Bombshell: Centcom says AP’s Iraqi police source isn’t Iraqi police; Update: Fake cop linked to AP reporter?

posted at 1:07 pm on November 27, 2006 by Allahpundit

I laid off this post at Flopping Aces initially because I didn’t think there was anything particularly suspicious about the cop. Centcom was disputing his report of the six Sunnis burned alive by Shiites but they could have been wrong just as easily as he could. I also didn’t (and still don’t) see Curt’s point about the cop only being quoted in cases where Shiites attack Sunnis. If he’s stationed in an area where Shiite attacks on Sunnis are common, that’s going to happen.

But go see his latest update, all the way at the bottom. And bear in mind — the AP’s been using this guy for months.

Like Patterico said about that L.A. Times airstrike story that’s imploding at an ever accelerating rate:

I learned something important about reporting from Iraq in general. Big Media journalists often rely on sources that are unreliable. They don’t tell you the pressures these sources might be under from insurgents and terrorists. They refuse to tell you who their stringers are, so we can assess their motivations. They get quotes from doctors who seem to see only civilian deaths. If the military has been given insufficient time to respond to an allegation, these journalists don’t check with the military later, to verify that the story they’ve written is accurate. And sometimes, as here, their stories are completely at odds with numerous other accounts reported in other press outlets — and they seem to have no interest in finding out why.

It’s very sobering to realize that much of the news coming out of Iraq is completely unreliable.

Goldstein thinks this is evidence that the violence in Iraq isn’t pandemic, which is a lot further than I’m willing to go. But he’s always worth reading, so partake. Centcom, meanwhile, is demanding a retraction from the AP. They haven’t, to my knowledge, demanded one from the L.A. Times, but Patterico sort of has. Response thus far: zero.

Update: If Curt’s site goes down, the backup is here.

Update: Curt’s posted a new update at his backup site. According to him, Centcom is waiting to hear back from the AP before issuing a press release about this. They’ve requested a retraction of the “burned alive” story or “a correction at a minimum.”

Update: The latest from the AP: allegations of a massacre perpetrated by American soldiers, with none of the witnesses — including “police” — willing to have their names printed and Centcom denying that there were any U.S. military operations in the area at the time.

Some of the injured were taken to a hospital in Sadr City. If that’s where their neighborhood is, it’s no wonder they’d prefer to blame U.S. troops than any of the likelier local suspects.

Update: See-Dubya wants to know (a) who is Qais al-Bashir and (b) why is his byline on (almost) every AP story that quotes phony police captain Jamil Hussein?

Update: Get this — See-Dubya cross-checked the list of names of suspicious Iraqi forces provided by Centcom and got a hit. Where? In an article about the same shady doings in Ramadi that inspired the L.A. Times article about the airstrike that wasn’t.

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The AP and Reuters have become a complete disgrace.

p0s3r on November 27, 2006 at 1:15 PM

Shocking levels of duplicty on all fronts. Yet it’s the bloggers who don’t have the proper filters nor the ability to detect nuances in reportage.

The public has been misled so much by the media that if
they ever got around to reporting the truth, it would be
dismissed as propaganda.

My advice to the sucker who buys the LA Times is this: hire Patterico and fire most everyone else.

JammieWearingFool on November 27, 2006 at 1:18 PM

And we trust AP with our election results?

journeyscarab on November 27, 2006 at 1:21 PM

And if you check you will find that AP and Rueters have been the sources used by people like Iraqi body count to keep track of the number of dead in Iraq

This has been a major scandle throughout the war. The enemy has had control of the flow of information out of Iraq for years

William Amos on November 27, 2006 at 1:23 PM

Yet it’s the bloggers who don’t have the proper filters nor the ability to detect nuances in reportage.

Of course not. A reporter has to do the following:

1) Have an agenda
2) Report stories based on that agenda while simultaneously dismissing any relevant facts that disprove any item in your agenda.
3) Be able to blame everything on Bush, the Bush Administration, or on Global Warming… but only on Global Warming if you can blame Bush for the factors that cause Global Warming.

