January 02, 2008

There They Go Again

Stop me if you've heard this before, but the Associated Press has run yet another exaggerated massacre story in Iraq based upon questionable sources they claim are Iraqi police officers.

On Monday, AP ran the claim:

A suicide bomber attacked a checkpoint manned by a group fighting against al-Qaida in Iraq, killing 12 people in one of a series of strikes Monday against the largely Sunni movement singled out by Osama bin Laden as a "disgrace and shame."


In the most serious attack against one of the groups Monday, a suicide bomber drove a minibus rigged with explosives into a checkpoint in Tarmiyah, 30 miles north of Baghdad, police and a member of the local awakening council said.

The explosion killed 12 people, said Adil al-Mishhadani, a member of the council. The council commander, who gave his name only as Abu Arkan for security reasons, said later that the dead included three children on their way to school and nine council members.

Three people were missing, Abu Arkan said.

Not so fast. MNC-I states that only two civilians (not 12) were killed in the attack, two were injured, and two civilians (not three) were missing.

Once again in this article, the Associated Press used anonymous Iraqi Police officers of dubious credibility to make up the bulk of their sourcing, with journalists apparently being nowhere near the scene.

As a result, the number of false reports of massacres and exaggerated reports of attacks in Iraq by the media seems to be on the rise.

Perhaps we should consider this trend the media's "surge?"

Posted by Confederate Yankee at January 2, 2008 10:07 AM

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross over at Counterterrorism Blog has a pretty good article up about how the AP seems to be confused between the Awakening Councils and Concerned Local Citizens (CLC) groups.

To paraphrase:

While the Awakening councils are on the US payroll under the CLC program not all the CLC groups are part ofthe Awakening Movement. Some are former members of the IAI (Islamic Army of Iraq) and the 1920s Brigades that have yet to recognize the elected Iraqi government as legit.

As for the skewed numbers - it seems even Iraqi officers know that Western media would rather buy a spectacle than accurate, but possibly boring, news.

Posted by: Dan Irving at January 2, 2008 11:43 AM

The hard right has been complaining about the MSM for 40 yeas. They used to just come right out and say that the ***s control Media and Hollywood, but now they use code words.

Posted by: John Ryan at January 2, 2008 02:08 PM

Thanks for proving Godwin's Law for us, Mr. Ryan.

Please leave now, before you embarrass yourself further.

Posted by: C-C-G at January 2, 2008 10:00 PM

The hard right has been complaining about the MSM for 40 yeas.

And the hard left complains about the right dominated media.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at January 3, 2008 06:39 AM