January 08, 2007

What Happened to the AP's Hurriyah Mosque Attack Video?

Kathleen Carroll continues to attack those questioning her news organizationís ability to turn four burned mosques and several homes into one burned mosque, and their ability to turn 24 dead men, women and children into six, while still not acknowledging that they cited an al Qaeda-linked source to get the number up to 24 in the first place. The Associated Press and Executive Editor Carroll are still claiming to stand behind their reporting when the "facts" of the story have been rewritten in the neighborhood of 75-percent...

Oh wait, where was I going with this?

...Ah yes, I remember now.

Kathleen Carroll says she still stands behind the AP's reporting from Hurriyah.

There are reportedly just four mosques in the Hurriyah neighborhood, pulled from this 2003 map:


That would be the four mosque locations noted in the bottom left quadrant. Is it accurate? Perhaps, perhaps not. It is after all, three years old, and apparently generated by a U.S.-government agency known as the National Imagery and Mapping Agency . How accurately they map specific buildings in a foreign capital seems to be open for debate.

The AP claims four mosques in Hurriyah were destroyed:

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 gunmen attack with rocket-propelled grenades, heavy machine guns and automatic rifles. Residents said militiamen prevented them from entering burned structures to take away the bodies of victims.

Now, let's leave aside the inconvenient fact that apparently none of these mosques seem to have actually been destroyed, that American units no longer patrol this neighborhood, and that the Associated Press has decided to write three of the mosques out of their narrative by November 30, less than a week after the news organization's previous claims:

AP journalists have repeatedly been to the Hurriyah neighborhood, a small Sunni enclave within a larger Shiia area of Baghdad. Residents there have told us in detail about the attack on the mosque and that six people were burned alive during it.

Let's ignore that AP dropped the number of attacked mosques from four to one, and that the 18 dead people claimed by their pro-al Qaeda source have suddenly vanished from their reporting without correction or retraction. Let's instead concentration on this interesting detail from AP reporter Steven R Hurst (scroll down):

The attack on the small Mustafa Sunni mosque began as worshippers were finishing Friday midday prayers. About 50 unarmed men, many in black uniforms and some wearing ski masks, walked through the district chanting "We are the Mahdi Army, shield of the Shiites."

Fifteen minutes later, two white pickup trucks, a black BMW and a black Opel drove up to the marchers. The suspected Shiite militiamen took automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenade launchers from the vehicles. They then blasted open the front of the mosque, dragged six worshippers outside, doused them with kerosene and set them on fire.

This account of one of the most horrific alleged attacks of Iraq's sectarian war emerged Tuesday in separate interviews with residents of a Sunni enclave in the largely Shiite Hurriyah district of Baghdad.

The Associated Press first reported on Friday's incident that evening, based on the account of police Capt. Jamil Hussein and Imad al-Hashimi, a Sunni elder in Hurriyah, who told Al-Arabiya television he saw people who were soaked in kerosene, then set afire, burning before his eyes.

AP Television News also took video of the Mustafa mosque showing a large portion of the front wall around the door blown away. The interior of the mosque appeared to be badly damaged and there were signs of fire.

Somehow, I'd missed this where the AP specified that it was the Mustafa (Ahbab al-Mustafa) mosque where these men were abducted from and burned, possibly because in later AP stories and releases the exact name of the mosque was dropped. AP also says that AP television took video of the Mustafa mosque after it was attacked...

So why haven't we seen the AP video of the attacked mosque yet?

Why has that part of the Associated Press narrative disappeared? It seems odd that after being bombarded by critics for weeks because they haven't produced any evidence to back up their claims that they would pass on the chance to show the very evidence that they once seemed to think would bolster their claim.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at January 8, 2007 02:05 PM | TrackBack

Think they're saving it up like the Jamil Identity, to make critics look bad? Sounds like a job for Michelle Malkin or somebody honest, to go over and see and interview, to put up some photos or videos and not wait for AP to pull out their thumbs. No?

Posted by: nichevo at January 8, 2007 02:54 PM

Could it be that their video is actually from the known rocket attack in February, or from the time a couple o' years back when the parishoners themselves had a little "Oops!" while practicing home demolitions manufacture?

Posted by: Tully at January 8, 2007 04:09 PM

So NOW the story is....the small Mustafa mosque is the ONLY one that was attacked at all.

What happened to the 19 people, including women and children who were murdered according to Jamil, Jamail, Jamazel?

What happened to the homes that were burned? What happened to the other three mosques?

This Mustafa Mosque had the "door blown open" and was burned to the ground, right? 50 men who were unarmed and marching through the city claiming allegiance to Sadr for a quarter hour... did this and nobody fired a shot at them? They didn't get off a single shot? Really?

