Jan 02 2007

What Else Is Made Up Regarding Iraq?

Published by at 3:44 pm under All General Discussions

Reader Crosspatch noted a series of like sounding, yet unsourced and unspecified death figures for Iraq in the comments of this post. One would have to wonder, in light of all the shenanigans discovered with AP and other media credibility on Iraq stories, whether these have any basis in reality. So I also did some searching on vague stories with anonymous sources of deaths in Iraq and found these:

(1) Oct 16, 2006 – 81 bodies found in Baghdad, from an unspecified “official with Baghdad emergency police” (CNN).

(2) Sept 13, 2006 – 65 bodies found across Iraq, from unspecified Iraq police sources (AP of course)

3) Sept 15, 2006 – 30 bodies found in Baghdad, from no source whatsoever (AP again).

What is amazing is the consistency of unspecified sources. Why would anyone be concerned about naming the death toll in Iraq? What possible reason would someone have to remaining anonymous? They are death tolls. What our reader Crosspatch noted was a series of Reuters articles that involved a common recurring source designated “an Interior Ministry source”. While some of the reporting seems reasonable to come from an Interior Ministry source, the fact is no one can trust the media anymore. After the incident with the staged photographs in Lebanon (see my posts on Hezbollah for evidence and links to others) and now the mythical AP source Jamil Hussein,why should we trust the media? After CBS News and Dan RaTher tried to pawn off forged documents as real evidence against our President why should we treat the media as credible? After the media was duped by forgeries in the Downing Street memos – why should the media be trusted to know what the truth is?

The Downing Street memos were such dumb forgeries the guy who pawned them off as real had to make up a story as to why HE had them forged to look like they were written on a 1970’s typewriter when supposedly they were authored in 2002! And not one journalist caught this amatuer move by one of their own! Bloggers have time and time again shown how easy it is to detect the BS being passed off as news. So how is it ‘the professionals’ cannot do it?

I have said for years now that anyone owning stock in news organizations was holding onto Enron-class stock. The only thing of value a news organization owns is its credibility. And everyone of the major news entities should be taken to task for the fiscal ruin of the companies in their charge. Because right now there is no reason to believe anything written or produced by the news media anymore. Junk bonds the lot of them.

Here is the original Crosspatch comment:

What I wish someone could dig into are these stories by Reuters that every day trot out some number of dead bodies found in Baghdad. They never attribute the reports to a source other than “an interior ministry source” who is never named.


December 28: BAGHDAD – Police found 41 bodies in different parts of Baghdad over the past 24 hours, an Interior Ministry source said.

December 27:BAGHDAD – A total of 40 bodies were found, shot dead and most showing signs of torture, in different districts of Baghdad on Tuesday, an Interior Ministry source said.

December 26:BAGHDAD – A total of 40 bodies were found, shot dead and most of them showing signs of torture, on Monday in different districts of Baghdad, an Interior Ministry source said.

December 25:BAGHDAD – A total of 29 bodies were found shot dead, with most showing signs of torture, in different districts of Baghdad on Sunday, an Interior Ministry source said.

Get the picture? Every day this one-sentance report that quotes no specific source, give no locations, provides no information about them (Sunni? Shiite? criminal?) …

I believe that this is a manufactured number reported by someone with an agenda.

And his follow up comment where he claims there are no other news sources for the body counts:

The problem is with those Reuters reports, I can’t find any confirmation. No other agency seems to report those numbers independently though some will quote the Reuters report. Now if the Interior Ministry has a spokesperson, there would be no problem with giving a name and if they issued a daily bulletin or something, there would be no problem with other agencies also getting those numbers.

What I am seeing is a number being reported daily (interestingly, that number is absent or much lower when there are other large Baghdad casualty events such as a car bombing) by only Reuters with no named source.

I believe I know the purpose of the number. It is designed to get aggregate casualty numbers up so that sites such as this one pick they up and tally them. Casualty rates are being used by some sites as some kind of a progress indicator for the war (nevermind that about 80% of Iraq is booming and relatively peaceful) and these numbers are being used to keep the number up. When other casualty events occur, we see the “Baghdad Bodies” number take a drop or completely absent for a day.

It’s bogus. I am going to do a little more research and see if I can identify exactly when the Reuters’ Baghdad Bodies first started showing up.

It is completely bogus. I assumed the media source was staying quiet for personal security reasons. But the fact no other outlet picked up this news means it was not being presented as a media announcement from the government to a range of media outlets. This all deserves a serious inquiry. Sadly we cannot count on the Democrats to clean this scandal up – they rely on it too much for their agenda.

30 responses so far

30 Responses to “What Else Is Made Up Regarding Iraq?”

  1. crosspatch says:

    Kind of makes me wonder what all those “journalists” are doing in the green zone all day long every day. I might suggest they get out of Baghdad and maybe go to someplace safer, like maybe Mosul or Um Qasar or something and actually do some reporting.

    Iraq had an all time record high of $40 billion income from oil production, the number of private businesses in operation is at an all time high … why not interview some of these new business people?

    Why not more stories from the 80% of Iraq that isn’t constantly fighting? Maybe more reporting along the lines of this NY Post article.

  2. Media Lies says:

    I’ve been pretty busy the past two nights…….

