Jamilgate non-bombshell: AP allegedly used pseudonym

posted at 12:28 pm on January 11, 2007 by Allahpundit

Flopping Aces and Confederate Yankee consider this big news. I do not, notwithstanding the fact that AP’s own standards and practices forbid the use of fake names and the arguments laid out to the contrary by CY here.

Iraq’s a dicey place; rules get bent to protect people. Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.

I would think the bigger scoop is the fact that we now have independent confirmation, via Curt’s source, that the man known to AP readers as “Jamil Hussein” exists and is indeed a police officer at Khadra.

Read this post by Patterico. His point is well taken, as his points usually are. Also, please don’t mention Hussein’s real name in the comments here. I don’t think it should have been published to begin with and I don’t want HA used to help spread it around.

Update: Ace thinks it’s biggish but not hugeish news. He does raise a good point about the timeline: you can’t knock MOI for failing to find Hussein’s name on its list the first time around if the guy’s name was not, in fact, “Hussein.” And yeah, the AP should have disclosed that “Jamil Hussein” was a pseudonym in the article where they confirmed his existence with MOI.

Curt says he doesn’t see how I can say that the source’s existence has been independently confirmed when the alleged source himself continues to deny to MOI that he’s the source. Well, of course he’s going to deny it to MOI; there are Sadrists operating in the ministry. Why on earth would he admit it? But what’s the alternate theory — that the AP, knowing that they’d be placing him in danger, has now fingered some poor, innocent schmuck as its source to cover up the fact that there is no source? I have a healthy cynicism about media ethics, but that degree of cynicism strikes me as unhealthy.

Look, you can’t claim for weeks on end (replete with mocking graphics) that a guy doesn’t exist and then, when evidence emerges that he does, turn on a dime and trumpet the fact that he used a pseudonym as HUGE news. It’s news. That’s as much as can be said for it.

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A link to Patterico’s post might be helpful. ;-)

Watcher on January 11, 2007 at 12:33 PM

Patterico.

JammieWearingFool on January 11, 2007 at 12:39 PM

I see this as vindication for anyone who was attacked for doubting Jamil Hussein’s existance.

Machiavelli on January 11, 2007 at 12:39 PM

I would think the bigger scoop is the fact that we now have independent confirmation, via Curt’s source, that the man known to AP readers as “Jamil Hussein” exists and is indeed a police officer at Khadra.

How is that confirmation that this is the guy known as Jamil Hussein when he says he’s not their source for the JH stories? Or, more directly, how do we know that JH is a pseudonym and not an outright invention?

Pablo on January 11, 2007 at 12:39 PM

“The Onion” exists too, does that mean we can look forward to AP using it as a source? It’s about as credible…

Yogurt on January 11, 2007 at 12:40 PM

I didn’t put the exact link since he has a couple of pieces on this.

JammieWearingFool on January 11, 2007 at 12:40 PM

How is that confirmation that this is the guy known as Jamil Hussein when he says he’s not their source for the JH stories?

Read Curt’s post. The Iraqi MOI spokesman confirmed with the AP that the Jamil X is the guy the AP has been using as their source.

Allahpundit on January 11, 2007 at 12:41 PM

Dont forget this “Jamil” says he isnt the source.

As for an Iraqi “Blogger” saying there is a video of this. I highly doubt it. Im sure some middle east production company is making this as we speak.

A grainy video of an unconfirmed event is not convincing either.

William Amos on January 11, 2007 at 12:45 PM

From Curts site. Jamil still says he isnt the guy but AP is saying he is

Spokesman BG Abdul-Kareem has spoken with members of the AP in Baghdad and has confirmation that he is their source. That said, CPT Jamil still denies ever speaking to them.

William Amos on January 11, 2007 at 12:48 PM

Read Curt’s post. The Iraqi MOI spokesman confirmed with the AP that the Jamil X is the guy the AP has been using as their source.

Allahpundit on January 11, 2007 at 12:41 PM

But if Jamil X denies having talked to the AP, it might be to cover the fact the AP stories were fake. (but accurate.)

