Pistol pulled, requested … whatever

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Last updated on March 6th, 2018 at 12:30 am

Readers may recall Paul McGeough’s report last year on Dirty Harry Allawi, interim Prime Minister of Iraq and freelance hitman:

Iyad Allawi, the new Prime Minister of Iraq, pulled a pistol and executed as many as six suspected insurgents at a Baghdad police station, just days before Washington handed control of the country to his interim government, according to two people who allege they witnessed the killings.

That unnamed pair couldn’t identify the exact date they saw their country’s leader murder six people, and differed on details of injuries to a seventh prisoner who apparently survived Allawi’s killing spree. There have been recent developments; a couple of weeks ago, Professor Bunyip wrote:

When quoting dubious sources, follow McGeough’s professional lead and take along the New Yorker’s John Lee Anderson as a back-up witness. (Three confidential informants deep within the bowels of Hilmer World Headquarters have named Anderson as the Silly correspondent’s companion, something McGeough has, as yet, declined to do. Perhaps he is worried about having to share his latest Walkley Award.)

Anderson’s own account has now been published. McGeough’s paper, the Sydney Morning Herald, subsequently rejoiced under the headline US official confirms Allawi shot six dead:

A former Jordanian government minister has told The New Yorker that an American official confirmed to him that the Iraqi interim Prime Minister, Iyad Allawi, executed six suspected insurgents at a Baghdad police station last year.

So, to the claims of a pair of anonymous Iraqis who don’t know when they saw the massacre and disagree over the fate of an Allawi victim, we may now add powerful evidence supplied by “an American official” as related by “a former Jordanian government minister”. Consider this story confirmed!

Except that Anderson’s version is crucially different to McGeough’s. The Sydney Morning Herald writer quotes a witness saying:

“The prisoners were against the wall and we were standing in the courtyard when the Interior Minister said that he would like to kill them all on the spot. Allawi said that they deserved worse than death – but then he pulled the pistol from his belt and started shooting them.”

In Anderson’s piece, the witness—possibly the second who volunteered his views; they were interviewed separately—tells an alternative story:

He described how Allawi had been taken to seven suspects, who were made to stand against a wall in a courtyard of the police station, their faces covered. After being told of their alleged crimes by a police official, Allawi had asked for a pistol, and then shot each prisoner in the head.

So, the current status of this Allawi massacre claim:

* Neither witness can recall the date it occurred;
* Witnesses disagree over the nature of injury to an Allawi survivor;
* Some unnamed guy in Jordan says an unnamed American “confirmed” the claim;
* McGeough’s witness says Allawi was packing heat; Anderson’s witness says Allawi requested a weapon.

This story has more holes in it than any of Allawi’s alleged victims.

UPDATE. More on this from Professor Bunyip, including:

McGeough’s witness says he saw the suspects’ faces and they were bearded and short-haired; Anderson writes that the faces of the condemned were covered.

Posted by Tim B. on 01/20/2005 at 12:38 AM
    1. What concerns me more is the fact that these reports were made by reporters paid by privately owned newspapers.

      We have a problem,

      Posted by Louis on 01/20 at 01:26 AM • #


    1. Are those discrepancies really out of bounds for eye-witness accounts? People don’t remember things perfectly. If the accounts were perfectly identical, I’d be more suspicious.

      Posted by Aarrgghh on 01/20 at 01:31 AM • #


    1. Some unnamed guy in Jordan says an unnamed American “confirmed” the claim

      ah, but it gets even better… think about it.

      if an “unnamed American” confirmed the claim, and said American wasn’t present at the incident, then by necessity this American would have had to get the account from someone else in turn.

      Posted by benson swears a lot on 01/20 at 01:32 AM • #


    1. just remembered.

      the most important missing piece of evidence in a murder… the bodies.

      Posted by benson swears a lot on 01/20 at 01:35 AM • #


    1. clarity fix: that should read “these murders”

      Posted by benson swears a lot on 01/20 at 01:36 AM • #


    1. Tim, you’ve linked to the wrong Bunyip piece.

      If the good Prof doesn’t mind, this point of his is also worth passing on:

      >How, for example, does one of McGeough’s witnesses know that the bodies were taken from the prison/police station and buried “west of Baghdad, in open desert country near Abu Ghraib”?. More intriguingly, what to make of the witnesses’ quite specific knowledge of the security force’s daily torture schedule, which, as one quote explains, saw the walking dead “beaten by the police for two to eight hours a day.” As spectators, Geough’s informants occupy so many god-like vantage points throughout the course of the saga that it is difficult to conceive of them actually having been in any particular one of them. They are in the cells timing the torture, in the courtyard for head-blowing time, and off with the shovels when the flies are cheated.

      Posted by Scott Campbell at Blithering Bunny on 01/20 at 02:25 AM • #


    1. >What concerns me more is the fact that these reports were made by reporters paid by privately owned newspapers.

