Friday, December 01, 2006

So how bad is Iraq, really? Another brewing media scandal

Let us first set the table of confirmed recent media debacles:

The forged CBS Bush National Guard memos.

The non-existant Jenin massacre swallowed hook, line and sinker by every major news outlet in world.

Reuters publishing doctored and staged photographs during the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict this past summer.

Blogger Flopping Aces, in a post entitled Getting The News From The Enemy, has uncovered a major developing scandal in the coverage we see coming from Iraq. Read the whole series of examinations and fact-digging. I won’t go into huge detail, but here is a brief executive summary of what I’ve read so far.

The widely reported burning of four mosques never took place.

The same for six Muslim worshippers being dragged from a mosque and burned to death. Looks like it also is a fabrication.

The AP has often quoted a Capt. Jamil Hussein of the “of the al-Yarmouk police station” often as a source of atrocities. Funny thing, though, he only reports on Shiite on Sunni atrocities. CENTCOM has done some investigating; they confirm that he is neither a poli9ce officer nor is he employed by the Ministry of Interior.

It appears that the AP has been simply taking phone calls and filing stories without corroboration, and these stories become front-page news or evening TV leads. Their response:

"The attempt to question the existence of the known police officer who spoke to the AP is frankly ludicrous and hints at a certain level of desperation to dispute or suppress the facts of the incident in question…we have conducted a thorough review of the sourcing and reporting involved and plan to move a more detailed report about the entire incident soon, with greater detail provided by multiple eye witnesses…The police captain cited in our story has long been known to the AP reporters…"

Note that the basis for AP’s certainty remains a mystery, aside from him wearing the correct uniform and standing in a police office (which means nothing according to their own reporting of other stories involving fake police). The AP never says they confirmed his employment with any of his superiors. In other words, they give us no reason to believe them in the face of official investigations that reveal there is no such person employed in the capacity AP claims.

This is still developing, and the AP will likely continue to issue defenses, but it’s clear that what your seeing on your TV screen and read in the morning paper about Iraq may be where the real propaganda is.

It’s a huge story. Keep an eye on it.

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