after a number of his scoops didn't check out with other news organizations. The Baghdad police may be paying Jamil Hussein, but that's not necessarily who he's working for. Think "Rove," in reverse.


Posted by: Rick at January 5, 2007 03:09 PM

crack: The fact that they said exactly who he was and the MOI lied about it makes them [i.e., the MOI] in the wrong.

No, it shows that somebody in the MOI doesn't take personal responsibility, either.

It doesn't lighten AP's dutiful burden by a feather. Had they done their job, they could have answered all questions authoritatively at the start. As things stand now, all 61 stories are still as suspect as before, and we enjoy more photos of Bigfoot than we do of Jamil Hussein. Go figure.

gumbi: It's a fascinating pathology, moonbattery: The presumption of innocence is paramount, except when applied to the critics of modern liberalism. It is incumbent upon those who question the authority of the AP to provide evidence that [AP is] lying, not for the AP to provide evidence it isn't.

Right on, gumbi. So often they put up the facade of aggrieved victim, regardless of the merits of the criticism. I'd say the behavior of the most talented and public moonbats was reasonable -- if, that is, they were in the pay of foreign governments intent upon breaking the will of the West. But with few exceptions, I think that's not the case. Instead the behavior seems pointless and merely self-destructive: hence pathological -- gumbi's correct word.

Is there a clinical psychopathologist in the house?

Posted by: tex at January 5, 2007 03:13 PM

"And why werenít Armed Liberalís sources, Eason Jordanís sources, and Michelleís sources collectively able to find this guy?"

Because they don't have the official AP cape, secret code ring, password, or any super powers. Only genuine AP Journalists can wear the SuperJ cape and with their clairvoyant vision see what "really" happened.

Sheeesh, I thought *everyone* knew that.

Posted by: crosspatch at January 5, 2007 03:46 PM

Slightly OT, but... as regards those few exceptions to the rule of innocent moonbattery:

Many of the apologists for the Iranian regime are suspect, most especially those who were released from Iranian prisons and allowed to emigrate under murky circumstances. Many of these one-time protesters compromised themselves and their families to win their freedom, and are now living under the extorting thumb of the mullahs. So when an Iranian exile tells the press, "The mullahs are evil, but you can't really do anything about them because...", be suspicious.


Also I harbor less concrete doubts about the innocence of our older anti-war moonbat journalists, intellectuals and bureaucrats. You know, in the 60's and 70's, and in some cases even 80's, European (and to a lesser extent, American) anti-war movements were heavily infiltrated and subsidized by Soviet agents. A lot of ambitious young people compromised themselves in the process. Now they're in positions of power: in the press, academy and EU bureaucracy. And I wonder if the current FSB-cum-KGB isn't still pulling their chains, to make them moonbat in the most useful way. Is European moonbattery psychopathology, or the extortion of a compromised position? That's an open question in my mind...

Reference: The former acting chief of Romania's espionage service lays out some Soviet anti-war disinformation history at National Review. Excerpt:

KGB chairman Yuri Andropov managed our anti-Vietnam War operation. He often bragged about having damaged the U.S. foreign-policy consensus, poisoned domestic debate in the U.S., and built a credibility gap between America and European public opinion through our disinformation operations. Vietnam was, he once told me, "our most significant success."...

The KGB campaign to assault the U.S. and Europe by means of disinformation was more than just a few Cold War dirty tricks. The whole foreign policy of the Soviet-bloc states... revolved around the larger Soviet objective of destroying America from within through the use of lies. The Soviets saw disinformation as a vital tool in the dialectical advance of world Communism....

As far as I'm concerned, the KGB gave birth to the antiwar movement in America. In 1976, Andropov gave my own Romanian DIE credit for helping his KGB do so....

Do y'all have other and more detailed examples of paid/extorted moonbattery? Enquiring minds want to know...

Posted by: tex at January 5, 2007 04:21 PM