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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Enemy Propaganda from the AP---Finale

To catch up on the Associated Press enemy propaganda lies, here is all the stories on one page (Click here)

Michelle Malkin and Bryan from Hot Air went to Iraq and did some investigating of the Burning Six story that the AP reported on, that turned out to be nothing more than propaganda and rumor that the AP relied on a "stringer" for information, then reported it as fact and it turned out to be false.

Instead of issuing a retraction or firing the reporter, an AP Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll, not only stood by the story, even after it had been proven to be false, but accused the blogger that original discovered the lies (Curt at Flopping Aces), thereby making matters even worse.

Now, when when a Reuters photographer doctored photos in the most recent Israel/Hizbullah war, Reuters admitted there was a problem, took the photo down, apologized and fired the editor.... a note to Kathleen Carroll.... THAT is what you do when your employees discredit you.

Michelle Malkin, in her article for the New York Post shows that she did the investigating that the AP reporter should have done or Kathleen Carroll should have verified before putting her reputation on the line and ruining the AP's credibility.

January 21, 2007 -- WELL, the Iraqi Ministry of Interior says disputed Associated Press source Jamil Hussein does exist. But at least one story he told the AP just doesn't check out: The Sunni mosques that as Hussein claimed and AP reported as "destroyed," "torched" and "burned and [blown] up" are all still standing. So the credibility of every AP story relying on Jamil Hussein remains dubious.

Let's take it from the beginning.

When the AP ran its head- line-grabbing and horrifying account of alleged atrocities in Baghdad last Thanksgiving, its main source was an Iraqi police captain, one Jamil Hussein.

Bloggers led by Curt of Flopping Aces ( raised questions about the veracity and existence of Hussein and the information he supplied to the AP. U.S. military officials and the Iraqi government initially disputed that Hussein was employed as a legitimate police officer.

After several weeks of stonewalling by its news executives, the AP published a report quoting an Iraqi Interior Ministry spokesman who reversed course and verified Hussein's existence and employment. Left-wing blogs and mainstream-media outlets crowed - eagerly proclaiming the death of the conservative blogosphere's credibility and declaring the matter settled.

AP Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll indignantly attacked those who had questioned the global news organization's reporting: "I never quite understood why people chose to disbelieve us about this particular man on this particular story," she told Editor and Publisher. "AP runs hundreds of stories a day, and has run thousands of stories about things that have happened in Iraq."

Well, Bryan Preston and I visited the area during our Iraq trip last week. Several mosques did, in fact, come under attack by Mahdi Army forces. But the "destroyed" mosques all still stand. Iraqi and U.S. Army officials say that two of them received no fire damage whatsoever. Another, which we filmed, was abandoned and empty when it was attacked.

WE obtained summary reports and photos filed at the time by Iraqi and U.S. Army troops on the scene. They contain no corroborating evidence of Hussein's claim that "Shiite militiamen grabbed six Sunnis as they left Friday worship services, doused them with kerosene and burned them alive near Iraqi soldiers who did not intervene."

One of the mosques identified by the AP, the Nidaa Alah mosque, had been abandoned and vacant at the time it was hit with small-arms fire, say Iraqi and U.S. Army officials. Two of its inside rooms were burned out by a lobbed firebomb, according to an Army report.

Three other mosques in the area - the al Muhaymin, al Mushahiba and Ahbab Mustafa mosques - sustained small-arms fire damage to their exteriors; the Mustafa mosque also had two rooms burned out by a firebomb.

Contrary to Hussein and the AP's account, military reports note that Iraqi Army battalion members were on the scene - pursuing attackers, securing the area, calling the fire department, providing support and an outer cordon.

Neither The New York Times nor The Washington Post was able to confirm AP's story.

The AP quoted one corroborating witness, Imad al-Hasimi, a Sunni elder in Hurriya, who "confirmed Hussein's account" of the immolated Sunnis on Al-Arabiya television. When Al-Hasimi later recanted, AP implied that it was due to pressure from Iraqi government officials. The other possibility: He recanted because it wasn't true.

Capt. Aaron Kaufman of Task Force Justice, which works closely with the Iraqi Army battalion that was on the scene and monitored events as they happened, told us: "It was blown way out of proportion, there was nobody lit on fire."

Capt. Stacy Bare, the civil-affairs officer who took us on patrol in Hurriya, concurred: "There were no six Sunnis burned."

MURDERS do happen regularly in their area, the soldiers em phasized. And no one sugarcoated the brutality of the Shiite militia. But the soldiers say this particular story doesn't stand up.

And if this one doesn't, how many others don't? As AP exec Carroll herself said, "AP runs hundreds of stories a day, and has run thousands of stories about things that have happened in Iraq." Jamil Hussein supplied the AP with information for scores of stories, not just this faulty one. Rumor-based reporting serves no one's interests but those who would see Iraq fail.

Lt. Col. Steven Miska, commander of the Dagger Brigade at Forward Operating Base Justice, observed: "Part of it is, if you're relying on Iraqi reporters, well, what are their biases? What clans are they from and tribes? Why are they telling me this? What's his underlying motivation? And if you quote a police chief, well, those guys have underlying motivations, too . . ."

"I've gone out and found police chiefs on the street and said, 'What happened here?' Something just blew up and he told me, 'Well, U.S. airplanes just bombed this building.'

"I said, 'What are you talking about? It was freakin' insurgent rockets that just hit the building, I picked them up on radar.' " But he just told the reporter on the street that U.S. warplanes bombed the building and killed 13 people.

"So, rumors on the street Iraqis will take at face value. Trying to get them to do investigations is like pulling teeth out of their head."

MANY Iraqis lie to survive. Rumor is the common national dialect that unites the country's warring sects and tribes. Sunni journalists carry multiple ID cards to disguise themselves. Shiite Iraqi Army members hide their day jobs - changing into uniform only after arriving on base.

Deception and manipulation are also tools of the insurgent trade. Satellites, cellphones and Internet cafes aid insurgent and militia propaganda wars 24/7.

It behooves the Western media to acknowledge these realities and maintain as much transparency about their sources and local stringers as possible.

It is now time for Kathleen Carroll and the Associated Press to be held accountable.

Will they be?

It is also time for every major publication that uses AP reporters to either stop or demand to see verification of their stories.

It is also time for us, bloggers, readers and those that demand legitimate reporting and truth to STOP LINKING TO AP STORIES. Unless they can be verified from additional sources, we do not know if what they are telling the American people is truth, lies, rumor or deliberate propaganda. Fact is, now that WE know how the AP reports and their lack of credibility, to keep using their stories that are unverified, also puts OUR credibility at risk.

If you KNOW something is a lie or a distortion, or know that it could be, to use it without verifying it, makes US just as responsible for spreading enemy propaganda if we do not use OUR resources to make sure it is true.

Michelle Malkin and Bryan were able to get reports, witnesses and pictures of the mosques and they were there about a week, I believe..... why couldn't the AP get this information BEFORE reporting what turned out to be nothing more than enemy propaganda that never happened?

If there are no ramifications for the Associated Press, then there is no reason for them to report truthfully. If the American people and those of us that link to their lies, continue to do so and use their stories for our own articles, then what is the incentive for the AP to start verifying their stories? NONE.

Piss and moan all you want, but if you do not ACT, then you deserve the lies you are being fed by the Associated Press and other news organizations that use their unverified stories.

Michelle Malkin also has pictures of the mosques that the AP claimed were burned.

Others discussing this:
Confederate Yankee, Don Surber, LGF, Power Line and Dean's World.