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Perhaps the only way to ensure an end to stories of desecration of the Koran by American troops would be to ban the book from all military prisons. Had officials done that in the first place there would have never been a problem, right?
It wouldn't happen, of course. It was never even considered. Muslim Chaplains, prayer rugs, the Koran - from the start the only guarantee the prisoners had at Guantanamo was freedom of religion.
It's the American way.
Update: By the way, is Newsweek allowed in your house?
Update 2: The Washington Post
More than two years ago, the Pentagon issued detailed rules for handling the Koran at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, requiring U.S. personnel to ensure that the holy book is not placed in "offensive areas such as the floor, near the toilet or sink, near the feet, or dirty/wet areas."
The three-page memorandum, dated Jan. 19, 2003, says that only Muslim chaplains and Muslim interpreters can handle the holy book, and only after putting on clean gloves in full view of detainees.
IF AN INDICTMENT IS ISSUED AND THE TRIAL, BEGINS, THE BROTHER HAS TO PAY ATTENTION TO THE FOLLOWING:I'll post a quote from a journalism textbook on ethics here later if I can find one.
1. At the beginning of the trial, once more the brothers must insist on proving that torture was inflicted on them by State Security [investigators] before the judge.
2. Complain [to the court] of mistreatment while in prison.
(Moved from 2005-05-16 19:56:19)
No Newsweek in this house!Posted by Howard at May 16, 2005 08:38 PM
I let my subscribtion to Newsweek expire months ago. Just could not stomach their blatant bias for John Kerry and my blood pressure is much lower since it no longer enters by abode.Posted by Ron Ursery at May 16, 2005 08:47 PM
as a temporary resident of England, my wife and I were proud to get Newsweek. But now that it has warmed up a bit, we no longer need kindling for our fireplace, so it has outlived its purpose.Posted by Max at May 16, 2005 09:22 PM
Is it any wonder that if the only thing we allow the enemy to keep in prison is a Koran that he would use that as a weapon?
That's what these claims amount to after all.Posted by Old Soldier at May 16, 2005 09:29 PM
Is there an initiative of some kind that DOD can undertake to codify some clearly understood rules or tenets that both sides (military and media) can sign up to about what should be held back from publication, and what is okay to publish?
Even Americans opposed to the Iraq war have had it with the constant, mindless bashing of the military by a press that hasn't been earning its keep for long time.Posted by jordan at May 16, 2005 09:36 PM
It's time to start televising the flag draped coffins. Interrupt the "Price is Right" and "Desparate Housewives" every time a fallen American Soldier lands at Dover. Mandatory coverage on all broadcast channels of every single funeral.
There are just too many people who think war is some kind of "College Debate".
The press doesn't cover the funerals, so they don't give a damn how many they cause.Posted by Soldier's Dad at May 16, 2005 10:19 PM
"By the way, is Newsweek allowed in your house?"
Not any more.
Score one for the good guys,
Newsweek just retracted their story, finally. They never should have run it. I wonder if it was my deadly pieces or the White House that scared 'em most. I also got an update from my buddy Kev promising retribution if the press doesn't shape up, might have been him.
Uncle JPosted by Uncle Jimbo at May 16, 2005 10:38 PM
Jordan, you'd think so, wouldn't you?
But what are we supposed to do, appoint a minister of information to approve of what news services print?
We don't need rules, we need some common sense and for the news media to admit that they aren't outside of events and consequences. This particular event is so egregious that it can't be ignored... in one fell swoop Newsweek made greater advances for our enemy than our enemy could ever hope to make themselves. After all, they've been blowing up school children... hard to claim moral superiority when you're doing stuff like that. Nothing they could do could possibly have that much impact, no matter what they blew up or how many of our troops they killed. Newsweek has handed them a military victory they could not have even dreamed of.
But journalists think they have a holy calling and no responsibility for the consequences of their reporting. This time they killed people... and they still won't admit they did anything wrong.
