Getting The News From The Enemy, Update III

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First of all I apologize for the late response to the AP’s rebuttal on this Burning Six story. Loooong day and night at work last night so had no idea this was all taking place yesterday.

Secondly, please go check out Michelle’s latest Vent broadcast for a rundown of the latest happenings on this story.

On to the rebuttal:

The Associated Press rejects unfounded attacks on its story about six Sunni worshippers burned to death outside their mosque on Friday, November 24.

AP reporters who have been working in Iraq throughout the conflict learned of the mosque incident through witnesses and later corroborated it with police.

The AP received an email communication late Monday signed by a U.S. military public affairs officer, Navy Lt. Michael B. Dean, alleging that the police captain cited in our story “is not a Baghdad police office or MOI (Ministry of Interior) employee” and raising questions about whether or not he actually exists.

In fact, that captain has long been know to the AP reporters and has had a record of reliability and truthfulness. He has been based at the police station at Yarmouk, and more recently at al-Khadra, another Baghdad district, and has been interviewed by the AP several times at his office and by telephone. His full name is Jamil Gholaiem Hussein.

After the AP story was questioned by the U.S. military, Hussein was contacted again and confirmed that the incident took place. The AP also located additional witnesses outside the mosque in the al-Hurriyah district.

According to the witnesses interviewed by the AP, there was no U.S. military present at the time of the incident Friday, and the subsequent U.S. military statement about it cited only reports the U.S. military had received later from the Iraqi army.

If this Capt. has been a police officer for sometime why is there no record of him being employed by the Police nor the MoI? The AP believes him because he has provided information before? That’s it? That’s their whole basis for trusting this source?

Out of those 10 stories I dug up where he has provided information before how many of the allegations were independently verified? How do we know he didn’t make up other “atrocities” in the past?

I mean if he indeed lied about being a police officer how in the world can they say he is a trusted source?

Due to my tardiness it appears many have already fisked this rebuttal thoroughly. Dan from Riehl World View:

In looking at the revised AP story on the six Sunnis allegedly burned, a couple questions.

It says:

One witness said he and other people from the neighborhood took the six immolation victims to the Sunni cemetery near Baghdad’s Abu Ghraib suburb and buried them after the gunbattle. That witness said one of the victims was the Mustafa mosque muezzin or prayer caller, Ahmed al-Mashadani. He did not know the names of the five others, but said they were all members of the al-Mashadani tribe.

Would that be the same Sunni, Ahmed al-Mashadani who was, according to sources, kidnapped sometime in August? It’s a Spanish language story. I’ll include the translated graph and the one above.

To these deaths it is possible to add the kidnapping of a brother of the president of the Iraqian Parliament, the suni Mahmud al Mashadani, by a group of men armed in Bagdad, informed sources into the ministry into Interior.

According to the sources, Amhed al-Mashadani was kidnapped yesterday at night while he lead by the district of chii majority of Hurriya, in the northwest of the capital.

[…]The AP says:

The Associated Press first reported on Friday’s incident that evening, based on the account of police Capt. Jamil Hussein and Imad al-Hashimi, a Sunni elder in Hurriyah, who told Al-Arabiya television he saw people who were soaked in kerosene, then set afire, burning before his eyes.

Is that the same Imad al-Hashini who infamous quote of Nov 3 was:

“This is America spitting in our face,” said Imad al-Hashimi, a Baghdad paediatrician. “The sheer arrogance of it is unbelievable.”

And if it was him, as a doctor, could, or did he do anything to help any of the alleged victims?

Good questions.

Jim Hoft from Gateway Pundit also did some fact checking and found some interesting facts:

Here is the original report from the AP published in the Jerusalem Post on the Six Torched Sunnis that was republished in hundreds of papers:

Revenge-seeking Shi’ite militiamen grabbed six Sunnis as they left Friday worship services, doused them with kerosene and burned them alive near an Iraqi army post. The soldiers did not intervene, police Capt. Jamil Hussein said.

