Main Stream News Media Reports False Iraq Story

Recently the main stream news media reported that six Sunni civilians were burned alive as they left Friday mosque services, over the Thanksgiving holiday.

The front cover of the Philadelphia Daily News blasted:

"WORSHIPPERS BURNED ALIVE: Capping deadliest week of war, 6 Sunnis doused with kerosene, set afire as Iraqi soldiers reportedly stand idle." The Chicago Sun-Times blared: "Sunnis burned alive in revenge." The Sydney Morning Herald in Australia headlined: "Shi'ite militia burn Sunnis alive in revenge attacks." The Calcutta Telegraph in India echoed: "Shias burn Sunnis alive."

The Washington Post announced: "New savage twist to violence in Baghdad." The lead paragraph reported: "Revenge-seeking Shiite militiamen seized six Sunnis as they left Friday prayers, drenched them with kerosene and burned them alive, and Iraqi soldiers did nothing to stop the attack, police and witnesses said."

The story continued: "Police Capt. Jamil Hussein said Iraqi soldiers at a nearby army post failed to intervene in the burnings of Sunnis carried out by suspected members of the Shiite Mahdi Army militia, or in subsequent attacks that torched four Sunni mosques and killed at least 19 other Sunnis, including women and children, in the same northwest Baghdad area."

The problem with this story ? It's false, and the MSNM hasn't made any corrections or even reported that it is not true.

This so called Police Captain is not a Baghdad police officer, and the Associated Press has been advised that several other of it's sources are not who they say they are either. This was confirmed by CENTCOM, which requested a retraction from the Associated Press. Public Affairs Officer Lt. Michael Dean of the MNC-I Joint Operations Center wrote:

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. . . . 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.

Some other questionable sources include many of whom have appeared in countless AP stories:

Police Lt. Ali Abbas; police Capt. Mohammed Abdel-Ghani; police Brigadier Sarhat Abdul-Qadir; Mosul police Director Gen. Wathiq al-Hamdani; police Lt. Bilal Ali; Ali al-Obaidi, a medic at Ramadi Hospital; police Maj. Firas Gaiti; police Captain Mohammed Ismail; Brig. Abdul-Karim Khalaf, the Interior Ministry spokesman (a.k.a. Police Brigadier Abd al-Karim Khalaf, Brig. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf, Brig. Abdel-Karim Khalaf); Mohammed Khayon, a Baghdad police lieutenant; police spokesman Mohammed Kheyoun (a.k.a. Police Lieutenant Mohammed Khayoun); Lt. Thaer Mahmoud, head of a police section responsible for releasing daily death tolls; police Lt. Bilal Ali Majid; police Lt. Ali Muhsin; police 1st Lt. Mutaz Salahhidine (a.k.a. Lieutenant Mutaz Salaheddin); Col. Abbas Mohammed Salman; and policeman Haider Satar.
As of Tuesday there was no retraction or correction to the story from the AP, but is anyone really surprised here. It's the Main Stream News Media in their business as usual mode.

HatTip to Michelle Malkin & Flopping Aces Blog

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