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July 01, 2007

DecapitGate: The Projectile Bleeding Continues

Real decpitation outrages -- against children! -- perpetrated by Al Qaeda, as reported by a real reporter (Michael Yon).

Fake decapitation stories, reported by fake reporters (AP et al.). Unbelievably, Confederate Yankee's DecapiGate scandal is not the first, but the third (that we know of so far) of AP's "Fifty Heads in a Duffel Bag" stories, all of which are entirely unsubstantiated with no witnesses whatsoever and which have all be dismissed by the military as false after actually bothering to interview locals about the mass-slaughters supposedly happening within their lines of sight.

Any retractions? Follow-ups casting doubt on the initial reports? No.

Apologies? Hah!

Compare and contrast. Here's one minor difference: The real reporter actually visits the site in question, sees the bodies with his own eyes, and takes pictures.

The fake reporters sit in their jacuzzis in the Hotel Intercontinental and dutifully type up unverified rumors from highly-dubious sources/propagandists/hucksters lookin' for a buck and pass them off as a fact without having to to get their feet dry.

The left claims we criticize these stories in an effort to prove repellent violence isn't happening in Iraq at all. Nonsense. We're accutely aware of the real violence. And when it comes from a real reporter, we have no problem noting it.

The left, on the other hand, seems to believe that because "everyone knows" there's rampant violence in Iraq, it disobligates their pet propagandists from actually verifying rumors before transcribing them, unverified, unconfirmed, and largely even unedited, into a "news" report.

Hey, dickheads-- I know there's "a lot" of corruption, both hard and soft types, in Congress. That wouldn't give me the right to simply begin manufacturing made-up reports about Congressmen X and Senator Y being on the take, now would it? The fact of a general condition does not empower "reporters" to begin spinnning fictions about specific events which are merely congruent with the general condition.

I can't believe amateur bloggers have to explain this to the allegedly expert Priesthood of Information in the media -- or that the media actually argues the point, and has plenty of supporters for its jackass position. Eric Boehlert and other leftist media apologists virtually say, in so many words, that if the "The Larger Truth" is that there is lots of violence in Iraq, it is well within journalistic license to spin Steven Glass-like stories which are, in fact, technically untrue, but compatible with and reinforcing of "The Larger Truth."

There was a time when the media actually had some shame about getting facts wrong -- even when those incorrect facts did, in some way, illustrate "The Larger Truth." No more -- they've adopted the apocryphal quote the hated Ronald Reagan they're so fond of regurgitating, "Facts are stupid things."

What makes this doubly ironic -- and doubly infuriating -- is that the media is constantly criticizing bloggers for 1) engaging in sensationalism intended to push emotional buttons, 2) cherry-picking facts which serve its basic political agenda, and, most of all, 3) "reporting" unverified speculation and rumor as actual confirmed fact in the interests of advancing an overarching politicized metanarrative which descirbes the world as we'd like to see it, not necessarily as it actually is.

Well, MSM: We've learned at your knees. The DecapiGate scandal proves the media guilty of all three of those criticisms yourselves, but, unlike bloggers, who are actually ashamed and embarrassed when we're caught wrong, you shamelessly defend your errors as being, somehow, in the service of "The Larger Truth."

Fake but accurate, fake but accurate. What was once a derogatory slogan has become the MSM's credo, its mission statement, its guiding ethic of "sound journalism."

BTW: If the Iraqi government is so good at hiding bodies, how come they weren't able to do some cleaning up before Michael Yon got to the scene?

Let me guess: Because the Iraqi government wanted those bodies found, as propaganda against Al Qaeda, whereas the bodies supposedly found decapitated in Salman Pak were, what, unhelpful to the goverment in establishing that it is beset by psychopathic murderers?

No Pictures? Why? Watch how cutely ABCNews conflates two different stories -- 1, the beheading stories, 2, the quite-verified bus-bomb story -- to suggest, to those who aren't reading carefully, that there's television video of the former:

Twenty beheaded bodies were discovered Thursday on the banks of the Tigris River southeast of Baghdad and a car bomb killed another 20 people in one of the capital's busy outdoor bus stations, police said.

The beheaded remains were found in the Sunni Muslim village of Um al-Abeed, near the city of Salman Pak, which lies 14 miles southeast of Baghdad.
Related Stories

The bodies all men aged 20 to 40 had their hands and legs bound, and some of the heads were found next to the bodies, two officers said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information.

The victims' identities were unknown, but they were found in an area where Shiite travelers have been kidnapped and killed in the past, en route to the Shiite-dominated provinces of Wasit, Maysan and Basra.

A bomb in a parked car ripped through a crowded transport hub in southwest Baghdad's Baiyaa neighborhood at morning rush hour, killing at least 20 people and wounding more than 50, another officer said on the same condition.

Many of the victims had been lining up for buses, awaiting a ride to work. Some 40 minibuses were incinerated, police said.

Baiyaa is a mixed area with a Shiite majority, but it is also the main commercial center of a Sunni-dominated part of Baghdad on the west bank of the Tigris River. It is one of a string of neighborhoods just south of the main road to Baghdad International Airport where sectarian tensions have been running high.

AP Television News video showed a square strewn with smoldering car parts and charred bodies with clothes in tatters. Bystanders, some weeping, gingerly loaded human remains into ambulances.

So let me get this straight: Twenty beheaded bodies were found by police, and not a single civilian, or cop for that matter, snapped a valuable picture of the carnage with a cellphone camera? The cops were the very first people to notice all the headless bodies? Not a single civilian wandered past the site earlier and began documenting this?

Not a single ABCNews or AP source in the Iraqi Ministry was able to get, and leak, the official crime scene photos of the grisly find?

Even though such pictures are worth big money to the photographer or leaker? More than a month's wages, easily?

On the other hand, there's plenty of video of the bus-bombing taken just a short time after the explosion, while the wreckage and corpses are still smoking.

But of the twenty bodies -- and also the twenty heads -- no first-hand witness reports seeing them, and no one thought that maybe such a jaw-dropping scene might be worth the 400 kb of memory needed to capture it as a digital picture.

Really?

Really?

The story was filed June 28. It said none of the bodies had been identified, which is awfully convenient, despite the fact that some heads, and, ergo, some faces, were present on the scene.

It's now three days later -- and four days or so since the "discovery."

How's that identification process coming along?

Stringers are right on scene to capture poignant but rather trivial images like this...

...and yet no one's around to make with the snappy-snappy when a field is littered with headless human bodies.

Odd.


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posted by Ace at 06:25 PM

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