When the story gets in the way of the truth

When the story gets in the way of the truth

: What a terrible lesson in journalism: about the danger of unnamed sources, about the risk of rushing a story, about the cynicism of gotcha journalism, about the damage a wrong story can do.

Newsweek quotes an unnamed source alleging that the Koran was desecrated at Guantanamo Bay and anti-American riots break out in Afghanistan, causing at least 15 deaths and other damage not so easy to add up.

Now Newsweek says, oops, nevermind, oh so sorry, it appears we could be wrong: Their source now isn’t so sure he saw that report in documents that Newsweek apparently did not confirm. Joe Gandelman has a good summary; Michelle Malkin has many links.

This mistake cost people their lives, put the lives of our soldiers in the Mideast at risk, damaged the American position in the effort to defend itself and spread democracy, and damaged the already tattered reputation of journalism.

And to what end?

If the report had come from a source who had the balls to stand by what he said, if the alleged event had been witnessed, if it had been confirmed by independent authorities, I’m not sure what the imperative to report would have been: Why did we need to urgently know this? What public good is served? If it were absolutely true, that might be one matter but…

Given that none of those if’s was true — the informant did not have the balls, the event was not witnessed by a source, the event was not confirmed independently — and given the knowledge that such a report could only be incendiary, then why report it except to play one of two games:

Show-off – in which the journalist delights in knowing something no one else knows and wants to tell the world before everyone else does, even if it’s not assuredly true.

Gotcha – in which the reporter think he has exposed something somebody wanted to hide.

An incident such as this should force us to ask what the end result of journalism should be. Is it to expose anything we can expose? Is it to beat the other guy to tell you something you didn’t know?

Or is it to tell the truth?

And if you don’t know it to be true, is it reporting? If you rely on unnamed sources and unconfirmed reports, is it journalism?

To sum up journalism as “tell the truth” sounds so damned simplistic. But that is what journalism is about, isn’t it? Or shouldn’t it be?

I’m not saying that Newsweek lied. But they didn’t know the truth before they said what they said. They put the gotcha scoop ahead of the truth and ahead of nothing less than the good of mankind.

: See also these posts about journalism and truth: here, here, and here.

And Dan Okrent on anonymous sources. I agree with him that sometimes, anonymous sources are necessary to report that which you know to be true.

: Here’s a GoogleNews search for “sources.”

: UPDATE: In The Times, Kit Seelye says that Newsweek is not retracting:

But Mr. Whitaker said in an interview later: “We’re not retracting anything. We don’t know for certain what we got wrong.”

And neither do you know for certain what, if anything, you got right. That’s the problem.

: LATER: Alan in the comments raises an important consideration. He says that the deaths are not themselves Newsweek’s fault but the fault of — my words — fanatics who would kill in the name of religion.

  • HowardFineman

    >I’m not saying that Newsweek lied.
    Who says they aren’t lying now?
    Even a high school reporter would know that reporting something like that would be very very dangerous so even they would have made sure it was true before they reported it. There is a better chance that their first report was true but now they are backtracking because of pressure.
    It really doesn’t matter the damage is already done. Does anyone really think the mobs in the middle east will believe the “truth” (or at least the newest version of the truth)?
    Considering how this adminstration has twisted the truth to serve its purpose it’s kind of fitting. Let’s hope no more GI’s get killed because of lies by the administration and the corrupt mediawhores.

  • franky

    “Show-off — in which the journalist delights in knowing something no one else knows and wants to tell the world before everyone else does, even if it’s not assuredly true.
    Gotcha — in which the reporter think he has exposed something somebody wanted to hide.”
    Well unfortunately these two things are what we get paid for. You state that journalism should be telling the truth – well that’s a given, and shamefully they printed a story with no verification beyond one source’s hazy recollection of maybe having seen it written somewhere. But you’ll be out of this business pretty quick if you just report yesterday’s truth that everyone already knows.