Buck Turgidson on January 11, 2007 at 12:50 PM

Well then that is all they had to say. Hell I wish our intelligence agencies were as good at keeping things a secret.
Oh wait they aren’t protected by the Constitution and the ACLU pit bulls.
I still wish the rest of the news agencies would wean themselves off of their reliance on stories from the AP and Reuters.

LakeRuins on January 11, 2007 at 12:50 PM

The Iraqi MOI spokesman confirmed with the AP that the Jamil X is the guy the AP has been using as their source.

Right, the AP now says that a guy whose name is not Jamil Hussein is the source they called Jamil Hussein. He says he isn’t the source. It sounds as if the MOI guy is repeating what the AP is telling him, which is contrary to what the cop is saying. And if the cop is denying being the source, what does that tell us about the veracity of the stories attributed solely to him?

No matter how I look at it, the AP has no reliable source here. I think the pseudonym scenario gives the absolute best light the AP can hope to find itself in on this, and that isn’t very good.

Pablo on January 11, 2007 at 12:54 PM

AP News is getting what it wanted out of this story. Just the proof that Jamil existed. Nothing else mattered to them.

So the only legitmate source of these AP news story himself refuses to answer the questions and where does that leave us ? Only illegitmate sources that are very questionable.

William Amos on January 11, 2007 at 12:56 PM

Is it fair to say at present the AP has no one outside the AP to confirm tens of stories fed to the American press? We have as sources claimed by the AP: JX, a “sheik” who recanted when asked to confirm, and “several” unnamed “residents”. Add no physical evidence and I smell a warm heap.

Buck Turgidson on January 11, 2007 at 1:05 PM

And if the cop is denying being the source, what does that tell us about the veracity of the stories attributed solely to him?

Do you really think Jamil is going to admit to being the source when the MOI, by many accounts, is controlled by Sadrist goons? It’s a small blessing that he isn’t dead already.

Allahpundit on January 11, 2007 at 1:08 PM

But all of the snark that equated us with Truthers needs to be retracted. There is no one on the MOI payroll by the pseudonym, and rather than admitting it wasn’t his real name, the AP stonewalled.

That doesn’t make “Jamil”‘s statements automatically false, but it does indicate a severe lapse in journalistic ethics on the part of AP. When a reporter refers to a source by a pseudonym, that fact should always be clearly revealed:

The victim, who we’ll refer to as ‘Sheila’ to protect her identity, said that the soldiers took turns raping her. ‘Sheila’ went to the hospital the following morning, where Dr. Abdul Aziz confirms his staff found evidence consistent with her story. ‘Sheila’ has since recovered physically, but still has nightmares.

In the above hypothetical, we know whose names are real and whose are pseudonyms.

The Monster on January 11, 2007 at 1:11 PM

This simply leaves us back at square one. AP News can not prove their source. Therefor they have to retract their story as there is now no way for their source to be proven.

If they cant provide a source they cant stand by their story anymore.

William Amos on January 11, 2007 at 1:12 PM

So, we have one of two things going on here.

1. This guy isn’t the source. The AP is lying and they have no source for their stories.

2. This guy is the source. The AP or the source lied about his name, and he is lying about being the AP source. The AP has a liar for the source of their stories.

I don’t see either option making the stories in question any more credible.

n2sooners on January 11, 2007 at 1:13 PM

The AP has a liar for the source of their stories.

He could be killed if he confesses to MOI that he was the source. Of course he’s going to lie to them. Do you blame him?

It’s like saying, “John McCain lied when the VC tortured him into confessing to being a war criminal. Ergo, John McCain is a liar and unfit to be president.”

Allahpundit on January 11, 2007 at 1:16 PM

AP has Standards and Practices in place for a reason. If stringers are violating these standards, regardless of their reason, they should be FIRED. If you are going to use a fake name, just say that its a fake name and you aren’t using the real name for security reasons. The definition of Honor is to set values for yourself and then LIVE by those values. I code of conduct means nothing if you don’t follow it. If AP does not follow their own code, then they have no honor.

BohicaTwentyTwo on January 11, 2007 at 1:17 PM

Let me say that I despise the AP and their incessant political bias and agenda, and I take almost nothing at face value from them.

