Newsweek Story: Who's Wrong?

At first I thought these two gentlemen were on opposite sides of a protest – i.e., one Muslim believes that Newsweek is at fault while the other apparently believes that Bush owes an apology. Looking at the font colors and style of both posters, it would appear that these guys are actually think they’re on the same side.

Figuring that the issue is a bit more complex than has sometimes been discussed, perhaps a good discussion can start from this. Newsweek’s reporting may have been flawed in that the writer (famed for his detail-oriented investigative work during the Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky stories) relied on an unnamed source who was incorrect, but does that also mean that no Koran’s have been tossed in toilets?

Reports from people freed from Gitmo indicate that Korans were knocked by soldiers into the buckets used as toilets by inmates. Other information indicates that the Pentagon knew about the story for some 11 days prior to Newsweek article’s publishing date – evidently neither the Pentagon nor Newsweek anticipated that this article would lead to the violent protests that ultimately happened.

Probably none of us will ever have enough credible evidence to really know what happened, or to prevent this thread from breaking down along the same lines as every other IP thread, but nor has the story been disproved to my understanding.

You stated that the writer of the article, “relied on an unnamed source who was incorrect.” I don’t believe that’s correct. I don’t believe the story was conclusively proven to be false. Newsweek simply backed down and retracted their story because they lacked solid enough evidence to stand up to what must have been immense pressure on Newsweek from the government.

But based on all the other outrages committed by allied troops in Afganhistan, Iraq and Gitmo, the Newsweek story seems entirely plausible. However, I guess we’ll have to wait and see if further evidence surfaces or doesn’t.

Newsweek has admitted they had no credible evidence for running the story.

At least 15 people have been murdered as a result of this story being published. I see no comments about the barbaric mentality that reacts to unsupported rumours with insane muder like this. Is this mob mentality muder accepted in some patronizing way?

And still, somehow you want to shift this onto the shoulders of the Coalition Forces…just amazing.

Of course this in no way rules out Aliens from Planet 9 did not in some way plant ‘Koran’ like objects in the toilet facilities in Gitmo. Prove that isn’t what actually happened.

oh yeah…the obligatory…I blame 2x elected US President George W. Bush.

…geesh! :loco:

If people were killed due to bad acts by US soldiers, don’t blame the media for reporting it; blame the soldiers who committed the acts. As I said, we don’t know for sure what happened, but Newsweek wasn’t the first to report the story.

[quote]Newsweek was not the first to raise the subject of alleged Koran mistreatment – by guards, if not interrogators – at Guantanamo. And the magazine, in an account on its website of how the story came into being, said that the retraction was based on its source’s uncertainty whether the toilet incident was confirmed in a particular Defense Department investigation.

Current and former detainees have made charges that Korans were placed in toilets in statements released by their lawyers for at least a year.

In June 2004, the Center for Constitutional Rights, which represented Guantanamo detainees before the Supreme Court, released a 115-page report detailing the experiences of three former prisoners from Tipton, England, who were captured by the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan in November 2001 and taken to Guantanamo, then released in March 2004.

One of them, Asif Iqbal, specifically mentioned guards throwing Korans in buckets used for toilets [/quote]

boston link

It may have been an insane and barbaric mob, but it was an insane and babaric mob in a democracy. Hooray for democracy.

The Pentagon knew about this for 11 days and said nothing, and they apparently didn’t react until this started to cause outrage in the Middle East? But, hey, this is not exactly news is it – accounts of Koran desecration have been out and about for a while.

[quote]Because of other reports about prisoner abuses there, the magazine said, the toilet incident “seemed shocking but not incredible.”

In fact, complaints from released inmates that the Koran had been thrown into a toilet go back at least two years.

Among the more detailed accounts of United States soldiers mishandling copies of the Koran were depositions from three Britons who were released from Guant

There seem to be a lot of substantiated stories of Qurans (Korans?) being “disrespected” by US soldiers: … rt_516.htm

However, to me the oddest thing is that this should be what caused the deadly riots. I mean, if I were a Muslim, I’d be much more upset about the prison abuse, along with the “renditions” and outright torture of suspects, that the Americans are doing. I mean, if I had to choose between electric shocks to the genitals or having somebody spit on my holy book, I’d certainly choose the latter.

Well, I guess everyone’s got their priorities.

This is actually an evil plot by Newsweek. The next time they print anything remotely unflattering about the bush administration, the resulting millions of simutaneous “witty” retorts on right wing web blogs throught America will bring the US telecommunications system to a standstill.

