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Saturday, June 30, 2007

AP lies again: There we NO 20 beheaded bodies after all

The reporting that the AP does has come under close scrutiny again and with very good reason.

I ran across a piece done by Confederate Yankee the other day and waited for official word of what did and what didn't happen.

Once again, the AP reported rumor as news and that rumor, we come to find out, was a complete fabrication that could not be verified.


Headline and story written by an Associated Press writer.

20 Beheaded Bodies Found Southeast of Baghdad, Iraqi Police Say

Twenty beheaded bodies were discovered Thursday on the banks of the Tigris River southeast of Baghdad and a car bomb killed another 20 people in one of the capital's busy outdoor bus stations, police said.

The beheaded remains were found in the Sunni Muslim village of Um al-Abeed, near the city of Salman Pak, which lies 14 miles southeast of Baghdad.

The bodies all men aged 20 to 40 had their hands and legs bound, and some of the heads were found next to the bodies, two officers said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information.

Horrible huh? Problem is, it never hapened.

But something seemed inherently wrong with the accounts I read from the Associated Press. The only two sources for the Associated Press article were anonymous police, not located in Salman Pak, but from Baghdad (more than dozen miles away) and Kut (more than 75 miles away).

Because of this odd sourcing, I asked Multi-National Corps-Iraq and the PAO liaison to the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior to investigate.

I published their preliminary findings as they came out in Bring Me The Head of Kim Gamel.

This morning, MNF-I PAO published an official denunciation of this story:

June 30, 2007 Release A070630c

Extremists using false media reporting to incite sectarian violence

BAGHDAD, Iraq – Friday, news media reported a mass killing in a village near Salman Pak where 20 men were allegedly found beheaded. It now appears that the story was completely false and fabricated by unknown sources.

Upon learning of the press reports, coalition and Iraqi officials began investigating to determine if the reports were true. Ultimately it was concluded the reports were false.

Anti-Iraqi Forces are known for purposely providing false information to the media to incite violence and revenge killings, and they may well have been the source of this misinformation.

“Extremists promote falsehoods of mass killings, collateral damage and other violence specifically to turn Iraqis against other Iraqis,” said Rear Admiral Mark Fox, spokesperson for MNF-I. “Unfortunately, lies are much easier to state, the truth often takes time to prove,” said Fox.

Not all media reports can be immediately substantiated by Government of Iraq or Coalition Forces. They must go through a process to verify such claims, to include checking with various Iraqi Ministry’s, local police and security forces. Meanwhile, extremists have achieved their goal of spreading false information aimed at intimidating civilians and destabilizing Iraqi security.

Ultimately, media reporting based on verifiable sources will reduce the possibility of misinformation unnecessarily alarming citizens.

The Associated Press, Reuters, and Voices of Iraq should immediately apologize for publishing this completely false story, and push for immediate retractions. The Associated Press should admit full responsibility for not following good journalistic practices of verifying a story though legitimate responsible sources, as they were in a headlong, reckless rush to publish.

As an update the Confederate Yankee pointed out the AFP, showed much better judgement than the AP:

BAGHDAD (AFP) - The US military accused the international media on Saturday of exacerbating Iraq's violent tensions by reporting false claims of massacres which it said were deliberately fabricated by extremist groups.

This week several newspapers and agencies reported that Iraqi police had found 20 beheaded corpses in Salman Pak, just south of Baghdad.

AFP did not carry the report after its sources were unable to confirm the rumour.

This is not the first time the AP has used rumor as news and been caught red handed at it. Many of you might remember the whole Jamil Hussein thing, but it brings up a serious question here.

If Iraq is going so badly as our media touts every single day, then why the need to create and report false stories that make the front pages and have the left liberal blogs up in arms and spreading these lies without regard to whether they are true or not, then when proven wrong, just move right along without issuing a correction and spreading it as far as they spread the lies the first go round?

