Unidentified Iraqi. Probably not, as far as we know, "Jamil Hussein," or even "Jamil Gholaiem Hussein." What's in a name? When it comes to one that starts "Jamil Hussein," and involves the credibility of the Associated Press, quite a bit. From "Is AP Iraq source Jamil Hussein for real?" the story has morphed into "Who, exactly, is the source and what is his real name.?" Blogger Bob Owens of Confederate Yankee has been bulldogging this story from his sources in Iraq. Here's his latest update in this game of "Now we name him. Now we don't."
Special Report by Bob Owens @ Confederate Yankee
The highest officers of the Associated Press, including Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll, International Editor Daniszewski, and Media Relations Director Linda Wagner have long maintained that their long-time but disputed Iraqi police source named “Jamil Hussein” was one “Jamil Gholaiem Hussein.” AP Writer Steven R. Hurst triumphantly reported on January 4th that Iraqi Interior Ministry spokesman Brigadier General Abdul-Karim Khalaf confirmed the AP’s contention:
The Interior Ministry acknowledged Thursday that 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.
Ministry spokesman Brig.Abdul-Karim Khalaf, who had previously denied there was any such police employee as Capt. Jamil Hussein, said in an interview that Hussein is an officer assigned to the Khadra police station, as had been reported by The Associated Press.
The captain, whose full name is Jamil Gholaiem Hussein, was one of the sources for an AP story in late November about the burning and shooting of six people during a sectarian attack at a Sunni mosque.
The U.S. military and the Iraqi Interior Ministry raised the doubts about Hussein in questioning the veracity of the AP’s initial reporting on the incident, and the Iraqi ministry suggested that many news organization were giving a distorted, exaggerated picture of the conflict in Iraq. Some Internet bloggers spread and amplified these doubts, accusing the AP of having made up Hussein’s identity in order to disseminate false news about the war.
This morning, Civilian Police Assistance Training Team (CPATT) liason to the Iraqi Interior Ministry, Bill Costlow, provided me this morning with a direct quote from the above referenced Brigadier General Abdul-Karim Khalaf regarding Jamil Hussein. This statement flatly contradicts what Steven R. Hurst claimed BG Abdul-Karim Khalaf said in his January 4th article.
Brigadier General Abdul-Karim Khalaf stated:
“We couldn’t identify CPT Jamil right away because the AP used the wrong name: we couldn’t find a “CPT Jamil Hussein” — but later, when we saw the name “Jamil Gulaim Hussein”, it became obvious that they were talking about CPT Jamil Gulaim Innad XX XXXXXXX [Name redacted for security reasons -- Editor]” as the only ‘Jamil Gulaim’ assigned there (ever) and whose assignment records show he previously worked in Yarmouk, as also reported by the AP.¬†Since the issue for us is the release of false news into the media, we’re satisfied that the AP is no longer quoting a questionable source.”
The General flatly states that Jamil Hussein is not Jamil Hussein as AP still contends, but is instead, CPT Jamil Gulaim Innad XX XXXXXXX.
A previous email sent to several bloggers from Costlow on January 11, 2007, stated that that the Associated Press reporters who had interviewed Abdul-Karim Khalaf prior to Hurst’s January 4th article verified to him that CPT Jamil Gulaim Innad XX XXXXXXX was the Associated Press source.
This seems to directly contradict all present and previous AP claims that Associated Press reporters knew Jamil Hussein as Jamil Gholaiem Hussein. Instead it indicates that they knew at some point prior to the Hurst article being published, that Jamil Gulaim Innad XX XXXXXXX was the actual name of their source.
If that is accurate, then multiple levels of Associated Press employees, from stringers in the field in Iraq all the way up to Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll, International Editor Daniszewski, and Media Relations Director Linda Wagner, may have been knowingly perpetuating a pseudonym, and in essence,participating in a long-running fabrication.
They have apparently been deceiving Associated Press readers worldwide for over a month, and perhaps for as long as two years, if they knew his actual identity from the beginning.
AP Media Relations Director Linda Wagner was provided Brigadier General Abdul-Karim Khalaf’s direct quote for comment early this morning, but has declined to respond this far.
More extensive background information on this story is available at Bob Owens’ personal blog, Confederate Yankee.