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Vice President Dick Cheney appeared on Larry King Live and defended America against accusations made by Amnesty International in their recently released "Gulag" report. The show was broadcast on Memorial Day and was probably seen by hundreds of viewers. But at least one of them was an AP reporter, who filed this report of the program. That link goes to the LA Times version, but the story was carried by virtually every major news organization in America. ABC, the Washington Post, and the San Francisco Chronicle all published the story. From Miami to Seattle, in the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the Jackson Hole Star-Tribune, Americans would find headlines stating "Cheney Defends Prison Camp" and "Cheney Offended by Amnesty Int'l Report".
And here's what they read:
Washington's defense of its detention and interrogation practices comes after weeks of international criticism and violent protests by Muslims outraged at reports which the Pentagon says are false that an interrogator at Guantanamo had flushed pages of the Quran down a toilet.Emphasis added. In fact, let's see it again:
...an interrogator at Guantanamo had flushed pages of the Quran down a toilet.We can write that and repeat it countless times, but that won't make it true. Let's take a quick look back at Newsweek's story:
Among the previously unreported cases, sources tell NEWSWEEK: interrogators, in an attempt to rattle suspects, flushed a Qur'an down a toiletNot pages, not "threw a Qur'an into a toilet", but flushed a Qur'an down a toilet. Of course, one could claim Newsweek didn't really mean exactly what they said, except they followed up their story with another one explaining that they meant exactly what they said.
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 Guantanamo. Isikoff knew that military investigators at Southern Command (which runs the Guantanamo 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.Of course, anyone with half a brain would dismiss such a story outright. I suppose it's possible that there are toilets capable of that in Guantanamo, in the same sense that it's possible that the Texas Air National Guard was using Microsoft Word in the early 1970s. To caveat my own opinion, however, I note that anything is possible, Inshallah.
There were no "violent protests by Muslims outraged at reports which the Pentagon says are false that an interrogator at Guantanamo had flushed pages of the Quran down a toilet". The protests were sparked by absurd reports of a complete Koran being flushed down a toilet. Of course, those who are prone to riot and kill aren't going to bother to let silly facts stand in their way, and those who are willing to attack the integrity of the US military at any opportunity aren't going to let the limitations of modern plumbing slow them down either. I suppose we can credit the AP writer with realizing the absurdity of the claim, but rewriting history to make an impossible story plausible just ain't the way to deal with it.
The AP is a co-op. As has proven the case in so many co-ops, since everyone is theoretically responsible for the quality of the product, in practice, no one takes responsibility. News editors around the world, desparate for "filler" to surround the advertising, just print whatever spews out of the AP wire. More time and effort is spent making sure that the sale price of a can of tuna fish is correct.
Posted by Soldier's Dad at June 1, 2005 10:18 PM
The original FBI report referred to a Koran being flushed "in" a toilet. It's a sign of the dishonesty of the right wing that it makes so much of a tangential semantic distinction. It's no less offense to our Muslim ALLIES that a Koran was flushed "in" a toilet as opposed to "down" a toilet.
And, by the way, the idea that a Muslim inmate would have ripped the pages out and flushed them either "in" or "down" is flatly unbelievable. Muslims are capable of doing some very nasty things as we all know, but no observant Muslim would have done that was claimed. Americans don't understand it, but the Muslims are crazy about the physical copy of the Koran. The story about the inmate yanking out and flushing the pages is roughly as credible as a terror group saying that an American captive beheaded himself.
Along those lines, the rightwingers who justify torture, "sexual humiliation" and religious disrespect on the grounds that the terrorists have done horrible things are the same sort of MORAL RELATIVISTS that they're always charging the liberals with being. If torture, etc., are wrong at one time in one place, then they are wrong at all times in all places. Since when did the United States of America decide that terrorists would be given the power to destroy centuries of American values and ethics?Posted by Willysnout at June 1, 2005 10:52 PM
Willysnout, you should read a copy of the Al Qaeda training manual. Those people are allowed to do ANYTHING in furtherance of their cause, up to and including breaking every damn rule in the Koran and Hadiths. EVERYTHING is allowable in pursuit of jihad.Posted by Don_Miguel at June 2, 2005 02:08 AM
Willysnout, take your Bible, your Torah, or your copy of Playboy, whatever your "book" is, to any of the "offended", Muslim countries, and tell me how the books are treated (or yourself).
