September 19, 2006

AP Responds to Bloggers: Cite Known Terrorist Sympathizer as Source

I just love this response by the AP to Dan Riehl's query as to whether or not Bilal Hussein held the camcorder as Michael Moore's minutemen murdered an Italian civilian.

Here is some of it according to the AP and via the blogfather, Charles Johnson:

This AP story explains that masked insurgents stopped Hussein and other AP journalists, including an AP video journalist, at a roadblock and took them to the site where the blindfolded body lay, already stiff with rigor mortis. They propped the body up and allowed the journalists to photograph and videotape it.
Okay, so they propped the body up. Go check out the video again. Tell me how the body is being propped up? It is possible, I guess. Likely? I dunno.

And here is the original story, as run by the AP. Italics and higlights are mine:

Iraqi militants said they shot and killed an Italian citizen after he tried to break through a guerrilla roadblock on a highway outside the insurgent stronghold of Ramadi.

Masked gunmen took three Iraqi journalists to a location in the desert outside Ramadi on Wednesday and showed them the blindfolded body, one of the journalists recounted.

Photos showed the body of the man in jeans and a leather jacket, a white rag tied around his eyes, propped up on a sandy incline. Two masked gunmen posed with their automatic rifles pointed at the body.

So, although there is a claim that three witnesses saw poor Salvatore Santoro's body, the report comes exclusively from a single source.

100 bucks says that single source is....Bilal Hussein. In any event, all three are Iraqi stringers.

Another troubling aspect to the original AP story is its headline: Iraqi militants say they shot Italian who tried to break through checkpoint

And here is the lead paragraph:

Iraqi militants said they shot and killed an Italian citizen after he tried to break through a guerrilla roadblock on a highway outside the insurgent stronghold of Ramadi.
The implication of the headline and lead paragraph is that Salvatore Santoro was shot as he tried to break through a roadblock...ala, Nicola Calipari.

But read the actual content of the story and you realize something else happened:

told by the militants that the man had tried to run the roadblock on Monday, hit and killed one of the gunmen, then crashed the car. The gunmen said they then "executed" the man.
Executing a person is a far cry from shooting him as he broke through a blockade. No, they murdered him in cold blood after his car crashed.

Much later than that. In fact, so much later that Santoro's 'corpse' is seen with his hands tied behind his back and with a blindfold on. To spin his murder as just a casualty of war disgraces his memory and is an outrage!

No bias at the AP. Nope.

And what about the portions of the video and the photographs taken by Bilal Hussein which were taken indoors? Something else is going on here folks.

And all this from a witness who is being detained in Iraq right now for his known ties to al Qaeda.

Thank you for clarifying that AP. You're a peach.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 05:51 PM | Comments |