That said, the Burning Six is an important story for me because it suggested a level of lawlessness and depravity that I really hadn’t acknowledged before I heard it (I know). I have been filled with admiration for MM and the war bloggers for their determination in getting to the truth, and I take that as confirmation of my own perceptions of the importance of this story.

If proved substantially accurate, I think this story could change a lot of minds (conservatives and Bush supporters) about the risks involved and whether these people are worth fighting for. I want the truth, and I am fighting the instinct to fear it. If our boys’ lives are being wasted there for a bunch of satanic demons, then prepare yourselves to admit we were wrong, and get out. I am.

I still have hope that this escalation could save a lot of lives and create a manageable situation, and I pray that this is right.

Jaibones on January 11, 2007 at 1:19 PM

I dont blame jamil for lying. But AP news has to stand up and now say that it cannot provide a source willing to prove the stories true. Their source has impeached himself and they can no longer state that their source is credible.

William Amos on January 11, 2007 at 1:20 PM

“Do you really think Jamil is going to admit to being the source when the MOI, by many accounts, is controlled by Sadrist goons? It’s a small blessing that he isn’t dead already. ”

I guess will just have to trust what the AP. Or when they report their stories they can just put question marks after every sentence like half allah’s post.

Drtuddle on January 11, 2007 at 1:23 PM

He could be killed if he confesses to MOI that he was the source. Of course he’s going to lie to them. Do you blame him?

Allahpundit

Right. They’re going to kill him for helping to spread their propaganda. Makes sense.

Even if this guy is real, he’s nothing more than another Green Helmet Guy.

Gregor on January 11, 2007 at 1:26 PM

He could be killed if he confesses to MOI that he was the source. Of course he’s going to lie to them. Do you blame him?

It’s like saying, “John McCain lied when the VC tortured him into confessing to being a war criminal. Ergo, John McCain is a liar and unfit to be president.”

Allahpundit on January 11, 2007 at 1:16 PM

Are we concerned for Captain Hussein all of a sudden. Unless you meant that as irony, where the hell was this kind of common sense when this farce began. There will be no refuge of conscience if in fact they do torture or kill this source.

THeDRiFTeR on January 11, 2007 at 1:28 PM

Allah,

Do you really think Jamil is going to admit to being the source when the MOI, by many accounts, is controlled by Sadrist goons?

Do you really think that if a guy spends his days surrounded by Sadrist goons that he is going to be feeding phony Shia on Sunni violence stories to the AP?

If the MOI already thinks he really is the source, why isn’t he dead yet?

Do you really think the AP would admit that their source is 3 mirrors and a bottle of smoke?

What makes any one of these scenarios more plausible than another?

Pablo on January 11, 2007 at 1:31 PM

BohicaTwentyTwo,

If you are going to use a fake name, just say that its a fake name and you aren’t using the real name for security reasons.

Right, or you leave your source anonymous. Which “Jamil Hussein” would have been if being the source for these stories were likely to get him killed.

I have trouble assuming that this is the guy because the AP stringers who wrote the stories say so.

Pablo on January 11, 2007 at 1:35 PM

Are we concerned for Captain Hussein all of a sudden. Unless you meant that as irony, where the hell was this kind of common sense when this farce began.

And here emerges the voice of “reason,” studiously ignoring all the outstanding questions about the mosques, the five dozen attacks sourced to this guy which couldn’t conceivably all have been reliably sourced to him, etc etc. Right out of the Eric Boehlert playbook. I expected nothing less.

I don’t fault the guy for lying to MOI to save his own ass. But he was the one who agreed to be used as a source; he was the one who gave them a (fake) name; he was the one who was only too happy to spout bullshit about incidents he couldn’t have known about. All during a period of mounting violence.

This is part and parcel, of course, of Drifter’s grand unification theory of how Arabs — or, as he conceives of them, benighted brown-skinned retards — are never responsible for their own actions. Just like in the Cindy Sheehan thread that time, when he said he couldn’t blame her for wanting to go back in time and strangle an infant George Bush because, after all, he was the one who killed her son, Casey. Some benighted brown-skinned retard pulled the trigger, sure. But it was Chimpy who was working the lever in his back. You suck.