("I'm sorry you go so upset" isn't admiting fault.)Posted by Julie at May 16, 2005 10:56 PM
The question I have not seen answered is:
Supposing the "Quran Abuse" is true. Why exactly is that even a story? I have never seen a story anywhere saying "Headline, bible tossed in dumpster! Psalm 23 desecrated by contact with refuse!"
It's crazy enough that these Muslims would get worked up and riot about it, but why would any rational westerner begin to think this was actually a story worth printing. Bar the riots, is there any english speaking person who give a s**t?Posted by chip at May 17, 2005 01:37 AM
Well, Chip. The media has decided that "torture" includes anything that will offend the prisoner. That's why they report things such as wrapping a prisoner in an Israeli flag in the same sentence as other alledged torture.Posted by Julie at May 17, 2005 01:53 AM
No Newsweek and no Time magazines in this house. I think that most of our journalists have forgotten (or never learned) that they're Americans before they're journalists (that's just a job). To quote a well-known figure, "If they're not with us, they're with the Terrorists". From what I see and hear, they're not with US! I agree that a little common sense could go a long way.Posted by missbirdlegs at May 17, 2005 02:14 AM
We let Newsweak lapse long ago, based on a biased story that was much less serious. They reported that Barbara Bush "stole" hotel soaps to give to charity. Now, if St. Hillary had done it, her wonderful charity would have been the story. Then we started to notice all the bias, and let it go. I was sure glad it wasn't in the house THIS week!Posted by Jan Yarnot at May 17, 2005 05:16 AM
Please keep reposting and reposting and reposting the Jihad Handbook. Some Americans just aren't getting 'it' - this is ALL part of the game. And we're stupid enough to keep investigating and reporters are stupid enough to keep giving credence to TERRORISTS who mention 'abuse', 'torture' or any other whiny thing they may not have liked while held by us. Just remember - WE don't get such luxuries when captured by them. We get killed, beheaded, disemboweled or worse. They don't care if we get a bible. They don't care if we're comfortable. They just kill us, DEAD. I think some Americans need to be TAUGHT about how terrorists are using our own system against us - and how our media is helping them. Not to mention how the ACLU is fighting FOR THEIR RIGHTS! Useful fools at their worst. Remember after 9/11 when SOME in the media refused to wear an American flag pin - they didn't want to seem - BIASED! Well - right there set the tone for how they would cover the war. They won't show pictures of 9/11 (people jumping to their certain deaths) - because they don't want to upset us, YET, pictures of Abu Graib or the Mosque shooting are PERFECTLY FINE. Hmmm? Seems like the media don't know where their bread is buttered. If they're so worried about being politically correct - then - move their offices to Tehran or Islamabad and see how it goes.Posted by Kathleen A at May 17, 2005 12:11 PM
What is it about an American journalism career that causes a reporter to automatically take the word of an accused terrorist, killing in the name of his religion in the most extreme and violent ways, supporting the vast majority of stonings, hand amputations, and beheadings for trivial crimes in this world, before they will take the word of any man or woman who swore an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States? Is there an interlock or something which requires reporters to disregard the truth when it is given by the US Government in favor of half truths or blatant falsehoods spouted by evil men who would rather remove your American head from your American shoulders because they don't agree with how you Americans live your life in your own American country?
SubsunkPosted by Subsunk at May 17, 2005 01:27 PM
Millions of hard-earned yankee dollars, lives of our fine soldiers thrown into this effort, and much of that disappears with these untrue and overplayed reports questioning the integrity of Americans trying to do their jobs. Kind of reminds me of the myth of Sysiphus. We get kicked back, pick up the ball, and start trudging back up the mountain.
Last week, I watched U. of Pennsylvania's ROTC commissioning. Each cadet showed such strength of purpose and motivation (and each so young!) I was struck with our own responsibility to watch over them in any way we can. Just like the ones deployed now, these guys don't know what giving up means.
