FRIDAY’S LETTERS: Reaction to AP and Jamil Hussein, Bob Herbert, Luckovich and 3000 Soldiers Dead

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By: E&P Staff

In today’s letters, readers respond to the uncovering of a disputed AP source in Iraq, and a former Marine questions Bob Herbert’s military analysis of the Iraq war.


On AP and Jamil Hussein

In your latest update of AP Source-gate you say: “Congratulations, bloggers. He won’t be talking to AP again now.”

But wasn’t that always the point: To shut down independent reporting of events in Iraq, or alternatively, to distract us media watchers from the rejection of the ISG report, and now from the impending escalation, buried amid the numerous stories about the 110th Congress?

I wonder if Crittendon or Eason Jordan would have the decency to feel regret if the hapless police officer Hussein were imprisoned or his family harmed because of his global exposure as a media source? I’m quite positive the right-wing loonies would feel no such regret.

Cathleen Bemis

Trusting in the word of the Ministry of Information (which is riddled with Shiite militia members) PR guy versus the Associated Press was foolish. But once again, in the ideological fervor to attack the “liberal MSM” wishes got ahead of reality. Skepticism is always warranted, blind belief that the other side is always wrong, is just plain fanaticism.

Ed Kennedy

Great news! He exists! That is comforting news to those of us who were willing to believe the worst about AP reporting in Iraq, although truth be told, the wire services haven’t exactly inspired confidence lately, with fabricated and staged stories and photos all throughout the Middle East.
Now that he apparently exists, can someone question Jamil or the AP reporter about those facts that have not added up since the day this story broke, including:

— Why did Jamil and the AP initially report that FOUR mosques and several homes were burned, and that 12 people were killed, and later change it to ONE mosque damaged and 6 people killed, without ever issuing a retraction or otherwise acknowledging their error?

— Why is there not a single piece of collaborating evidence or eyewitness account that six people were burned to death, including any of the townspeople, the hospital, or the morgue?

— Why did the reporter not ask the US military or Iraqi police — both of whom claimed the event did not occur — what their thoughts were? And why did the reporter not investigate or search for any collaborating evidence, witnesses, or even pictures of the mosques, which were identified in the story by name?

— Why is it that Jamil was able to report on dozens of attacks throughout Baghdad, including in precincts that are miles away from his post?

— Is it standard practice at the AP to run sensational stories where the reporter has no independent verification or evidence beyond the claims of just one eye-witness and no other evidence?

Kieran O’Shea


Bob Herbert and Iraq

[Bob] Herbert concluded: “The war has been an exercise in futility and mind-boggling incompetence, and yet our involvement continues — with no end in sight, no plans for withdrawal, no idea of where we might be headed — as if the U.S. had fallen into some kind of bizarrely destructive trance from which it is unable to awaken. …”

I guess Gen. Herbert — whom I’ll assume has no tactical experience — knows how a war is fought. The only way the Iraqis and US will lose this war is through the anti-war/anti-American, agenda-driven media who thinks the viewers are nothing more than sheep who will follow the one-sided false message that is presented evening after evening. This is not your father’s war so get ready boys and girls for we shall be in a world of hurt, when the lie is told enough and becomes truth.

Mark Allen
GySgt, Marines (Ret)


Luckovich on 3000

Just a thought: Has anyone made a fuss over the high school girl who answered Luckovich with a cartoon of her own, using the names of the 2,000 fallen to spell out ?FREEDOM??

I know it?s outside the orthodoxy of the moment — but I love it. I frankly would have awarded her the Pulitzer.

Michael Ryan
Editorial Page Editor
The Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle

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