The Denial from the Right: AP Has To Falsify Deaths In Iraq?

If you have been following the Right Wing Blogs' campaign against an AP report of a November burning of a mosque in Iraq where 6 Iraqis died, you wil have learned that the campaign was discredited today when the Iraqi Interior ministry admitted that AP's source did exist.

But what is interesting to me is why did this story of literally hundreds of reports of Iraqis being killed cause such a stir? I suppose it was because the US military and the Iraqi interior ministry denied that AP's source Jamil Hussein, worked for the Iraqi police. But the AP strongly and unequivocally stood by its story and insisted Hussein not only existed, but was in fact an Iraqi police officer, even naming the station where he worked.

The Right Blog campaign on this always struck me as odd, to say the least. It seems hard to understand why AP would manufacture a story of violence in Iraq. Did the Right think there was not enough true stories of Iraqi violence?

Which gets to my point. Forget about the decision to go to Iraq, whether intelligence was ginned up, no WMD, corners turned, purple fingers and all the rest, can the Right NOT accept the mess that Iraq is now? Is the Right incapable of accepting reality? More.

Take Ed Morrissey. He is one of the more intelligent and level-headed of the Right bloggers, which, admittedly, is not much of a compliment imo. But he writes this about the Jamil Hussein story:

This certainly tends to discredit the blogospheric attacks on AP if true, as well as the US and Iraqi protestations. However, it doesn't remove all of the questions about Jamil Hussein and the stories he supposedly sourced, and the first problem is the story that started the entire problem. Neither the AP nor any other news source has independently verified the story of the November burning and shooting death of six in the mosque. In fact, no one can confirm that a fire occurred at a mosque that day, other than the elusive Captain Hussein.

Nobody has confirmed that a mosque was burned? Well how about these guys?

Contrary to recent media reporting that four mosques were burned in Hurriya, an Iraqi Army patrol investigating the area found only one mosque had been burned in the neighborhood.

. . . At approximately 3:50 p.m., a local civilian reported to the patrol that armed insurgents had set the Al-Nidaa mosque on fire by throwing a gas container into the mosque. The patrol pursued the insurgents but lost contact with them.

The Soldiers called the fire department and set up a cordon around the mosque. Local fire trucks responded to the scene and extinguished the fire at approximately 4:00 p.m. The mosque sustained smoke and fire damage in the entry way but was not destroyed.

. . . The patrol was also unable to confirm media reports that six Sunni civilians were allegedly dragged out of Friday prayers and burned to death. Neither Baghdad police nor Coalition forces have reports of any such incident.

So there WAS a fire. And there IS a police officer named Jamil Hussein who worked at the very police station that the AP said he worked at. So far, the Right blogs are 0 for 2.

Morrisey continues:

And then there's the question about the Iraqi intent to arrest Hussein. Why would they want to arrest him if he told the truth to the AP? Certainly crime is a matter of public record, and if his dozens of tips to the AP accurately describe real incidents, then they should have no real problem with his interaction with journalists. . . . [S]imply relating actual incidents to a reporter should garner no more than a termination, and given the need for police in Iraq, it's doubtful it would amount to even that.

I truly do not know what to say about this. Does Morrissey really believe this? Does he believe that the Iraqi government would not want to suppress this type of news? From sheer embarrassment if nothing else now? How can you reason with this? This is the equivalent of Jason Leopold and his bogus Rove indicted story.

Morrisey continues, citing Flopping Aces:

As far as the burning bodies story goes we already know that all we have to prove that this incident happened are three unnamed witnesses. One Imam who quickly retracted the story. And one police officer named Jamil Hussein.

That's it.

No names of the victims. No family members of the victims have been identified. No one know where the bodies are. No photographic evidence of a burning. Nothing other then the word of three unnamed witnesses and a police officer.

Just 3 witnesses and a POLICE OFFICER? My gawd, how thin can a story be? This is just well, delusion. What can one say about this?

But even this delusion is false:

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.

. . . 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.

. . . One witness said he and other people from the neighborhood took the six immolation victims to the Sunni cemetery near Baghdad's Abu Ghraib suburb and buried them after the gunbattle. That witness said one of the victims was the Mustafa mosque muezzin or prayer caller, Ahmed al-Mashadani. He did not know the names of the five others, but said they were all members of the al-Mashadani tribe.

So we have where the bodies were buried, the name of one of the victims and the tribe all were members of. But there were only 3 eyewitnesses and a police officer after all.

What's my point about all this? The point is this - the Right will never accept the reality of Iraq. Want more evidence? Here is Morrissey on a story he likes, ironically from the hated BBC, concerning some captured Iranian intelligence agents:

Five Iranians detained by US forces in Baghdad last month were senior intelligence officers engaged in a covert political mission to influence the Iraqi government, the BBC said.

"There were five senior officers in various intelligence organisations... It was a very significant meeting... These people have been collared, relatively speaking, up to no good," one unnamed British official told the broadcaster.