Allahpundit on January 11, 2007 at 1:36 PM

There will be no refuge of conscience if in fact they do torture or kill this source.

Dude, get Clooney on the phone. “No Refuge of Conscience”

Maybe he can get Spike Lee to direct. An expose on the horrors of fact checking as murder. Sounds like a blockbuster.

Pablo on January 11, 2007 at 1:37 PM

Fear for his life by spreading rumors and innuendo which supports the Islamist cause? Not credible. You’ll have to do better than that.

Also, who, besides the AP has gotten the info which supposedly clears the AP? The last I understood, there was some confusion as to whether or not the AP had jumped the shark again in order to protect themselves.

Natrium on January 11, 2007 at 1:38 PM

Why didn’t the AP disclose the fact that his name was a pseudonym and why did they identify him as a police captain. The AP is the focus of this controversy.

d1carter on January 11, 2007 at 1:56 PM

Is there anyone else who’s given up trying to understand just what the bleeding holy heck is going on in this case?

Anyone?

Slublog on January 11, 2007 at 1:59 PM

Again it gets down to the core of the fact that the AP News can no longer prove that the burning mosquie story is the truth. Their last link was Jamil and he cannot nor will not go on record as saying he was the source of the story.

If the AP News cannot provide a credible source for this story then they HAVE to ethically state this story can no longer be taken as the truth. They have to step up and state that this source for their stories is no longer a valid source.

Everything goes to AP news now. They have to live up to their standards not simply stick to a story that cant be validated simply becuase they want to “stick it” to bloggers who challenged this story from the start.

Everything is in AP News court right now.

William Amos on January 11, 2007 at 2:02 PM

Only a lying clip would use a fake name…….though I’m not really…..oh never mind!

Buck Turgidson on January 11, 2007 at 2:02 PM

He could be killed if he confesses to MOI that he was the source. Of course he’s going to lie to them. Do you blame him?

Allahpundit on January 11, 2007 at 1:16 PM

I don’t have a problem with him using a fake name and do not understand why anyone else would.

I would, however, like to know why the AP didn’t announce it was a fake name to begin with. Why didn’t they just say something like: “Our source may be killed if his true identity is revealed, so we will not publish his true name and will only say he is a captain in the Iraqi police force…” or something to that effect?

Personally, I don’t even care if this “Jamil” is a member Al-Qaeda trying to use the AP specifically to spread lies. I’m still more concerned with how the AP handled this situation than the man they used.

If they didn’t know that “Jamil” was a fake name, shouldn’t they have known? Bloggers figgured out something was fishy almost immediately. It still looks like the AP was either lazy or intentionally ignorant.

Esthier on January 11, 2007 at 2:11 PM

Why didn’t the AP disclose the fact that his name was a pseudonym and why did they identify him as a police captain. The AP is the focus of this controversy.

d1carter on January 11, 2007 at 1:56 PM

You beat me to this.

Esthier on January 11, 2007 at 2:15 PM

Is there anyone else who’s given up trying to understand just what the bleeding holy heck is going on in this case?

Anyone?

Slublog on January 11, 2007 at 1:59 PM

Can I join the club?

The one thing I do think is this: I am in no way convinced as of yet that the stories which used are true, and doubt that I ever will be. There is too much ass-covering by everybody involved.

thirteen28 on January 11, 2007 at 2:18 PM

it’s biggish but not hugeish

It’s more crappiesh “newsiesh” stuff from the yuckiesh media that love the jihadiesh wackiesh dudes.

WriterMom on January 11, 2007 at 2:20 PM

…when he said he couldn’t blame her for wanting to go back in time and strangle an infant George Bush because, after all, he was the one who killed…

Allahpundit on January 11, 2007 at 1:36 PM

Actually, to be fair, and in my own defense, all I said was that I didn’t find it all that surprising that she should entertain these kinds of fantasies. Look back, I think you’ll agree. I never said Bush killed her son, she did, nor did I say she was right in entertaining these kinds of ideas. But then, I didn’t think, as you seemed to, that Iraq or Hussein was responsible for her sons death either. But anyhow, that’s splitting hairs at Hot Air. And I think that my expressed opinions here at Hot Air belie your claim that I consider Iraqi’s as nothing more than “brown-skinned retards”.

