Thursday, December 21, 2006

Paging Jamil Hussein II

While the "sphere" continues to search for the now infamous Capt. Jamil Hussein, Curt at Flopping Aces has a full scale UPDATE. Also Powerline and Big Lizzards have re-entered the fray.

From Powerline:

The saga of Associated Press source Jamil Hussein continues. Hussein has been cited in no fewer than 61 AP stories, most or all relating to violent incidents in pretty much all quarters of Baghdad. The AP has consistently identified Hussein as a "police captain," and has named two police stations with which he allegedly has been associated.

The controversy began when the AP used Hussein as its chief source for a sensational story about six Sunnis being dragged from a mosque and burned alive by a Shia militia. Doubts were expressed by the Iraqi government, as well as the U.S. Army, about whether the incident occurred, and official Iraqi sources stated further that there is no "police captain Jamil Hussein" in Baghdad.

Michelle Malkin sums up the current state of the search for the elusive Captain Hussein. Suffice it to say that it appears increasingly improbable that such a person exists. Given that he has ostensibly been in frequent contact with AP reporters--frequent enough to be cited as a source at least 61 times--it is hard to understand why the AP is apparently unable to produce him. Also, to the best of my knowledge Captain Hussein has not been used as a source by the AP since the controversy became public. Why not? Will he ever appear as a source again? If not, what inferences can we draw? (complete post)

Dafydd at Big Lizzards draws a parallel to AP's alleged fabrications in the story of a Lieutenant Kije:

In a 1927 short story by Yury Tynyanov, a Russian general is reading a report to Czar Paul I; the czar mishears a word and thinks the general is talking about a "Lieutenant Kije," who sounds like a brave and brilliant fellow. Czar Paul demands to hear more about him.

As it is death to contradict the czar, the general makes up several wonderful missions and adventures of the entirely fictitious Lieutenant Kije. Soon other commanders join in the fun; eventually, there is an entire cottage industry of Kije sightings, Kije adventures, and Kije romances. Lt. Kije eventually gets married -- and while the czar never seems to run into the fellow himself, the soldiers sure do enjoy all the vodka the czar supplies!

The story was turned into a movie in 1934 by Aleksandr Fajntsimmer, with music by Prokofiev (the music is much more famous than either the movie or the story). (complete post here)

Michelle Malkin has an excellent post up titled Tracing "Jamil Hussein's" footsteps and ignoring anti-blog hatred Please go and read the whole recap.

From AP:

"The Iraq war is one of hundreds of conflicts that AP journalists have covered in the past 160 years. Our only goal is to provide fair, impartial coverage of important human events as they unfold. We check our facts and check again."

"That is what we have done in the case of the Hurriyah attack. And that is why we stand by our story."

Kathleen Carroll, Executive Editor and Senior Vice President. The Associated Press

I certainly hope Ms. Carroll doesn't expect us to start looking back at 160 years of reporting "truthful" events. This may take a little time.

UPDATE: I found this little tidbit of tripe from CBS/AP: (Public Eye)?? :

It appears the "big guns" are circling the wagons and blaming both sides for the bias. (When ya refuse to find fault, always best to point the finger at both sides):

"In that sense, the outlets that exist for the explicit purpose of rooting out bias - liberal or conservative -- don't necessarily help so much. Certainly, biases exist, and sometimes they are reflected inappropriately. But if you're looking hard enough for bias one way or the other, you'll probably find it - maybe even both ways." (complete post)

Major news sources have just as much at stake here for the obvious reasons. With the like's of Mapes, Rather, CNN and Jordan, and now AP, how much of "historical facts" will need revision?

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