Newsweek’s story concerning the flushing of the Koran by interrogators at Guantanamo Bay (Gitmo) has snowballed into an extended and world-wide controversy. The magazine’s erroneous reporting sparked off protests which ended in over 100 people injured and 17 dead. It took them several days to fully retract a story to which they only had one shaky source — and he backed out.
Now, newspapers across our fine country are again trying to rouse the rabble. Yesterday, the Department of Defense (DOD) admitted they had received claims of Koran abuse. Investigation revealed that only five of these claims held merit. Of these five, two were considered inadvertent. All incidents were considered minor. The headline for this press conference should have been that the DOD found “no credible evidence” that a Koran was destroyed and flushed.
A military inquiry has found “no credible evidence” that any member of the joint task force at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, ever “flushed” a Koran down a toilet, the organization’s commander said here May 26.
Speaking at a late-day Pentagon press briefing May 26, Army Brig. Gen. Jay W. Hood said that over the past 12 days officials have conducted an “extensive inquiry” into allegations that the Islamic holy book was mishandled by U.S. personnel at the enemy-combatant detention facility in Guantanamo. Officials have reviewed more than three years’ worth of records and some 31,000 documents, Hood said. — By Sgt. 1st Class Doug Sample, USA American Forces Press Service
The MSM media decided instead to put their own negative spin on the story. Again, their spin fuelled the flames of anti-American sentiments across the Islamic world purely from the headlines they affixed:
“Gitmo admits Koran abuses” — New York Daily News “Guantanamo probe finds 5 Koran mishandling cases” — Reuters “Inquiry finds some Koran ‘mishandling'” — USA Today (This headline was actually changed from their original: Probe Reveals Koran Abuse) “Pentagon Confirms Koran Incidents” — Washington Post
One really has to wonder what these editorial boards were thinking. For those of you unfamiliar with news outlet protocol, the reporter generally does not write the headlines for a story. Depending on the publishing media, the editor of the page general determines the head according to content and size/fill requirements.
Now, if you go to these links, you will eventually read the real story — that the Koran was never destroyed and never flushed. But, the MSM doesn’t really care about that. Perhaps they are all drunk with the power allowing them to spark world-wide protests. Perhaps they just want to make the Bush administration look bad at any cost. Do they care what lives may be lost in our military or on the streets where these protest rage? It would seem not.
Let’s get some perspective here. We allow probable terrorists to have their Korans, their prayer rugs and place signs in the prison indicating the direction to Mecca. We supported their religious practices even though it’s the same religion and religious book they use to justify killing our men, women and children. We did it because we embrace freedom of religion and it would be disingenuous of us to refuse others to practice their religion. We did it because we try to be a principled people and extend these courtesies even to our prisoners and detainees.
Conversely, when an American (or virtually any foreigner) is captured or kidnapped by the terrorist hordes, the only thing they receive is their head on a platter — literally. They don’t receive a Bible, or a crucifix, or a yarmulke or a copy of the Torah. No. They get a a chance to make a video tape begging for their lives; and, their bodies with detached heads are found in a ditch or canal . . . or, as in the case of Private Keith Matthew Maupin, they simply disappear.
Yes, it’s must be a horrible fate to be held in US custody with three square meals a day, books, personal toiletries and religious articles. The human rights group, Amnesty International, recently called Gitmo a “gulag,” equating it Soviet prison camps where many prisoners reportedly died from hunger, cold and poor treatment. (Frankly, I don’t see the correlation.) Where was the MSM and Amnesty International’s moral indignation when our countrymen where being abused, mistreated and beheaded? They were relatively silent. Sometimes silence speaks volumes.