Roger L. Simon

Yellowcake or Yellow Journalism?

I woke up this morning to a report on Drudge about Dr. Ayad Allawi personally shooting some fascist (excuse me, “insurgent”) prisoners in cold blood with a pistol a few days before taking office as Prime Minister of Iraq. Disturbing news indeed–I didn’t want to believe it. Allawi seemed like an intelligent and tough-minded(in a good way) guy to me when I had seen him in television interviews.

Also, I was wondering because the whole thing seemed rather vague with anonymous witnesses telling all to a Sydney Morning Herald reporter named Paul McGeough. (Well, at least it wasn’t Robert Fisk).

Then I came upon Tim Blair’s post RUMOURS REPEATED. Things started to make a little more sense to me. Tim linked to Iraqi blogger Zeyad who wrote back on July 1:

Another widespread and preposterous rumour is that Ayad Allawi has been showing up at IP stations and executing criminals himself, and I have heard this one from a very large number of people. [bold mine]

Blair also noted how ABC had also jumped on this unsubstantiated rumor bandwagon, blasting it out on their website. [Aren’t they the ones usually knocking Drudge for that?-ed. Hey, he gets more hits than they do.]

Meanwhile, the Iraqi government has issued a denial. They say Allawi never carries a gun. I don’t know the truth of this obviously. Not too many direct sources on the matter here in the Hollywood Hills. And there are about as many possibilities as there are pills in my Lipitor bottle — and I have a three month supply. Allawi (or his allies) may even have instigated the rumor himself to give the PM “street cred.” And speaking of street cred… until I know better… in this post (Joseph C.) Wilsonian world… I am more willing to believe the blogs like Zeyad and Iraq the Model than I am the press.

More here.

UPDATE: Should Paul McGeough’s membership in this organization be factored into our view of his report? It doesn’t mean he’s wrong, but it certainly means he has a bias. [Don’t you?–ed. Yup.]