      But bear in mind that the SMH is partially propped up by the State, which uses cross-ownership laws to stop the SMH shareholders being able to sell it to the wrong sort of capitalist (eg. Kerry Packer).

      Posted by Scott Campbell at Blithering Bunny on 01/20 at 02:27 AM • #


    1. One more question that occurs—why did Anderson wait so long to publish his account, if it’s such an important story?

      Posted by Evil Pundit on 01/20 at 04:10 AM • #


    1. Let us use something McGeogh has never heard of, let alone practised.

      Common sense (Hey, his ‘story’ has already been totally demolished by logic, so I can’t use that angle, can I?)

      If one of your kids offered this yarn to ‘prove’ that his brother punched a couple of other kids behind the bike shed at school, would you believe it as Gospel truth?

      Thought so.
      OI! You can stop laughing now!!

      But the ‘journalist’ who made up this load of blatant tripe at a hotel bar in Baghdad gets an industry award. Well, we all now know what a Walkely is worth. Still, I guess they are useful to have lying about in case one runs out of toilet paper.


      Posted by MarkL on 01/20 at 07:12 AM • #


    1. Still, I guess they are useful to have lying about in case one runs out of toilet paper.

      That’d be a bit uncomfortable to wipe your arse with, wouldn’t it?

      Posted by Quentin George on 01/20 at 07:14 AM • #


    1. Yeah, there’s always some level of disagreement between eyewitnesses, but if there’s no better follow-up than “someone I won’t name said someone he wouldn’t name confirmed it” then there’s simply no good evidence for it.

      Posted by John Nowak on 01/20 at 07:15 AM • #


    1. An unnamed Australian has told me that McGeough and the SMH have been funnelling money to insurgents in Iraq.

      Keep it under yer hat…

      Posted by Quentin George on 01/20 at 07:16 AM • #


    1. The pistol was concealed in a secret compartment in a plastic turkey.

      Posted by ErnieG on 01/20 at 07:49 AM • #


    1. The SMH soul-buddy, ABC’s AM program, has just finished grilling John Anderson with questions like:
      Shouldn’t we withdraw our troops after the bombing near our embassy?
      Now that the body count from the Tsunami has hit 220,000 are we going to increase our aid effort?
      My question is:
      How much expertise do you need to get a job with these organisations?

      Posted by blogstrop on 01/20 at 08:14 AM • #


    1. On the radio, yesterday whilst driving i briefly heard an Irish woman from Human rights Watch castigating the Australian government doe its “lack of opposition to the Bush Admin.
      it was some kind of speech which went on and on with some of the most vitriolic accusations.
      The strident Irsih voice full of passion sounded like a call to arms for the IRA full of self importance that i actually shuddered at the sound.
      DID any one catch this speech which was probably on the ABC?
      Now i understand why the Irsh are always accused of “magical thinking”.
      No logic or evidence would have ever make her change her views , it was plainly obvious from the sound of her voice.

      Posted by davo on 01/20 at 08:43 AM • #


    1. Also worth noting is Bunyip’s point that McGeogh says the victims’ faces were visible while Anderson says their heads were covered.

      Gee, “Aarrgghh”, that little detail would be hard to remember.

      Posted by TFK on 01/20 at 09:10 AM • #


    1. As a fellow “unamed American”, I can confirm that the pistol was handed to Allawi by none other than Michael Moore, who had been given the weapon for opening an account at the nearby Iraqi Savings and Loan…

      Posted by Siergen on 01/20 at 09:32 AM • #


    1. When I read the story, the first line reminded me of the old song which went along the lines of “ I knew a gal, who knew a man who was a friend of jockey who rode a horse of a tycoon who was the uncle of a man whose daughter had a friend who once danced with the Prince of Wales”

      Talk about being close to a primary source.  Might as well ask a reader of “The Age” living in the backwoods of Upotipotpon to write about the latest developments in Iraq.

      Posted by LaVallette on 01/20 at 09:35 AM • #


    1. Lefties (including presidential candidate John Kerry) never miss an opportunity to trash Allawi. After all, he’s on the Coalition’s side, and we mustn’t support the Coalition under any circumstances, must we?

      In truth, Allawi puts his life on the line 24/7. What does an “unnamed” lefty put on the line?

      Posted by Butch on 01/20 at 10:24 AM • #


    1. How does a smug ARSEHOLE like McGeough get away with this stuff? He has no more integrity than a criminal who plants a bomb and then slinks away to watch the explosion. In this case, as we now know, the bomb was a dud! Yet, he wins a Walkely award! Well I guess we can all see for ourselves what they’re worth!
      It wouldn’t matter if Mahatma Ghandi was Iraq’s interim Prime Minister, malevolent characters like McGeough would do their best to undermine him. They feed on failure. Their predictions of disaster sadly, for them, didn’t eventuate in Afghan’s recent elections which is why nobody on the Left mentions them these days. Now they’re pinning all their perverted hopes on more chaos in Iraq.

      Posted by Brian on 01/20 at 10:32 AM • #


    1. “What concerns me more is the fact that these reports were made by reporters paid by privately owned newspapers.”

