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Fake news vs. real news from Iraq

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By Michelle Malkin  •  November 28, 2006 07:35 AM

Poll time:

Who’s the biggest terrorist propaganda tool?
The Associated Press
The New York Times
CNN
al Jazeera
  

10:35am Eastern update: Here are the results three hours into the pollling. The blabbermouths at the NYTimes are still ahead…

poll1035.jpg

***

Not to skew the poll results, but the Associated (with terrorists) Press has a lot of explaining to do. I’ve re-sent my unanswered e-mail to AP from yesterday morning about the increasingly dubious Burned Six story. Also sent a follow-up e-mail to the corporate communications office asking them to respond to the latest startling revelation at Curt at Flopping Aces challenging this AP story, which reported that “police and witnesses said U.S. soldiers shot and killed 11 civilians and wounded five on Sunday night in the Baghdad suburb of Husseiniya.” Curt received the following e-mail:

Anti-Iraqi Forces opened fire, targeting civilians in the al-Husseiniya area. 10 civilians were killed and six wounded at 11 p.m. Nov. 26. The incident was reported by the Iraqi Police through the Joint National Operations Center (a civilian matter relayed to the Coalition for tracking purposes). There was no Coalition involvement.

v/r

Capt. J. Elaine Hunnicutt (USAF)

Multi-National Corps – Iraq
Joint Operations Center
PAO OIC Nights

Then there are the questions See-Dubya has raised about numerous unverified police sources (being investigated by the military, as Curt first disclosed) but quoted by the AP in its version of the very same suspicious story about an alleged airstrike in Ramadi dissected by Patterico.

Update: Jim Hoft checks out another suspicious AP source, Lt. Maithem Abdul Razzaq.

Still no response from AP to this published by Flopping Aces yesterday afternoon:

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Dear Associated Press:

On Nov. 24, 2006, your organization published an article by Qais Al-Bashir about six Sunnis being burned alive in the presence of Iraqi Police officers. This news item, which is below, received an enormous amount of coverage internationally.

We at Multi-National Corps – Iraq made it known through MNC-I Press Release Number 20061125-09 and our conversations with your reporters that neither we nor Baghdad Police had any reports of such an incident after investigating it and could find no one to corroborate the story. A couple of hours ago, we learned something else very important. 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.

Also, we definitely know, as we told you several weeks ago through the MNC-I Media Relations cell, that another AP-popular IP spokesman, Lt. Maithem Abdul Razzaq, supposedly of the city’s Yarmouk police station, does not work at that police station and is also not authorized to speak on behalf of the IP. The MOI has supposedly issued a warrant for his questioning.

I know we have informed you that there exists an MOI edict that no one below the level of chief is authorized to be an Iraqi Police spokesperson. An unauthorized IP spokesperson will get fired for talking to the media. While I understand the importance of a news agency to use anonymous and unauthorized sources, it is still incumbent upon them to make sure their facts are straight. Was this information verified by anyone else? If the source providing the information is lying about his name, then he ought not to be represented as an official IP spokesperson and should be listed as an anonymous source.

Unless you have a credible source to corroborate the story of the people being burned alive, we respectfully request that AP issue a retraction, or a correction at a minimum, acknowledging that the source named in the story is not who he claimed he was. MNC-I and MNF-I are always available and willing to verify events and provide as much information as possible when asked.

Very respectfully,
LT Dean
Michael B. Dean
Lieutenant, U.S. Navy
MNC-I Joint Operations Center
Public Affairs Officer

***

So, what’s really going on in Iraq? Things are not good, but we cannot trust third-hand accounts from shady “spokesmen” funneled through dubious foreign stringers working for the terrorist-sympathizing, anti-Bush press to give us the straight scoop. While the blogosphere works on debunking MSM tall tales about Iraq, Iraqi bloggers are thankfully still able to publish their eyewitness accounts. It may not be as sensationally dire as the MSM claims, but the situation on the ground is plenty dicey. Here’s a wrenching account from Iraqi blogger Mohammed at Iraq the Model. His parting words:

Being stuck at home for four days with all the violence going outside and the fear that it might reach you at home was a horrible experience. When the news came that the curfew was over and people began walking on the streets again there was a strange feeling that was particularly very strong this morning in Baghdad; despite all the rumors and fear from more wide-scale revenge attacks there was a feeling among the people that they must go out on the streets and live in all possible means.

The most beautiful scene was that of students going to their schools and colleges despite all what happened in the days before.

Not everyone will absorb the lesson but I’m sure that this last dose of terror has changed the feelings of so many people here, a change in favor of denouncing and rejecting violence, I hope.

***
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