The savage revenge attack for Thursday’s slaughter of 215 people in the Shi’ite Sadr City slum occurred as members of the Mahdi Army militia burned four mosques and several homes while killing 12 other Sunni residents in the once-mixed Hurriyah neighborhood, Hussein said.

Here is the Multi National Forces Iraq press release the next day on April 25, 2006 in response to this original AP report:

Contrary to recent media reporting that four mosques were burned in Hurriya, an Iraqi Army patrol investigating the area found only one mosque had been burned in the neighborhood.

Soldiers from the 6th Iraqi Army Division conducted a patrol in Hurriya Friday afternoon in response to media reports that four mosques were being burned as retaliation for the VBIED attacks in Sadr City on Thursday.

The Soldiers set up a checkpoint near the Al Muhaimen mosque at approximately 2 p.m. and found the mosque intact with no evidence of any fire at the location.

So the AP later transformed their account of events slightly in their November 25, 5:45 PM report:

The U.S. military said Saturday that Iraqi soldiers securing Hurriyah found only one burned mosque and were unable to confirm residents’ and police accounts that six Sunni Arabs were dragged from Friday prayers and burned to death.

Notice, this wasn’t a correction.

Flopping Aces has the letter from Centcom that says that the Multi-Natinoal Forces Iraq cannot verify that the AP stringer actually works for the police.

[…]So, where does this leave the original report so far?

So far we know that there were not 4 Sunni mosques torched as originally reported. There was one mosque that suffered fire damage to its doorway. That part of the story is not being disputed by the AP.

So the AP story is already bogus! We’re just not sure how much of their story is bogus.

The AP stringers could not find 4 torched mosques but they found “witnesses” days later who said they saw six Sunnis torched.

Great questions! The AP believed the witnesses about the FOUR burned mosques, printed the story, then changed it when they found that not one of them burned to the ground. In fact, just as Centcom stated, only one was burned and extinguished.

So Centcom got that one right.

Now the AP says they are sure the Burned Six was a real event, but all they have is three witnesses who wont be named, one “Police Capt.” who is not a Police Capt. and one imam who has been quoted as spewing anti-American rhetoric, who incidently has recanted his story:

The Iraqi Defense Ministry later said that al-Hashimi, the Sunni elder in Hurriyah, had recanted his account of the attack after being visited by a representative of the defense minister.

Way to go there AP…..great job your doing over there.

Want this story to go away? Then produce the damn Capt. if he is indeed a Police Capt. It is not that hard to do since he is supposedly a public official. Also, if six were burned there should be six bodies. Where did they bury them? Where is the morgue paperwork showing that they received six burned bodies.

This is all something any reporter worth his salt could do in one afternoon.

But instead we get three unnamed witnesses.

Sure thing.

An important update, Jim Hoft has found this story in which the imam at the “burned” mosque has been accused of working with Saddam’s secret police:

Update: (Wed. AM) The imam at the “attacked mosque”, Ahmed Al-Dabash, is accused by his own congregation of being a member of Saddam’s secret police. And, Sunni thugs were previously caught trying to smuggle arms into his mosque:

At the cement-rendered Ahbab Al-Mustafa mosque, the imam, Ahmed Al-Dabash, with the trademark straggly beard associated with pro-Sunni extremism, blamed Tuesday’s bombing on Shiite militias and denied that a day later his congregation had attacked the Shiites’ Al Tuheed mosque.

Amjad Jazim Mohammed, a member of the Shiite congregation, said that he and fellow worshippers went to help the dead and injured Sunnis, but that the explosion was not a Shiite attack – rather an accidental detonation as the Sunnis prepared car-bombs for use against local Shiites.

The story is as murky as that, but word that the two mosques are at war spread like wildfire. Iraqi security forces, backed by US tanks, now guard the Shiites, and attempts by the Sunnis to smuggle arms into their mosque were foiled by a vehicle search.

Amjad Jazim Mohammed, who said he saw the invasion, told the Herald: “The Sunnis blamed us for the attack on their mosque because they knew that the Americans would investigate the explosion and they did not want their bomb-making to be discovered.