I bet the men in the photo at the top are both right. Newsweek should be banned because of all those awful, didactic, stupid Fareed Zakaria editorials with that goofy photo of him gettin’ in the readers’ faces.


Bush ought to apologize for any and all desecration of Korans that has been going on for the past couple of years, whether by interrogators, guards, etc.

First, Newsweek has retracted its story as it should have. Second, just because some soldiers have been guilty of abuses elsewhere does not mean that the innocent until proven guilty guarantees under out constitution are no longer valid. I am surprised at some of you! Third, tolerance and respect are a two-way street. Are we suggesting that the burning and desecration of American flags should be cause for patriotic Americans to run amok targeting Muslims in America? Fourth, as always, abuses committed by Americans are prosecuted under our rule-of-law system. Hence, this like all other infractions will be punished and justice will be served. Finally, we must remember must we not as many have been so frequently fond of pointing out that the vast majority of US troops and government officials are good, just as our Muslim and Arab friends no doubt are, therefore we should not let the actions of a few bad apples (especially UNPROVEN allegations) destroy the ongoing progress being made in the Middle East and the increasingly close ties between many Middle Eastern nations and the U.S.

[quote=“Dog’s_Breakfast”]However, to me the oddest thing is that this should be what caused the deadly riots. I mean, if I were a Muslim, I’d be much more upset about the prison abuse, along with the “renditions” and outright torture of suspects, that the Americans are doing. I mean, if I had to choose between electric shocks to the genitals or having somebody spit on my holy book, I’d certainly choose the latter.

Well, I guess everyone’s got their priorities.[/quote]

This was exactly my reaction to this whole episode as well, DB.

Very difficult to understand a set of priorities in which beating one’s wife or children is seen as more acceptable than putting an inanimate object in a toilet.

In a battle of hearts and minds with a bunch of fundamentalists who apparently don’t see much wrong with spilling acid on women who reject their advances, I think it’s a no-brainer.

Beating one’s wife and kids, piling men into naked pyramids, electroshock torture, etc. versus putting THE WORD OF GOD into the toilet… of course the Koran flushing gets their dander up.

I’m nearly impressed by the restraint shown by these mobs. A sudden loud noise in Mecca during the haj can lead to hundreds dead. If the Detroit Pistons win the NBA championship, cars are definitely going to be flipped over and burned. So long as soccer hooligans attend soccer matches, there will be people crushed, people stomped, and people choking on vomit (not necessarily their own).

That said, I’m surprised that the U.S. government has not taken full advantage of the story found in at least one of the Gitmo log books of a detainee who tried to plug up his toilet with torn pages from the Koran. Imagine that! Publicizing how Al Qaeda members desecrate the Koran would be another way to get the Muslim street to reject the extremist terrorists for once and for all.

Of course, the guy who destroyed the Koran would probably turn out to be one of the many non-terrorists who have evidently been detained indefinitely.

I don’t see why we have to kowtow to the Muslim world on this one. Our values allow us to burn our own nation’s flag in public if we choose. We’re free according to our own standards to flush the Bible, the Koran and a whole library down our toilet if we want to. Nobody but the local sewer department can stop us.

That’s just the code we live by in our society and if they don’t like it well maybe they should stop burning the U.S. flag everytime George Bush farts in the direction of Mecca.

And no, I’m not channeling Fred Smith or speaking facetiously. I just don’t think it’s any of their damned business what we do with pieces of paper that we’ve printed words on.

I disagree spook:

Isn’t this an ironic switch of events. US government and military personnel are not allowed “freedom of speech or expression” in this case because they are not acting as private individuals but representatives of the US govt hence the distinction. Now if that van Gogh wants to make movies etc., he is fully within his rights under the laws of his nation to do that. Then, while tolerance and respect might be called for, it can in no way be enforced.

You’ve got a point that it’s undiplomatic and in poor judgement for the government and its representatives to behave in an inflammatory way. I think it’s a capitulation of our basic values though for the U.S. government to act as though we accept the Muslim norm that it was morally wrong.

I would clearly make that distinction to them. Our values are different from theirs and while we’re willing to adopt a regulation prohibiting destruction of a copy of the Koran in the future out of respect for them we in no way believe it’s inherently wrong.

i find it funny that the administrations spokespeople are concerned that this incident might “destroy america’s image abroad”…lol

that’s like saying michael jackson’s latest court battle might make people think he is a child molester!

the bush administration is trying to put a pink bow around a steaming pile of dog sh*t.

whether or not this story is true, our image abroad can’t get much worse.

