AP using bogus sources for Iraq stories

Centcom/Flopping Aces:

Dear Associated Press:

On Nov. 24, 2006, your organization published an article by Qais Al-Bashir about six Sunnis being burned alive in the presence of Iraqi Police officers. This news item, which is below, received an enormous amount of coverage internationally.

We at Multi-National Corps - Iraq made it known through MNC-I Press Release Number 20061125-09 and our conversations with your reporters that neither we nor Baghdad Police had any reports of such an incident after investigating it and could find no one to corroborate the story. A couple of hours ago, we learned something else very important. We can tell you definitively that the primary source of this story, police Capt. Jamil Hussein, is not a Baghdad police officer or an MOI employee. We verified this fact with the MOI through the Coalition Police Assistance Training Team.

Also, we definitely know, as we told you several weeks ago through the MNC-I Media Relations cell, that another AP-popular IP spokesman, Lt. Maithem Abdul Razzaq, supposedly of the city’s Yarmouk police station, does not work at that police station and is also not authorized to speak on behalf of the IP. The MOI has supposedly issued a warrant for his questioning.

I know we have informed you that there exists an MOI edict that no one below the level of chief is authorized to be an Iraqi Police spokesperson. An unauthorized IP spokesperson will get fired for talking to the media. While I understand the importance of a news agency to use anonymous and unauthorized sources, it is still incumbent upon them to make sure their facts are straight. Was this information verified by anyone else? If the source providing the information is lying about his name, then he ought not to be represented as an official IP spokesperson and should be listed as an anonymous source.

Unless you have a credible source to corroborate the story of the people being burned alive, we respectfully request that AP issue a retraction, or a correction at a minimum, acknowledging that the source named in the story is not who he claimed he was. MNC-I and MNF-I are always available and willing to verify events and provide as much information as possible when asked.

Very respectfully,

The enemy has said half the battle is in the media battle space. What is becoming more and more obvious is that they have infiltrated that battle space and the media itself is too compliant to fight for its own credibility. Protein Wisdom has more comments on the media's "willful suspension of disbelief."

The Belmont Club gives well deserved kudos to Flopping Aces and ask who is "winning" the "civil war."


Some news outlets are now going to officially refer to Iraq as a Civil War. Two questions. Does that mean the Sunni insurgency "loses" seeing as they succeeded in rousing the majority of Iraq's population against them in addition to getting beat up by the US military? Or do they, by "magical realism", get to claim victory over America, even after America is called upon to save their a..? Second, to what extent does the news media claim credit for stoking the official Civil War with their fake stories?...
Well we will give them credit by referring to it as the media's so called civil war.

Update: This post has been linked to one of the left's sites in one of their "can you believe he said that?" posts. After a couple of months the AP says it has found its source for the story. Now it is time for the AP to issue a correction on its factual errors in the story. It is clear that whoever the source was, they were wrong about four mosques being burned down. Only one mosque has any fire damage. There is still no physical evidence of the six people who were alleged to have been burned to death. None. Zero. There is only the unsubstantiated statements of unidentified "witnesses." Perhaps Jamail or whoever he is put the AP in touch with the anonymous sources.

A story with this type of factual error that coincides with the enemy's chaos strategy suggest bad faith on the part of the source or the reporter. It is up to both to demonstrate otherwise. The AP has not done that yet.

I believe that if the AP source was legitimate they could have produced him as soon as the MOI and Centcom challenged his existence. That it took them this long to prove to his employer that he existed says something about his status with the MOI.


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