They marched and shouted and chanted for 15 minutes dressed in black and with ski masks, (were they expecting the annual Kennedy Downhill Slalom to break out???)...and nobody in this area that requires a "fortress" for its police off a shot at them? Really?

And then they blew up a mosque, dragged out six imams, went rampaging through the district murdering women and children and burning homes...and nobody got off a shot at them?

A videotape? A camera shot? Not one?

And then they sat there...and doused these six guys with kerosene...watched while they rolled around and burned in agony...then shot each one of them with a bullet to the head.

And nobody got off a shot at these guys? Really?

And they blew up and burned down the other three mosques (simultaneously?) not.

Is this really the story they are sticking with now? Because, (if they believed their own story)...wouldn't THEY be the ones to point out the hole in the mosque? The burned homes. If they believed their own story, wouldn't THEY be the ones to show the burn marks in the street (you can't burn a person alive without getting the heat to a level that would scorch the ground).

At least if we know what their story is and if THIS one is finally the one they are sticking with...we can begin to try to unravel the truth out of this mess.

So, let's get this straight now. They now are telling the story that ONE mosque (ONLY Al Mustafa) was blown up and burned to the ground.

And ONLY six people were immolated or killed. They are no longer STICKING BY THE STORY that 19 people INCLUDING WOMEN AND CHILDREN were murdered, and that three other mosques were blown up and burned to the that now the story?

If they believe their own story, wouldn't they be interested in following those leads? Which story are they standing by?

If I understand it correctly, Al Mustafa Mosque was blown up, set on fire...six imams were dragged out of there and doused with kerosene and set on fire.

Well, ok. If THAT'S now the story...then let's get on with it. Maybe some time later they can explain if they believe their own first story, their own second story, their own third story...or now this story. I mean...pick one...any one...and let's deal with that one.

Posted by: cfbleachers at January 8, 2007 04:40 PM

So why haven't we seen the AP video of the attacked mosque yet?

Jamil Hussein made off with it when it vanished.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at January 8, 2007 06:58 PM

This is what I wrote to one blogger who criticized bloggers for questioning Jamil Hussein's existence claiming they made the AP look good:
"With all due respect, I disagree with you. The questioning of Jamil Hussein's existense has helped to locate him. Maybe now he'll be questioned about his report, and believe me, he'll have some tough questions to answer. None of that would have happened if bloggers had not sought out Hussein. Besides - the ongoing criticizm of this story keeps it out in the open even longer and the longer this story goes on, the more the AP's report will be proven to be off the mark. Maybe some of it will be proven to be true, but a lot of it won't.
When bloggers saw how the stories were changing from day to day they rightly questioned the reliability of the report and the source. Someone needs to keep the mainstream press in check. The bloggers are doing it. The time when the media could slant the news without proving their stories, is up, thanks to bloggers. Now the media's got to be more careful about their reporting, which is good. The blogger's job is not to prove the media's is lying, but to show the inconsistencies in their stories and make them own up to their reporting. Kudos to the bloggers and hopefully they'll make the media own to every story they report. Jamil Huseein's report is just another blemish in the mainstream media's integrity, and it will be proven so in the coming weeks. The discovery of Jamil Hussein will prove to be beneficial to the blogging community, not harmful. Once again, there's nothing wrong with questioning the existence of a source if the story that source is giving has lots of holes in it and especially when this source (Hussein) has been in AP reports and no one elses and when this source knows too much about things that supposedly happened far far away from him."

Confederate Yankee, keep up the good work, question their reporting and their sources. Show the inconsitencies in their reports.Please don't shy away from it - your work is very valuable. Question them, question them and question them. The days of the media ruling public opinion with misinformation will hopely come to an end, if you will continue to volunteer your time to do the hard hard work.

Posted by: JP at January 8, 2007 07:34 PM

NIMA's mapping is accurate.

What they release for general use, however, may be edited or degraded. ;-)

Posted by: Molon Labe at January 8, 2007 08:58 PM

It must be another one of those "False But Accurate" deals.

Posted by: brando at January 8, 2007 11:09 PM

Excerpted and linked at Lt. Kije identified, facing arrest? -- Day 5.

Posted by: Bill Faith at January 9, 2007 01:36 AM

AP has only plugged up only the smallest of holes in their story, while other gaping holes still exist. Proving that Jamil Hussein, or whatever he calls himellf, exists still proves NOTHING, especially since Jamil Hussein does not even acknowledge that he is the source of the story.

Posted by: BohicaTwentyTwo at January 9, 2007 09:09 AM

'Course of Saddam was still in charge, Jamil would be.....dead. After hours and hours of torture and mutilation in Abu Ghraib, and a signed confession....Jamil would be DEAD. But, my friends on the left think that would be OK.

Posted by: Specter at January 9, 2007 02:41 PM