Why is it that Coalition press releases and statements from officers are often ignored, or must be balanced by outside reporting and observations (including the use of insurgent stringers, as bloggers Patterico and Flopping Aces recently documented), but the Devlin report is discussed without outside context? Michael the Fumento and Martin Fletcher were recently in Ramadi, and told stories about grudging progress in the city...which can yield even further results if the necessary troops requested by the report are provided.
Austin Bay questions the "source" of the story, but AP is sticking by the story, and they're now claiming that a reporter went to visit Jamil Hussein after bloggers raised a fuss, and that he definitely exists.
ClassicalValuesBlog summarizes the whole thing here:" It seems to me that it ought to be a relatively simple matter to determine whether the story is true or not. Once the truth has been determined, that should end the fight over the facts. The fight over credibility of sources is a different matter..."
(Headsup from Instapundit)
Is being "fair and balanced" believing the enemy more than your own country's press representatives? Check this story about how the media uses Taliban sources about Canadian soldiers.
Strategy Page puts the deaths in Iraq into context: The rate was actually quite low until the Shiites decided to start taking revenge on the Sunni Arabs this summer. And the article compares the usual rate, the increased rates now, the death rate under Saddam and the death rates from wars and insurgencies in other countries.