  • http://www.scaredmonkeys.com Tom

    This is what I said at our site,
    So a huge international incident was created over NEWSWEEKS failure to do proper fact checking. He did not dispute the charge is much much different than he verified the charge was accurate.
    How can these guys rationalize what they did to both US policies and the lives of the people around the world that were affected by these charges. Irresponsible.

  • HowardFineman

    >How can these guys rationalize what they did to
    >both US policies and the lives of the people
    >around the world that were affected by these
    >charges. Irresponsible.
    Did you complain at the irresponsible reporting by the likes of Judith Powell that fueled this war? Did you complain when the administration sent Colin Powell to lie to the UN? Did you care that the government made up the lies about GI JANE Private Lynch?
    Before Newsweek backtracked on this story did you care that possibly the story was true? Do you really care if the Koran was flushed down the toilet?

  • Kat

    I care that it was a big stinking lie by leftist media to make the US look bad, with no regard for the lives lost because of the lie. This is much worse than anything Dan Rather did–this is inexcusable. The guy should be charged with inciting to riot resulting in many deaths. The media needs to be held responsible for the crap they write–put the bastard in jail and throw Newsweek in the can.

  • Mumblix Grumph

    I remember when Ari Fleischer said that “Americans need to watch what they say” in regards to a media quote(Bill Maher).
    The outcry was deafening. Lefties squealed that Darth Bush was going to start throwing dissenters in prison.
    Now we have this story and the tragic fallout.
    Maybe people really DO need to watch what they say.
    I don’t want dissenting voices or bad news silenced…but for God’s sake, at least they could stop pulling stuff out of their kiester.

  • http://www.yellowlineblog.com Alan

    Newsweek’s actions were reprehensible and I hope the editors and reporters behind this are fired. But they are not to blame for the deaths. The culpability for that rests squarely on the rioters.
    If this story had turned out to be true, right wingers would be saying we should blame the rioters, not the US. In fact, those on the right often (and rightly, I believe) argue that people must take responsibility for their own decisions. But I guess there is now a caveat–people make their own choices unless incited by the liberal media.
    Newsweek should be punished for bad journalism. But the deaths are the fault of a radical Muslim culture that prefers violence over peaceful protest.

  • ted

    This Newsweek report sounds about as professional as the Rathergate story on Bush’s NG records.
    If the incident did occur then maybe somebody should be charged with a hate crime.
    If it didn’t then heads need to roll at Newsweek. Newsweek is in for a s**tstorm if any American is killed because of it.

  • Skate

    “This mistake cost people their lives,”
    No, terrorists and religious zealots costs people their lives. I’m not downplaying the importance of accurate fact checking, but usually you try and hold the **killers** responsible for the loss of life, not Newsweek.

  • HowardFineman

    >If this story had turned out to be true
    Who says it isn’t true?
    When the Abu Grahib pictures came out most republicans didn’t find much of anything wrong with the actions by the soldiers. Does anyone really think they cares if the “holy” koran was flushed down the toilet. I seriously doubt it.
    Lies by the administration has gotten over 1600 soldiers killed along with thousands of innocent women and children, where’s the outrage over that?

  • franky

    I sometimes think it might be nice to be a wingnut. Take this story – if (in the extremely unlikely event) it is proved true, then I could say that the flushing of a koran down the toilet was comparable to high school pranks and that we really shouldn’t be bothered about it and to dweill on this would just be further treason to our boys by stirring anti-american feelings.
    If proved untrue, I could say how disgusted I was that anyone would make up such a horrific lie, such a slanderous lie that the whole world was disgusted by it, all to the aim of stirring anti-american feelings.

  • http://francispage.blogspot.com Chris Francis

    Ironically, on the day this story comes out, there comes a study by the University of Connecticut Department of Public Policy comes out saying 53 percent of the public thinks stories with anonymous sources shouldn’t be published. Wonder what gave people that idea…

  • http://francispage.blogspot.com Chris Francis

    Ironically, on the day this story comes out, there comes a study by the University of Connecticut Department of Public Policy saying 53 percent of the public thinks stories with anonymous sources shouldn’t be published. Wonder what gave people that idea…

  • Jos

    This news about the desecration has been reported by released former-inmates at Guantanamo in 2003,2004 and 2005 by the Daily Mirror, NYT, Washington Post, Guradian. See this article for links
    It hardly matters if a senior official repeats it, whether anonymously or not. It’s been corroborated by several former prisoners. The only reason Newsweek is wavering is because of the intense domestic pressure.