E L Frederick (Sniper One) on November 27, 2006 at 1:26 PM

BTW Allah if you check your email about 4 or 5 months ago I wrote you to about this very issue. I showed how Rueters and AP were using single sources to quote their war dead figures and that that source was suspect. I feel vindicated now that there is FINALLY some debate on how these two news sources were in effect tools of enemy propaganda.

William Amos on November 27, 2006 at 1:31 PM

Now I know where The Lancet comes up with their dubious figures.

JammieWearingFool on November 27, 2006 at 1:32 PM

This is interesting. I want to see how this develops in the next fews days.

Ouabam on November 27, 2006 at 1:51 PM

Wag the dog!

Ropera on November 27, 2006 at 1:53 PM

Quotagraphy?

bdfaith on November 27, 2006 at 2:01 PM

Goldstein thinks this is evidence that the violence in Iraq isn’t pandemic, which is a lot further than I’m willing to go.

So your saying that its “fake but accurate” ?

William Amos on November 27, 2006 at 2:14 PM

Took me a short while to dredge up the story I was pushing months ago. Here it is from June 20th 2006

http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/DAH824924.htm

Got into this serious debate about Iraq on the political board.

The lefties kept thowing quotes of all the car bombing and executions going on over in iraq.

Then I noticed something very strange. All the reports they kept showing of Iraqicar bombs came from one source. RUETERS.

I Checked other links they gave for washington post, NY Times. Ect..

ALL QUOTED RUETERS !

Im not talking about the big attacks that make headlines. They gave me a list like this

—————

FACTBOX-Developments in Iraq on June 18
18 Jun 2006 11:13:55 GMT
Source: Reuters

June 18 (Reuters) – The following are security and other developments in Iraq on Sunday as of 1100 GMT.

The new Shi’ite-led government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has vowed to rein in insurgent and sectarian violence that has killed tens of thousands of people since U.S. forces invaded Iraq in 2003.

Asterisk denotes new or updated entry.

* KIRKUK – Attackers hurled a grenade at a shop selling alcohol and seriously wounded three people in the oil city of Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

* NAJAF – Gunmen on Saturday evening ambushed and killed a policeman near his house in Najaf, 160 km (100 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

* BAQUBA – Gunmen in a car shot dead three persons including two Iranians in Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

BAGHDAD – Gunmen abducted 10 workers at a bakery in northwestern Baghdad, police said.

BAGHDAD – Six people were wounded in a mortar attack in northern Baghdad, police said.

BAGHDAD – Ten bodies were found overnight in different parts of the capital, police said.

FALLUJA – A woman was seriously wounded when gunmen opened fire on a police vehicle taking her to hospital in the town of Falluja, 50 km (32 miles) west of Baghdad, police said.

—————————————————
Yet I checked no one else (other than Middle Eastern sites) claim these attacks.

So someone in the know have any ideas ? Is Rueters passing on info it gets from suspect sources ?

William Amos on November 27, 2006 at 2:27 PM

Thats weird AL Rueters is starting to delete the pages of all their war dead quotes.

William Amos on November 27, 2006 at 2:29 PM

Cause and effect. Perception and reality. There’s an interesting chapter in Catch-22(a favorite book of mine), where the protagonist gets a boming mission canceled by sneaking into the briefing tent and changing the map to show that the target area had been captured by ground forces. However, by changing the map, he causes a chain of events that eventually leads to the target actually being captured. Reality is supposed to change perception, but sometimes perception changes reality. Sometimes reality doesn’t really matter. Is Iraq as bad as the media says it is? The answer is; it doesn’t matter as long as the American People think its bad and vote the Democrats into power who withdraw the troops. Because once the troops are gone, Iraq will REALLY become the nightmare it is portrayed as.