It is not "moral relativism". It is about the absolute absurity that the US should be apologizing. We don't riot when a Bible, or any of the books aforementioned, are dropped on the floor. Poo happens. We are just educated enough to realize it ain't worth killing people over.Posted by opine6 at June 2, 2005 02:17 AM
...the idea that a Muslim inmate would have ripped the pages out and flushed them either "in" or "down" is flatly unbelievable. Muslims are capable of doing some very nasty things as we all know, but no observant Muslim would have done that was claimed.
You wouldn't think observant Muslims would blow up a mosque, either.Posted by tbrosz at June 2, 2005 05:03 AM
You're an idiot...sure muslims are crazy about their "good book"...but they can, will and DO anything that might discredit the U.S. To think that they wouldn't rip pages out of a book in an attempt to make our gov't look bad is simply stupid. Beheading oneself can in no way be compared to this. I can't even believe you made the statement. I think you're just arguing for the sake of argument. Do us real americans a favor, shut up and move to France.
Sgtmech, if you happen to be in the Middle East right now, do a favor for every American. Don't start a holy war. Thank you.Posted by Willysnout at June 2, 2005 10:52 PM
I guess i was right, judging from that lamebrained rebuttal. In case you haven't noticed, the holy war is ALREAD IN PROGRESS. And with people like you, sucking up every ridiculous story and considering them gospel (pun intended), then we're gonna have one helluva time winning...but win we will...with or without your help.Posted by Sgtmech at June 3, 2005 06:26 AM
A lot of rightwing crazies actually think there's a holy war going on because some of their fellow crazies-under-the-skin in the Middle East have declared one. The idea that the Sgtmechs of the world would believe it is testament to their dangerous ignorance of the people to whom they are trying to grant "freedom," that is when not torturing them, "sexually humiliating" them and not disrespecting their religion.
Sgtmech, I know a number of people in and from the Middle East, some Muslim and some not. The only way an observant Muslim would have ripped pages from the Koran and flushed them down the toilet at Gitmo would be if he were mentally ill. You don't understand the first thing about their culture or their religion, and you don't understand because you don't want to understand.
Is it any wonder that virtually NO ONE in that region believes that the U.S. troops are in Iraq for the purpose of liberation? Tell yourself whatever you want to -- I'm sure you will -- but the reality is that our troops are viewed as occupiers and not friends, and the war is viewed as having been motivated by oil and Israel.
As of yet, the general population of the region does NOT see it as a holy war. They are unlikely to see it that way UNLESS the United States makes it clear through the actions of its troops that it is in a holy war. The torture isn't that serious an offense over there. People know their own governments do it all the time, and they know that the U.S. condones it as long as the oil keeps flowing. So the idea that we did it really hasn't raised too many eyebrows in the general public.
However, the Koran abuse has gotten attention. So far, not so much attention that it will lead to jihad, but it has made it a lot easier for terrorists (a small minority in the region) to recruit. In other words, the United States has been al-Qaeda's best recruiting agent. And let's remember, all it took were a couple dozen people and half a million dollars to bring down the World Trade Center and trigger a war whose cost is now more than $200 billion.
Go ahead, insult me. I know you will.Posted by Willysnout at June 3, 2005 10:40 PM
Hey, maybe I should change my tune. "I support the troops! I have a Yellow Ribbon on my pickup truck! I hate liberals! They chop off heads, so what's a little torture and degradation between enemies? Let's stay there for another 20 years, especially if someone ELSE does the fighting!"
Rah-rah-rah! Happy now?Posted by Willysnout at June 3, 2005 10:44 PM
Explain to me how you knowing a few muslims...none of them terrorists (i'm assuming), makes you an expert on muslim terrorist ethics. If you've been reading the news at all, they've found the Al-Queda training manual. And it in no uncertain terms instructs these scum to not only claim torture, but quran abuse as well. I sit here and i'm simply amazed at the energy you expend defending these dirtbags. You must have had a bad experience with the gov't in the past. And if we're so unwanted and unliked in the region, how is it that the Iraqi gov't...the one i suppose you think is illegally there, since we never should have deposed the murderous, fratricidal maniac saddam, how is it that they've announced they wish us to renew our charter to stay there until they can secure autonomous rule? You know, we're building schools, restoring water and electrical power, rebuilding infrasructure and in general making the people of this nearly murdered country safer than they've been in decades...and all you can talk about is the wildly overblown "torture" bullshit. Go ahead, admit it...you hate your country and look for any reason to make them look bad, and yourself feel morally superior. Go up to a soldier who fought for the country he loved and the freedom that everyone on the planet, your ungrateful ass included, deserves, and spout this useless garbage...I'm willing to bet you'll either get laughed at or floored...Posted by sgtmech at June 4, 2005 03:21 AM
Hey, even the U.S. government had admitted torturing people. The only difference between me and the government is that your president calls the torture a series of "isolated incidents" while I say it was part of a U.S. government policy known as "Copper Green."