On a personal note, I didn’t mean to strike a nerve Allahpundit. Like I said elsewhere here at Hot Air, I never really felt that you personally was pushing this meme.

As to what he said, true or false. I have never seen anywhere, outside of the right wing blogosphere, anyone seriously bringing his witness into question. Oh, and I trust AP as far as that goes. At least alot more than say Hot Air, or Huffington Post, or whatever. Call me a vulnerable fool, but they have been around for awhile.

THeDRiFTeR on January 11, 2007 at 3:19 PM

Call me a vulnerable fool

Vulnerable fool!

Just kidding.

mikeyboss on January 11, 2007 at 3:33 PM

I think most everyone can agree that there was a good reason Jamil X used a pseudonym -his career if not his life was at stake. I can even accept that he is the source of all those stories.

The APs conduct, however, is unacceptable IMO. They should have clearly stated in the stories the name was a pseudonym. Then stonewalling and not coming clean with that information when the story was questioned is an even worse ethics breech.

taznar on January 11, 2007 at 3:55 PM

Slublog, I wish I couldn’t follow it, but it keeps pulling me in.

AP doesn’t look good. Either they knew it wasn’t his real name and violated their own rules, or they believed it was his real name and refused to verify it when questions arose.

But…isn’t the claim that they talked to him in his office?? How worried about his safety was he if he had AP reporters in his office? If he didn’t want to be known as the source, why didn’t he choose a different first name?

Anyway, the source or AP lied about his name. Many, if not all of the stories aren’t verified and sometimes contradicted by other news sources.

I’m less likely to believe anything AP writes now than when this all started. I’m suspicious of all their stories that work as propoganda, even though I know the situation is bad.

MamaAJ on January 11, 2007 at 4:06 PM

And I can spell propaganda when not wrestling a toddler for control of the keyboard.

MamaAJ on January 11, 2007 at 4:12 PM

You suck.

Uncharacteristically blunt, but accurate.

The warm body that the AP purports to be their source for 60+ stories isn’t the issue.

The issue always was, and continues to be, the fact that the AP published every one of those stories with ZERO fact-checking or corroboration of any kind. Baghdad Bob could have been feeding them these stories and they would be no less credible.

AP needs to follow the Reuters example in the Adnan Hajj debacle, and retract every single story sourced to Capt. Hussein as unverified.

I do not blame “Capt. Hussein” for going to ground when these shenanigans were uncovered, his life is at risk. But it’s his own fault if he’s been spoon-feeding lies to the AP. I have sympathy for him, but it’s mitigated.

On the other hand, if the Iraqi Police Captain that the AP is fingering as “Hussein” isn’t, he has my full sympathies as a patsy, and the AP is worse than dastardly to cover their own lies at somebody else’s peril.

Right now, we don’t know which is true, though I agree with AllahPundit that it’s a bit beyond the pale to imagine a news organization going that far.

Whichever is true, it is in no way the responsibility of bloggers that the man in question is in danger, The_Drifter’s accusations to same notwithstanding. Without bloggers, the AP would still be running shadow stories from this source, increasing the anti-American lies spread by the willing media.

Freelancer on January 11, 2007 at 5:00 PM

So, we are to deduce … what?
Jamil Hussein is after many many weeks of intense pressure, is now announced to be a pseudonym for another guy who says he, “Don’t know what you talkin’ about.” Gee, that clears it up, especially since it would be sooo wrong and sooo mean to ask, because it could get him killed. Talk about smothering debate and the free flow of information. If he dies, it’s YOUR fault. AP should think twice about laying that on their clientele. Think it would go over well for any other business that depends on sales to slap its customers in the face when they complain about shoddy workmanship? That’s a good, fine, effective way to lose customers for the next 100 years.
Why don’t we just call him/her: AP’s “Reporter X
Reporter X, whose reporting is published to wide distribution by Associated Press, wrote at least one demonstrably false account,designed to make certain people look bad. The breathless account brought to the attention to a horrified world that many people died in a particularly nasty manner, and much property damage against highly valued property was done. But, it wasn’t true. That is known in the common venacular as, “A Lie.”
Reporter X is pegged by AP itself as the author of about 60 articles, based on questionable info from the ever elusive Source X.
What can AP produce anything to prove to the thoroughly jaded public that those 60 other reports were not lies, especially since they were supposed to have all come from the same Reporter X, using Source X? The only reason this has gone on so long is that Associated Press, AP, is stonewalling. Beginning to believe that all the reports were written in New York City, with some emailed photos and a couple of lurid quotes from over the phone.

naliaka on January 11, 2007 at 5:09 PM

It’s all BS.

