Captain Hussein Found From California
Marc Danziger reports that, “With the help of some friends who have been doing a smidgen of looking, and it appears – appears, but is not certain – that there is in fact a Jamail Hussein in the Yarmouk police station in Baghdad.” He promises an update today as more details are confirmed.
Curt at Flopping Aces, who has been the most visible blog voice in arguing that there was no such person as Jamil Hussein, the source of several AP stories, is unbowed, observing that “the first name is spelled differently which would not jive with the AP’s own reporting” and that “the AP has written that he is not working at Yarmouk anymore but at al-Khadra.” He pronounces this “two strikes to this story.”
Now, it perplexes me that Danziger and company were able to find the man while the AP, under fire for fraudulent reporting, was not. I’m still highly dubious of the use of local stringers without measures to ensure their bona fides. But the idea that the AP’s transliteration of “Jamail” as “Jamil” in their stories is hardly evidence of bad reporting. After all, we haven’t come up with agreed upon ways to transliterate Muamar Khaddafy’s name into English after 20-odd years, nor agreed whether the people who tried to kill us on 9/11 was Usama bin Laden and al Qaida or Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda.
That said, as Curt details later in his post, there plenty of other questions about the AP story in question beyond the existence of Captain Hussein.