      The SMH and the Age have smaller circulations than their main competitors. They are profitable because they appeal to an AB demographic which translates into higher advertising revenue. This means that your average Fairfax reader an fool themselves into thinking they are an enlightened minority opposed to the mass circulation “evil Murdoch empire.” In practice, it means that Adel Horin columns about the “dispossessed” and “left behind” are juxtaposed with endless advertisements and “features” on eastern suburbs real estate and every new marketing trend is analysed as if it were some major sociological finding. Also note that while they follow a soft-left liberal line on social and moral issues (and Iraq), you never get any real redistributive socialism on these pages. Their readership would not like that at all.

      I stopped buying the print edition of the SMH years ago, while I believe in reading things I disagree with, I am getting to the point where I will have to stop reading the online edition on medical advice.

      Posted by Adam B on 01/20 at 10:32 AM • #


    1. Adam B is right. You only have to live in the far west or south west of Sydney to know that nobody reads the SMH. Just ask the newsagents which papers sell or check out who gets the paper home delivered (a north shore concept actually). The local suburban throwaways have a greater readership than the SMH.

      The SMH knows this which is why you never get news or stories about the west, north-west or south-west or that are relevant to people living there. The Margos, Alan Ramseys et al wouldn’t even know where Bonnyrigg, Casula or Hinchinbrook are. Just like the apparachiks of the ABC in their Winter Palace on Harris Street, for whom the edge of the world is at Newtown.

      Posted by mr magoo on 01/20 at 11:57 AM • #


    1. Is there anything to stop Allawi taking legal action in Australia for damages for defamation against McGeough and the SMH? With the alleged “evidence” presented so by this mob Allawi would have to be a special for a result.Adam B is spot on.The week day circulation is about 200000 compared with about 500000 for the Telegraph.

      Posted by Lew on 01/20 at 02:00 PM • #


    1. What’s next? David Hicks and Mandou Habib were eyewitnesses?

      Posted by ArtVandelay on 01/20 at 02:22 PM • #


    1. Is there anything to stop Allawi taking legal action in Australia

      Better if he simply shot McGeough

      Posted by superboot on 01/20 at 02:42 PM • #


    1. What’s next? David Hicks and Mandou Habib were eyewitnesses?

      Wouldn’t be surprised. SMH had a “confirmed – witness” torture story on Habib’s torture.

      The source? Habib.

      Posted by Quentin George on 01/20 at 04:26 PM • #


    1. ABC’s PM today is concentrating on showing the grieving mothers of US soldiers. This is a repeat pattern. Lets show that we are a pushover, that we have no stomach for a fight. What is more important to the ABC – to wear down the resolve of the west to fight for its future, to score political points? To what end? The world is not going to turn into the place they want it to be by their endeavours.

      Posted by blogstrop on 01/20 at 05:36 PM • #


    1. There is only one possible explanation: Allawi actually shot *14* suspects, and during the second round, was still carrying the pistol he had borrowed in the first! Hah! Colonel Mustard in the bedroom with the pipe wrench!

      Posted by Aaron – Free Will on 01/20 at 07:23 PM • #


    1. Yeah blogstrop! I heard that fool woman on the ABG this morning. Nearly breathless she was, because she had to ask the next question before waiting for the answer to the previous one.  We could save millions and spend it on some infrastructure if the ABC was shut down.  Just think all those dopes would have to get a real job and work for their pay.

      Posted by Hube on 01/20 at 07:34 PM • #


    1. Hey blogstrop we can only hope the ABC don’t get the kind of world they want!
      The chaotic inconsistencies and hypocrisy of their shallow, fashion-conscious ideology is exploitative and malevolent! They consistently champion the likes of Hicks and Habib while their vilification of America and Americans is vicious and unrelenting. They don’t even know what’s good for them let alone anyone else!

      Posted by Brian on 01/20 at 07:41 PM • #


    1. Oh, details, details. We all knew it was true before it [never] happened anyway.

      Your friend,
      Father Rather

      Posted by J. Peden on 01/20 at 07:51 PM • #


    1. Still, I guess they are useful to have lying about in case one runs out of toilet paper.

      But will your ass be any cleaner after you have used it?

      Posted by jorgen on 01/20 at 09:39 PM • #


    1. McGeough was a correspondent for ABC radio during Iraq War and laughed uproariously at frightened conscripts stripping off their uniforms as they fled along the opposite river bank.

      Posted by crash on 01/20 at 11:33 PM • #


    1. According to the SMH this morning “Chief Correspondent McGeough is in Iraq to report on the election”. What an opportunity for Mr.Allawi to have a quiet chat with him.

      Posted by Lew on 01/21 at 11:42 AM • #


  1. He pulled a pistol from his belt,
    And waved it like a toy.
    “I’ll fight but not surrender!”, cried
    The Wild Allawi Boy.

    Posted by lmbrjk on 01/21 at 05:03 PM • #