The Questions Still Remain

I'd never quite appreciated how amusing the Leftist swarm could be until last night and this morning, where an Associated Press report
that Iraqi Interior Ministry spokesman Brig. Abdul-Karim Khalaf had
finally, at long last confirmed the existence of Captain Jamil Hussein
hit the wires, and liberals around the country (and around the world)
conflated Hussein's ability to exist with the veracity of his claims.

The illogical leap this took—to purposefully decide that someone's
state of existing is an immediate and overwhelming vindication that
everything he claimed was true—is massive in its undertaking, and truly
staggering to behold. Rarely have so many been willing to overlook so
much in the simple hope of being able to say—or in many cases shriek—"I
told you so!"

But the simple fact of the matter is that simply existing does not grant validity to the stories that several someone’s purport to have occurred.

The accuser in the Duke Lacrosse rape case assuredly exists, but it
is her multiple stories and the lack of evidence that throws her
accounts of what happened on the night of March 13, 2006 into question.
She has presented multiple accusations, and multiple versions of her
accusations, and yet, nearly the overwhelming majority of people
following the case to any degree feel she probably falsified the events
she reported. The feel this way because her story kept changing, and
while there should have been copious evidence to support her claims, none has thus far been found.

And so it is with the on-going Associated Press scandal that started
with the claim of one Iraqi Police Captain by the name of Jamil Hussein
on November 24, 2006.

Karl, a guest poster at Protein Wisdom provides an excellent and well-documented summary of the events leading us to this point.

It is a history both intertwined with the existence of Captain
Hussein as a long-running Associated Press source, and separate, in
that so many of the claims made by this accuser seem to have no basis
in fact. As these claims have become problematic, the Associated Press
has quietly attempted to write them out of existence without an
acknowledgement that these claims were unsupported, without issuing a
retraction, or even so much as a correction. In their dogged pursuit of
faith-based journalism, they are praying that no one will notice that
they have presented a story that reeks of incompetent and biased
journalism from bottom to top.

Regardless of Hussein's existence, Kathleen Carroll and the
Associated Press have much to account for in their varying,
oft-changing accounts of what happened on November 24 in the Baghdad
neighborhood of Hurriyah.

In the span of less than a day, they claimed that Iraqi soldiers
allowed the alleged murders of two dozen of their fellow citizens right
under their noses, that four mosques were attacked with
rocket-propelled grenades, heavy machine guns, and assault rifles, and
then these four mosques were set on fire and blown up, with a total of
24 Sunni civilians burned to death.

How do we know this? Because the Associated Press tells us so in a story published around the world.

Jamil Hussein, and Jamil Hussein alone, stated:

Iraqi soldiers at a nearby army post failed to intervene in Friday's
assault by suspected members of the Shiite Mahdi Army militia or
subsequent attacks that killed at least 19 other Sunnis, including
women and children.

To the best I can determine, not another source made such a claim,
and yet the Associated Press felt that this single-source claim was
enough to level such an inflammatory charge.

Further down in the same Associated Press account, they run the
following accusation, again apparently single-sourced to Jamil Hussein:

In Hurriyah, the rampaging militiamen also burned and blew up four
mosques and torched several homes in the district, Hussein said.

Has the Associated Press brought forth another witness to buttress this claim? On the contrary; the Associated Press has since backed away from such a claim... and it is not the only one.

In the very same article, the Associated Press cites the following account:

Two workers at Kazamiyah Hospital also confirmed that
bodies from the clashes and immolation had been taken to the morgue at
their facility.

This is a fascinating "fact," in that Kazamiyah Hospital does not have a morgue,
but instead a freezer, as stated by the same Iraqi General that now
vouches for Jamil Hussein's existence. Any dead at Kazamiyah Hospital
are transported by the police to the Medical Jurisprudence Center at
Bab Almadham. Is this general credible, or not? I'll leave that for you
to decide.

But even that troublesome and apparently incongruous statement pales
in comparison to the next single-sourced claim regurgitated by the
Associated Press:

And the Association of Muslim Scholars, the most influential Sunni
organization in Iraq, said even more victims were burned to death in
attacks on the four mosques. It claimed a total of 18 people had died
in an inferno at the al-Muhaimin mosque.

So who is this organization called the Association of Muslim
Scholars? The Associated Press cites them as a single source, and yet
leaves out this very important detail found in Wikipedia:

The Association of Muslim Scholars... are a group of Sunni Muslim
religious leaders in Iraq. The Association is believed to have strong
links with Al-Qaeda terrorists.[citation required]

They did not recognize the U.S. appointed government as legitimate
and have at times questioned any democratically elected government and
democracy itself. They have previously asked for withdrawal of American
troops, who they accuse of causing the deaths of over 30 000 Iraqis
since the war began. They publicly support Al-Qaeda and support the car
bombs and the sectarian violence.

Do you think that having such strong alleged tied to al Qaeda might
warrant a mention by the Associated Press, if for no other reason than
to establish that they might be providing a potentially biased account?
If you though so, you obviously disagreed with the Associated Press.

But the apparent affection between al Qaeda and the AP's
single-sourced statement is far from being the only item of note in
this paragraph; indeed, they make the very specific claim that "18
people had died in an inferno at the al-Muhaimin mosque."

In another version of this story, the Associated Press claims
specifically that the Ahbab 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. There is zero
evidence that any of the mosques were assaulted in such a manner, and
only the Nidaa Allah suffered minor fire damage from a molotov cocktail
easily extinguished by an Iraqi fire company.

Military units in the area late claimed the al-Muhaimin mosque was
never attacked at all. Within days, the 18 people that "died in an
inferno" quietly left AP's narrative, never to be seen again, as did
the allegations of attacks on all the mosques but Nidaa Allah, which
suffered only minor fire damage. To this day, neither Jamil Hussein nor
the Associated Press has told us which mosque the “burning six” were
pulled from, a relevant fact that again, somehow slipped away from the
AP, unnoticed.

And so we now find ourselves in a curious position, where AP claims
to still stand behind their reporting on one hand, while on the other,
dropping the number of alleged fatalities from 24 to six, and the
numbers of mosques burned and blown up from four to one.

The Associated Press has not even begun to account for how their
story has shifty almost completely from one account, into another story

They claim to still stand behind their reporting... but which reporting would that be?

Cross-posted at Confederate Yankee.

Iraq Associated Press Media Scandals Fake News