Saturday, December 02, 2006

The AP's latest interview: Tommy al-Flanagan

The recent Associated Press controversy -- in which events and witnesses in some Baghdad reports appear to be fictitious -- has inspired other reporters (hat tips: Larwyn, Flopping Aces, and Gateway Pundit):

This is Sheila McLollygagger with the AP, reporting from Baghdad and a bloody day of violence. Talking with me via satellite phone are Col. James Ready of the Coalition Forces and Tommy al-Flanagan, a local police officer and a witness to these events. Mr. al-Flanagan, can you tell us what happened?

During Friday prayers, thr... six Sunni civilians were dragged out of their mosque and they were... killed... by being... set on fire... yes, they were burned alive... at the stake... it was awful...

Sir, that's not true. We found no bodies... nor are there even any pictures of this event, during or after.

Well, they were singed. Badly, badly singed. Yeah... that's it...

Mr. al-Flanagan, were any mosques damaged in these vicious attacks?

Yes, it was awful! Three, no, four mosques. Burned... to the ground! Nothing but a few charred embers remained. Oh it was terrifying... vicious flames... and bursting explosions! Yes... explosions and flames that shot seven stories into the air... oh, the humanity...

Sheila, I don't believe that's accurate. We had a civilian report at 1550 hours that one mosque -- al-Nidaa -- was on fire after someone threw a gas container into the entryway. The fire department extinguished the fire at 1600 hours. There appeared to be some smoke and fire damage in the hallway, but nothing to the mosque structure itself. And we have no reports of other mosques being damaged in any way.

As an aside, Sheila, I don't think Mr. al-Flanagan is an Iraqi police officer. We're really not sure who he is, but he's not attached to the police force...

That's out... RAGEOUS!! Yes, I am a police officer! I joined the force in... nineteen forty... six... and have served admirably under five... seven police chiefs and have won the Medal of Honor... and ten-... twelve... commendations, mind you!

Well, thank you both for your reports. This is Sheila McLollygagger with the Associated Press, reporting from bloody Baghdad, where six mosques and forty innocent people were burned to cinders.

Oy vey.

Also blogging on this topic: Gina Cobb, Don Surber, Hot Air, Patterico. Update: more from Flopping Aces and Gateway Pundit.

Other farm-fresh good readin':
Anchoress: Trading a baby for a PS/3?
Blue Crab Boulevard: Shoddy Merchandise
Hugh Hewitt: Superhero historians
Nuke Gingrich: Letter to Mahmoud
OTB: Saturday traffic jam
Rick Moran: And so it begins: Hizbullah takes to the streets
Roy Robison: Is the AP working with al-Jazeera?
STACLU: ACLU opposes airline passenger risk assessment
Wizbang: Imagine there's no war
Wuzzadem: Once again, the AP is on the case

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