Sunday, December 17, 2006

Jamil Hussein and crow recipes

So Marc Danziger has stated that he may have found the elusive Captain Hussein. Bully on him, and it's true that a lot of people around the blogosphere will have to eat some crow over this (although, as Glenn points out, it says a lot about the AP when a blogger operating out of California is able to do more than the AP itself). But unless there's some severe pushback over this, the AP will get off scot free. And they shouldn't. Regardless of whether or not Capt Hussein exists, the AP ran several stories that both the Iraqi Govt. and CENTCOM repeatedly and emphaticaly stated as being false. Even if Capt Hussein does exist, the background of the stories is what should really be at question. The AP's continued use of stringers with even less developed backgrounds than Capt Hussein is what really should be attacked here.

What is comes down to is that the AP is saying that they believe one guy over the combined weight of the Iraqi Government and CENTCOM. Even after the Iraqi Army sent patrols to the supposed mosques and found no burned bodies. Even after CENTCOM and the Iraqi Government have stated they received no reports of burning mosques. Even IF Captain Hussein does turn out to exist and be an actual cop, the question still remains why the AP believes one guy over the Government and CENTCOM. How does the AP know that this one officer isn't a Mahdi Army member or a Sunni extremist? Hell, the AP had admitted as much in many of their stories where witnesses names were witheld since the Iraqi police force has some sectarian infiltrators.

The bottom line is that a lot of old media's reporting in general on Iraq, and the AP's in particular, has sucked as of late, and that needs to change. It would be unfortunate if the discovery of one guy is able to deflect a lot of that criticism and remove the calls for reform.