Sunday, December 03, 2006

AP vs Centcom

While AP still insist that the Six Sunnis Burned Alive story is true, many still doubt it. AP also is going to the mat with their defense of their source----Capt. Hussein. From NRO:

CENTCOM vs. AP Dispute Remains a Standoff (complete story)

It's tempting to write off, as some already have, the ongoing dispute between CENTCOM and the AP as just another MSM non-scandal stirred up by those crazy right-wing bloggers. For instance, take this raving nutjob from that notoriously conservative rag, the New York Times:

So Just Who Is Capt. Jamil Hussein?

Against the backdrop of the civil war, occupation, Baathist insurgency, sectarian conflict, and struggle against terrorists in Iraq, to borrow a few descriptors, in addition to the historic meeting between President Bush and Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki today, another battle is brewing. This one pits conservative bloggers and the military's communications machine against the Associated Press and the media at large. At the center of things is one police Capt. Jamil Hussein. Mr. Hussein was the primary source in an Associated Press wire-dispatch last Friday reporting that Shiite militiamen had "grabbed six Sunnis as they left Friday worship services, doused them with kerosene and burned them alive near Iraqi soldiers who did not intervene."

The one thing that remains unclear, though, is this: The Associated Press said in its story yesterday that Mr. Hussein "has been a regular source of police information for two years and had been visited by the AP reporter in his office at the police station on several occasions." The military, meanwhile, seems to suggest that Mr. Hussein is not a police officer, nor a civil servant in the employ of any Iraqi agency.

So who IS Mr. Hussein?

Good question. Despite statements from CENTCOM and an official spokesman for the Iraqi government, the AP is sticking with its initial answer:

As stated in AP's November 28 news story, this captain "has been a regular source of police information for two years and had been visited by the AP reporter in his office at the police station on several occasions."

"Navy Lieutenant Dean's statement seems to suggest that the news media should work solely from a government list of 'authorized sources.' But a free press cultivates a wide range of sources. That's what AP did in this case, as it always does."

Wrong. Dean did not argue, or even suggest, that the news media should work solely from approved sources. All he said was that the AP's source in this instance does not appear to be who he claims to be. 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?

My sources, (who have requested to remain anonymous),have told RovinsWorld that Capt Jamil Hussein is a figment of AP's imagination. Does this mean that AP has been fabricating storys (generated by Hussein) for over TWO YEARS? My request to AP would be----if the tooth fairy is real---prove it!

The National Review Online also posted this story (released by AP):

Iraqi Ministry Sets Up Team to Monitor News Reports

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- 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 Khalaf, spokesman for the ministry, said the purpose of the special monitoring unit was to find "fabricated and false news that hurts and gives the Iraqis a wrong picture that the security situation is very bad, when the facts are totally different."

He said offenders would be notified and asked to "correct these false reports on their main news programs. But if they do not change those lying, false stories, then we will seek legal action against them."Khalaf explained the news monitoring unit at a weekly Ministry of Interior
briefing. As an example, he cited coverage by The Associated Press of an attack Nov. 24 on a mosque in the Hurriyah district in northwest Baghdad.

The AP threw in this paragraph at the end:

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.

The reporter appears to be implying that this utterly banal PR initiative is a return to the bad old days of Saddam. Doesn't anyone at the AP read this stuff and think, "Wow. If we run something this hyperbolic, we're going to look really, really foolish." Apparently not. (h/t Mark E.)

While many here may say that this (monitor reporting staff) will be the first step in restricting news and events happening in Iraq, I would suggest it will be welcomed by many more who are sick and tired of reading propaganda supplied by the enemys of the Iraqi people, (and the U.S), and being told that everything reported is "the truth".

How many other times have these storys (produced by Capt Hussein) over the past TWO YEARS been nothing but fabrications? Has this single source been the primary source for what AP has supplied to the media across the world for the past two years? If Capt Hussein is nothing but an imposter (recruited by our enemys) who has supplied AP with nothing but total fabrications, how are we to judge the events that have transpired in Iraq for the past two years?

How many other "Capt Husseins" have been an intrical part of AP's reporting?

Can AP answer any of these questions before their credibility as a prominent news service ends up on another "please flush the toilet" sign in our port-ta-poddys?

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin has a Dec 4th post that sums up the current affairs with AP on this story. (And more questions are being asked)

UPDATE ll: Bizzy has a sumation here:

"Sorry, Mr. Zeller, AP, et al. Just off the top of my head, I am “legitimately curious” why “Jamil Hussein” stays in the shadows, why no one can name or produce the five of six who allegedly died, why the morgue is said to have no records of these deaths, why no one can find any relatives of the five to talk to, and why there is apparently no local news coverage naming the dead to cite. And I am “legitimately curious” as to why an allegedly “venerable, trusted” news agency that can’t or won’t answer these simple questions has any right to claim more credibility than the military, where people who commit dishonest acts receive disciplinary action instead of Pulitzers."


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