From Protein Wisdom :
From Curt at Flopping Aces comes the news many of us quietly expected: Centcom has confirmed that Capt. Jamil Hussein, the primary source for the recent kerosene mosque murder reports—and for a whole host of reports of Shia massacres recounted by the AP—is neither an employee of Iraq’s Ministry of Interior nor is he a police captain.
In short, the AP has been relying on a bogus source for much of its reporting on Shia violence against Sunnis since at least April.
For those who continue to suggest that the mainstream press has a negligible impact on elections, consider that the majority of Americans who bothered to pay any attention whatsoever to this story will be left with an account of horrific sectarian violence against women and children—and the belief that sectarian strife in Iraq is not only inexorable and savage, but pandemic.
Underlying this reportage, then, is an unseemly subtext: that Arabs in Iraq—and perhaps even Arabs in general—are incapable of working toward a free society, one that, through a series of ratified political documents and elections, has merely pretended to be taking its first tentative steps toward the acceptance of a baby pluralism. Consequently, the blood and treasure spent in Iraq has never been worth the cost, and—our failure now all but imminent thanks to a genetic or systemic flaw in the Arab constitution—we should therefore be looking for a way to retreat with honor. Or perhaps a way to reinstall Saddam Hussein. You know, to stabilize things.
Whether this narrative is the product of willful distortion or merely the laziness that comes with being fed stories that match your preconceptions is, in effect, beside the point—though the former is clearly more despicable, and, should it prove to be the case, has the practical effect of undermining a representative democracy that can only work properly if citizens are being given accurate accountings of events by those purporting to do so.
I can remember a time when I actually believed that the media had two sources for its stories and that they were too principled to deliberately lie to us. Those days are over.