Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 15, 2005

Non-retraction Retraction

Newsweek reported on May 9 about interrogators flushing a Qur'an down a toilet in Guantanamo Bay. This short report lead to deadly unrests in several countries and threats of a renewed jihad in Afghanistan.

Today Newsweek did issue a follow up to the story.

Some headlines now claim: Newsweek: Koran Story Untrue, Newsweek backtracks over Koran report and Editor admits Koran story in doubt and you can be sure to see many more like these by tomorrow.

But does the new Newsweek piece, How a Fire Broke Out, really retract the story? I do not think so and you should not either, so please read on.

The article starts with a description of the current unrests and continues:

Late last week Pentagon spokesman Lawrence DiRita told NEWSWEEK that its original story was wrong. The brief PERISCOPE item ("SouthCom Showdown") had reported on the expected results of an upcoming U.S. Southern Command investigation into the abuse of prisoners at Gitmo. According to NEWSWEEK, SouthCom investigators found that Gitmo interrogators had flushed a Qur'an down a toilet in an attempt to rattle detainees. While various released detainees have made allegations about Qur'an desecration, the Pentagon has, according to DiRita, found no credible evidence to support them.

How did NEWSWEEK get its facts wrong? ...

Up to this point there is no evidence in the article that Newsweek DID get the facts wrong. DiRita might say whatever he likes, the issues is still open - so why the above question I emphasized? Why at this point of the report? This reader listens up and asks:
Did Newsweek really get its facts wrong?

[NEWSWEEK, veteran investigative reporter Michael Isikoff] knew that military investigators at Southern Command (which runs the Guantánamo prison) were looking into the allegations. So he called a longtime reliable source, a senior U.S. government official who was knowledgeable about the matter. The source told Isikoff that the report would include new details that were not in the FBI e-mails, including mention of flushing the Qur'an down a toilet. A SouthCom spokesman contacted by Isikoff declined to comment on an ongoing investigation, but NEWSWEEK National Security Correspondent John Barry, realizing the sensitivity of the story, provided a draft of the NEWSWEEK PERISCOPE item to a senior Defense official, asking, "Is this accurate or not?" The official challenged one aspect of the story: the suggestion that Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, sent to Gitmo by the Pentagon in 2001 to oversee prisoner interrogation, might be held accountable for the abuses. Not true, said the official (the PERISCOPE draft was corrected to reflect that). But he was silent about the rest of the item. The official had not meant to mislead, but lacked detailed knowledge of the SouthCom report.

The elder story is double-sourced but one of the sources, a 'senior Defense official',  - sure about one detail - is now doubted to be sure of a second one? Because he did not deny it?

Did Newsweek really get its facts wrong?

NEWSWEEK was not the first to report allegations of desecrating the Qur'an. As early as last spring and summer, similar reports from released detainees started surfacing in British and Russian news reports, and in the Arab news agency Al-Jazeera; claims by other released detainees have been covered in other media since then.

Did Newsweek really get its facts wrong?

After the rioting began last week, the Pentagon attempted to determine the veracity of the NEWSWEEK story. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Richard Myers told reporters that so far no allegations had been proven. He did appear to cryptically refer to two mentions found in the logs of prison guards in Gitmo: a report that a detainee had used pages of the Qur'an to stop up a crude toilet as a form of protest, and a complaint from a detainee that a prison guard had knocked down a Qur'an hanging in a bag in his cell.

Did Newsweek really get its facts wrong?

On Friday night, Pentagon spokesman DiRita called NEWSWEEK to complain about the original PERISCOPE item. He said, "We pursue all credible allegations" of prisoner abuse, but insisted that the investigators had found none involving Qur'an desecration. DiRita sent NEWSWEEK a copy of rules issued to the guards (after the incidents mentioned by General Myers) to guarantee respect for Islamic worship.

Did Newsweek really get its facts wrong?

