Posted by Curt on 19 December, 2006 at 9:51 am. 11 comments already!

Kind of curious that the AP has taken their response of Nov 28th off their website.  The address that I, along with many other bloggers, linked to is this one

What kind of information was given in that response?

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.

Also they said in that response that they confirmed the burning via hospital and morgue workers:

AP reporters who have been working in Iraq throughout the conflict learned of the mosque incident through witnesses and neighborhood residents and corroborated it with a named police spokesmen and also through hospital and morgue work

But guess what?  The new cache version has this paragraph:

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 same paragraph minus the bit about the hospital and morgue workers. Here is a screenshot of the latest cache version.  Excuse all the colors, I searched with a long phrase from the original response:

Click it for more detail.

It appears they are now trying to get rid of the fact that they stated they verified this via hospital and morgue workers.

I wonder why?  Care to take a guess?

A big hattip to Bob from Confederate Yankee for noticing that the AP’s response was down.

UPDATE 1015hrs PST

The response is back up now and as I guessed, minus the hospital and morgue workers bit.  They are definately doing some house cleaning on this one.  You can still see the full response given on 11-28 at the USA Today website here.

UPDATE 1115hrs PST

Confederate Yankee has asked some journalist bigwigs a few questions about using unverified sources, or a source with a pseudonym, and got some interesting answers.  He summarizes their answers:

To summarize, these four experts and practitioners seem to agree that it would be better for the source to be anonymous, and that it is hardly ever permissible to use a pseudonym to protect a source. The consensus also seems to be that in the rare instances a pseudonym is used, the reporter has an obligation to explain to the reader that a pseudonym was being used, and why.

If however, the reporter uses a pseudonym and refuses to disclose that fact, they we have a serious breach of journalistic ethics, one Ham refers to as "fiction writing," and what Kovach considers a "deceiving the consumer of the information."

As Kovach noted in answer to my follow-up about the reporter supporting the pseudonym by adding a middle name, he said is "absurdely[sic] unethical."

In other words, if it is determined that the Associated Press knowingly used the name Jamil Hussein as an un-announced pseudonym, then they knowingly breached journalistic ethics in all 61 stories citing him as a source.

Further, if they are responsible for creating or purposefully attributing a known false middle name for this pseudonym—such as the name "Gholaiem" cited by none other than AP Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll herself—then they are guilty of a major ethical breach of journalistic ethics by furthering such a fraud.

He is referring to the fact that one of the AP’s responses, actually the Nov 28th response in which they fooled with today, cited the supposed "full" name of Jamil Hussein as Jamil Gholaiem Hussein. 

If this Jamil Gholaiem Hussein does not exist as it appears he does not (Michelle and I are double checking facts on that end with sources in Iraq before we post our findings), then this was a serious case of fraud.

UPDATE 1310hrs PST

Hot Air has pointed out that the two statements by Daniszewski issued on the 28th are not the same which does indeed appear to be true.  The original one from the AP starts out like so:

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.

While the one printed by USA Today starts out:

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

AP reporters who have been working in Iraq throughout the conflict learned of the mosque incident through witnesses and neighborhood residents and corroborated it with a named police spokesmen and also through hospital and morgue workers.

Both written by Daniskewski on the same day.  One has the hospital and morgue workers while the other does not.  Now the question is, was that one sentence in the AP’s version prior to today and taken out or have the two responses been that different since day one.

Stay tuned.

>