US forces detained 10 people on December 21 on suspicion of weapons smuggling after finding what they said were documents, maps, photographs and videos in a raid at pro-Iranian Shiite leader Abdul Aziz al-Hakim's compound.
The US wants the men designated as personae non grata, which would strip them of any diplomatic immunity if they return to Iraq. So far, the Iraqis seem unwilling to do so, but they may need to answer why they want Iranian spies as participants in their political strategy sessions.

Wow! They really do not get it do they? The Iraqi Shiite government is FILLED with Iranian supporters. Has the Right not heard of SCIRI and Dawa? Do they really think Sadr is the only Iraqi faction leader backed by Iran?

Oh by the way, what of this? Bush meets with the leader of Iranian backed-SCIRI. What is going on here? And Joe Lieberman writes this:

This bloodshed, moreover, is not the inevitable product of ancient hatreds. It is the predictable consequence of a failure to ensure basic security and, equally important, of a conscious strategy by al-Qaeda and Iran, which have systematically aimed to undermine Iraq's fragile political center. On this point, let there be no doubt: If Iraq descends into full-scale civil war, it will be a tremendous battlefield victory for al-Qaeda and Iran. Iraq is the central front in the global and regional war against Islamic extremism.

Sp let's get this straight - BOTH Al Qaida AND Iran are winning? Even though they are fighting each other? Joe Lieberman has lost his marbles. As has the Right apparently.

But we have a big day tomorrow, because John McCain and Lieberman will be giving "serious remarks" in support of their plan to double down on their Iraq Debacle.

Who will stop the madness?

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  • Display: Sort:
    Why don't they give it up? (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by LarryE on Fri Jan 05, 2007 at 01:41:00 AM EST
    I think there are two reasons beyond an inability to see reality that is driving people like Morrisey here.

    One is that the original assault on AP was, I think, much like the assault on the now-infamous Bush AWOL story on CBS: The wingers thought they'd spotted a weak point, so they attacked it full force, the better to bring the whole structure down through "false in one, false in all" reasoning.

    In the CBS case, it was the memo that was the weak point and by attacking it and putting all the attention on it, the right killed the whole story by successfully fogging the fact that even if the memo was faked, its contents had been confirmed.

    In this case, the desire was to undermine press reports coming out of Iraq. You know, the "the biased liberal media reporting only bad news" business. Because of the initial question about Jamil Hussein, the wingers thought they had caught AP in a mistake and tried to use it to blow apart all their (and by extenion, others') coverage; note how often the story was presented not even as a blunder but as "destroying AP's credibility" or some such formulation.

    But now that charge has collapsed, which brings up the second reason: One of the operating principles of rightwing arguments is never back down! Never give an inch! So now, even though the entire basis for questioning the story has evaporated, they will just blithely shift gears and continue casting doubt on it as if nothing had happened.

    Consider it the politics of victory through sitzfleisch.

    Spinning wingnuts (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Edger on Fri Jan 05, 2007 at 12:28:28 PM EST
    can the Right NOT accept the mess that Iraq is now? Is the Right incapable of accepting reality?

    In the mind of the average wingnut ends justify means, or so they seem to think.

    This traps them in a quandary of their own making. They cannot allow for bad news because to do so is to accept that their ends are not being achieved - and therefore their means are unjustifiable.

    The means have to be justified. Failure to justify them would require facing how ugly and insane and immoral they have been - and passing unwelcome judgement on themselves. Their means, by their own standards, can only be justify by achieving their desired ends.

    IOW, the right is incapable of accepting reality because they are incapable of accepting reality.

    Simple huh? Dizzy Yet?

    Don't you read the comments? (none / 0) (#1)
    by aw on Thu Jan 04, 2007 at 11:19:30 PM EST
    can the Right NOT accept the mess that Iraq is now? Is the Right incapable of accepting reality?

    Simple Answers to Simple Questions (none / 0) (#4)
    by scarshapedstar on Fri Jan 05, 2007 at 02:09:39 AM EST

    Writing on the wall (none / 0) (#2)
    by Edger on Fri Jan 05, 2007 at 12:04:17 AM EST
    They are determined either to attack Iran or back (perhaps from the shadows with what they hope is deniability) Israel attacking Iran, probably this year.

    Lieberman's statement...

    a conscious strategy by al-Qaeda and Iran, which have systematically aimed to undermine Iraq's fragile political center. On this point, let there be no doubt: If Iraq descends into full-scale civil war, it will be a tremendous battlefield victory for al-Qaeda and Iran
    ...is about as close as we've seen to Bush himself inventing a direct link between Iran and al-Qaeda. Liebermans statement is in an article titled Why We Need More Troops in Iraq. Well, why indeed, other than to attack Iran with, of course, is the obvious implication. Is it the beginning of intensive propagandizing to create justifications (however weak) and prepare support (as little as it will be) for that attack?

    I believe that Bush and Cheney are going to do things over the next two years that will make eveything they've done in the past six years pale into insignificance in comparison, and look like completely innocent sweetness and light. Like childs play.