  • ChrisPer

    I think there is a 3rd motivation: Cheap titillation. Busy person doing job, asks what will grab attention, make us some circulation points?
    Framing stories to titillate is ultimately about profit; it isn’t necessary for it to be self-righteous gotcha OR smarty-pants I-broke-a-story one-upmanship.
    Call it Supermarket Tabloid Journalism, if you need a name for it.

  • ChrisPer

    While Alan is right, that the rioters and killers are responsible, you can say the same about the ‘shouting fire in a crowded theatre’ hypothetical.
    Responsibility is with the actor for his actions; but each person in the chain of causation has some part to play. Would a newsman know, or be reasonably expected to know, what the outcome is?
    And after that, is there any higher responsibility to verify a story which may reasonably be expected to result in paypack killings?
    The irresponsible, and false, word is powerful too.

  • http://www.glcq.com paul_lukasiak

    lets get a grip here….
    Newsweek had a reliable source that confirmed what had been reported elsewhere, based on the accounts of LOTS of detainees who had been released — that the US was “abusing” the Koran in its efforts to “break” the detainees.
    When Newsweek’s source saw what happened when his confirmation was published, he simply said he “wasn’t sure” that he had read the account in an official report. He did not say that he lied to Newsweek, and that the the story of abuse was NOT part of the report he had read.
    The Bush regime has been found to consistently engage in lies — it lied about torture and abuse, it lied about weapons in Iraq, it lies about “extraordinary redition” … it lies, period.
    Newsweek did its job, and did it correctly. It had a reliable source that confirmed a plethora of previous reports. Condemnation of Newsweek is coming from those who wallow in the blood of innocent Iraqis whose deaths are the result of Bush regime lies communicated through the media that they have never objected to. When Malkin, Jarvis, and the rest of the death-bloggers start demanding accountability for all those journalists who spread Bush administration lies without verifying the facts first, we will be able to start taking their squawks of protest regarding this story seriously. But until then, a rational person will disregard their concerns as the efforts of those with blood on their hands to divert attention from their own support of death.

  • Josh

    I agree that this was bad journalism on the part of Newsweek. However, let me point out that this was just one line in a small item. Even the Pentagon let it go without commenting when asked by Newsweek. Its self-serving politicians who blew it out of all proportion in Pakistan etc.
    Its not unreasonable to assume that the Newsweek, the Pentagon etc. had no idea how serious an issue this could be.

  • Mike

    Newsweek had a reliable source that confirmed what had been reported elsewhere
    Hey everyone, Paul says the source is reliable, end of story. No need to carry on, this unnamed source is reliable! /sarcasm
    How the hell do you know this source is reliable Paul? Everything else you spout about is just ramblings from a lunatic whose anger at the right and Bush in general clouds his vision of every event.
    Newsweek ran a questionable story for the “gotcha” aspect of journalism that Jeff writes about in his post. Certainly, people should lose their jobs for running an inflammatory story without credible sources.
    I will stop at blaming them for the deaths resulting from the riots though. Those deaths lie squarely at the feet of the crazed religious nutjobs who cry horror at the desecration of their holy book while killing innocents.

  • HA

    Jeff,
    And to what end?
    …then why report it except to play one of two games:
    Show-off — in which the journalist delights in knowing something no one else knows and wants to tell the world before everyone else does, even if it’s not assuredly true.
    Gotcha — in which the reporter think he has exposed something somebody wanted to hide.
    There is a third possibility. Marxist dominated journalism schools are churning out post-modern, post-national, post-American Gramscian Marxists. Is it any wonder that they grasp at any opportunity to paint Americans and especially the military negatively? Of course it isn’t. That is what they are indoctrinated and TRAINED to do.