BohicaTwentyTwo on November 27, 2006 at 2:40 PM

Where is natesnake to Q the T?

RushBaby on November 27, 2006 at 2:45 PM

I’m so gullible. Not knowing that the story was from AP, I bought it hook, line and stinker. I’m telling other people about it “Hey, did you hear that story from Iraq?”

At this point, there is simply no reason to believe anything that you hear or read from the middle east.

Jaibones on November 27, 2006 at 2:50 PM

The AP and Reuters have become a complete disgrace.

p0s3r on November 27, 2006 at 1:15 PM

I think they’ve been a disgrace for some time now.

Rick on November 27, 2006 at 2:53 PM

I get more accurate information from Iraqi Bloggers. Gotta go for the ones on the inside.

kiakjones on November 27, 2006 at 3:01 PM

It would have been obvious if the “Iraqi police officer” were identified as “Lt. Green Helmet Guy”.

The Monster on November 27, 2006 at 4:44 PM

Why aren’t you people digging this? Get the word out, people!

JasonG on November 27, 2006 at 6:25 PM

I’m so gullible. Not knowing that the story was from AP, I bought it hook, line and stinker. I’m telling other people about it “Hey, did you hear that story from Iraq?”

At this point, there is simply no reason to believe anything that you hear or read from the middle east.

Jaibones on November 27, 2006 at 2:50 PM

At this point there is very little reason to believe anything the MSM reports, irespective of the locale or subject matter.

conservativecaveman on November 27, 2006 at 6:48 PM

Perhaps it would be wise to take any story from the MSM with a grain of salt until it can be confirmed from other sources?

Patrick Chester on November 27, 2006 at 7:10 PM

Um, uh, people, didn’t all of you ALREADY KNOW that nearly all of the “news reports” coming out of the Middle East via al-Reuters and the Assholed Press is faked/grossly exaggerated/significantly misrepresented/outright lies?

As I noted a few days ago ( and I ain’t no hyper-aware genius ) al-Reuters and the AP just make sh*t up. Or, their sources do, and they knowingly pass it along

draw your own conclusions…..

Janos Hunyadi on November 27, 2006 at 9:56 PM

The Associated Press’s advertisers and clients would do well to acquire them and reform them. Their sources’ propaganda kills their advertisers’ and clients’ societies, and thereby the advertisers, their customers, the clients, and their readers.

If muslims overwhelm the West, I hope there will arise among them a superb political philosopher and historian. He’ll have opportunity to write a political history of the first rank, “a possession for all time.”

I’ve resumed posting at my weblog, linked via my signature below. Once you’ve filled up on HotAir, come blow me at The Typhoon Struggle.

Kralizec on November 27, 2006 at 10:01 PM

The first casualty of war is truth. And those complicit in its demise should be aware that the crimes of sedition & treason are still on the books.

locomotivebreath1901 on November 27, 2006 at 10:44 PM

I wasn’t implying (“at this point”) that this imploding AP story further undermines their credibility — they have none — but only to say that the use of single source stringers in Lebanon, Gaza and the PT, Iraq, Syria and all fire zones renders almost all news from the area into bullshit.

I thought I was as cynical and distrustful of AP, AFP and Reuters as anyone could be, but I got suckered by this story being carried on every local tv and radio news show in Chicago. (I know).

Does anyone think that 1/10 of the people who heard the story will hear that it is BS? Me, neither.

Jaibones on November 27, 2006 at 11:13 PM

Really sorry if this point was raised, but wasn’t one of the Freedom project (or whatever it was called) – the online Iraqi document project that was pulled down this last month when the NYT’s found Saddam still liked nukes – but didn’t one of those documents reveal that Saddam had a “spy” working at or for AP?

Topsecretk9 on November 28, 2006 at 1:12 AM

Fauxquotery???

Are they doing it just to expand the English Language??? We have to keep coming up with new tems…..

Romeo13 on November 28, 2006 at 10:17 AM