AP calls Centcom accusation “ludicrous,” stands by its story

posted at 6:39 pm on November 28, 2006 by Allahpundit

The boss has details. Yes, they claim, there is in fact a person named Jamil Hussein — Jamil Gholaiem Hussein, to be precise — and yes, he’s a bona fide Iraqi police officer based at the station in Yarmouk. And for Centcom to suggest otherwise smells like a hamhanded attempt to discredit a story that makes things in Iraq look worse than the military would prefer them to look.

They’ve also filed a new story about the incident replete with what they claim are independent corroborating accounts from eyewitnesses:

Two of the witnesses — a 45-year-old bookshop owner and a 48-year-old neighborhood grocery owner — gave nearly identical accounts of what happened. A third, a physician, said he saw the attack on the mosque from his home, saw it burning and heard people in the streets screaming that people had been set on fire. All three men are Sunni Muslims.

The two other witnesses said the mosque assault began in earnest about 2:30 p.m. after the arrival of the four vehicles filled with arms. They said the attackers fired into the mosque, then entered and set it on fire.

Then, the witnesses said, the attackers brought out six men, blindfolded and handcuffed, and lined them up on the street at the gate of the mosque. The witnesses said the six were doused with kerosene from a 1.3-gallon canister and set on fire at intervals, one after the other, with a torch made of rags. The fifth and sixth men in the line were set afire at the same time.

The witnesses said the burning victims rolled on the ground in agony until apparently dead, then the gunmen fired a single bullet into each of their heads…

One witness said he and other people from the neighborhood took the six immolation victims to the Sunni cemetery near Baghdad’s Abu Ghraib suburb and buried them after the gunbattle. That witness said one of the victims was the Mustafa mosque muezzin or prayer caller, Ahmed al-Mashadani. He did not know the names of the five others, but said they were all members of the al-Mashadani tribe.

It’d be easy to verify this if there was no Islamic taboo about disinterment. As it is, Centcom had better check the cop and figure out who he is and why he wasn’t on the rolls of Iraqi MOI pronto. If he’s a legitimate police officer and they have no record of him, it’d be hugely embarrassing. And not just because of what it means for this story.

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Right, and anyone that believes the AP call me, I have several large bridges for sale. Who in their right mind is going to believe that left wing propaganda machine?

rplat on November 28, 2006 at 6:43 PM

I guess I am becoming very jaded as my first thought when reading this was that the AP will contact the Iraqi Insurgency and ask them to burn 6 people alive to prove their story as true.

William Amos on November 28, 2006 at 6:49 PM

So what’s the next step? I’m guessing Centcom walks away with its tail between its legs and Republicans won’t be calling for an investigation into the enemy propaganda machine within our own country.

Perchant on November 28, 2006 at 6:52 PM

The very reliable unnamed sources and their ‘identical’ stories.
AP is now the official media arm of terrorism.
An unnamed source is too be believed over the named sources at CentCom and the Iraqi govt.

I have some self-irrigating farmland for all who believe the AP reports verified facts.

Marvin on November 28, 2006 at 6:54 PM

The witnesses refused to allow the use of their names because they feared retribution either from the original attackers or the police, whose ranks are infiltrated by Mahdi Army members or its associated death squads.

Above is from the AP article.

So the AP writes a new story saying, “Centcom is ludicrous” without any possible verification?

Way to cite your sources AP when your integrity is in question.

F15Mech on November 28, 2006 at 6:57 PM

Unfortunately, no other media resource or news source can corroborate this story… even with AP’s lis tof witnesses.

Interesting, no?

And AP wonders why we are just a bit skeptical?

Lawrence on November 28, 2006 at 7:00 PM


My above quote is from the USA Today link posted by Allah. It may not be from an AP article like I said in my first post.

F15Mech on November 28, 2006 at 7:03 PM

There’s a lighthouse in Rhode Island near the Jamestown bridge enroute to Newport. It’s for sale for the sum of $1. The catch? If you buy it you have to pay to move it somewhere else. The moral? If you buy the AP’s load of crap about the stringers they hire then you’re likely to pay a larger price for that down the road. Things can be deceiving.

thedecider on November 28, 2006 at 7:03 PM

Um how about a picture of this guy? Do the IP carry badges? How about a picture of that?

