That bit of Africa below the Sahara
When you set yourself up as a superior debunker of a news story, there's a particular burden on getting your own facts right. But given that we're talking about the Wall Street Journal's James Taranto as a factchecker, who was off by a mere 700 million on an estimate of total number of Muslims in the world, the following is not a surprise.
And it's not like his target is that difficult: a fishy-sounding and thinly sourced claim in the Saudi media that the public version of Saddam's capture was staged and that he was actually captured the night before. Since part of the allegation is that "a Marine of Sudanese descent" was killed in the "real" operation, Taranto pursues a logical avenue:
This site lists all U.S. combat fatalities in Iraq. On Dec. 12, 2003, two men were killed in action: Jarrod Black and Jeffrey Braun. Both were soldiers, not Marines; and neither one has a Sudanese-sounding (i.e., Arabic) surname. Nor were any Marines or any servicemen with Arab-sounding names killed on Dec. 10 or 11.
Now leaving aside the fact that if you believe the original story (which we don't), you're not going to be convinced by an official casualty list, there's a more basic flaw: "Sudanese-sounding (i.e., Arabic) surname." This is a bizarre (and easily checkable) mistake for someone like Taranto to make, because the black African non-Arabic speaking residents of southern and western Sudan have been a long-time cause of US foreign policy, and have formed a useful rhetorical stick with which to bash Islamic governments.
With fact-checkers like these, we're in a great age for conspiracy theorists.