Wednesday, May 25, 2005


FBI: Korans Flushed Down Gitmo Toilets

I was wondering why Scott "Mouth of Sauron" McClellan had suddenly decided to back away from attacking the Newsweek story -- and even admitted that it really wasn't the cause of the Afghani riots. Now I know why:

Gitmo Guards Accused of Mistreating Koran Newly Released FBI Documents Detail Allegations By Dan Eggen Washington Post Staff Writer Wednesday, May 25, 2005; 4:26 PM Numerous detainees at the Guantanamo Bay military prison in Cuba told FBI interrogators that guards had mistreated copies of the Koran, including one who said in 2002 that guards "flushed a Koran in the toilet," according to new FBI documents released today.
I never, ever thought I'd say this, but here goes: Sounds like somebody in the White House owes Michael Isikoff a big fat apology. At the very least.

It's a little more complicated than that, PW.

Newsweek published the claim that the Southcom report had confirmed reports of Koran flushing.

Similar-- but not identical-- allegations have been out there for a long time. Korans stepped on, urinated on, etc. I believe this declassified FBI report is the first mention of the specific desecration, Koran flushing. It's certainly the first mention in released official documents (thank you, ACLU).

So, there's no question now that the specific allegation was made. That's not to say it's necessarily true. Allegations are allegations until proven.

But now we have an awkward problem. Here's an incendiary allegation. It has been made in a formal report. If it had been refuted, you can bet we would know about it.

So, why didn't the Southcom report mention it?

The answer would seem to be that the whole investigative process is corrupted.

THAT'S what journalists ought to be pressing hard on.
Oh, yeah.

What I'm getting a kick out of is how the apologists for the Administration are treating the Pentagon's confirmation of five cases of Koran abuse: "But none of them were flushed!" Yeah, but abuse just as bad happened.

Meanwhile, the righties still refuse to acknowledge that their story that the Newsweek article touched off the Afghan riots (as if the average Afghan awaits with bated breath the latest from Howard Fineman) has been debunked to a fare-thee-well.
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