Earlier this week I blogged about the speculation that the Iraqi featured in this NYTimes story (using the CommonDreams reprint link because the direct link to the NYT story is no longer free to access) who identified himself as the man who was photographed hooded and standing atop the box during the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuses was not, in fact, the detainee in the photo.
As a followup to their story, the NYT featured an article today where the man admits he is NOT the detainee in the photo.
This is what their “Editor’s Note” states on the error:
The Times did not adequately research Mr. Qaissi’s insistence that he was the man in the photograph. Mr. Qaissi’s account had already been broadcast and printed by other outlets, including PBS and Vanity Fair, without challenge. Lawyers for former prisoners at Abu Ghraib vouched for him. Human rights workers seemed to support his account. The Pentagon, asked for verification, declined to confirm or deny it.
Despite the previous reports, The Times should have been more persistent in seeking comment from the military. 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.
The Times also overstated the conviction with which representatives of Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International expressed their view of whether Mr. Qaissi was the man in the photograph. While they said he could well be that man, they did not say they believed he was.
Perhaps in their rush to run a hit piece on the Bush administration via reminder of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, they got a little sloppy with their fact checking. Surprise surprise.
(Hat tip: Little Green Footballs)