Thursday, January 11, 2007

Unexpected News on Jamilgate

Bob Owens emails with the following story, which not only raises new questions about the person that the AP claims was in custody, but on the entire AP handling of the Jamil Hussein controversy.

Bob and Curt at Flopping Aces have been quite busy in searching for the truth about the situations described by AP's reporting, and in the process have found that AP's reporting is severely wanting for factual accuracy. Kathleen Carroll and other AP defenders would like to think that this situation is all a trumped up figment of bloggers' imaginations, but when the central figure - a source used in more than 60 AP reports, cannot be verified as even existing, and whose stories have not been verified by other sources, the AP is the one with the real problem, not the bloggers.
According to Bill Costlow of CPATT (Civilian Police Assistance Training Team) in Baghdad, and as forwarded by Lt. Michael Dean of Multinational Corps-Iraq/Joint Operations Command Public Affairs, our now infamous police captain in Iraq appears to be definitively not Jamil Hussein.

Nor is his name Jamil Gholaiem Hussein as stated repeatedly by the Associated Press Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll and other Associated Press employees.

Nor is his name Jamil Ghdaab Gulaim, as he has been called previously in other accounts. According to his personnel records at MOI, confirmed with BG Abdul-Kareem and then reportedly verified by BG Abdul-Karim Khalaf with AP's Baghdad sources, his name is actually Jamil Gulaim "XX".

The "XX" protects his second middle name and real last names, of which "Hussein" is not a part.
So, if this pans out, then the AP is not telling the truth of the matter asserted. If this information is incorrect, then someone at the Ministry or Costlow isn't telling the truth, which is a story in and of itself. Either way, there's a major story here - the outcome of which would depend on additional reporting, which seems to be generated by bloggers and not by the disinterested media. That's most curious. You would think that someone would want to check the veracity of claims made by all the parties involved, since it would make for a juicy story no matter where this ends up, and yet there's little reporting by the likes of the Washington Post, New York Times or other major media outlets. Curious. Very curious.

Curt has more (scroll to the bottom), including the AP's violation of journalistic ethics by using pseudonyms without informing readers of their use. Bob Owens has more on the ethical use of pseudonyms in reporting. Journalistic ethics seems to be rather low on the list of things to keep straight at the AP.

Meanwhile, the factual assertions in the AP stories (especially the one where four mosques were torched and six people were immolated) have yet to be verified by anyone other than the AP, which has repeatedly engaged in stealth corrections to adjust downwards the number killed and who may have seen the incident. More than six weeks after the initial questioning surfaced, that is still the salient point.

All this comes as Michelle Malkin and Bryan Preston are now in Iraq reporting on their experiences. This latest news will be surely of interest to them.

Oh, and I get a media mention in this CBS news roundup of blog reaction over the handling of the matter. And while reading through that, there are two people's contributions to the story that are notably absent - Bob Owens of Confederate Yankee and Curt at Flopping Aces. Curt was the one who got the ball rolling, and Bob has been doing serious heavy lifting on the matter for some time now. Curious.

Patterico and Hot Air think that Bob and Curt haven't quite got the gotcha moment they think they do because the AP has violated its own internal code of ethics and the general guidelines that journalists should follow for using anonymous sources. Don Surber thinks that this totally sinks the AP.

Others blogging: Classical Values whose skepticism over the AP story may never recover and Protein Wisdom notes that Malkin and Preston are both going to be heading to places that the press gaggle isn't likely to visit. Emperor Misha is hoping to dish out lots of crow to the very folks who were slamming Curt, Michelle, and others who were questioning the AP's version of events after the AP claimed to have produced proof of Jamil Hussein's existence.

UPDATE 1/12/2007:
After sending an email to CBS relating to my media mention, they inserted the link to my original story into their coverage, and said that they would again revisit Curt and Bob's websites to update the story.

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