January 17, 2007

Back From Iraq

The Hot Air crew of Bryan Preston and Michelle Malkin are safely back from Iraq and their embed at Forward Operating Base Justice, and are rolling out reports pretty fast and furious.

Michelle previews their reporting with video from Baghdad in her latest Vent, and also provides commentary on, in a post titled, Back From Baghdad.

Bryan Preston begins an analysis of his view of what they learned in Assessing Iraq on Hot Air.

Michelle notes that the soldiers at FOB Justice would welcome MSNBC's Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews as embeds, and I'm fairly certain that MSNBC could probably pick up the tab of such a trip.

Do you think they'll take up our troops on the offer?

Me neither.

Michelle and Brian also note in their reports that they did make it into Hurriyah, where the Associated Press still apparently maintains that 24 Sunnis were killed and four mosques were "burned and blew up" by Shia militiamen. Do you think they Associated Press is worried? I do.

After last week's bombshell that AP's source is not named Jamil Gholaiem Hussein as AP insists, but instead Jamil Gulaim "XX" (his second middle name and last name redacted) according to his personnel records, Linda M. Wagner, Director of Media Relations and Public Affairs for the Associated Press, contacted me within 1.5 when I pressed AP reporter Steven R. Hurst for confirmation.

She stated in part:

Steve Hurst passed your e-mail inquiry along to me. AP stands by the story below, which provides the full name of the source whose existence was acknowledged to AP by Iraq's Interior Ministry spokesman Brig. Abdul-Karim Khalaf in an interview on Thursday, January 4. I have bolded the relevant passages for ease of finding them in the text.

In short, they were standing behind the name Jamil Gholaiem Hussein. But did AP intend to stand behind all their claims made during their reporting of the Hurriyah incident, where AP reported a total of 24 people killed, and four mosques attacked, "burned and blew up?"

And so I sent the following questions to Linda Wagner yesterday afternoon:

I have some questions for you regarding the Associated Press' reporting of the Hurriyah reporting.

On November 24 and 25, 2006, AP reported four mosques--al-Mustafa, Nidaa Allah, al-Muhaimin and al-Qaqaqa mosques--were attacked "with rocket-propelled grenades, heavy machine guns and automatic rifles," before being "burned and blew up." These allegations were directly attributed to Iraqi Police Captain Jamil Hussein. Successive AP coverage has dropped all mention of three of the mosques. Does the Associated Press still maintain that four mosques were attacked in Hurriyah on November 24, 2006 with RPGs, heavy machine guns and assault rifles, and that these four mosques were burned and blown up?

The AP also cited the Association of Muslim Scholars as a source for a claim that at one of these mosques (al-Muhaimin) "18 people had died in an inferno" as a result of these attacks. Do you think it was responsible of the Associated Press to run these allegations considering that the Association of Muslim Scholars is alleged to have strong ties with both the Sunni insurgency and al Qaeda? Should AP have mentioned these ties to terrorist groups when it cited the AMS as a source? These 18 claimed dead have also disappeared for subsequent AP reports. Does the Associated Press still stand behind this claim they reported?

In both instances, if the Associated Press no longer feels these accounts are credible, don't you have a responsibility as an ethical news organization to print a correction or a retraction of these charges?

Further, I have seen written claims shortly after the first AP claims of an attack that AP Television has video footage of damage to the Ahbab al-Mustafa mosque, where AP source Jamil Hussein claims six men were pulled from the mosque and immolated. Does the Associated Press indeed have such footage? If so, why has it not been mentioned since November 30, and can I obtain a copy of that footage?

If the Associated Press does not have the video footage of damage to the Ahbab al-Mustafa mosque from the attack that left six men immolated, the why has the Associated Press not acknowledged this, and printed a retraction or a correction for this claim?

As you can see, my primary line of questioning is wondering why the AP has back of claims made in the first several days of reporting, without printing a correction or a retraction of these claims.

I'd also like to know if the Associated Press still stands behind the accounts sourced to Jamil Hussein by the Associated Press between April and November of 2006.

Thank you very much for your time.

So far, the AP's Director of Media Relations and Public Affairs that contacted me within 1.5 hours of my contacting another AP employee last week has been silent on this longer list of questions.