[quote]The U.S. Defense Department says an inquiry has so far not confirmed an incident reported by Newsweek magazine, in which an interrogator at the Guantanamo detention facility allegedly put a Koran into a toilet in order to upset some prisoners. The department also says demonstrations in Afghanistan Wednesday and Thursday that left eight people dead and have been widely attributed to anger over the alleged incident, were in fact not related to it.

"It is the judgment of our commander in Afghanistan, General Eichenberry, that in fact the violence that we saw in Jalalabad was not necessarily the result of the allegations about disrespect for the Koran, but more tied up in the political process and the reconciliation process that President Karzai and his cabinet are conducting in Afghanistan. He thought it was not at all tied to the article in the magazine," [General Myers] explained.[/quote]

WTF?? I can see saying that the protest were manipulated, but “not at all tied to the article”?

Also strange that these allegations have been out there from multiple sources for a long time, but only caused a fuss now. Was it that the report was from a ‘respectable’ source, or that it claimed to be a result of an official investigation?

So do I given that the press is very much losing credibility. Latest polls show journalists are respected to the same degree or lower than lawyers and that is saying something!

I disagree. In fact, since the elections in Iraq, there has been a sea change occurring in the mouthings of the vapid Europeans one meets pontificating everywhere about the evils of America and the superiority of the European “soft” approach. Does not take much to shut up a European these days. Just bring up the election in Iraq, the return of 4 million refugees to Afghanistan and ask what their efforts in Iran are accomplishing. Bah!

Second, do we need to worry about our “image” in countries like North Korea? Syria? Libya? Saudi Arabia? Pakistan? France? Russia? Germany?

Third, many polls in the Middle East and no doubt North Korea are monitored. Are there any polls in North Korea? Cuba? And so the answers given are provided so that they are fully in line with government expectations. Anyone who lives in the Middle East knows how ridiculous mass marches, polls, public opinion etc. is. If 10 men get together in Egypt, the police arrive. That includes family gatherings. So so much for public opinion. AND how many of us here care what the French who were up to the eyeballs in corrupt contacts with Saddam think? or the Germans who have repeatedly left their heavy boot all over freedom and civilization in Europe think? Where were they when Saddam was in power? Where were they when ethnic cleansing was occuring in Bosnia? Where are they now? What are they doing about the world’s problems? How effective was their “aid” during the tsunami?

I think therefore that we can dispense with being overly concerned about such “opinion.” Don’t you?

Our image is crystal clear – we will take military action against “WMDs” when the country is weak and has no actual WMDs. Thus, North Korea can see the best route for them not to be invaded by the U.S. is to develop their WMD capabilities. Oh, and we also have a great image as being a bunch of oil-thirsty idiots who has half its military caught in a quagmire.

I suppose if having a reputation for being greedy, foolish and insincere about human rights and civil liberties is what the Bush administration wants, we’re sure accomplishing it. I can only wonder how these Republicans in office can possibly hate America so much…

The society was just still immature. Taiwan’s Democracy is somewhat immature too thanks to politicians that wont concede defeat despite knowing that conceding was the right thing to do.

6 point Formula:

  1. Find a problem involving Muslims, Taxes, Tampons whatever…
  2. Bring up some abuse or WMD’s, especially WMD’s despite the fact that Saddam had detonators using in nuclear weapons, just not the nuclear weapons themselves, and don’t question why he had those detonators,
  3. Make comment like “Its all about Oil”
  4. Say its all Bush’s fault as he makes up 100% of the government and so it can’t be the fault of say a government department or spying agency, or some lower rung guy who’s directly responsible, nope its the evil Bush Administration,
  5. Lace the word Bush/Administration with negative keywords, repeated and redundant, like; greedy, evil, dangerous, imperialistic, etc etc
  6. Rinse and repeat.

Next week I’ll make a PHP script that generates these comments for you so you won’t have to bother to type, its 95% accurate and will look just like all your comments.


[All these Muslims hate us today because of the] [foolish] Bush Administration hurt our international image. What about WMDs? None was ever found! None! All we found were a bunch of detonators and various weapons that broke UN laws. Yeah the UN laws do say those were enough basis for invasion alone, but lets conveniently remember that WMD’s were not found. What? Lying Bush said there were WMD’s. This war is over oil! Oil! Greedy Bush couldn’t make money owning a oil company so he now tries to make money over the oil companies he no longer owns by invading other countries like Afghanistan to build a pipeline which everyone else (including the oil companies) naively believes will never be built. Bush hates America and human rights. Darth Bush only looks out for the rich!

Everyone knows the way to a better economy is to tax the rich into leaving our country and moving their businesses elsewhere like China (which offers insane tax incentives) and giving all the money to the poor. Sure some might call it communism but I call it America! For Freedom!