How the AP helped stoke civil war in Iraq

The Associated Press is among the large news organizations whose reporting in Iraq has been challenged by bloggers. Beyond the specifics of any one incident, a certain pattern and practice of news gathering has made for systematic bias. The end result is propaganda.

Michelle Malkin has a new report on the "Jamil Hussein" fiasco at the Associated Press. "Jamil Hussein" is the alleged Iraqi Police captain who has been cited 61 times by AP, recently as a source for an atrocity story that now looks mighty dubious.

What has been lost in the debate about "Who is Jamil Hussein?" is the substance of his Iraqi atrocity stories peddled by the AP. The most recent ones have been denied by the US military, which has much better sources than the Associated Press. They have also not been confirmed by other news outlets. Whether "Jamil Hussein" was a cover name, an AP fabrication, or a real person is not as important as the content of his apparent disinformation. What was the purpose of the lie about six Iraqis being deliberately burned to death by terrorists? What about the other 60 AP stories that cited "Hussein"? How many lent credibility to other atrocity tales?

Two hypotheses spring to mind. One is that "Jamil Hussein" was benefiting from being an AP source. He was smart enough to know that AP wanted horror stories, and that's what he gave them. Maybe he was paid. Maybe he liked instant fame. But 61 citations as an AP source suggests an ongoing relationship, one with a clear and sustained purpose.

A more sinister interpretation is that "Jamil Hussein" was a political plant, whose primary goal was to feed atrocity stories to the AP. He could be an Iranian plant in the Iraqi Police, which is heavily infiltrated by Mahdi Army killers who are paid by Iran. They were the ones who shouted "Muqtada Al Sadr!" when Saddam Hussein was hanged. An Iranian mole's purpose would be to stir up civil war, and at the same time to provide more "evidence" for the American Leftist news narrative that Iraq is a hopeless mess.

So "Jamil Hussein's" disinformation could have served two goals.

One: to worsen ethnic warfare in Iraq, and

Two:  to demoralize the American home front.

Objectively, AP has clearly served both purposes in the past and continues to do so today, whatever one believes about motive or lack thereof. This is its obsessive story line, and "Police Captain Jamil Hussein" would be seeding prepared ground. That's straight disinformation practice. Always tell the newsies what they want to hear.

Our Organs of Propaganda --- AKA the "news media" --- know perfectly well that most of their sources have an axe to grind. When Saddam Hussein was still in power he arm-twisted the Western media for favorable coverage, as we now know from former CNN executive Eason Jordan. The same thing happens every day with other terror regimes like Hamas, Fatah and Hizb'allah, where the media trade access for favorable coverage. That is unbelievably cynical, profoundly corrupt and massively destructive, but it has been routine at least since Stalin's time. That is why we have Organs of Propaganda, in Karl Marx's phrase, and not honest news sources.

In this case, the defeatist narrative makes the Western media into propaganda tools for Ahmadinejad, Al Qaida, and the Baath fascists in Iraq.

That is the real take-home lesson about the lies peddled by the Associated Press in the name of "Jamil Hussein."  If full-scale civil war breaks out in Iraq, and if the Democrats force a military withdrawal after the next election,  this kind of disinformation will have accomplished its aim.

The propaganda war is the real war.

James Lewis is a nom de plume of a frequent contributor. http://www.dangeroustimes.wordpress.com/
The Associated Press is among the large news organizations whose reporting in Iraq has been challenged by bloggers. Beyond the specifics of any one incident, a certain pattern and practice of news gathering has made for systematic bias. The end result is propaganda.

Michelle Malkin has a new report on the "Jamil Hussein" fiasco at the Associated Press. "Jamil Hussein" is the alleged Iraqi Police captain who has been cited 61 times by AP, recently as a source for an atrocity story that now looks mighty dubious.

What has been lost in the debate about "Who is Jamil Hussein?" is the substance of his Iraqi atrocity stories peddled by the AP. The most recent ones have been denied by the US military, which has much better sources than the Associated Press. They have also not been confirmed by other news outlets. Whether "Jamil Hussein" was a cover name, an AP fabrication, or a real person is not as important as the content of his apparent disinformation. What was the purpose of the lie about six Iraqis being deliberately burned to death by terrorists? What about the other 60 AP stories that cited "Hussein"? How many lent credibility to other atrocity tales?

Two hypotheses spring to mind. One is that "Jamil Hussein" was benefiting from being an AP source. He was smart enough to know that AP wanted horror stories, and that's what he gave them. Maybe he was paid. Maybe he liked instant fame. But 61 citations as an AP source suggests an ongoing relationship, one with a clear and sustained purpose.

A more sinister interpretation is that "Jamil Hussein" was a political plant, whose primary goal was to feed atrocity stories to the AP. He could be an Iranian plant in the Iraqi Police, which is heavily infiltrated by Mahdi Army killers who are paid by Iran. They were the ones who shouted "Muqtada Al Sadr!" when Saddam Hussein was hanged. An Iranian mole's purpose would be to stir up civil war, and at the same time to provide more "evidence" for the American Leftist news narrative that Iraq is a hopeless mess.

So "Jamil Hussein's" disinformation could have served two goals.

One: to worsen ethnic warfare in Iraq, and

Two:  to demoralize the American home front.

Objectively, AP has clearly served both purposes in the past and continues to do so today, whatever one believes about motive or lack thereof. This is its obsessive story line, and "Police Captain Jamil Hussein" would be seeding prepared ground. That's straight disinformation practice. Always tell the newsies what they want to hear.

Our Organs of Propaganda --- AKA the "news media" --- know perfectly well that most of their sources have an axe to grind. When Saddam Hussein was still in power he arm-twisted the Western media for favorable coverage, as we now know from former CNN executive Eason Jordan. The same thing happens every day with other terror regimes like Hamas, Fatah and Hizb'allah, where the media trade access for favorable coverage. That is unbelievably cynical, profoundly corrupt and massively destructive, but it has been routine at least since Stalin's time. That is why we have Organs of Propaganda, in Karl Marx's phrase, and not honest news sources.

In this case, the defeatist narrative makes the Western media into propaganda tools for Ahmadinejad, Al Qaida, and the Baath fascists in Iraq.

That is the real take-home lesson about the lies peddled by the Associated Press in the name of "Jamil Hussein."  If full-scale civil war breaks out in Iraq, and if the Democrats force a military withdrawal after the next election,  this kind of disinformation will have accomplished its aim.

The propaganda war is the real war.

James Lewis is a nom de plume of a frequent contributor. http://www.dangeroustimes.wordpress.com/