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Brit Hume Neglects to Mention Collaborating Witnesses in Jamil Hussein/AP Story

Reported by Janie - December 5, 2006 -

Shortly after Brit Hume's interview with Bush last night (12/4), Hume turned his attention to a story that has spread through the right-wing blogosphere like wildfire. According to several stories, the AP issued a wire dispatch in late November detailing an incident where 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.” Within the story, one police Capt. Jamil Hussein was credited as a source. According to Iraqi officials however; there is no such police Captain.

This has caused many questions about the AP's credibility, and Fox decided to run with this story during Brit Hume's "Two Minutes of Hate" (AKA "Grapevine" segment) last night, but Hume neglected to mention despite the "he said, she said" controversy, the AP did return to the scene and found several other witnesses to corroborate the story.

Hume claimed, "The Associated Press is under attack for allegedly fabricating news from Iraq. The AP has quoted an Iraqi police captain named Jamil Hussein in several stories — including one describing Iraqi soldiers standing by as people were burned alive in a mosque last month. But Iraq's Interior Ministry says it has no evidence that incident happened and that captain Hussein does not exist.

Boston Herald City editor Jules Crittenden says, 'the AP is making up war crimes.' He describes it as 'a partisan, anti-American news agency that seeks to undercut a wartime president and American soldiers in the field.' The Iraqi Interior Ministry has now formed a special unit to monitor news coverage and is threatening legal action against journalists who it believes report incorrect stories."

Comment: Unfortunately for those news watchers that enjoy the truth, Hume neglected to tell the whole story. While the status of Jamil Hussein has yet to be completely verified, the AP did return to the area where the incident was to have taken place and found three further witnesses that independently corroborated the story. According to "USA Today":

"On Tuesday, two AP reporters also went back to the Hurriyah neighborhood around the Mustafa mosque and found three witnesses who independently gave accounts of the attack. Others in the neighborhood said they were afraid to talk about what happened."

Furthermore, the right-wing blogs and Fox also neglected to mention further facts that would hamper the bias in their "stories".

The AP had one other source, Imad al-Hashimi, who later retracted his story when he was visited by a representative of the defense ministry:

"The Iraqi Defense Ministry later said that al-Hashimi, the Sunni elder in Hurriyah, had recanted his account of the attack after being visited by a representative of the defense minister."

None of these facts were brought to light, and Hume simply framed the facts around the story to advance his political agenda.