Jamil Hussein Does Exist?
The AP reports.
The Interior Ministry acknowledged Thursday that an Iraqi police officer whose existence had been denied by the Iraqis and the U.S. military is in fact an active member of the force, and said he now faces arrest for speaking to the media.
Ministry spokesman Brig. Abdul-Karim Khalaf, who had previously denied there was any such police employee as Capt. Jamil Hussein, said in an interview that Hussein is an officer assigned to the Khadra police station, as had been reported by The Associated Press.
The captain, whose full name is Jamil Gholaiem Hussein, was one of the sources for an AP story in late November about the burning and shooting of six people during a sectarian attack at a Sunni mosque.
The U.S. military and the Iraqi Interior Ministry raised the doubts about Hussein in questioning the veracity of the AP’s initial reporting on the incident, and the Iraqi ministry suggested that many news organization were giving a distorted, exaggerated picture of the conflict in Iraq. Some Internet bloggers spread and amplified these doubts, accusing the AP of having made up Hussein’s identity in order to disseminate false news about the war.
Khalaf offered no explanation Thursday for why the ministry had initially denied Hussein’s existence, other than to state that its first search of records failed to turn up his full name. He also declined to say how long the ministry had known of its error and why it had made no attempt in the past six weeks to correct the public record.
Jules Crittenden responds:
My big question: If we were supposed to believe the AP when the AP said the MOI’s Khalaf didn’t know what he was talking about, why are we supposed to believe Khalaf now that the AP says he does know what he’s talking about? Especially when the AP, which has stalwartly stood by Jamil Hussein’s existence as a source, has backed off what Hussein told them about four mosques burning?
Just asking. Has this thing morphed from false but true to true but false?
Fascinating. But let me be the first to say to the Left, before they lose themselves in glee, I don’t see that bloggers have anything to apologize for, nor do I see this story being at an end. The ultimate question is what happened in Hurriya the day six Sunnis were claimed to have been burned alive?
Did it happen? Is Shi’ite domination of one or more ministries trying to cover up violence by Shi’ite factions? Or is Hussein unreliable as a source?
If the story ends up being an expose’ on a troubling Shi’ite dominated Iraqi regime, as opposed to the AP being light on sourcing, so be it. Like most bloggers following this story, all I have ever wanted is the truth.
Indeed and strange it all was.
As I said before, it is important that bloggers / people check what news organizations report. The proof of this: the photos the AP used a while back which were photoshopped. They would have gone unchallenged if it was not for certain conservative bloggers. It now seems that Jamil Hussein does exist: good.
In general, I agree with Ed Morrissey’s take on it:
This certainly tends to discredit the blogospheric attacks on AP if true, as well as the US and Iraqi protestations. However, it doesn’t remove all of the questions about Jamil Hussein and the stories he supposedly sourced, and the first problem is the story that started the entire problem. Neither the AP nor any other news source has independently verified the story of the November burning and shooting death of six in the mosque. In fact, no one can confirm that a fire occurred at a mosque that day, other than the elusive Captain Hussein.
Whether Jamil Hussein actually exists is really a secondary issue. The fact that the AP used a single source for dozens of inflammatory stories about atrocities in Iraq that still have yet to find any confirmation is almost as disturbing as making the source up.
The AP seems to have been right: its source, Jamil, exists.
Now, please account for certain stories.