On Saturday, Isikoff spoke to his original source, the senior government official, who said that he clearly recalled reading investigative reports about mishandling the Qur'an, including a toilet incident. But the official, still speaking anonymously, could no longer be sure that these concerns had surfaced in the SouthCom report.

So 'these concerns' surfaced in a different report? Did Newsweek really get its facts wrong? 

Told of what the NEWSWEEK source said, DiRita exploded, "People are dead because of what this son of a bitch said. How could he be credible now?"

(Can someone ask DiRita about today's credibility of those WMD-in-Iraq hypers in his department, including himself, - now that 'people are dead because of what these sons of a bitches said'?)

But lets not get distracted: Did Newsweek really get its facts wrong?

In the meantime, as part of his ongoing reporting on the detainee-abuse story, Isikoff had contacted a New York defense lawyer, Marc Falkoff, who is representing 13 Yemeni detainees at Guantánamo. According to Falkoff's declassified notes, a mass-suicide attempt—when 23 detainees tried to hang or strangle themselves in August 2003—was triggered by a guard's dropping a Qur'an and stomping on it. One of Falkoff's clients told him, "Another detainee tried to kill himself after the guard took his Qur'an and threw it in the toilet."

Did Newsweek really get its facts wrong?

Bader Zaman Bader, a 35-year-old former editor of a fundamentalist English-language magazine in Peshawar, was released from more than two years' lockup in Guantánamo seven months ago. Arrested by Pakistani security as a suspected Qaeda militant in November 2001, he was handed over to the U.S. military and held at a tent at the Kandahar airfield. One day, Bader claims, as the inmates' latrines were being emptied, a U.S. soldier threw in a Qur'an.

The article ends about there.

The essence of the original Newsweek claim and a new aspect was: "There is an official U.S. report about mishandling the Qur'an, including a toilet incident". This claim still holds. The version number or draft title of the official U.S. report may have been wrong. But the essence of the story still holds.

There must have been immense pressure on Newsweek to come up with some kind of retraction and they did it in an artful way. They do retract by non-retraction.

The question: "How did NEWSWEEK get its facts wrong?" is a rhetoric question. The facts were not wrong, but some details are unknown. Indeed the central abuse claim gets rolled out in more details, with more incidents and more sources.

In a sidekick towards the Pentagon the detail on General Miller's non-indictment, not reported the last time, is made public and DiRita gets exposed as the son of a bitch he is.

Some headlines may now say 'Newsweek was wrong'. But when concerned Muslims will  study the article, they will understand that in fact, Newsweek sticks to the original report and the additional reporting will add fuel to the fire.

The pressure that obviously has been applied to Newsweek here, did not help on the real issue. The non-retraction retraction might calm some internal U.S. concerns. The Muslim world will see this as the confirmation that it is and it will act upon it in a appropriate way.

Posted by b on May 15, 2005 at 06:03 PM | Permalink


surely & certainly

Posted by: remembereringgiap | May 15, 2005 6:33:06 PM | 1

Damn good job, Bernhard, and an example for us all. This is what it takes to read the MSM, and once you get the hang of it, you can begin to make some exact distinctions between the wise and foolish virgins of the press corps. I was hardly a fan of Isikoff's during the failed assassination of the Clinton presidency, but he seems to have learned a thing or two from the experience, and I'm moved by these signs of growth on his part.

Posted by: alabama | May 15, 2005 6:50:34 PM | 2

Reports by the MSM and statements by US government spokespeople need to be parsed the way we once parsed statements emanating from the Kremlin. That's the lesson here. Read between the lines. Assume they're dissembling.

Posted by: Michael Connolly | May 15, 2005 8:40:27 PM | 3

Get outta here! Media lies!?

Posted by: Uncle $cam | May 15, 2005 9:06:50 PM | 4

Newsweek or Newspeak?