Media is making much hay now over the fact that the Pentagon did NOT censor them, and that the story had been reported previously. Of course, it had not been attributed to an official government source previously, which is being taken to mean the government confirmed that in global media.
Also, none are questioning the very existence of this unknown government source, which supposedly backpedaled over the weekend. I very seriously doubt the existence of this source. I haven't seen news of the retraction on Al Jazeera.com yet.
What would have happened if the Pentagon HAD asked Newsweek to not publish the story because they felt it was not credible? "Pentagon Squashes Unflattering GITMO Tactics Info". Blaming the Pentagon for NOT disputing that one data point is rather, well...effete.
Still, the MSM is HIGHLIGHTING that the retraction came only after White House pressure, almost as if trying to give the rioters more legitimacy and reason to continue! How long can this stuff continue before something implodes? Like America's patience?
"What is it about an American journalism career that causes a reporter to automatically take the word of an accused terrorist,"
Most journalists start out as "Freelancers", Free lancers are only paid if their story is published. Free Lancers make zero reporting the "Police Blotter". Very early in there carreer's they discover that to make money, they need an extra angle to sell a story. Even if there is no "extra" angle they imply an extra angle.
"A prison guard was arrested for prisoner abuse" doesn't sell. Everyone knows that prison abuse occurs to some degree in every prison in the world.
"A prison guard was arrested for prisoner abuse, Whitehouse MAY be involved" sells big.
The Whitehouse may be involved in the mystery of the missing sock in my house. GWB could have formed a secret CIA group to steal one sock from my laundry. I may need psychological treatment.
The other problem with the Press is that "fact checking" just does not happen. Yesterday, Bloomberg, reporting on the Newsweek debacle, misidentified CENTCOM as SOUTHCOM.
Definitely no Newsweek in my house, not in reaction to this - just don't like it generally.
Isn't it just wonderful how we 'Pajama wearing bloggers' are accused of not checking facts, while these fools get away with such crap?Posted by Barb at May 17, 2005 05:32 PM
Newsweek is a spineless rag and I have nothing to offer in their defense. However, it's important to know what they wrote and what they did not write. Their error was writing that an official military report was going to confirm the reports that U.S. troops had desecrated the Koran. The desecrations themselves have been reported in a variety of publications for the past two years.
The sources of the reports are detainees who have been released. Given that the U.S. is still holding people it considers to be terrorists, the act of releasing a detainee signifies a belief that the person is NOT a terrorist and was in fact arrested by mistake. The military in fact has acknowledged that many arrests were made by mistake.
Therefore, if a former detainee makes the allegation it's not enough to dismiss it by calling that person an "accused terrorist." If you do that, then you're essentially saying that every Arab is a terrorist, even the ones we pick up by mistake, and should not be believed about anything. And if that's true, then why are we spending 1,600+ troops, 10,000+ wounded troops and $200 billion to bring "freedom" to the region?
The allegations of Koran desecration have been made by a number of detainees freed from U.S. custody in Cuba, Iraq and Afghanistan. When Newsweek first ran its report, the Pentagon said it had been unaware of ANY allegations of Koran desecration. Within one day, the Pentagon changed its tune and said it had investigated the claims and found them without merit. The Pentagon cannot be considered credible on this issue.
As for the seriousness of the charge, you must consider not OUR feelings but rather THEIR feelings. Islam regards desecration of the Koran as a grave offense, but our soldiers were doing it anyway, incident to the torture of Iraqi prisoners. It's the kind of thing that can trigger a worldwide religious war, so brushing off the allegations is very unwise.
It seems as though people here simply want to ignore any news that doesn't fit their preconceptions. That's a very, very dangerous thing to do at any time, but it's even more dangerous to do when you are at war. Blame Newsweek all you want, but their error was a flyspeak compared to the truth, which is that U.S. troops have indeed desecrated the Koran while incarcerating and otherwise mistreating prisoners. It's a very serious issue.Posted by willysnout at May 19, 2005 12:44 AM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(19) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)