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Jamil’s world

Posted by Richard on December 1, 2006

I thought everyone who half-way keeps up with the news out of Iraq had heard about the Associated Press’s bogus "six burning Sunnis" story, but it was news to someone I know who’s reasonably well-informed, so maybe not.

People need to know that this stuff is happening, so I’ll do my little bit to spread the word: If you listen to the reports from Iraq on the evening news or read the wire service stories in your newspaper, you’re being manipulated, misled, and flat-out lied to. The evidence to back up that claim has become overwhelming.

A good place to start is with this Austin Bay column (emphasis added):

In 1980, Washington Post reporter Janet Cooke wrote a story titled "Jimmy’s World," the startling tale of an 8-year-old "third-generation heroin addict" living in Washington, D.C.

Cooke’s expose’ captured several volatile issues in one tear-drenched package. "Jimmy’s World" had drugs, race, poverty, "fast money and the good life."

In 1981, Cooke won the coveted Pulitzer Prize for journalism.

Fine and dandy — except she should have won the Pulitzer for fiction.

"Jimmy’s World" was a complete crock. Little Heroin Jimmy didn’t exist. The Washington Post, its publisher, Donald Graham, and Cooke’s editor, Bob Woodward, were all duly embarrassed when Cooke’s fraud was exposed. Her Pulitzer was withdrawn.

We now move from Jimmy’s World to Capt. Jamil Hussein.

Now, if I were "writing hot" — writing for sensational effect — I would have led with the alleged Jamil’s blazing claim: that six Iraqi Sunnis were dragged from a mosque in Baghdad last week, doused with kerosene and burned to death by a Shia mob. Four mosques were also (allegedly) burned.

The Associated Press ran the dousing story on Nov. 24, and the story was repeated worldwide. (I read it online in the International Herald Tribune, a publication owned by The New York Times.)

Sensational, "headline-generating" elements absolutely jam the story: gruesome savagery, mob action, chaos in Iraq.

The AP identified "Police Captain Jamil Hussein" as its source for the story, with a second source identified as "a Sunni elder."

On Nov. 25, the press office of Multi-National Corps-Iraq (MNCI) published press release No. 20061125-09 (see mnf-iraq.com). The MNCI stated that investigation showed only one mosque had been attacked and found no evidence to support the story of the six immolated Sunnis.

The U.S.-based Website FloppingAces (floppingaces.net) has published an email from MNCI to the AP that states "no one below the level of chief is authorized to be an Iraqi police spokesperson." The email also addresses the story of the Sunnis being burned alive: "… neither we nor Baghdad Police had any reports of such an incident after investigating it and could find no one to corroborate the story. … 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 (Ministry of the Interior) employee." The letter is attributed to U.S. Navy Lt. Michael Dean.

I contacted CENTCOM’s Baghdad press office and received an email confirming that Hussein is not a policeman nor does he work for Iraq’s MOI.

FloppingAces noted that the AP has quoted "Jamil Hussein" in at least eight stories since April 2006.

FloppingAces has tons of stories and updates, so just go check out all the posts of the past week. Michelle Malkin has posted lots of good info and links, too. But if you just want the highlights, Gateway Pundit has your one-stop roundup, with lots of links to more details:

It is now confirmed that:

* Witness Capt. Jamil Hussein is not an Iraqi police officer!
* There were not 4 Sunni mosques torched in the attacks in the Hurriya neighborhood but only one mosque was damaged and not destroyed
* Witness Imad al-Din al-Hashemi is described as a University professor, foreign pediatrician, and a Hurriya elder depending on the article
* Witness Imad al-Din al-Hashemi says the mosque he was attending was attacked by "rocket-propelled grenades" yet there is no such damage to the mosque
* No bodies were discovered by Iraqi or Coalition investigators nor were there any pictures as evidence
* The AP later produced anonymous witnesses from the neighborhood
* The Multinational Forces Iraq and Baghdad Police did not find any reports of such an incident occurred after investigating the Hurriya neighborhood
* Multinational Forces Iraq claim that the AP source, Capt. Jamil Hussein, is not who he claims he is. He is not a Baghdad police officer or an MOI employee!
* The imam at the mosque in question where the "6 Sunni torchings" supposedly took place is accused of being a member of Saddam’s secret police by his own congregation!
* Attempts by Sunnis to smuggle arms into this mosque were foiled by Iraqi security forces back in December 2003

And that’s just the opening. Go read the rest.

If you have some time, read the original FloppingAces post — there are lots and lots of updates, including a long list from CentCom of potentially bogus news sources — mostly AP — whom they’re trying to track down.

Then check out two JunkYardBlog posts — this one first, and then this one (right above the first) — about other AP stories that cited Jamil Hussein as a source. The common thread tying them together seems to be AP Baghdad correspondent Qais al-Bashir. And Qais al-Bashir has quoted a number of suspect sources, including at least two other "Iraqi policemen" whom CentCom and the Iraqi Ministry of Interior categorically insist aren’t policemen.

Gateway Pundit posted nice roundups (here and here) of news stories quoting two of these bogus policemen, and the stories have something in common: they all describe Shi’ite atrocities committed against poor innocent Sunnis.

The next time you see an al-AP news story about violence in Iraq, remember that it was probably written by a Wahhabi Sunni propagandist quoting Baathist insurgent "witnesses."
 

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