Not sure if this angle is correct, but this whole story might just be "news" because it makes the religious aspect of this conflict "front burner." As far as elaboration and heuristics are concerned, the religious masses in the multiple audiences will respond according to their "monopoly on the truth." Even for those that feel genuine sympathy, or those that are simply upset by the recklessness of such tactics, the message is disguised.

Keep this thing a holy war, elicit visions of armageddon for the accepting, and let them not know that the reason for killing is a fabrication in itself, the hotter the fire -- the more easily convinced they will be. Blaah! Snort. Grunt.

Posted by: dt | May 15, 2005 10:20:14 PM | 5

dt wrote:
Newsweek or Newspeak?

Not sure if this angle is correct

Correct is probably not the most important way to consider it. Sure, it's bullshit, but it's the consequences that need to be addressed. Repugs are either entirely incompetent, don't give a shit if that part of the world goes up in flames, or didn't learn the lesson of the downfall of the Shah of Iran. If they don't act more convincingly very quickly the whole thing could dangerously spiral. Military repression & buying off corrupt elites in these countries only goes so far...the camel's spine is getting dangerously weak...If they think this will take care of the problem, we had best be worried, damn worried...or maybe they want to use this to reinstate the draft...Tens of millions of MaleMuslims holding violent demonstrations screaming down w/America, etc. could be very useful domestically to help military recruiters, distract xAmericans from the assault of the AmTaliban, or...

Posted by: jj | May 15, 2005 10:44:57 PM | 6

I cancelled my subscription to Newsweek the week they ran a column by Jonathan Alter advocating torture, a few weeks after 9/11. The 'periscope' piece from a couple of issues ago was clearly meant to provide a chuckle for flag-waving retards in this country. Sort of back-fired.

Posted by: lloydyboy | May 15, 2005 11:02:38 PM | 7

For those interested in this, Juan Cole's post under heading of Mon. May 16 says everything that needs to be said on the subject.

Posted by: jj | May 15, 2005 11:15:45 PM | 8

The sad thing is that it is absolutely irrelevant if the story is true or not. It fits perfectly in the current US image over here. No one I talked to doubts that the story is true, and all declarations to the contrary will be considered whitewashing. In a way I think this is the last drop that brought the glass to overflow. I wonder if the violence can be stopped, I have my doubts.

Posted by: Fran | May 16, 2005 12:46:52 AM | 9

billmon's latest is hilarious!

Posted by: lenin's ghost | May 16, 2005 3:01:12 AM | 10

If the PROBLEM is the Religion, why not throw the quran, the bible (new and old testament), the book of mormon, I ching, etc,etc. sometimes to the trash or to the toilet.Is all paper. What is the problem?
Why we must respect these books, and desacrate EVERY DAY the children, women, men ,animals plants, mountains ,rivers and oceans of the earth?
Sorry for my intemperance.
Seems that many people has lost the proportion of things.

Posted by: curious | May 16, 2005 7:52:58 AM | 12

curious is correct. Religion is the root of all evil. Look at history.

Posted by: beq | May 16, 2005 8:39:28 AM | 13

To pull a head of a doll is not cruel, it is just plastic.

To pull a head of a childs doll in front of the child is cruel, it is not just plastic to the child.

And that is the point here, the Qu´ran or Bible is desecrated because it means something to the prisoner, ergo it is cruel and done purposefully so.

Posted by: A swedish kind of death | May 16, 2005 9:14:44 AM | 14

"...the Qu´ran or Bible is desecrated because it means something to the prisoner, ergo it is cruel and done purposefully so."

Correct also, of course.

Posted by: beq | May 16, 2005 10:30:46 AM | 15

No, that's not true: people are the root of all evil. Sometimes the evil is dressed up as religion, sometimes it's not. The root of all evil is breaking the golden rule, or placing people outside that rule.