Perhaps teh Assocaited Press hasan inkling of what Michelle and Bryan's Excellent Adventure may mean to their Hurriyah reporting. I have a feeling we will all know very soon.

Update: Audio of Michelle's interview on The Laura Ingraham Show.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at January 17, 2007 10:30 AM | TrackBack


You are way off-base by expecting AP to answer your questions as quickly as they did the first time. To compare that response with not getting a response from your second list of questions is unfair and unreasonable.

It takes a lot of time and effort to create a tissue of lies that will skirt the issues you bring up, but still maintain the look pious infalibility they hide behind.

Cut'em some slack, CY. As the world's largest generator of BS, questions such as yours only server to constipate an otherwise effective mass s**t producer. Sit back, relax, and wait. I'm sure the fertilizer is on the way from these lying bastards.

Posted by: WB at January 17, 2007 11:18 AM

Linked ya. Looks like my welcome home post is going to turn into Part 39 of my Jamilgate series.

Posted by: Bill Faith at January 17, 2007 02:30 PM

Yeah, but how're you going to handle having blood of the XX family on your hands, you Chimpy wingnut? ; )

Funny how those "progressives" deeply committed to humanitarian values and Iraqi safety have fled CY. The median and average IQ of the commentariat is skyrocketing accordingly.


Posted by: Rick at January 17, 2007 03:00 PM

In the addendum to Bryan Preston's first essay on the trip and his impressions, there is a quick reference to our favorite Captain Redacted:

"In another case, as I was standing in front of a mosque shooting video thatís relevant to this whole AP/Jamil Hussein story"

I notice that it is not the rubble, burnt out remains or place where a mosque once stood, but an actual mosque that he was taking video of.

Could it possibly be that one of the four are still standing? Two of the four? All four?

I am sure that AP is digging furiously through its archives for their "footage" so they can compare notes.

This should be interesting.......

Posted by: RS at January 17, 2007 06:25 PM

That's a neat trick. You have to photo and proff and they don't know what you have. Bet they're sweating BB's by now.
String this out for days or weeks and keep them hopping to make up lies to cover their previous lies.
Great the see Michelle and everyone else back safe. The dhimmi's would have had all of you killed if they could have pinned down your location.

Posted by: Scrapiron at January 17, 2007 10:20 PM

Baghdad mosques are built of reinforced concrete not wood.
About 36000 civillians were killed in Iraq. Focusing on these 6 or 24 or 30 makes the rest of your arguments look weak. Time to move on.

Posted by: John Ryan at January 18, 2007 11:32 AM

I for one am interested in what the numbers really look like. Is it 6, 24, 30, maybe 0? As the numbers increase (or decrease as it appears in the case of this report) one gets a different impression of what is really going on in Iraq. Are the numbers true at all, inflated by a factor of 2? While no one will suggest that Baghdad isn't a dangerous place, and the loss of a single life is sad, 36,000 gives a much different impression than 18,000 or 12,000. If, in this one particular story, the number is 1/2, 1/3 or none at all, is it possible that this is the only report that could have been inflated?
Let's see.

I was under the impression that there were some very old mosques in Baghdad, some that might even pre-date reinforced concrete, but I will defer to you as you obviously know better. Funny thing though, in this particular report "rampaging militiamen burned and blew up four mosques". If the Captain and AP knew what you know, I guess they would have to change that to "blew up" only. Has to be a pretty hot fire to burn reinforced concrete, I bet!

I am sure that AP and the Captain would like everyone to take your advice and move on....but there just seems to be a few nagging inconsistancies here, don't ya think?

Posted by: RS at January 18, 2007 06:34 PM

Yes, but do you have any children serving in Iraq? If not, you must be silenced.

Posted by: Paul at January 19, 2007 09:38 AM

"Time to move on."

Isn't this what the liberals say each time one of their lies is about to be exposed? No, it's not 'time to move on' but time to reveal the TRUTH!!

Posted by: docdave at January 19, 2007 12:29 PM

"You must be silenced"

Paul, I wasn't sure if you were just being sarcastic.....but it did ring a bell that I have seen this type of logic follow that many AP reporters or MSM have children fighting in Iraq?

Posted by: RS at January 19, 2007 02:37 PM