My grandfather once told me “never lie because you then have to tell another lie to make the first lie true”.

First lie. I believe, AP was caught telling possibly fraudulent stories, because of their all to eager desire to make us out to be the bad guys, sourced by someone who claims to be a captain in the Iraq military.

Second lie. I believe that when presented with the facts that the person they named as their source did not exist and that the sheer volume of stories and multiple locations credited to that source seemed a bit “superman”. They now say they violated their own policy and used a pseudonym.

It’s all BS.

Take care all.

Bogeyfre on January 11, 2007 at 5:09 PM

FWIW, here’s a nuanced angle on AP pointing out their pseudonymous source…

How many reporters have spent time in jail/prison under contempt charges for refusing to ID a source? Isn’t the journalist’s first responsibility to protect their source, so that they can be trusted by other sources in future stories? They sure make a huge First Amendment issue of it regularly.

So why on earth would the AP name a “major source”, who has been working under a pseudonym for personal safety, a move guaranteed to jeopardize said source, and perhaps quash the willingness of future sources to work with them?

I’m having a hard time finding an answer that doesn’t include “massive CYA”, up to and including the idea that this really isn’t their man, just a convenient name to pin the lies on when the stories cannot be backed up.

Freelancer on January 11, 2007 at 5:13 PM

Beginning to believe that all the reports were written in New York City, with some emailed photos and a couple of lurid quotes from over the phone.

naliaka on January 11, 2007 at 5:09 PM

Very well said, I’m with you.

Take care all.

Bogeyfre on January 11, 2007 at 5:15 PM

…there is danger and chaos and unspeakable bloodshed in parts of Baghdad. Sectarian violence–compounded by everyday street crime and tribal conflict–is rampant.

In the slums of Baghdad
By Michelle Malkin · January 11, 2007 01:15 AM

Isn’t this essentially all that Captain “Hussein” was saying all along? Has Mrs Malkin been seduced by the dark (read left) side?

THeDRiFTeR on January 11, 2007 at 6:38 PM

Slublog, despite all the “he said she said,” the basic issues are two:

AN ISSUE OF ACCURACY AND FACTS:
AP published stories claiming 24 people (including the now infamous “burning six”) were killed in attacked on four mosques. There has been zero evidence of any of this happening, despite claims by AP that they have video, and despite the fact AP went back twice and could have easily snapped pictures of these four mosques that they claimed were rocketed, machine gunned, and then burned.

Failing to provide evidence of these attacks (perhaps because they never occurred?) AP then rewrote the narrative to only discuss six deaths and one mosque, without ever mentioning what happened to the 18 bodies and 3 mosques that disappeared from their stories… not that they’ve substantiated this final attack, either.

That Leaves…

AN ISSUE OF JOURNALISTIC INTEGRITY:
AP may have run stories that didn’t actually happen, provided by someone they claim is an Iraqi cop of a certain name. The honest and smart thing to do would have been to acknowledge they had been taken for a ride, and stop using Hussein as a source. This story would have disappeared in the first week of December.

Instead, at every opportunity, AP has attacked the bloggers, the Iraqi police and Interior, Health, and Defense ministries, along with the Amierican military PAOs disputing their stories. Why?

I suspect that the issues are far deeper than many realize.

This could expose an inherent flaw in AP’s information gathering and fact-checking methodologies that leave them wide open to outside groups being able to insert propoganda as news through trusted sources. If it can be proven Jamil Hussein lied here, it brings into question everything he ever reported, and five dozen or so AP stories in which he made an appearance.