Posted by: Colman | May 16, 2005 10:34:50 AM | 16

Yes, Coleman. I went off again. It is the result of seeing, in this country, the way people are being controlled by religion and using it as a shield to hide and excuse atrocities and making sweeping generalizations doesn't make for constructive discussion. I see "God Bless America" pasted on the bumper of the car in front of me and it makes me despair. Actually, I saw one once that said "God, please save me from your followers". To that, I can relate.

So much evil has been done in the name of God.

Posted by: beq | May 16, 2005 11:34:28 AM | 17

A very sane BBC comment on the Newsweek story:

Reporting the truth

What happened in prisons like Guantanamo, Bagram and Abu Ghraib after 2001 has done serious damage to the United States and its allies: not just the dwindling number who still have troops in Iraq, but the new governments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Do not blame the news media for this. Instead, all the effort needs to go into convincing the world that the abuse has stopped, and will never be allowed to start again.

only problem - the abuse has not stopped

Posted by: b | May 16, 2005 11:54:11 AM | 18

along the same lines as dt:

The article makes clear - loudly and abundantly clear - that Muslims are targetted as Muslims, and not as criminals, terrorists, soldiers or citizens.

That is the central point of the facts themselves, whatever they are, the story and the ‘non retraction.’

Newsweek would have known that a Muslim reaction would follow.

curious, these bits of paper function as symbols. They are being used by the Dominant power to degrade, humiliate, and inflame. And conclusively show who holds the uppper hand.

What people tend to forget I think is that torture or the kind of humiliation described is not (in this context) used to extract information from prisoners - that is just a masquerade to make it acceptable to Joe and Betty - but a means of humiliating and dominating an entire group.

For that process to work, whatever is done has to be made public.

Posted by: Blackie | May 16, 2005 12:57:31 PM | 19

Blackie, I wonder if it is really all that well thought out. Some have suggested that the Newsweek story is intentional, printed to rile everybody up. I think it was merely incompetence and arrogance. This "Periscope" is not all that widely read and for the intended audience of warmongers it probably is not even provocatory. I have seen other articles where the authors suggest throwing pig entrails on prisoners and burying dead prisoners with pigs in front of their still alive fellow prisoners. These things are fairly common at LGF and freeperville.

People in the US really don't care about the Koran, it is just a book that silly people who blow themselves up on school buses read.

I fear you are giving these criminals more credit than they deserve.

Posted by: dan of steele | May 16, 2005 1:24:06 PM | 20

Thank you for the excellent breakdown of the facts about the Newsweek "nonretraction retraction".

Posted by: Stormwind | May 16, 2005 1:32:58 PM | 21

Ya, but will heads roll at Newsweek for it? A bit like Rathergate and the wrongly discredited awol story.

Posted by: gylangirl | May 16, 2005 2:40:22 PM | 22

Ya, but will heads roll at Newsweek for it?

Why should they? Newsweek was absolutly right to cover the case the way they did. Of course Rove would love them to fire some people - if just to scare the rest of the media away from writing anything critical at all.

Posted by: b | May 16, 2005 2:55:35 PM | 23

Juan Cole: Guantanamo Controversies - The Bible and the Koran

I found the following especially interesting:

"I'm a former US [military officer], and had the 'pleasure' of attending SERE school--Search, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape.

The course I attended . . . [had] a mock POW camp, where we had a chance to be prisoners for 2-3 days. The camp is also used as a training tool for CI [counter-intelligence], interrogators, etc for those running the camp.

One of the most memorable parts of the camp experience was when one of the camp leaders trashed a Bible on the ground, kicking it around, etc. It was a crushing blow, even though this was just a school.

I have no doubt the stories about trashing the Koran are true.

Reminds me a little of children who have been abused and then abuse their own children in the same way.

