I’m sure if you have been keeping track of the Jamil Hussein story and read Michelle’s latest post you will know by now that the man who we thought may have been the AP’s Jamil Hussein has turned out NOT to have been:
my CPATT sources informed me today that MOI officials have now questioned Captain Jamil Ghlaim at MOI headquarters. Ghlaim continues to deny speaking to AP or any other media outlet.
That CPATT source wrote me also and stated that the guy is so emphatic that he has never contacted nor spoke with the AP that he said:
"I am challenging any one can prove by recording or film that I did that"
Michelle also updates the search for any Jamil Hussein in the Baghdad area:
In the meantime, I did hear back from my on-the-ground source in Baghdad who works with the Iraqi Army, including members who worked in the same police station where "Jamil Hussein" allegedly worked. As I mentioned yesterday, this source is not part of the Civilian Police Advisory Training Team (CPATT). He writes:
I have received back answers from both my RFI and from my IA S-2 [intelligence] and neither one has found a CPT Jamil Hussein working anywhere in Baghdad as an IP. My S-2 friend has talked with some of the officers in the Al-Yarmouk Police Station and they do not know him either.
That makes at least five people, organizations, or teams who thus far have been unable to confirm the existence of a Captain Jamil Hussein at Yarmouk. The other four are CPATT, the Iraqi Ministry of Interior (MOI), Marc Danzinger’s team, and Eason Jordan’s team.
What does this tell us? That the AP has either violated their own journalist ethics by using a source with a pseudonym for a story (without letting the readers know they were using a pseudonym) or they made up this Jamil Hussein.
With what we know at this point we can reasonably surmise this Burning Six story never happened and that the AP used either questionable sources or a made up source which would call into question every single piece of reporting done by the reporters the AP use.
Of course many on the left, such as Eric Boehlert, do not see it this way. They believe that since Iraq is actually really bad then made up stories don’t matter. Why? Well because its fake stories about events they know really happen.
Here is Eric at Classical Values:
[...]I think the making up of "Jamil Hussein" is the story, because the controversy surrounding it goes to the heart of a greater human problem — how ideology corrupts thinking to the point where facts are seen as subordinate, incidental, even irrelevant.
The last time I discussed "Jamil," the details were still hotly debated, and I was reminded of my relatively meaningless battle over "George Harleigh" (a fictitious professor science professor who had worked for both Nixon and Reagan, and who could always be depended on to sound off about the horrors of Bush).
I soon noticed that there’s a downside to debunking fraudulent people or claims. The people who make them up — and most of those who agree with them — simply don’t care. Because the characters and claims are invented to support what they already believe fervently, debunking them does not "count."
Lies presented in furtherance of a greater "truth" are not really considered to be lies, at least not in the moral sense. The idea is to persuade people, and if fictional people or incidents have to be used, that’s OK, as long as it’s in the interest of the greater truth.
The problem I have with this approach is that I don’t like being lied to. Even when I agree with the cause the lie is intended to support. I don’t find lies emotionally fulfilling because they pollute the process of thought. When lies are presented as "news reports," it’s even worse, because it makes me distrustful every time I pick up the paper or turn on the television.
[...]Boehlert’s approach is to minimize the seriousness of the fictional character and reports, and mount ad hominem style ideological attacks against those who debunked them. While the debunkers’ primary crime is simply that they are "warbloggers" whose pro-war ideology is wrong, he also misleadingly splices selected fragments from quotes (whether this is "Dowdifying" or Issikoffing I’m not sure) to make JunkYardBlog’s SeeDubya and the Anchoress look like heinous opponents of free speech. What they actually said — along with the context — are as unimportant to Boehlert as whether or not Jamil Hussein exists.
The left basically cares little that there was fake smoke added to the Beirut photos, or that long dead bodies were dug up to make a photo op, or that a fake police Captain was used as the primary source for a horrific crime in Iraq because they just know that these fake events just HAVE to have happened sometime in the past so it’s all good.
Amazing how illogical and ignorant the left can be huh?
But never fear you lefties, there appears to be a job opening: (via Protein Wisdom)
AP Iraq Source
Looking for Police Spokesman named Jamil Hussein, willing to take credit for having been source of various stories regarding atrocities. Names similar to Jamil Hussein will be considered, as will people named Jamil Hussein who work in capacities somehow related to police forces. Job to start immediately, salary negotiable.
Of course the AP doesn’t use named sources in Iraq anymore. It’s remarkable how many police officers now wish to remain anonymous isn’t it?
Found another great fisking of the Eric Blowhard piece by The Anchoress:
I think little of Boehlert’s charge that “warbloggers” (of which I am not one) have contempt for the first amendment (here is a hint, sir, the first amendment is all that allows bloggers -”war” or otherwise – to blog freely. Why would any blogger be contemptuous of it? The one statement bloggers writing from both the left and the right can agree on is at we adore the first amendment. Whether Nancy Pelosi feels the same way is actually the more interesting notion.) I think even less of his idea that these so-called warbloggers “would prefer that information about the war in Iraq be disseminated only by the United States military,” which is insulting to both intelligent bloggers and the military, and I find odd his assertion that “The warbloggers’ strawman is built around the claim that if the AP hadn’t reported the Burned Alive story…then Americans would still gladly support the war in Iraq.”
When in heaven’s name did any of us ever utter such foolishness? What many of us have said that the press seems to be ignoring any positive news and working to destroy public support of the war on terror in all its forms – what with fauxtography issues and doubtful sources and the narrative that we only went to war because of Saddam’s WMD, and the whole Wilson/Plame/Niger Yellowcake non-story that aimed to cast doubt on America’s movtives, and the NY Times’ completely inaccurate report on what 5 judges had to say about the NSA foreign wiretap program – but why go on, that’s just more of people seeing and hearing what they want to, right? Right, so let’s move on.
Boehlert wrote, “The warbloggers’ deliberate and daily condemnation of wartime correspondents as being cowardly, unethical, and un-American is likely unprecedented in American history…” Well, yeah, blogs are new and so pretty much everything connected with them is unprecedented. But as a lifelong avid consumer of news and news-by-products, my own opinion (and I suspect I am not alone) is that the press’ embrasure of “fake but accurate” truthiness and “prove-the-negative” accusation as the acceptable new journalistic standards is equally unprecedented.
Or, maybe not. Maybe the press has always operated exactly as it operates today, and we simply never noticed before.
A great piece well worth the time to read the whole thing.