Patterico has some strong evidence that the LA Times is publishing enemy propoganda.
Patterico is obsessively cautious, so he leaves open the possibility that the military is lying and that the Times was the only newspaper to report this incident accurately, but I think the possibilty can be discarded. We are long past the point where the Times or the Western media in general can plausibly claim to be seeking the unbiased truth in this war. It is beyond dispute that (1) the enemy has a policy of manipulating the media with false stories, (2) the enemy has infiltrated the media with stringers to place false stories, (3) the enemy threatens to kill witnesses and their families if they contradict the false stories, and (4) the US military makes an effort to only tell the truth. But in spite of this the media continues to report the words of its stringers and witnesses and give them equal or greater prominence to US military reports, and fails to explain to their readers why the stringers and witnesses cannot be trusted.
I can think of no possible explanation for this other than that the media is a willing conspirator with the enemy in placing these false stories. They keep their hands clean by not doing the investigation necessary to know that any given story is false, but by failing to let their readers know how unreliable the pro-enemy stories are, they are deliberately helping to give credence to those stories while knowing that that the stories are very probably false.
Large segments of the American media would rather have America lose a war than have a Republican president win it. And the rest of the Western media just want America to lose the war, period.