Then there is another interesting part:

1. My gut feeling tells me that the SERE camps were 'laboratories' and part of the training program for military counter-intelligence and interrogator personnel. I heard this anecdotally as far as the training goes, but have not dug into it. This is pretty much common sense.
3. This incident with the bible trashing. Camp was [in the late 1990s]. It was towards the end of the camp experience, which was 2-3 days of captivity. We were penned in concrete cell blocks about 4' x 4' x 4'--told to kneel, but allowed to squat or sit. There was no door, just a flap that could be let down if it was too cold outside (which it was--actually light snow fell). Each trainee was interrogated to some extent, all experienced some physical interrogation such as pushing, shoving, getting slammed against a wall (usually a large metal sheet set up so that it would not seriously injure trainees) with some actually water-boarded (not me).

The bible trashing was done by one of the top-ranked leaders of the camp, who was always giving us speeches--sort of 'making it real' so to speak, because it is a pretty contrived environment. But by the end it almost seemed real. Guards spoke English with a Russian accent, wore Russian-looking uniforms. So the bible trashing happened when this guy had us all in the courtyard sitting for one of his speeches. They were tempting us with a big pot of soup that was boiling--we were all starving from a few days of chow deprivation. He brought out the bible and started going off on it verbally--how it was worthless, we were forsaken by this God, etc. Then he threw it on the ground and kicked it around. It was definitely the climax of his speech. Then he kicked over the soup pot, and threw us back in the cells. Big climax. And psychologically it was crushing and heartbreaking, and then we were left isolated to contemplate this.

And then they wonder that these things happen in Gitmo or other places. (shaking my head)

Posted by: Fran | May 16, 2005 3:17:48 PM | 24

I agree that newsweek should stand by its story and its writers/editors by not firing anyone for Caesar. But that's not what happened at CBS which should have also stood by their producers.

Posted by: gylangirl | May 16, 2005 4:10:31 PM | 25

Neomi Klien had an interesting article in Nation about the social side of prisioner torture. Blackie is right, it is a tool for social control not interrogation. Torture as a technique of interrogation is useless but as a tool of social control it works great. Parents prevent their kids from getting involved in things which might get them tortured, day to day people quit resisting out of fear, and others keep their mouths closed and either freeze or flee. This is why you have pictures and stories. Many of these people were not wanted by their governments but were let go so they could share their stories and spread the fear. Read this diary The Fear of Being the Next Maher Arar at dailykos.

Posted by: Max Andersen | May 17, 2005 2:13:39 AM | 26

Sadley - now Newsweek retracts (a bit):

Editor's Note

On Monday afternoon, May 16, Whitaker issued the following statement: Based on what we know now, we are retracting our original story that an internal military investigation had uncovered Qur'an abuse at Guantanamo Bay.

Posted by: b | May 17, 2005 2:30:33 AM | 27

NYT Newsweek Says It Is Retracting Koran Report

Mr. McClellan and other administration officials blamed the Newsweek article for setting off the anti-American violence that swept Afghanistan and Pakistan. "The report had real consequences," Mr. McClellan said. "People have lost their lives. Our image abroad has been damaged."

But only a few days earlier, in a briefing on Thursday, Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had said that the senior commander in Afghanistan believed the protests had stemmed from that country's reconciliation process.

Think also about "People have lost their lives". The people who lost their lives were protesters who were shoot while demonstrating (though probably not in a calm way).

What does McClellan say about shooting protestors? Is this a right thing to do?

Posted by: b | May 17, 2005 2:42:16 AM | 28

"Based on what we know now." What do they know now that is different from what they knew when they issued their previous nonretraction apology? Perhaps they know now that a journalist cannot expose the current executive administration's improprieties without suffering the consequences? That the corporations running their presses consider a "free press" to be as "quaint" a notion as the geneva conventions?

Posted by: gylangirl | May 17, 2005 4:22:43 AM | 29

The US adminstration's philosophical comrades at The Weekly Standard are justifying Pinochetian dictatorial methods in response to rebellious disorderly traitors in their review of the latest Star Wars movie.

