Friday, December 08, 2006

Where's Jamil Hussein?

So, where's Jamil Hussein? The AP continues to stand by its stories, despite being completely unable or incapable of producing someone who can be interviewed by someone other than AP reporters to verify his story.

That conundrum continues to undermine the credibility of the AP as far as I'm concerned. But I'm not alone. The NY Post has a devastating editorial by Robert Bateman who investigated another AP story only to be stonewalled when his investigation found that the AP relied upon a bogus source.
Bad things did happen at No Gun Ri, of this there can be no doubt. My own research and other historians', as well as the joint U.S.-Korean government investigation, confirms that a tragedy occurred - there were civilians who were killed there, by our side, and that was wrong.

But the AP's sensationalistic story painted it as a deliberate massacre, done with machine guns at extremely close range.

The most sensational account started in the 57th paragraph of the 3,448-word story, sourced to one Edward Daily. As AP told it, Daily was the only soldier at No Gun Ri who directly received orders from his officers to turn his water-cooled .30 caliber machinegun on the civilians and shoot them down in cold blood at point-blank range.

Daily's account was chilling. It was also - as AP should have known - a fantasy.

The AP story took at face value Daily's claims that he was a combat infantryman who won a battlefield commission just a few days after the events at No Gun Ri, and had been awarded the Distinguished Cross and three Purple-Hearts.

In reality, he was an enlisted mechanic in an entirely different unit, nowhere near No Gun Ri. He had fabricated his biography and credentials as well as his entire account of the events at No Gun Ri.

When I later confronted AP editors with the facts and records that showed their source Daily to be a fraud, they blew me off. What would a historian know about this topic after all, or a soldier?

The AP didn't issue a retraction, or even attempt to reinvestigate; and it certainly didn't withdraw the story from the Pulitzer competition. Instead, it attacked the messenger.
Sound familiar? That's precisely the situation that the AP faces with the Jamil Hussein stories. All 60 of them. Confederate Yankee also points out a Mark Steyn piece that rips AP a new one for their reporting standards, which is to say that they have none.

Michelle Malkin has much more. And AP goes one step further by resorting to the Green Helmet Guy again in spreading yet more propaganda on the situation in Lebanon.

The AP issued yet another statement standing by their reporting and that they once again affirm the existence of Jamil Hussein. They complain that no one raised a question about Hussein's existence when he first became a source for AP stories, so why question him now.
By contrast, Hussein is well known to AP. We first met him, in uniform, in a police station, some two years ago. We have talked with him a number of times since then and he has been a reliable source of accurate information on a variety of events in Baghdad.

No one – not a single person – raised questions about Hussein’s accuracy or his very existence in all that time. Those questions were raised only after he was quoted by name describing a terrible attack in a neighborhood that U.S. and Iraqi forces have struggled to make safe.
Could it be that the situation he claims to have described didn't happen, so bloggers began asking questions that AP has not answered to any satisfaction despite their protestations to the contrary? Yet, there's still one simply act that could dispel all the blogger complaints - produce Jamil Hussein. AP has not done so, and no other reporters have managed to land an interview with him, despite the notoriety that would surround such a scoop. Curiouser and curiouser.

Allah at Hot Air also wonders about Kathleen Carroll's comments in E&P that I referenced above. It's not that he's unsympathetic to Carroll's comments, but the quick and easy way to resolve this is the one thing that AP appears completely unwilling to do - present Jamil Hussein to the public. Then there's the question of why we should trust AP stringers to be pristine while she all but calls the MOI complicit with various militias with agendas all to their own.

Ed Driscoll calls it circling the wagons. That wolf has already left the barn.

Also blogging: Gaius at Blue Crab Boulevard and Armed Liberal, who wonders what's Jamil's phone number because saying that he exists solely on AP's say so is insufficient.

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