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Fact checking not always possible

Fact checking can't always be done.
While true that checking facts of a story is the best way to add credibility to any story, whether in a journalistic venue or otherwise, what if the nature of the story makes fact-checking impossible? What if the men this taxi driver picked up refused to identify themselves? Indeed I'd expect they'd refuse, so as not to imcriminate themselves. Does that automatically make this story untrue and worth ignoring? US soldiers returning from Vietnam told many similar stories of their misconduct and outright brutal behavior while on tour, so why should rumors of such acts by soldiers in Iraq seem surprising? War is hell, no matter how gingerly the military tries to conduct it or shield its soldiers from it, so events like these are a foregone conclusion.

Check out a web-only feature that the parent company of the local (mainstream) paper Riverfront Time is running about soldiers exchanging for porn grotesque pictures (with captions) of themselves with dead Iraqs:

www.eastbayexpress.com/Issues/2005-09-21/news/news.html

Again, given the nature of the source material, no extensive fact-checking is apparent in this story, other than the possibility to identify soldiers' faces photographed. I personally see many similarities in the war-hardened attitudes of the soldiers represented in both of these stories. Not the same as fact-checking, but an ounce more believability.
 

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Quote-of-the-Moment

An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war.
-- Mark Twain
Source: "Glances at History" (suppressed)
 

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