The Case for the Empire
by Jonathan V. Last
The Weekly Standard

"STAR WARS RETURNS today with its fifth installment, "Attack of the Clones." There will be talk of the Force and the Dark Side and the epic morality of George Lucas's series. But the truth is that from the beginning, Lucas confused the good guys with the bad. The deep lesson of Star Wars is that the Empire is good.

It's a difficult leap to make--embracing Darth Vader and the Emperor over the plucky and attractive Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia--but a careful examination of the facts, sorted apart from Lucas's off-the-shelf moral cues, makes a quite convincing case.
Palpatine believes that the political order must be manipulated to produce peace and stability. When he mutters, "There is no civility, there is only politics," we see that at heart, he's an esoteric Straussian.

Make no mistake, as emperor, Palpatine is a dictator--but a relatively benign one, like Pinochet. It's a dictatorship people can do business with. They collect taxes and patrol the skies. They try to stop organized crime (in the form of the smuggling rings run by the Hutts). The Empire has virtually no effect on the daily life of the average, law-abiding citizen."

"None of which is to say that the Empire isn't sometimes brutal. In Episode IV, Imperial stormtroopers kill Luke's aunt and uncle and Grand Moff Tarkin orders the destruction of an entire planet, Alderaan. But viewed in context, these acts are less brutal than they initially appear. Poor Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen reach a grisly end, but only after they aid the rebellion by hiding Luke and harboring two fugitive droids. They aren't given due process, but they are traitors.
The destruction of Alderaan is often cited as ipso facto proof of the Empire's "evilness" because it seems like mass murder--planeticide, even.
If anything, since Leia is a high-ranking member of the rebellion and the princess of Alderaan, it would be reasonable to suspect that Alderaan is a front for Rebel activity or at least home to many more spies and insurgents like Leia.

Whatever the case, the important thing to recognize is that the Empire is not committing random acts of terror. It is engaged in a fight for the survival of its regime against a violent group of rebels who are committed to its destruction."

There's more.

Posted by: gylangirl | May 17, 2005 4:41:35 AM | 30

it's too bad that Newsweek would do something to damage the united states' image abroad. this, after 60 Minutes' sensationalizing of the abu ghraib photos, only creates more hard work (ask george!) since the u.s. didn't ask for this war (ask condie!). </sarcasm>

society today has largely drifted away from accomplishments. concern is focused instead on "image" - what a man appears to be, not what he is

Posted by: b real | May 17, 2005 11:28:23 AM | 31

The real issue is not the desecration, or if the facts are right or wrong!

The issue is why do you all think it makes sense, why should we accept it as a fact of life, that when a book gets desecrated (and I do not support it) it is proportionally acceptable to sacrifice life!

Life is more important then even a holly book. If you don't agree with that, THAT is the issue, not facts and journalistic quality.

My Thoughts

Posted by: Dali | May 17, 2005 3:46:50 PM | 32

Last night (May 17) Isikoff was interviewed on the CBC (Canadian public radio). He all but retracted Newsweek's retraction and strongly implied that he was set up by the Bush administration. He said his source for the story was a previously very reliable highly-placed government official who personally checked the facts of the Newsweek story before publication. The official didn't pull back until several days after the piece appeared in print. The retraction itself was on a relatively minor point--- whether or not the allegations of desecration were going to be addressed in a government report. The allegations themselves remain to be explored, and Isikoff promised explicitly there would be more investigations.

To me, this all is highly suggestive of the Bush National Guard story. Because CBS had to admit the documents they revealed might be forgeries, the public assumed that the press had gotten the whole story wrong. In fact, other press reports on the same allegations, including a long one in the Boston Globe that didn't used the "forged" papers, were never refuted by anyone. The Globe reporters essentially said the same things as the CBS report, just without the suspect papers.

I seem to remember an old TV courtroom drama where a prosecution witness (secretly a defense plant) lied so he could be exposed and destroy the prosecution's case. The witness later revealed the scheme: put out an obvious lie, get it refuted, and the whole case is destroyed by association. I wonder if anyone in the White House watched the same program...