At the Al Tuheed mosque, congregation members accused Dr Al-Dabash of having served in Saddam Hussein’s secret police, and of having recently studied in Saudi Arabia, where, they said, he was imbued with the Saudi’s extremist Wahabi Islamic doctrine.

Things get murkier and murkier.


Even better, a LGF reader has received a email from Centcom confirming that the Iraqi government will announce this Capt as bogus:

From: MNC-I PAO Victory Main JOC
[mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Wednesday, November 29, 2006 9:14 AM
To: [deleted]
Cc: MNC-I PAO Victory Main JOC
Subject: RE: [U] RE: Could you confirm that the letter below was sent

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED


I have just learned from Mr. Costlow, mentioned below, that Brig. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf, the official Ministry of Interior spokesmen, will begin his regularly scheduled press conference at noon tomorrow with a statement that Capt. Jamil Hussein, is not a Baghdad police officer or an MOI employee.

Yesterday, coincidently, the Iraqi Ministry of Interior issued a press release warning of spreading propaganda aimed at broadcasters. The text of this statement follows:

A Statement from the Ministry of Interior

After media became free in Iraq and expressed the will of all without the government interfering, unfortunately, some satellite TV channels began misleading public opinion and disclosing chaos for a particular political agenda, by broadcasting propaganda that harms people and tries to shake the trust in security forces.

Such satellite channels are trying to affect Iraqi unity and claim that information was stated by a security source without mentioning the source. Information sources should be well-known and reliable, and to avoid repeating such unfair actions, MOI warns the media and insists on defending the people’s security and safety. MOI will take all immediate preventive procedures against media that broadcast propaganda, because such media intend to repress the will of Iraqis in fighting terror and crime.

We would like to mention that such procedures we do not consider as chaining true free media, but it is a legal defense for Iraqi security and the safety of our people.

If you have any additional questions, please let us know.

LT Dean

Michael B. Dean
Lieutenant, U.S. Navy
MNC-I Joint Operations Center
Public Affairs Officer

[email protected]
[email protected]
Multinational Corps – Iraq
Public Affairs Office

Again, good job there AP!

You claimed to have met this Capt in his office but the Iraqi government will now go on record as saying he is not who he says he is…..

Sounds to me like your reporters wanted to believe this story so badly they believed a bogus source and continued to dig yourself a hole.


Austin Bay has an excellent editorial up at Townhall:

So who is Jamil?

At this point we really don’t know. The AP hasn’t provided definitive details. Jamil’s “burning Sunnis” story now appears to be rather dubious smoke. However, its horrifying headline has magnified a perception of sectarian terror, one advantageous to Saddam’s “former regime elements” and al-Qaida terrorists.

MNCI could be wrong, but the distinct possibility exists that the AP has been misled by its own stringers or duped by an enemy propaganda operation. If Jamil is another “Jimmy,” the AP’s story — as a weapon in a war of perception — is far more damaging than Janet Cooke’s Washington fiction.

A must read.

Also check out Michelle Malkin’s latest in which she wondered about the same things as me:

Two unnamed Associated Press reporters get new acounts from three unnamed witnesses (who, of course, refuse to be identified by name–although the AP has no problem describing some weirdly specific details about their ages, occupations, ethnicity, and religions) about six burned-alive Sunnis, five of whom no one can name and whose bodies can’t be disinterred in an investigation because it would violate Islamic law. And of the two original sources who claim the incident happened, one has recanted and the other is someone whom the military and Iraqi officials maintain is not who he says he is.

Contrary to the AP’s assertion that it’s all over it now appears to be even more certain that the AP relied on a insurgent stringer who gave them enemy propaganda.

And they bought it hook, line and sinker.

I’m sure it’s not because they WANTED to believe it right? Or that they want to create the same impression as the enemy does right?


UPDATE V 1130hrs PST

Uncommon Misconceptions is curious about this Capt. Hussein. He cites this AP rebuttal:

The police captain cited in our story has long been known to the AP reporters and has been interviewed in his office and by telephone on several occasions during the past two years.

