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January 11, 2007

There Is No "Captain Jamil Hussein"

Allah doesn't consider this news. I think it is.

It's not "HUGE" as Confederate Yankee thinks, but it's news.

As was speculated numerous times, and directly asked of AP, AP was in fact giving their source a psuedonym. And the real name is, in fact, the name that some bloggers have been asking about for a while.

Not citing an unnamed source; giving him a false name. Confederate Yankee notes that this is, of course, a breach of AP's policies.

It's somewhat understandable that the cop in question wanted to be called by a false name -- an unnamed source invites a search for the leaker. A false name invites a search too, but for a guy who doesn't exist. And given the situation in Iraq, it's kinda-sorta understandable AP gave him his fake name. And it's kinda-sorta understandable why they stonewalled -- they couldn't admit they were using a psuedonym. Not only would that be an admission of a journalistic breach, but, more importantly, it would endanger the guy they were trying to protect.

(It's not a big thing that this guy denies being AP's source -- of course he denies it. That was the whole point of the fake name. He's forbidden by MOI from speaking to the press, so of course he's not going to admit doing so.)

But the news here is that AP did in fact deceive the public, and did in fact stand by its deception, and furthermore -- did in fact misrepresent the Iraqi MOI's "admission" of a source named "Captain Jamil Hussein," if Flopping Ace's CPATT source is correct. They admitted a source, but not by that name, because it's not the guy's name. That's a fairly large breach. One can excuse the pseudonym breach on grounds of prudence, but how to excuse AP falsely reporting the government's confirmation of a police officer named "Jamil Hussein"? That's a deception to protect only their own reputation, not their source's well-being.

Patterico has doubts the AP did misrepresent the alleged "confirmation," but if there is no "Jamil Hussein," which seems to be the case, I can't see the government confessing "error" in not finding a name in their records when that name did not, in fact, exist in their records. Does that sound like any government you know of? Copping to mistakes it didn't make?

And, while this will all go down in MSM/leftwing blog legend as a horrid mistake by rightwing bloggers, the facts seem to stand: There was no Jamil Hussein; AP deceived the public by providing a false "name" of a source; rightwing bloggers were correct there was no police captain by that name; rightwing bloggers were further correct in their speculations about what the source's name might really be.

Some crow was eaten, but perhaps a few forkfulls too many.

Don't expect AP or the left to partake of its fair share.

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posted by Ace at 02:33 PM

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