Oh who the hell am I kidding they would just fauxtog the hell out of it anyway.

liberrocky on November 28, 2006 at 7:04 PM

OK,so the police,which the “witnesses” claim are infiltrated by death squads,are quoted as sound reporters by the AP? Circular nonsense and they have no intention of stopping their propoganda machine, because it works,the MSM here eats their droppings willingly for breakfast.

bbz123 on November 28, 2006 at 7:05 PM

What is even more sickening to me is the slant they did in the article trying to suggest that the US military is the one spreading a story

Here is what I mean

The Iraqi Defense Ministry later said that al-Hashimi, the Sunni elder in Hurriyah, had recanted his account of the attack after being visited by a representative of the defense minister.

The dispute comes at a time when the military is taking a more active role in dealing with the media.

The AP reported on Sept. 26 that a Washington-based firm, the Lincoln Group, had won a two-year contract to monitor reporting on the Iraq conflict in English-language and Arabic media outlets.

That contract succeeded one held by another Washington firm, The Rendon Group. Controversy had arisen around the Lincoln Group in 2005 when it was disclosed that it was part of a U.S. military operation to pay Iraqi newspapers to run positive stories about U.S. military activities.


In essence they are arguing that this consulting firm is pushing an agenda and has “questionable” practices

William Amos on November 28, 2006 at 8:06 PM

…it’s easy to stand by a story when you really, really,really,really,really,really,really,really,really,really,really,really,really,really,really,really,really,really,really,really,really,really,really,really,really,really,really,really,really,really,really,really,really,really,really want it to be true. Why…you’ll make up just about anything to cover your butt if you *REALLY* want it to be true.

Puritan1648 on November 28, 2006 at 8:27 PM

Jamil Hussein — Jamil Gholaiem Hussein

Is it possible that this name is a pseudoname, like Jack Dunphy?

EFG on November 28, 2006 at 8:38 PM

To whom it may concern:

Putting in long words or repeating words that stretch longer than one standard pape length will cause the format of the page to stretch to hold it.

Which is probably not what is intended, as it tends to make the formating look bad.

EFG on November 28, 2006 at 9:03 PM

…you live, you learn.

Puritan1648 on November 28, 2006 at 9:06 PM

If AP can’t cough up the names of the victims, they don’t have a story. PERIOD.

Tom Blumer on November 28, 2006 at 10:50 PM

Maybe AP is holding out waiting for someone to pay them to stop printing lies? Seems to be the way the news is done these days.

Buzzy on November 29, 2006 at 12:11 AM

That was pretty cool Puritan. How did you do that?

Scot on November 29, 2006 at 2:12 AM

It is pretty discouraging to see the animosity that has developed between our forces and the press. (They were in such a love affair during the run-up to the war and the initial invasion.) Now there is such suspicion on both sides that the first knee jerk reaction is to disbelieve. The press automatically discounts what the military has to say as a bunch of lies, and the military claims the press is making up the news to harm the war efforts. Now, we have a competition where the military wants to discredit the press, and, unbelievably, the press actually wants the military to fail in Iraq.

Both sides are wrong as far as the “truth” is concerned. But it does not end there. The military is not in the truth business. It is in the business of exporting violence to achieve our foreign policy objectives. If that involves psych-ops or, god-forbid, propaganda, that falls within the realm of that “war” thing. (Of course, credibility is important in psych-ops and propaganda. So, you have to avoid getting caught in a fib.) The long and the short is this, when the military lies to the press, or tells them a half-truth, they are just doing their job. The press, on the other hand, is in the truth business. When the press and the military go back and forth like Sunni and Shia, the truth gets lost in some metaphysical quagmire, and that hurts the press’ credibility and the press’ drumbeat of falsehoods and propaganda hurts the war effort. Both loose.

tommylotto on November 29, 2006 at 9:31 AM

BlackFive has this on his site. Hope he doesn’t mind that I copied it here. It was true then and it is true now.

“Do not fear the enemy, for your enemy can only take your life. It is far better that you fear the media for they will steal your honor.” – Bobby McBride, Crew Chief, 128th Assault Helicopter Company, RVN 1969-1970

BobK on November 29, 2006 at 1:17 PM