    ….doing research on Jamil Hussein, the supposed source for many AP stories. Since I have access to Lexis-Nexis, I did some research for Curt of Flopping Aces last night (I’m looking forward to his post), and tonight I did some research in support o…

  3. Curt says:

    Hi guys, Curt here from Flopping Aces. I have done a bit of work on the body dump story for awhile.


  4. HaroldHutchison says:

    CENTCOM follows these numbers but has no way of independently verifying them.

    I’m not going to say that this is a Jemil Hussein case yet, but it would be nice if we could see something thjat we could verify.

  5. crosspatch says:

    I would be more satisfied that the numbers are real if they had:

    A named source, or failing that the person’s position/title in the interior ministry / police.

    A breakdown as much as known of the locations of the finds. For example, in yesterday’s report of 45 deaths, were they all found together? Were they in groups, individually? What districts were they located in? In other words, something that gives me a little more confidence that this isn’t a number pulled out of thin air by someone calling up a reporter and claiming to be a police or ministry source.

    And I note that there has been no Baghdad Body report for January 3 yet.

  6. crosspatch says:

    Okay, the standard boilerplate announcement is out now by Reuters for today:

    BAGHDAD – Police found 27 bodies in Baghdad over the past 24 hours, many bearing signs of torture and gunshot wounds, an interior ministry source said.

    It is either the “police source” or the “interior ministry source” and yesterday it was both. I suspect the source is, in fact, neither really with the police or the interior ministry.

  7. MerlinOS2 says:

    What most seem to miss in this story is the ones critical of the coverage wish they did not have to go there at all.

    Blogs for the most part don’t have the reach, except for local blogs in high profile areas which may have significant restrictions they have to abide with.

    The worst case condition here is that the MSM and their newswire providers are totally discredited and ignored.

    This would be leaving us blind and dumb to evaluate and consider our opinions no matter what your political persuasion.

    It is not an unreasonable request to expect credibility.

    I am sure there are some in the MOI that can be quoted as named sources and after that they can be evaluated to see if they are carrying on a “message of choice”.

    I don’t want to evolve to a person who is blinded to feel the leg of an elephant to try to decide what it is.

    Somehow the response of the media and the AP in particular on this issue seems to say we should all eat cake.

    I have never been fond of cake or any deserts.

  8. Barbara says:

    The media’s agenda is anti war. Anything they can make up detrimental to the war they will. I doubt that this will change. I wonder what they will print when Iraq is completely cleaned up and the government is up and running independently. Back to republican bashing? It is amusing though that even in the teeth of Centcom and the Iraqi government telling them there is no such person as Captain Jamil Hussein, they quit using his name but still print the same garbage using anonymous sources.

  9. Barbara says:


    Bob Woodward ruined his credibility when he said he interviewed William Casey years ago when Casey was on his deathbed. I didn’t believe him then either. No, I don’t believe Gerald Ford told him these remarks. It is definitely not at all in his character. Ford was the only former president who when he left the scene he left the scene. I never heard he ever made a comment about anything and surely Bob Woodward would be the last reporter he would talk to when you consider what went down with Nixon.

  10. crosspatch says:

    I wanted to make a couple of notes here just for the record. I noticed that Jamil Hussein has allegedly been located and possibly disciplined for speaking to the media. I also note that Reuters today has so far issued no “Baghdad Bodies” report which is generally available by this time.

    I also want to point out what I believe is a responsible report from Iraq and what should serve as a model for reports from stringers. It is a report published by McClatchy Newspapers by a stringer named Mohammad al Awsy:

    The daily Iraq violence report is compiled by McClatchy Newspapers Special Correspondent Mohammed al Awsy in Baghdad from police, military and medical reports. This is not a comprehensive list of all violence in Iraq, much of which goes unreported. It’s posted without editing as transmitted to McClatchy’s Washington Bureau.


    — at 3:30 this afternoon mortars fell in AL ZAFARANIYAH area of southern Baghdad at a local market, killing 5 civilians and injuring another 15 .

    — at 6 o’clock this evening mortars fell in AL AMIL AREA of western Baghdad, 2 civilians were injured .

    — today 12 bodies were found in Baghdad: 2 sadr city, 2 dora, 2 amil, 2 jihad, 2 hurriyah, 1 kadhemiyah, 1 abu atsheer.


    — according to brigadier IEDAN AL JUBORI head of the operation room in naynawa, unknown gunmen opened fire at colonel MIZAHIM YOUNIS, head of criminal investigations in naynawa, killing him and his guard while they were in an unmarked car in al eqtisadieen area north west of mosul city.

    — according to a security source from al dour police, Iraqi interior commandos in Samarra city made a raid on ABU KHADO village south of dour town. the source said after that the mosques in the area started saying allahu akbar [god is great] by the mosques loud speakers as a sign to residents to retaliate for the attack.

    DIYALA province .

    — according to a source from the operation room in diyala province, this afternoon 3 Iraqi army soldiers were killed when they were attacked by unknown gunmen near baqouba’s main market.

    Note how sources are named. If they are not named, then the office of the source is named. If neither are named as in the case of the Baghdad Bodies … the districts where they were found were listed. This style of reporting is MUCH more believable (not to mention thsat 12 bodies found in Baghdad with the districts where they were found is much better than 30 to 50 bodies with no information whatsoever) and my hat is off to Mr. al Awsy for a good report.