As for the Iraqi government inviting us to stay, that has about as much credibility as the governments of the former Soviet bloc inviting the Russians to stay.
Sgtmech, I do hope that you're over there. Not because I want you to be in harm's way, but so your eagerness to put people in harm's way isn't just another hypocrite's desire to fight in Iraq to to very last drop of someone ELSE's blood. If you're posting from the Middle East, I can have a measure of respect for your views, deluded as I think they are.Posted by Willysnout at June 5, 2005 04:12 AM
"I can have a measure of respect for your views, deluded as I think they are."
How can you respect someone's views if you think they are deluded?
For example, willysnout, I think your views are idiotic. I'd be lieing to say I respect them. There is only one correct position on this kuran in the toilet thing.
US soldiers have an extremely long history of doing bad things, however, it is only a small minority of them who have engaged in such. This may be another case of that. If a few people do something wrong we should not condemn all of society.
That's the only correct opinion, and you do not hold that opinion. THAT is the issue. and I have no respect for your viewsPosted by HoboPants at June 5, 2005 10:20 AM
If he's serving in Iraq, his views get a measure of respect from me even though I disagree with them. As for my views, I think it's unfortunate that the right wing equates support for the troops with support for torture. I don't think you have to support one to support the other. Apparently you and many others here do. I think it's tragic that you've fallen in the grip of degeneracy and moral relativism.Posted by Willysnout at June 5, 2005 10:23 PM
You know what's so stupid about this whole episode? I bet you never made a peep when Saddam and the Taliban were in power...never an angry word for the regimes who made REAL torture an everyday possibility for entire nations. Where was you moral superiority then? In fact, where was the entire left wing? I'll tell you, as long as it doesn't hurt conservatives, they and YOU won't touch it, because if it doesn't hurt us, it's not worth your time....You could give a rat's ass about the detainee's in gitmo. All you care about is making the current adminitstration look bad. Support torture? Those guys get treated better than criminals incarcerated in our own country. And let me remind you, their treatment is NOT covered under the Geneva Convention...Why? Because the GC doesn't protect terrorists. And that's what they're there for being, none of those men were uniformed military. And that's what the GC is designed to protect. So get off your high horse and support your country. In war, people die, which is something the left seems to have forgotten in their decades of getting fat and happy while ignoring the coming storm. We no more tortured these men than Saddam didn't mass murder his own people for decades...a fact which is glaringly omitted from any argument you make against torture...how about you start campaigning for the public execution of Saddam? That at least would let people know you can stand for something right for a change instead of toeing the left wing line.Posted by sgtmech at June 6, 2005 10:36 PM
Sarge, there you go again. You somehow think that by opposing U.S. torture that I don't care if Saddam or, perhaps, some "friend" of the U.S. like Uzbekistan or Saudi Arabia, does it. What part of "If torture, etc., are wrong at one time in one place, then they are wrong at all times in all places" don't you understand? It is you, not me, who is the moral relativist here.
Why does the American right wing suddenly support torture, perversion and religious degradation? What kind of people are you, anyway? You're not patriots, that's for sure, because by doing those things the U.S. government had degraded the safety of every future American P.O.W.Posted by Willysnout at June 7, 2005 01:56 AM
WHAT TORUTURE YOU IDIOT?!?! You didn't meantion one thing about how WELL these assholes are actually being treated. All you can do is squawk about torture, torture, torture.... Gimme some torture examples...come on...i'm waiting...are we sticking bamboo shoots under their nails? Are we sticking their heads in buckets of water until they nearly drown? Are we starving them to death? Are we attaching electrodes to their genitals? And i'll grant you this...in line with human nature, there will be incidents of the "torture" nature...but you go around saying our gov't supports it and condones it. What kind of idiot are you? We do nothing of the sort. And it's conspiracy theorists like yourself that continually try to bring this nation down...deny it all you want, the facts are there. You say you support the troops and the country, but you've yet to say one good thing about the military or the nation. You insist upon concentrating on the negative. Gimme names, gimme dates and gimme incidents...ya can't...and don't gimme that crap spouted by the MSM...doesn't cut ice with me...
Viva la Bush,
Viva la America!!!