Last week, The Washington Post's Karen De Young reported a controversial claim about how Gen. David Petraeus is lying about the decrease in ethno-sectarian violencethat's made it into letters to the editor across the nation.
"If a bullet went through the back of the head, it's sectarian," the official said. "If it went through the front, it's criminal."
The headquarters at the Multi-National Force Iraq has issued a press release denying the anonymous senior intelligence official quoted by De Young. And McQ, over at QandO notes that Petraeus denied this under oath in his testimony earlier this week.
PETRAEUS: "Let me just take advantage of this brief break here to set the record straight on something. There's this mythology out there, and apparently an unnamed intelligence source who said that we only count executions if they're shot in one part of the head and the other. That is just not true.
"As only the military can, we have a three page document on ethno-sectarian violence methodology and it is fairly comprehensive and it's pretty logical and rational. And in the execution category, it says civilians that show signs of torture, being bound, blindfolded, or shot anywhere in the head, and so forth. So if I could just put that one to rest ... "
In fact, the Post seems to be standing by its previous reporting if this "fact-check" by Ann Scott Tyson is any indication.
The Post needs to do something to reconcile this dispute. It needs to either issue a correction or it can revisit its reporting and choose to stand by its source and tell people that Petraeus is lying. The status quo is unacceptable.