UPDATE: Jamil Hussein, Disputed AP Source, Lost, ‘Found,’ Lost Again

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By: E&P Staff

Has the mysterious and much-disputed Associated Press source in Iraq, a police captain named Jamil Hussein — finally been found? His existence has been challenged in the past three weeks from the U.S. military, some Iraqi officials and conservative bloggers in the U.S.

A blogger named Marc Danziger who has followed the debate claimed late Saturday that he believed he had positively identified the captain at the Yarmouk police station, just as the AP had claimed, although his first name may be spelled Jamail, not Jamil.

Though far from definitive proof, it was strong enough to cause at least one conservative blogger to wonder if those who had mocked the AP might have to eat ?a huge shinola sandwich.? But as of early Monday, Danziger had not presented any more of his promised evidence.

Just Thursday, Eason Jordan, the former CNN news chief now launching a Web site called IraqSlogger, had earned headlines by offering to fly Michelle Malkin to Baghdad to search with him for Capt. Hussein. She had accepted, and the IraqSlogger site now runs an urgent plea for tips about Hussein?s whereabouts in a crawl at the top of its site.

The AP has issued two strong rebuttals, claiming that the police captain exists and has been interviewed many times by its reporters. The conflict surfaced when Hussein was one source for a recent AP story concerning six Iraqis being set on fire. The U.S. military contested the report on the incident and Hussein as a source.

The latest development was all set off by a brief post by Danziger at WindsOfChange.net: ?With the help of some friends who have been doing a smidgen of looking, and it appears – appears, but is not certain – that there is in fact a Jamail Hussein in the Yarmouk police station in Baghdad. We’ll know more tomorrow.?

Malkin posted on her site michellemalkin.com that she had contacted CENTCOM for comment. On Monday she ran a brief response from them, then “retracted” it and it disappeared.

Allahpundit, posting at Malkin?s adjunct Hot Air blog, commented, ?And what of the boss?s trip? Are she and Eason Jordan still going to be knocking on doors in Hurriya? So many questions!? The tag for the story on the Hot Air home page on Sunday read, “Anyone got any good recipes for crow?”

On Monday afternoon, Danziger returned with an update, in which he admitted that he had gotten a bit ahead of the evidence and no longer stood by his earlier report. “I’d say that what I did – with a lot of help from a number of folks – probably muddied the waters more than cleared them,” he wrote. “But I hope it cast a little light into how weak the data we have coming from Iraq via both our government and our media really are. And on one hand, as noted one guy in California with some friends can generate data out of Iraq — but I’ve seen firsthand that it’s still damn hard to take that data and make even journalistic truth out of it.”

For the rest, go to www.windsofchange.net.

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