He is an officer at the police station in Yarmouk, with a record of reliability and truthfulness. His full name is Jamil Gholaiem Hussein.

and asks:

So here’s my question: Yarmouk is a wealthy Sunni neighborhood in western Baghdad. Hurriyah, the slum where the burnings allegedly occurred, is in northern Baghdad. Take a look at this map of Baghdad to get an idea of how far apart they are (click on map for better view):

Map of Baghdad

And since the Shiites basically took over Hurriyah and are strongly affiliated with Moqtada al Sadr, it is unlikely that many Sunnis would be visiting. Or patrolling there.

That is indeed strange. How is it that this “Capt.” from a station that is quite some distance from the “burning” is the only supposed Iraqi official to announce this burning?

More evidence he is full of it.


Using Google Earth I was able to plot the distance from the two districts: (click to enlarge)

Over 5 miles separates the two districts…..

UPDATE V 1230hrs PST

The AP has sent me a response to the latest news that the Iraqi Government will be announcing that Police Capt. Hussein is not a Police Capt:

AP has reported this attack thoroughly and diligently, speaking to police, witnesses and others who would know about the attack. We sent reporters to the area later and found additional eyewitnesses whose stories were consistent. AP’s television crew videotaped the entrance to the mosque that showed evidence of an explosion and fire. Our reporter spoke with an officer who had provided AP with reliable information in the past and he confirmed three times that the incident happened. As stated in AP’s November 28 news story, this captain “has been a regular source of police information for two years and had been visited by the AP reporter in his office at the police station on several occasions.” When the U.S. military raised questions about the incident and the officer, we reported their comments, even though they were not at the scene.

Navy Lieutenant Dean’s statement seems to suggest that the news media should work solely from a government list of ‘authorized sources.’ But a free press cultivates a wide range of sources. That’s what AP did in this case, as it always does.

Linda M. Wagner
Director of Media Relations and Public Affairs
Associated Press, Corporate Communications

Lt. Dean’s statement was that the Iraqi Government was announcing that this Capt. Hussein was not employed by the Police Department nor the MoI….period. The Iraqi Government was the one asking the MSM to at least check with them first before printing unsubstantiated rumors.

The fact that this “Capt.” has commented about prior incidents does not make him a legitimate source if he has indeed lied about his employment.


Rusty from The Jawa Report has found the following comment from a Shia commenter who is loyal to the Mahdi Army (so take it for what it’s worth):

Yet again, lies lies lies lies and some more lies!

The Huriya Area in Baghdad, have seen attacks back and forth ever since the so caled “Omar Brigade” a fraction from the AL-Qaida enteres the aread, and started threatening the Shiaat living, there and killing them.

Al-Mahdi army quickly mobilized their forces and entered the area and started deporting all sunni’s suspected of working together with the wahabi’s of ALQAIDA to kill shiaat in that area.

Ever since hitting’s, killing’s attack’s have bin going on back and forth in that area, with no clear winner.

This incident of 6 men and 4 mosques being burned is all nonsense, and the reports spreaded by some filthy people about these incidents were all rejected by the Iraqi defence minister (A Sunni arab) and the americans, because they entered the area wanted to see if these incidents really happened.

What really happened was that a molotov cocktail was thrown into a sunni mosque which burned the carpet, and it was quickly estinguished after a known “Sunni terrorist leader” had attacked several shiaat’s in that area wounding them with sniper weapons from that mosque.

People in that area responded to the wahabi engagement, and after they fled they through a molotov cocktail into the mosque which was used as a base for that attack.

Yet again bull is spreaded to try and cover over the massacre that happened in Sadr City.


This may be a good time to go back and read Mudville Gazette’s post on the fact that Al-Qaeda knows how to work our media:

You probably haven’t heard much about the efforts of the Global Islamic Media Front – al Qaeda’s “public relations” team. The group is well known to those who monitor terrorist web sites, but rarely reported on by the mainstream media.