Were his credability to fall apart across a broad spctrum of stories, then theri methodolgy is open to criticism, and their reputation as a news gathering source is damaged immeasureably. Think what would have happened if it could have been reasonably questioned that all of CBS’s reporting was structurally prone to fruad, not just Mary Mapes’ reporting, and you’ll grasp the stakes.

And so, AP has backed themsleves into a tough corner, where they can’t admit they were more than likely both fooled and wrong. All tehy can hope to do is wait us, out, or hope the story runs out of steam.

I see neither occuring.

Bob Owens on January 11, 2007 at 6:44 PM

Is there anyone else who’s given up trying to understand just what the bleeding holy heck is going on in this case?

Anyone?

Sure, most people have given up.
Worse, of those who have not quit, most are forgetting even to think about the mosques which never burned.
Crap. It is Tet all over again.
Again.
Ad friggin’ infinitum apparently.
I’m glad for the antiMSM and all but daily it’s clear the antiMSM’s reach is still a long way from 50.0000000001%.

Stephen M on January 11, 2007 at 7:11 PM

Isn’t this essentially all that Captain “Hussein” was saying all along?

No, moron, he was telling lies, about incidents that didn’t happen, haven’t been verified or corroborated.

If you can’t spot the difference between telling us there’s trouble over there, and making up stories to sensationalize the trouble over there, don’t ever comment on free flow of information again, because you wouldn’t know it if it slithered up your arm.

Freelancer on January 11, 2007 at 7:46 PM

I’m having a hard time finding an answer that doesn’t include “massive CYA”, up to and including the idea that this really isn’t their man, just a convenient name to pin the lies on when the stories cannot be backed up.

Freelancer on January 11, 2007 at 5:13 PM

And you’re calling me a moron?

THeDRiFTeR on January 11, 2007 at 7:55 PM

It’s all BS.

My grandfather once told me “never lie because you then have to tell another lie to make the first lie true”.

Bogeyfre on January 11, 2007 at 5:09 PM

And Mark Twain said, “If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.” Both were wise men. The AP and “Jamil” could learn a thing or three from them.

And Allah, it may get me banned, but I’m afraid that I can’t keep silent about “Jamil”‘s (alleged) real identity. It’s Tommy Flanagan.

ReubenJCogburn on January 11, 2007 at 8:11 PM

This is like if O.J. said he identified the real killers but he can’t come forward with that info because he might be a target of violence by them. Just come up with reasons why you can’t give the info requested and this is a shield from any further questions? Even if the reason is plausibly true that is still unacceptable.

Resolute on January 11, 2007 at 8:16 PM

Do you really think Jamil is going to admit to being the source when the MOI, by many accounts, is controlled by Sadrist goons? It’s a small blessing that he isn’t dead already.

Allahpundit on January 11, 2007 at 1:08 PM

I think I have a solution.

Out him, and Rueters can get a picture of a sniper taking him out. The story (sorry for the pun) dies, and the papers get their pictures.
APress is off the hook, Rueters gets their sniper pics, NYT can run an article how bloggers killed an innocent man.

right2bright on January 11, 2007 at 8:51 PM

Isn’t this essentially all that Captain “Hussein” was saying all along? Has Mrs Malkin been seduced by the dark (read left) side?
THeDRiFTeR on January 11, 2007 at 6:38 PM

