Thursday, November 30, 2006

CENTCOM Straighter Than The Right

Tom Zeller Jr. writes for the New York Times:

Against the backdrop of the civil war, occupation, Baathist insurgency, sectarian conflict, and struggle against terrorists in Iraq, to borrow a few descriptors, in addition to the historic meeting between President Bush and Iraq’s Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki today, another battle is brewing. This one pits conservative bloggers and the military’s communications machine against the Associated Press — and the media at large.

At the center of things is one police Capt. Jamil Hussein. Mr. Hussein was the primary source in an Associated Press wire-dispatch last Friday reporting that Shiite militiamen had “grabbed six Sunnis as they left Friday worship services, doused them with kerosene and burned them alive near Iraqi soldiers who did not intervene.”


By Monday, Navy Lt. Michael B. Dean, a military spokesman for the joint operations in Iraq, had sent an e-mail to the Associated Press (which somehow made it onto the conservative blog circuit in a flash), essentially saying Mr. Hussein was neither a police officer nor an employee of the Iraq interior ministry (MOI), and therefore, not an approved source...

From Flopping Aces:

Just received another email from Centcom in Iraq from a Lietenent at the MNC-I Joint Operations Center. Pretty important stuff in this email: (MOI = Iraqi Ministry of Interior)

Since September we have been engaging CPATT to verify the legitimacy and employment status of various MOI/IP spokesmen. Our contact at CPATT has been quite helpful, however, I know helping us is not his full-time job. Interestly, MOI has apparently issued an edict that no one below the level of Chief can speak to the media. We have reminded AP of this but without proof that these spokesman are not employees, they have pretty much ignored us. (If you were a reporter, would who give up a primo source because of rank? Probably not.)


So what we now know is that not one person in the Iraqi police below the rank of Chief is supposed to talk to our media but of course they all ignore this. Our MSM would rather get some hysterical lies that sound good, that sound like anarchy, rather then getting their facts straight.

How scary is it when a lieutenant at CENTCOM who is basically engaging the blogosphere to assist in a ridiculous propaganda campaign (that things in Iraq are better than the media reports...and that the thousands of thousands of insurgent attacks are all the fault of al-Qaeda as opposed to a sectarian civil war) which only fools or liars would believe can be more straight-up ("If you were a reporter, would who give up a primo source because of rank? Probably not.") than folks sitting at home in front of their keyboards.

Are conservative bloggers actually suggesting that only approved spokesmen should ever be quoted by the press?

Does Michelle Malkin really think that the media commits treason by not heeding the advice of Iraqi Ministry of Interior spokesman Brig. Gen. Abdul Kareem Khalaf Al-Kenani who suggests that "unnamed sources" and ranked Iraqis below chief should be "ignored":

However, all of you know that the ministry of interior has a large public affairs office and its official spokesman, and we are ready to answer any questions you may have. Therefore, you should contact MOI PAO for all your needs to get real, true news. Based on that, we strongly deny any relation with those two names. In order to serve you better and strengthen the relationship with MOI, do not take statements that have no meaning and do not represent any official. We would like this note to be helpful to you and any statement made by those persons to be ignored.

Scary. Scary. Scary.


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