But another recent effort from the group won’t likely be reported anywhere in the western media – at least not directly. Titled “Working Paper for a Media Invasion of America”, the recently translated document was originally posted on a known jihaddist web site, but has received scant public attention from it’s target audience. No full translations of the treatise are currently available, but a brief description of some of the content can be seen here.

Najd al-Rawi, the document’s author, begins by noting that although they’ve been successful in many ways, the jihaddists haven’t fully exploited the opportunities presented by the US media. Inspired by a video from bin Laden addressing the American people with subtitles in English, the author notes that “It seemed the Shayk wanted to send a clear message to his brother mujahadeen to pay more attention to this part of the mission.” He points out that videos from the “Shayks of jihad” are in great demand in the western media.

Such videos are readily available – but for the most part translation to English is left to the media outlets that elect to broadcast them. The plan suggests a remedy for this oversight, and the paper calls for talented professionals to join the jihad – specifically, translators, and people with journalistic or literary talent who can provide a “ringing and powerful style that will have impact on the American people.” Other desirable recruits are computer graphics experts, “with experience in Photoshop, 3d Studio Max, and other programs”, and finally “Sharia experts” who can review the projects for materials prohibited by Islamic law, “such as pictures of women”.

[…]In Iraq, many Anbar residents have reached a point of sufficient outrage at the al Qaeda terrorists to take up arms against the foe. Lacking the motivation of continued bloodshed on American soil, few Americans are so inclined, and that’s fine, so far. But like it or not, Mr and Mrs Average American are“to throw fear into the American people’s hearts”, divide and conquer, weaken resolve, and defeat America. Be aware of the plan to reach that goal, and recognize it for what it is when next you see it in action, as you undoubtedly will.

This latest dustup over Capt. Jamil Hussein and the Burning Six story just illustrates the need for the American public to be aware of this propaganda. We now know the AP, and have for sometime, is printing what these propagandists say and passing them off as facts when most or all of the stories cannot be corroberated.

Be aware.

Additionally Bruce Kessler from the Democracy Project suggests some ways to get this story corrected.


SeeDubya at Junkyard Blog noticed that the rebuttal states this fictional Capt. most recently worked in the al Khadra’ district of Baghdad which according to Google Maps would put him approx. 2.5 miles away from al Hurriyah district.

Not as great a distance as first thought. But still a bit out of the way for this Capt. since I would figure every district has there own station. Not sure about that tho.

Either way, with the Ministry of Interior set to announce this guy is a fake the AP doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

I mean the AP could solve all of this with one fell swoop by producing Capt. Hussein at the MoI during the press conference with his bonafides.

I have a feeling that wont be happening tho.

Want this story to go away? Then produce the damn Capt. if he is indeed a Police Capt. It is not that hard to do since he is supposedly a public official. Also, if six were burned there should be six bodies. Where did they bury them? Where is the morgue paperwork showing that they received six burned bodies.

This is all something any reporter worth his salt could do in one afternoon.

Other’s Blogging:

Curt served in the Marine Corps for four years and has been a law enforcement officer in Los Angeles for the last 24 years.

3 Responses to “Getting The News From The Enemy, Update III”

  1. 1

    Mike’s America

    Just like the Reuters phony reporting from Lebanon, the damage is already done. Remember that old Churchill quote:

    “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”
    — Sir Winston Churchill

    P.S. Great going with your mention in Day by Day. Don’t forget all us little people when you become part of the blog celebrity world. :jump2:

  2. 2

    Badger Blogger

    The AP refuses a little thing like facts get in they way of their cheerleading against America

    Flopping Aces has exposed another AP blunder, or is it an intentional effort to make America look bad again?
    They have been making up war crimes claims and quoting nonexistent sources… it’s a good thing they have the Blogosphere to fact ch…

  3. 3


    Who Should You Believe – AP or Bloggers?

    Hi, I’m a blogger. And I’m an AP journalist. You’re a journalist for AP? What are you working on? Well, I just got back from Iran. Were you reporting on those students that heckled Ahmadinejad? Maybe you bloggers haven’t heard,

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