Jules Crittenden discusses reports that Jamil (Jamail?) Hussein, the cop-not a cop used by Associated Press reporters as a source for some questionable reports in Iraq, has been found.
Crittenden points out that whether Hussein is real isn't even a part of the A.P.'s problem with its readers.
Whether Jamil/Jamail Hussein exists or not, is a cop or not, speaks the truth or not, has no bearing on the AP's longstanding failure to serve its clientele and their readers in the manner they should expect. This includes, in the recent past, its unbalanced reporting on the Bush administration, its bizarre presentation of Saddam Hussein as a victim of the United States and the U.N. weapons inspectors, and its burying of key facts in the case against Bilal Hussein, terrorist-approved AP photographer and associate of al Qaeda bombmakers currently in U.S. custody. The arrogant and dismissive response to questions raised about Hussein, however, speaks volumes.
Regardless of the resolution of this Hussein business, the fundamental problem remains. It's a problem of trust. The just-the-facts, inverted-pyramid news agency, founded over 150 years ago on the novel principle of providing raw, reliable, non-partisan information to newspapers of all stripes, no longer exists.