Does the Media Use al-Qaeda & Iraqi Insurgency Organizations for Reports?

There have been many complaints about how our media reports the stories from Iraq. Countless articles have been written about the selective nature of reports from the field – focusing on the negative and completely ignoring the positive. Documents uncovered in Iraq have demonstrated how the insurgents use the American media for propaganda dissemination.

Now I have uncovered something even more shocking and disgusting. Our media is using pro al-Qaeda, pro Iraqi insurgency organizations as the basis for their reports – more importantly as sources of information that is damning to our soldiers.

While researching the claims of US soldiers raping a young Iraqi woman and then killing her and her family, I came across an article from Mafkarat al-Islam via Free Arab Voice. The article cites eyewitness testimony about the US rape and murder of the Iraqi family. According to Free Arab Voice, the report was filed on Saturday night at 11:55 Makkah time.

Today’s Washington Post posted an article by Ellen Knickmeyer. The article’s headline purported the subject of the article as the Baghdad market bombing but the text of the article was almost exclusively devoted to the rape and murder allegations. At the bottom of the article, the Washington Post cited “Two Washington Post special correspondents in Mahmudiyah contributed to this report.” The article cites a Saturday interview with two eyewitnesses to the attack.

The accounts in the Washington Post and Mafkarat al-Islam are almost identical, down to the job held by the father of the rape victim. Both reports describe the condition of the young woman’s body in the same manner.

To be fair, the Washington Post article does have this little caveat in the midst of their article…

“It was impossible to independently confirm the accounts given by the two men. Although some of the details, such as the home’s location, coincided with those given by the US military official, it was also impossible to immediately reconcile differences, such as whether the alleged rape victim was 15 or 20.”
According to the US State Department, Muhammad Abu Nasr, co-editor of the Free Arab Voice website is one of the main purveyors of deliberate disinformation about US actions in Iraq. Abu Nasr “translates material from Islam Memo into English and posts it as “Iraqi Resistance Reports” on his website.”

Here is one pertinent example of disinformation from Abu Nasr that involves American soldiers raping young Iraqi girls…

“On December 19, 2004, Abu Nasr claimed an attack against Abu Ghraib prison was sparked by a letter from a female inmate named Fatima. In the letter, which seems undoubtedly to be a fabrication, Fatima claims to have been raped repeatedly, along with 13 other girls.

The charges in the letter are totally groundless and Fatima herself appears to have never existed. Only six females were held temporarily at Abu Ghraib prison at various times from July to mid-December 2004, two of them for treatment in the medical facility. None of them were held for more than 10 days and none were sexually assaulted.

Despite the fact that the claims in “Fatima’s letter” are baseless, the sensationalistic, outrageous nature of the charges ensured that the letter was widely reposted on Internet sites and circulated by email. Jihad Unspun posted in on December 24, 2004.”

If the reporters for the US media are utilizing pro-terrorist disinformation sites as the basis for reports, they should be punished appropriately. Distribution of disinformation that undermines our country in a time of war does not fall under the First Amendment protections. America and our soldiers deserve the truth – not the propaganda disseminated by our enemies. The least the media could do is cite the names of the “special correspondents” – but that would disclose their failure to sort fact from fiction.
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