Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Who is Jamil Hussein and why you should care.
The A.P. oringinally reported the story based upon the eyewitness account of Jamil Hussein, a longtime source from the predominantly Shiite Hurriyah neighborhood of Baghdad. Mr. Hussein is reportedly a police officer in that neighborhood.
The controversy erupted after the U.S. military issued a letter calling the veracity of the report into question and claiming that there was no Jamil Hussein employed as a police officer in the Hurriyah neighborhood. Here is the pertinent quote directly from the release by CENTCOM:
We can tell you definitively that the primary source of this story, police Capt. Jamil Hussein, is not a Baghdad police officer or an MOI employee. We verified this fact with the MOI through the Coalition Police Assistance Training Team.Wow... Mr. Hussein, the source of this horrible story detailing sectarian torture of an unimaginable nature, is not who the A.P. says he is. Of course the right wing blogosphere picked this up and went into a veritable frenzy about the biased reporting of the A.P. and detailing how wrong they had been with every report ever having been sourced to Mr. Hussein. Clearly this was a case of the librul media making up stories that are intended to wrongly portray the state of affairs in Iraq to be violent and chaotic, when anyone who knows the truth knows Iraq violence is comparable to what we have in Washington D.C., or New York and so on. Bad Bad Librul Media!
But, further examination of the question at hand serves to show that it is in fact CENTCOM who is off base here, and the A.P. has been besmirched unfairly. Here is the A.P. follow up report:
The Associated Press first reported on Friday's incident that evening, based on the account of police Capt. Jamil Hussein and Imad al-Hashimi, a Sunni elder in Hurriyah, who told Al-Arabiya television he saw people who were soaked in kerosene, then set afire, burning before his eyes.So the A.P. reaffirms the identity of their source even after CENTCOM says their research shows no such person can possibly be their source. Seems like the A.P. have nailed down their bona fides on this one. This couldn't possibly be CENTCOM getting mixed up in trying to slant the news right? Just to be sure though A.P. goes around interviewing other witnesses, and they all tell a remarkably similar tale. The gory details follow so if you don't want to read what CENTCOM is trying to hide from you stop reading now:
AP Television News also took video of the Mustafa mosque showing a large portion of the front wall around the door blown away. The interior of the mosque appeared to be badly damaged and there were signs of fire.
However, the U.S. military said in a letter to the AP late Monday, three days after the incident, that it had checked with the Iraqi Interior Ministry and was told that no one by the name of Jamil Hussein works for the ministry or as a Baghdad police officer. Lt. Michael B. Dean, a public affairs officer of the U.S. Navy Multi-National Corps-Iraq Joint Operations Center, signed the letter, a text of which was published subsequently on several Internet blogs. The letter also reiterated an earlier statement from the U.S. military that it had been unable to confirm the report of immolation.
Seeking further information about Friday's attack, an AP reporter contacted Hussein for a third time about the incident to confirm there was no error. The captain has been a regular source of police information for two years and had been visited by the AP reporter in his office at the police station on several occasions. The captain, who gave his full name as Jamil Gholaiem Hussein, said six people were indeed set on fire.
On Tuesday, two AP reporters also went back to the Hurriyah neighborhood around the Mustafa mosque and found three witnesses who independently gave accounts of the attack. Others in the neighborhood said they were afraid to talk about what happened.Which should lead us who are interested in accuracy and truth in the opinions we spew forth on a daily basis to wonder, when can we expect all the right wing bloggers who castigated the A.P. on this one to issue corrections? Suffice to say that I will not hold my breath waiting for that to occur.
Those who would talk said the assault began about 2:15 p.m., and they believed the attackers were from the Mahdi Army militia loyal to radical anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. He and the Shiite militia are deeply rooted in and control the Sadr City enclave in northeastern Baghdad where suspected Sunni insurgents attacked with a series of car bombs and mortar shells, killing at least 215 people a day before.
The witnesses refused to allow the use of their names because they feared retribution either from the original attackers or the police, whose ranks are infiltrated by Mahdi Army members or its associated death squads.
Two of the witnesses — a 45-year-old bookshop owner and a 48-year-old neighborhood grocery owner — gave nearly identical accounts of what happened. A third, a physician, said he saw the attack on the mosque from his home, saw it burning and heard people in the streets screaming that people had been set on fire. All three men are Sunni Muslims.
The two other witnesses said the mosque assault began in earnest about 2:30 p.m. after the arrival of the four vehicles filled with arms. They said the attackers fired into the mosque, then entered and set it on fire.
Then, the witnesses said, the attackers brought out six men, blindfolded and handcuffed, and lined them up on the street at the gate of the mosque. The witnesses said the six were doused with kerosene from a 1.3-gallon canister and set on fire at intervals, one after the other, with a torch made of rags. The fifth and sixth men in the line were set afire at the same time.
The witnesses said the burning victims rolled on the ground in agony until apparently dead, then the gunmen fired a single bullet into each of their heads.
Asking for corrections from the blogshpere is sort of like expecting balance from Faux News. ;-)
P.S. Incidents like this usually don't go unnoticed by the military. We observe all happenings because in them are usually small details of intelligence or other valuable information.
With love from Iraq.
Having done 2 tours in Iraq myself, I still shake my head at the audacity of the MSM and their pseudo-intellectual defenders at how blatantly they mis-report the war in Iraq. They don't care about the truth, as you well know...they only care about shoving their worthless collectivist idiot-ology down our throats. Leftists, like this poor misinformed webblog owner, have a hard time admitting they can only view the world via the leftist anocranioscope.
The real reason the left is upset about this is we have proof that Fox is the only news source that can be trusted now. Reuters, AP, CBS and the NYT (just the tip of the iceberg) have all been shown to manufacture false news and cannot be trusted to report the truth. The left can't stand the thought of real Americans finally waking up to the lies of the left.
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