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Adding fuel to the fire.
In the wake of the deaths and riots spawned by their first report Newsweek is reporting more incidents of Qur'an flushing (and attributing their first report to "a senior US Government official" - who's now backtracking).
At NEWSWEEK, veteran investigative reporter Michael Isikoff's interest had been sparked by the release late last year of some internal FBI e-mails that painted a stark picture of prisoner abuse at Guantᮡmo. Isikoff knew that military investigators at Southern Command (which runs the Guantᮡmo 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.
Try this experiment at your house: flush a book (any book of several hundred pages, minimum) down a toilet. Please report your results in comments here.
More from Newsweek:
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. 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. 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?"Hats off to DeRita.
In the wake of the deaths and riots caused by their previous report, Newsweek exhibits what can only be described as criminal behavior with the concluding paragraphs of their current story, printing additional unproven claims of Qur'an-flushing:
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 Guantᮡmo. 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." A U.S. military spokesman, Army Col. Brad Blackner, dismissed the claims as unbelievable. "If you read the Al Qaeda training manual, they are trained to make allegations against the infidels," he said.The story closes on a hopeful note for reporters everywhere - an acknowledgement that the author knows full well what the result of his report might be:
More allegations, credible or not, are sure to come. 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 Guantᮡmo 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. After the inmates screamed and protested, a U.S. commander apologized. Bader says he still has nightmares about the incident.
Such stories may spark more trouble. Though decrepit and still run largely by warlords, Afghanistan was not considered by U.S. officials to be a candidate for serious anti-American riots. But Westerners, including those at NEWSWEEK, may underestimate how severely Muslims resent the American presence, especially when it in any way interferes with Islamic religious faith.Stunning.
Update: I was willing to give Newsweek a pass on their earlier report - I didn't think anyone could have predicted the level of violence that resulted. But this time there's no excuse, and I readily admit I was wrong. Newsweek owed the world an apology, and instead gave it this.
I wonder if Dollar Rent a Car, Sprint, Hyundai, Exxon/Mobil, Franklin Templeton Investments, or any other sponsors of the above report know what they're supporting? I'd act quickly to protect the brand.
Yelling "fire" in a crowded theater!
Michael Isikoff violated the most primary of all journalistic practices...have TWO sources for every allegation. He should know better and he should be held accountable.
I've had some interaction with Isikoff. In my first book, I detail an incident aboard Air Force One in which President Clinton sexually harrassed a female flight attendant, a sergeant in the USAF. Isikoff pressed me to reveal her identity. I told him I wouldn't do that at her request.
He didn't seem like a bad guy, just a reporter with a careless approach to his occupation.
In this case, people are DEAD! US efforts to stabilize the region are seriously hampered. Isikoff should publicly be held accountable. Newsweek and the MSM continue their treasonous undermining of our military.Posted by Buzz Patterson at May 15, 2005 04:11 PM
This is an example of criminal and irresponsable journalism. This whole thing reminds me of an episode of, "In the Heat of the Night."
A troubled young boy falsely accused a teacher of sexual advances to make his father show him more attention.
A reporter found out the teacher had left a previous position for an undisclosed reason. The rporter proceeded to ruin the man in the press.
Even though it was later determined the allegations were false and the teacher's prior situation was of a personal nature having no bearing on his teaching position.
But the reporter continued to inflame the citizens so the teacher killed himself. When the Chief told the reporter what he would like to do to the reporter, the reporter told the Chief he couldn't do anything to him because he "was the press!" He felt it was his job to report events whether or not they were true irregardless of the consequences.Posted by devildog6771 at May 15, 2005 05:05 PM
Fact is...you CAN'T flush any book or magazine down any toilet with ease or at all! It will plug up the S-bend in the pipes.
But the point is...we should not be defending this allegation. THERE IS NO PROOF IT'S TRUE AND IN ANY CASE ISLAM'S FOLLOWERS HAVE DEFILED AND DESTROYED MANY CHRISTIAN, JEWISH, BUDDHIST AND OTHER HOLY PLACES AND BOOKS AND KILLED THE FOLLOWERS OF THOSE RELIGIONS. This is an EXCUSE to vent their malice and spleen against the new rules of the Afghanistan Government (in this case) but it differs naught from the riots in Nigeria last year after a reporter said the Prophet might look with favor on the contestants. The 'alleged' incident provides the EXCUSE for the Imams to fire up their people vent their repression in self-indulgent expressions of violence against anyone who is not like them--"the other". It's an EXCUSE and we shouldn't even be ATTEMPTING to explain it--never mind bending over backwards to apologize.
STOP APOLOGIZING TO ISLAM! They need to apologize to the rest of the world for the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas, the desecration of the Virgin's Tomb with Palestinian fighters two years ago, the killing and burning of Christians and Jews and their churches and synagoges and THE BURNING AND DESTRUCTION OF THE HOLY BIBLE AND TORAHS!Posted by foreign devil at May 15, 2005 05:55 PM
I put the several hundred page book in the "chemical latrine" but I can't seem to find the flush handle. But the pages are really blue now. :)Posted by Mustang 23 at May 15, 2005 06:09 PM
Agree there's no need to apologize. We know how far appeasement will get us.Posted by MAinMUC at May 15, 2005 06:15 PM
Am currently waiting for the plumber to come remove the book from my crapper. Thanks.Posted by Sgt Hook at May 15, 2005 06:40 PM
Isn't that desecration of government property, M23?Posted by MAinMUC at May 15, 2005 06:46 PM
Hmm. This complicates my day greatly.