    I would also not be surprised to see a (faked) Iranian attack on a US ship in the Gulf or the Indian Ocean sometime in the near future.

    Military Action Needed Against Iran, Israeli Think Tank Says
    By Julie Stahl, CNSNews.com Jerusalem Bureau Chief
    January 04, 2007

    The international community must use all diplomatic options at its disposal to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, but in the end military force will be necessary, the director of a leading think tank here said on Thursday.
    2007: Decisive Year for the Israeli-Neocon Attack Iran Plan
    by Kurt Nimmo, Global Research, January 2, 2007

    And they must have plausible deniability... (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Bill Arnett on Fri Jan 05, 2007 at 01:33:32 PM EST
    ...which no doubt accounts for THIS.:

    ABC News' Martha Raddatz Reports: ABC News has learned that the president intends to nominate Admiral William J. Fallon to replace General John Abizaid at Central Command.  The announcement is expected next week, before the president gives his Iraq strategy speech, according to US officials.

    Officials also tell ABC that the replacement as MNF-I commander in Iraq (replacing Gen. George Casey) will be LTG David Petraeus.  Though Casey was originally staying in position till June, he is expected to leave earlier than expected probably in the next few months.

    "The president wants a clean sweep" an official told ABC News.
    Fallon, who is in the Navy, is currently head of Pacific Command; he will be overseeing two ground wars, so the appointment is highly unusual.

    A NAVAL flag officer running two ground wars? Maybe bush ran out of army generals who would be sycophants for him?

    Setting it up for someone else to be blamed.


    Wow (none / 0) (#13)
    by Edger on Fri Jan 05, 2007 at 01:51:39 PM EST
    I hadn't heard of this. Has Abizaid been opposing Bush on Iraq or on Iran?

    Don't know, but I think he is our only... (none / 0) (#14)
    by Bill Arnett on Fri Jan 05, 2007 at 01:57:34 PM EST
    ...general to actually speak Arabic, so it seems stupid to relieve him of duty.

    This is a shocker.


    Here it is - Admiral Fallon is "it" now (none / 0) (#15)
    by Edger on Fri Jan 05, 2007 at 02:02:46 PM EST
    Abizaid was a critic of Bush's efforts to add more troops to Iraq, but the circumstances of his early departure are unclear.

    "The president wants a clean sweep," an official told ABC News.


    It's stating the obvious of course... (none / 0) (#17)
    by Edger on Fri Jan 05, 2007 at 02:20:04 PM EST
    ...but bush wouldn't be wanting a 'clean sweep' of commanders who supported his objectives, now would he?

    I'll say (none / 0) (#16)
    by aw on Fri Jan 05, 2007 at 02:11:25 PM EST
    Duh (none / 0) (#5)
    by soccerdad on Fri Jan 05, 2007 at 05:51:39 AM EST

    bringing peace and freedom to the ME (none / 0) (#6)
    by Sailor on Fri Jan 05, 2007 at 09:54:39 AM EST
    an Iraqi police officer whose existence had been denied by the Iraqis and the U.S. military is in fact an active member of the force, and said he now faces arrest for speaking to the media.

    The root of all evil..... (none / 0) (#7)
    by aahpat on Fri Jan 05, 2007 at 10:06:35 AM EST
    "Is the Right incapable of accepting reality?"

    You hve hit the nexus of the problem. Fact is, yes. Right-wingers have no concept of reality and are forever trying to bend reality to their authoritarian moralistic fantasy.

    This is the real source of most of the problems in the world.

    ummm, you forgot........... (none / 0) (#8)
    by cpinva on Fri Jan 05, 2007 at 12:20:02 PM EST
    Is the Right incapable of accepting reality?

    they make their own reality, remember? we were told this not too long ago. why should this come as any surprise to you?

    frankly, i am surprised that they aren't all contending there hasn't actually been 3,000+ u.s. military fatalities in iraq. it's a lie promulgated by the left-wing, liberal media cabal.

    oh sure, there've been a couple of stubbed toes, but that happens.

    no, these guys create their own reality, and get very upset when the rest of us don't just go along with the damn program!

    They are genetically unable to admit fault... (none / 0) (#10)
    by Bill Arnett on Fri Jan 05, 2007 at 12:28:32 PM EST
    ...and that inability to do so is finally hanging them by their fingernails, precariously indeed, as the vast majority of America has awaken to the fact that rethuglicans are also genetically incapable of governing.

    Lies, even lies of omission, have a nasty way of catching up to the party spreading them, and I don't think ANYONE but total rightwing wingnuts believe anything bush/cheney/their republican guard says anymore, particularly regarding the "Armstrong Williams" type propaganda from the majority of news outlets.

    AP, whose reporters have been illegally confined, has no more incentive to any longer play the "who-shot-John" game of BS reporting coming from other outlets.

    Its called (none / 0) (#11)
    by aahpat on Fri Jan 05, 2007 at 01:01:40 PM EST
    "Is the Right incapable of accepting reality?"

    Its a mental defect know as narcissistic delusion. Most politicians from the two dominance parties suffer with this mental defect.