The Strategy Page brings up how our military sees our news coverage and they make the SAME comparisons I have made previously on this blog (Original piece from Nov. 2006, found here)about our media and our Democratic politicians being the Tokyo Rose of our day:

From The Strategy Page:

June 29, 2007: U.S. troops have been mystified at how differently the war they fight in Iraq is portrayed by the U.S. media back home. Most just shrug it off as "politics," and yet another reason to not trust what the mass media presents as reliable reporting. But recently, the troops have been passing around an interesting discovery. Namely, that the Japanese psychological warfare effort during World War II included radio broadcasts that could be picked up by American troops. Popular music was played, but the commentary (by one of several English speaking Japanese women) always hammered away on the same points;

1 Your President (Franklin D Roosevelt) is lying to you.

2 This war is illegal.

3 You cannot win the war.

The troops are perplexed and somewhat amused that their own media is now sending out this message. Fighting the enemy in Iraq is simple, compared to figuring out what news editors are thinking back home....

What I had to say previously:

Because of Harry Reids idiotic words yesterday I would like to repost this which was written in November of 2006 here at Wake up America.

The Democrats and the elite left wing media have become the Tokyo Rose of Iraq.

Every time a Democratic candidate or the media report that the "war in Iraq cannot be won", they are insulting the troops on the ground that fight every single day in a battle they DO think they can win. They are telling these brave men and women who are our soldiers that they do not believe in their capabilities nor do they believe the soldiers own words when they say they ARE winning this war in Iraq.

Every time the politicians claim that Iraq is a "failed policy" they are telling our troops that they are failing and that every sacrifice is in vain.

What Tokyo Rose could not accomplish, because they American soldiers KNEW she was lying about what their country felt, the left media and the democratic candidates and party are accomplishing, because they ARE Americans who are belittling our troops and our soldiers know it.

This campaign of the elite media and Democratic party to demoralize and insult our troops, by insulting their president, their Commander in Chief, the man they look up to as their ultimate superior.

Because the media only publicizes the bad and the death and continue to ignore the good news that comes from Iraq which I show in "Good News From Iraq Parts #1- Part #8", our soldiers, in this day and age of the internet, know that their stories are not being told. Their words are being ignored by the American people, ignored by the media and ignored by the Democratic party, for political purposes.

The Democratic party is using our soldiers as pawns in their political games and our troops know it. The Democratic party and the left media ARE Iraq's "Tokyo Rose."

For those of you who do not know who Tokyo Rose is:

During World War II, American soldiers dubbed the female broadcasters on Japanese radio, "Tokyo Rose." It was a name invented by the soldiers -- U.S. government research never found evidence of a person named Tokyo Rose in radio programs anywhere in the Pacific. The voice of Tokyo Rose was said to have taunted Allied forces during the war, hurting morale.

One of her jobs was as a typist for Radio Tokyo. There she met American and Australian prisoners of war who were being forced to broadcast radio propaganda. Toguri scavenged black-market food, medicine, and supplies for these POWs. When Radio Tokyo wanted a female voice for their propaganda shows, the POWs selected Toguri. She was one of many female, English-speaking voices on Radio Tokyo, and she took the radio name of "Orphan Ann." Her POW friends wrote her scripts and tried to sneak in pro-American messages whenever possible.

As Tokyo Rose was forced to demoralize our troops in World War II, the left now demoralizes our troops in Iraq. The difference between the two is Tokyo Rose was forced to do it, the Democratic party does it willingly for political gain.

Tokyo Rose was tried for treason, the Democrats and left media will not be for one reason, because these soldiers that fight every day and give their lives in the name of freedom, give the Democrats and the media the RIGHT to spit on their fallen soldiers graves, they fight to give them the right to spit on them. They fight, in some cases to the death so the Americans MAY have the freedom of speech as well as other liberties.

These men and women, these brave soldiers volunteer to join the service, they volunteer to go fight a war THEY believe in, and we, as a people should back them and be united in that support. The Democrats party strives to divide the country, knowing full well that this is the goal of our enemy. What does that make them?

That makes them ungrateful to our soldiers and willing allies of our enemy, they take advantage of the freedom and the rights that our soldiers fight to protect for them, in order to use those rights against the very men and women that die to protect that very right.

Ironic isn't it?

The AP needs to be held accountable for what it reports and everyone that uses them as a source without getting independent verification, should also be held accountable .

These are not just innocent mistakes, these are lies that are being spread by OUR MEDIA and one has to wonder why the original lie gets so much attention and yet when it is proven as a lie, almost no one bothers to mention it again, instead of making sure people know the truth.

Truth, in our media, has taken second place to political agenda and our troops who are fighting for us, deserve so much better than that.

Why are we not insisting they get it?