The Times retracts its story about the abused Abu Ghraib prisoner:
n the summer of 2004, a group of former detainees of Abu Ghraib prison filed a lawsuit claiming that they had been the victims of the abuse captured in photographs that incited outrage around the world.
One, Ali Shalal Qaissi, soon emerged as their chief representative, appearing in publications and on television in several countries to detail his suffering. His prominence made sense, because he claimed to be the man in the photograph that had become the international icon of the Abu Ghraib scandal: standing on a cardboard box, hooded, with wires attached to his outstretched arms. He had even emblazoned the silhouette of that image on business cards.
The trouble was, the man in the photograph was not Mr. Qaissi. [Editors' Note, Page A2.]
That said, this editor's note contains a comedy classic:
...A more thorough examination of previous articles in The Times and other newspapers would have shown that in 2004 military investigators named another man as the one on the box, raising suspicions about Mr. Qaissi's claim.
They should have believed their own reporting! Here we go, from May 22, 2004:
The testimony also gave identities to those who for the most part have remained nameless victims. Abdou Hussain Saad Faleh testified that he was the prisoner in the photograph showing a man standing on a box, his arms outstretched and his body draped with a blanket.
''Then a tall black soldier came and put electrical wires on my fingers and toes and on my penis, and I had a bag over my head,'' he told investigators. ''Then he was saying, 'Which switch is on for electricity?' ''
Look, it is an understandable mistake - the rest of us don't have a lot of confidence in the Times, either, so why should they?
MORE: Folks struggling for a mnemonic to remember the name of the guy who was *really* in the photograph might hit on "Sad Fella". Just a thought.
UPDATE: The Captain takes no prisoners, but I quibble with this, from his intro:
The Times had reported that Ali Shalal Qaissi was the victim of American abuse and ran a lengthy profile about his efforts to ensure that Americans would no longer torture innocent Iraqis. Well, Qaissi was innocent, all right -- in fact, he was never there:
Well, Qaissi was at Abu Grhaib, and was even photographed in a hood, he just was not in the famous photo. Well, that is assuming the Times has finally gotten it right:
Certainly, he was at Abu Ghraib, and appears with a hood over his head in some photographs that Army investigators seized from the computer belonging to Specialist Charles Graner, the soldier later convicted of being the ringleader of the abuse.
However, he now acknowledges he is not the man in the specific photograph he printed and held up in a portrait that accompanied the Times article. But he and his lawyers maintain that he was photographed in a similar position and shocked with wires and that he is the one on his business card. The Army says it believes only one prisoner was treated in that way.
Hmm, it appears that I have a similar quarrel with Tigerhawk:
Thing is, Qaissi wasn't there. Somebody was there, but it wasn't the man who told the Times' credulous Mr. Fattah that he "never wanted to be famous, especially not in this way." Whoever it was who suffered so, it wasn't the lying weasel about which the Grey Dufus wrote this:
Let's not turn the Times embarrassment into our own, gents.