Posted by: Peter Walsh | May 18, 2005 1:42:56 PM | 33

Interesting development to the newsweak story at>Digby. There was on May 6th a cartoon by Bill Garner that ran in the Moonie Times depicting a US soldier with a dog. The dog has the recently captured AQ terrorist in his mouth and has Pakistan written on its side. The caption says "good boy", now lets go get Bin Laden".

Some are saying this cartoon, circulated in Pakistan and the region, was as responsible for the riots as the koran story, with a complaint being filed by the Pakistani ambassador in Washington.

So while the McPress secretary pleads for Newsweak to continue its grovel dance with yet another apology, it has publicly been mute on the Moonie Times story -- think they're playin favorites?

Posted by: anna missed | May 18, 2005 9:16:04 PM | 34

An interesting observation from agitprop on signs at protests:
Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign.

Posted by: beq | May 19, 2005 10:44:17 AM | 35

we are retracting our original story that an internal military investigation had uncovered Qur'an abuse at Guantanamo Bay.

Um, that emperor is naked.
I'd been wondering about this 'new' retraction, and I was especially suspicious because whenever cited, it is merely referred to as "retraction" never quoted. But look at it - it's no more a retraction than the first restatement. All they are saying is that they no longer credit the military's own investigation with uncovering the abuse. Not that Newsweek lacks its evidence of the exact same abuse of holy writ.

Posted by: citizen | May 19, 2005 11:00:16 AM | 36

ICRC told US of Quran abuse in 2002

The International Committee of the Red Cross told the Pentagon as early as 2002 that detainees at Guantanamo Bay prison complained of US officials mishandling the Quran, Red Cross and Pentagon officials have said.

Posted by: b | May 19, 2005 7:16:17 PM | 37

ô b

they make of all thier lies & fantasies a rerun of (the maltese falcon) as performed by the marx brothers

they could not lie straight in their on beds

they are so crooked, so crooked - they make moral figures of lucky luciano, al capone & meyer lansky

they make toto riina seem like a statesmen

they lie they improvise the lie - they return the lie against the lie - it is such an eternal lie telling that they have long forgotten the truth

& as jérôme hinted once - is their very lack of moderation - which will be their undoing

of course they shove the koran down the shithole - after all they have thrown the rest of their society there - what is one more sacred text or holy book

i think our times would make the bloody tamurlaine turn in his bed

Posted by: remembereringgiap | May 19, 2005 8:33:43 PM | 38

WASHINGTON — Senior Bush administration officials reacted with outrage to a Newsweek report that U.S. interrogators had desecrated the Koran at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility, and the magazine retracted the story last week. But allegations of disrespectful treatment of Islam's holy book are far from rare.

An examination of hearing transcripts, court records and government documents, as well as interviews with former detainees, their lawyers, civil liberties groups and U.S. military personnel, reveals dozens of accusations involving the Koran, not only at Guantanamo, but also at American-run detention facilities in Afghanistan and Iraq....

...In one instance, an Iraqi detainee alleged that a soldier had a guard dog carry a copy of the Koran in its mouth....

Ahmad Naji Abid Ali Dulaymi, who was held at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq for 10 months, singled out a soldier or noncommissioned officer known to detainees only as "Fox." He said prisoners were forced to sit naked, were licked by dogs, and were soaked in cold water and then forced to sit in front of a powerful air-conditioner.

"But frankly," he said, "the worst insult and humiliation they were doing to us, especially for the religious ones among us, is when they, especially Fox, tore up holy books of Koran and threw them away into the trash or into dirty water.

"Almost every day, Fox used to take a brand new Koran, and tear off the plastic cover in front of us and then throw it away into the trash container...."

Posted by: Nugget | May 22, 2005 6:38:58 AM | 39

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