CENTCOM had warned the AP about Hussein and other questionable sources they were using, but was rebuffed by the wire service organization. The AP's sensational story of the burning Sunnis was cited by NBC as a reason they decided to start calling violence in Iraq a "civil war." The source, "police captain Jamil Hussein," has been quoted in wire service stories since April of this year.
Michelle Malkin has the details of a press conference held today by Iraqi Brigadier General Abdul-Kareem, speaking for the Iraqi Minstry of the Interior:
From CPATT PAO: BG Abdul-Kareem, the Ministry of Interior Spokesman, went on the record today stating that Capt. Jamil Hussein is not a police officer. He explained the coordinations among MOI, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Defense in attempting to track down these bodies and their joint conclusion was that this was unsubstantiated rumor.Michelle has also posted a partial transcript of the press conference. In it, Abdul-Kareem accuses the wire services of printing unsubstantiated rumors using anonymous sources and bogus named sources.
He went on to name several other false sources that have been used recently and appealed to the media to document their news before reporting. He went into some detail about the impact of the press carrying propaganda for the enemies of Iraq and thanked "the friends" who have brought this to their attention.
AP did attend the press conference.
So far, the Associated Press is standing by their story, claiming that their reporters visited Jamil Hussein at his police station. This brings the AP's reporters themselves into question. Are they simply trying to cover up a costly and humiliating mistake, or are they unvetted local hires whose allegiance is really to al Qaeda?
The bogus source story was broken by the blog, Flopping Aces.