I have an extra copy of the Koran here, that I have no further use for.
I'd been thinking I might repurpose the paper for personal hygiene applications, but it would be a bit too scratchy, and then there's that whole jihad thing to consider. I'd hate to have a jihad launched against myself just for tearing up a little old book.
Good thing I've got a copy of Newsweek here to use instead. No one will miss that.
It's interesting to note the importance placed upon holy texts in the Islamic world. They must take very good care of any copies of the Bible that they find in their care.Posted by Jack at May 15, 2005 07:02 PM
I heard they flush Korans down the toilet at Newsweek every day.
This news might enrage gangs of fanatics to attack their headqurters and behead the staff, but that's certainly no reason not to say it.Posted by Old Reliable at May 15, 2005 07:09 PM
maybe a pocket Koran.
From Burton's Pilgrimage:
Pilgrims, especially those from Turkey, carry, I have said, a "Hamail," to denote their holy errand. This is a pocket Koran, in a handsome
gold-embroidered crimson velvet or red morocco case, slung by red silk cords over the left shoulder. It must hang down by the right side, and
should never depend below the waist-belt. For this I substituted a most useful article. To all appearance a "Hamail," it had inside three
compartments; one for my watch and compass, the second for ready money, and the third contained penknife, pencils, and slips of paper, which I
could hold concealed in the hollow of my hand. These were for writing and drawing: opportunities of making a "fair copy" into the diary-book, are never wanting to the acute traveller.
I don't read newsweek,
who are the advertisers?
I already emailed the ones that Greyhawk mentioned that I could find a contact address for.
A nice simple,
As a father of a soldier in Iraq,
I will no longer be purchaseing or consider purchasing your products as long as they are
advertised in Newsweek.
Posted by Soldier's Dad at May 15, 2005 09:15 PM
Advertisers understand the concept of advertising should increase, not decrease sales.
Congressional hearings should be called. Hell, if we make baseball players testify about their use of performance enhancing drugs, shouldn't we be able to question journalists whose biased reporting results in the death of 15 civilians and damage to the war effort?
By the way, I did the whole flushing a book down the toilet experiment on my blog yesterday, I have a picture up of the result. Surprise, surprise, it won't go down.Posted by Kevin at May 16, 2005 01:18 AM
The head as*h*le at newsweek.
How many dead is his job worth?
Gregory J. Osberg
EVP, Worldwide Publisher
I sent NEWSWEaK Editor Mark Whitaker an email. He won't read it, but you all may:
As a Vietnam combat veteran with a long and still disgusted memory of what was done to our military and our country in the 1960's and 1970's by the so-called "American" media, in collaboration with the fellow-traveling agents of our battlefield enemies of that day, I have to say that your attempt to deny, on behalf of Newsweek, culpability for the deaths of at least fifteen people and the injury of at least a hundred, and for the libel of America's efforts to protect us all in the military conflicts now ongoing, and for the extenuation of harm's way which this kind of thing attaches to our troops in the field, is totally unacceptable.
If you at Newsweak were not so hell bent on finding any kind of dirt to use against your own government and our protectors, and instead would focus your considerable resources on exposing the transparently and self-evidently greater evil actions of our enemies, perhaps you would generate some respect for your efforts.
Our country, or at least my country, is at war, and the characteristic strategy and tactics of our enemies are principally psychological. Whether you have the moral courage to see it or not, every time you charge into our enemies' psy-ops cesspool and join them in slinging its contents about, you are advancing their objectives against ours. Do you ever consider your sources' - foreign or domestic - political agendas in weighing the credibility of your information?
It is no wonder the public is turning away from the so-called (but anything but) main stream media in droves.
Your lame attempts to justify the story and keep it alive at the same time are even more outrageous, considering the real consequences so far in this case, than Dan Rather's and CBS' equally intransigent and pig-headed clinging to their reputations over the truth. In the end, for CBS and Rather, that attitude damaged their credibility even more than their original false story.
One can only hope the same will be the fate of Newsweak. The sooner your publication becomes an irrelevancy the better off our country will be; although that day may already have arrived. I can't tell you how pleased I am to know that the wound is self-inflicted. That is poetic justice.
I don't remember Christians rioting when muslims trashed the Church of the Nativity, using Bibles therein as toilet paper, or when a so-called "artist" put a crucifix in a jar of urine.
I plan to gather as many of Newsweek's subscription cards as I can from newsstands, and mail them back with the words:
NEWSWEEK LIED, PEOPLE DIED!
Put down the crack pipe people. Or in this case perhaps I should say put down the Budweiser long-necks. Newsweek makes a mistake and 16 people die, a tragedy indeed. Maybe we should talk about what lying a-holes the administration (Bush, Rummie, DICK et. al) are. No WMDs, no Saddam-9/11 link and oil by the butt-load to help line the pockets of all their rich friends. That's the basis for the war in the first place. Newsweek kills 16 people and you all freak out. GW kills 1800 US troops and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians and it's no problem. Maybe there should be congressional hearings? Are you on drugs? You people are the worst kind of morally corrupt hipocrites.Posted by clear mind at May 16, 2005 08:15 PM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(16) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)