Let’s look at Lagos, Nigeria for a comparison, say CHristmas, New Year. The soldiers are out robbing banks for Christmas, the armed robber gangs are out robbing entire neighborhoods for Christmas – starting at one end and working their way down the street – (you can call the police, but they won’t come)and the Jou-Jou witchdoctors are prowling the streets to pick up their end of year quotas of unwary passersby for human sacrifices for their high ceremonies. Car-jackings, petty crime, plus the big scams chug along at the same time, and CHristmas is the absolutely the worse time to run the airport gauntlet – taxis and vehicles w/travellers are held up all the time going to and from the airport. And that’s the usual, not counting the ethnic flare-ups that would set entire neighborhoods against each other, hand-to-hand, chunks of cement and machetes. Nothing in the United States comes anywhere close, and Lagos isn’t even a war zone. Third World conditions are always a shock the first week, but after a while Americans learn how to sort out the big problems from the small, and how to move through them sensibly. Thus, in comparison to the tranquil and sheltered American conditions, Baghdad would seem horrendous, practically incomprehensible, but compared to some other tough cities, it wouldn’t seem so strange – just another notch or two worse, not a universe away.
There’s another thought on this police business which people may find interesting. Typically, military dictatorships produce weak and inefficient police departments. Saddam was a dictator who came in via coup, so his style of governing would fall into this. What happens is, the military cannot tolerate any armed competition, and usually the police structure is the only armed entity apart from the military (plus civilians, but they are less organized). Therefore, the military power structure deliberately weakens the police, poor pay, poor training, poor weaponry. The police as an institution becomes an object of scorn, as good people leave and are replaced by lesser quality recruits. A lot of the comments about the police in Iraq seem to indicate that the policing operations are inferior, and probably from a long history of being low man on the totem pole. This is a big problem, as the Iraqis, like many Third World societies, do not have any experience with a professional and capable police force. The question will be, will the new goevrnment be comfortable with investing to make an improved police force – or stick tight to the military as they have been used to all these long years?

naliaka on January 11, 2007 at 9:41 PM

*************NEWS FLASH************
Aliens walk amongst us…Harry Reid is from Pluto…Allah Pundit is my source….there is a cell phone video of it…no I dont have it….but my second cousin told me that a co-worker saw it in Utube…Yeah, it wasnt Allah Pundit who told me…Allah Pundit is just a pseudonym…so you see the aliens do exist…..Oh yeah and Bush lied people died.

rarbolay on January 11, 2007 at 10:27 PM

Ooops.

From Michelle’s site …

Tony Snow: Yeah, I am looking forward to meeting Captain Jumil [sic] Hussein, but other than that, yes. You’ve seen the latest on that, right?

Hugh Hewitt: No, I haven’t. I haven’t read today. Is he back and not existing again?

Tony Snow: He’s back to non-existence.

Does that mean Allah was suckered AGAIN?! How many times is that now? No problem. The AP will claim to have yet another witness tomorrow (who will again request that they not identify them) and Allah will take their word for it AGAIN.

Gregor on January 11, 2007 at 11:48 PM

If there is violence in Iraq then why does Ap need to use a person who cant be proven to have been a witness to these events.

AP failed its readers when it simply relied on word of mouth than actually researching the stories. Its unethical to post news stories as news based on hearsay even if events are similar to what is going on.

That would be like saying John Doe is guilty of murder because someone was murdered in a city that John Doe lives in. We cant base judgement on information that isnt factual even if there is related info out there.

William Amos on January 12, 2007 at 12:05 AM

I think the big point is if you have a source who claims he wasn’t the source, do you still have a source? Isn’t a source basically like a witness in a trial? And isn’t a witness who says they don’t know nuthin’ pretty much worthless as a witness? So doesn’t that leave the AP with some five dozen stories without any source at all?

BTW, who from the AP has actually talked to this source? They have claimed to be in his office (which says to me he wasn’t to worried about his own safety at that time), so who is it that fingered him as the source? Who was it from the AP that actually got a good look at him and said yep, that’s the guy? Because I think that person(s) is an important link in the story as well.

n2sooners on January 12, 2007 at 12:25 AM

Is there anyone else who’s given up trying to understand just what the bleeding holy heck is going on in this case?

Anyone?

*raises hand*

Patterico on January 12, 2007 at 12:42 AM

What we are missing in all this is the elephant in the room. Even if Cpt. Jamil Hussein appeared out of thin air, stanidng in Time Square in a clown suit, it doesnt change the fact that:
1. There were not 4 mosques destroyed (easy to check, go to the mosques and loook).
2. There isnt a morgue in the hospital were the burned bodies were supposedly taken.
3. There were no reports of six burned sunnis in any of the local hospitals.
And..AP has a very long history of making stuff up just to tell the story they want to tell.

How many more of the Cpt Hussein stories are also lies?

rarbolay on January 12, 2007 at 10:09 AM

So if the “hussein” part of the name is fake, did they choose it specifically because the name invokes such an aura of credibility in the minds of their readers?

Perchant on January 12, 2007 at 11:29 AM