Thursday, January 11, 2007

Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou?

I've been folowing the story on "Jamil Hussein" - the alleged policeman whose reports of American atrocities have been widely spread by the AP. Most recently, the AP snidely pointed to identification of Jamil Gholaiem Hussein as the police officer in question, and implied that bloggers were unfairly chastising them. Hussein was real, nyah, nyah, so don't you feel stupid for not finding him, when he was in plain sight?

Well, no, according to Villainous Company.
But how was "Hussein" listed on the Khadra station records? Ah... that little piece of information is one the AP finds not fit for your consumption:

The AP has been citing Cpt Jamil Hussein Gulaim. The police officer's actual name is "Jamil Ghdaab Gulaim".

Notably, the AP has offered no explanation for why it gave a different name to the MOI than the one the officer in question is actually using, nor for its decision not to inform the public that "Jamil Hussein" was in fact "Jamil Gulaim". Among the other things the AP declines to explain to its readers is why it has, for six weeks now, refused to officially correct the record on its initial erroneous report that four mosques were destroyed in Hurriyah. That would seem to be a far larger (and easier to verify) matter than a case of mistaken identity when it turns out the name given to the authorities may not, in fact, even have matched the name their source actually goes by.
Let's leave aside the fact that the only piece of identification the AP gave for Hussein was his first name - gee, do you think maybe there might be more than 1 Iraqi with the first name of Jamil? Some years, I might teach 200 students - I've been known to have 2 or 3 Jamils in class.

What about the fact that this source seems to have misled the AP with his vivid stories of burning Iraqis, running from burning mosques? Other than a little damage to the physical structure of ONE mosque, this story is completely without foundation.

Where's the correction for that? Pulling the story from the online archives doesn't count.

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