Sunday, May 22, 2005

As for my view of the Newsweek scandal, well ...

I'm with the great Mark Steyn, here.

Update, Monday, May 23, 2005. Best of the Web (May 23, 2005) reports, here, on Newsweek's corrected version of treatment of the Koran at Guantanamo:

"Newsweek has followed up its retracted story alleging that U.S. servicemen had flushed a Koran down the toilet at Guantanamo Bay. It turns out that there is a record of Koran-flushing, but it wasn't Americans who did it:

'In three cases, detainees tried to stuff pages from their Qur'ans down their toilets, according to the Defense Department's account of what is in the guards' reports. . . . Prison commanders concluded that certain hard-core prisoners would try to agitate the other detainees by alleging disrespect for Muslim articles of faith'.

And what about "abuse" of the Koran by soldiers? Well, here's what Newsweek was able to document:

'In fewer than a dozen log entries from the 31,000 documents reviewed so far, said [Pentagon spokesman Lawrence] Di Rita, there is a mention of detainees' complaining that guards or interrogators mishandled their Qur'ans. In one case, a female guard allegedly knocked a Qur'an from its pouch onto the detainee's bed. In another alleged case, said Di Rita, detainees became upset after two MPs [military policemen], looking for contraband, felt the pouch containing a prisoner's Qur'an. While questioning a detainee, an interrogator allegedly put a Qur'an on top of a TV set, took it off when the detainee complained, then put it back on. In another alleged instance, guards somehow sprayed water on a detainee's Qur'an'.

That's it. What's more, after a December 2002 incident in which "a guard inadvertently knocked a Qur'an from its pouch onto the floor," the Guantanamo commanders "issued precise rules to respect the 'cultural dignity of the Koran thereby reducing the friction over the searching of the Korans.' "

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