  • http://www.yellowlineblog.com alan

    I still say Newsweek can be blamed for horrendously bad journalism, but not for the riots and deaths that resulted. Imagine if they had instead falsely reported that New York City officials had flushed a bible down the toilet and Christians rioted at the news, killing 15. Would anyone in this country hesitate to place the blame squarely on the rioters? Why hold those in the middle east to a different standard? Their lot in life may be bad, but they’re still responsible for their own actions.
    The story is not analagous to yelling “fire” in a crowded theatre. To say that is to say Muslims have very little control of themselves.

  • Mona

    I disagree with Alan.
    Even if this story had been true, Newsweek should not have published it. In the U.S., Xians get upset when their tax dollars are given to “artists” who immerse a crucifix in a jar of urine. The MSM has little patience with the Xians who oppose such expenditures. (I’m an atheist, but I think forcing folks to pay for the desecration of their holy artifacts is outrageous.) The Xians here object, they write outraged letters to the editor and vote for people who will end subsidization of such things.
    But the media is fully aware that large sectors of the Muslim world do worse than draft letters to the editor of their local paper when they feel one of their holy objects has been desecrated. We have soldiers in Muslim countries right now, and it is incendiary to publish such allegations — and they have little news value even if true.
    It’s a book for god’s sake. And if flushing a few pages of it down the toilet get a terorist frenzied, who cares? It isn’t freakin’torture. If Muslims annoyed a Xian soldier by tossing a few pages of the gospel down the sewer, well, I just would not care, long as, yanno, they didn’t behead him.
    That the story turns out to be badly sourced and likely untrue makes Newsweek’s actions worse, but Newsweek would have been exercising poor judgment even if they had had the facts nailed down. The rioting, deaths and injuries were foreseeable; weighed against the “news value” of the allegations even if true, I see little justification for publishing this story.

  • Leland

    Excellent post Mr. Jarvis. You regained a reader.

  • ech

    What happened to using two sources for big stories, as was done by “Woodstein” in the Watergate stories?

  • http://submandave.blogspot.com submandave

    paul_lukasiak: “…based on the accounts of LOTS of detainees who had been released…
    The Bush regime has been found to consistently engage in lies…
    A more perfect example of “trust and believe the self-professed mass murderer wannabes but rail against the freely elected public officials of the other party” thought process that seems all too prevelant among Democrats today.
    In many ways this seems to me the same as Abu Ghraib but the results were even more deadly than expected. In both cases the news feels a need to scoop investigations that are already in progress without waiting to discover the results. If the media has evidence that the military is actively supressing or trying to cover up that’s one thing, but in both of these matters I never saw anything to indicate the allegations were not being investigated and followed-up on.
    I see no noble intentions in the way either “story” was reported.

  • http://thebronxblogger.blogspot.com Matthew Goggins

    Should the army have been flushing Korans down the toilet? I’m sure they had their reasons, but I don’t know, it’s outside my areas of expertise.
    Should Newseek have mentioned the flushing of the Korans? In hindsight, no, because of the riots and the foreign policy damage. But I don’t think they could have reasonably guessed what was going to happen.
    I think the reaction abroad was unusually strong. Is there anyone here who read the Newsweek item before the riots happened and thought to himself, “Oh my God! How could Newsweek publish this, think of the reaction around the world!”?
    And the story does seem to have been reasonably sourced. Journalists and editors make judgements about sourcing and proof all the time, and this case doesn’t strike me as particularly egregious.
    I say all this as someone who strongly disapproves of Newsweek’s Democratic and anti-war biases. I would be happy to see Newsweek go out of business for its general refusal to report things straight. But this doesn’t seem to be an instance of their slanting the news in an especially unfair or hasty way.

  • Gunther

    Newsweek ran a questionable story for the “gotcha” aspect of journalism that Jeff writes about in his post. Certainly, people should lose their jobs for running an inflammatory story without credible sources.
    You mean like claims of WMD in Iraq that result in the deaths of thousands of Iraqi civilians?

  • Phantom stranger

    I googled Michael Isikoff and Isikoff. Here’s what I got (although this will certainly change very soon).
    The lead story is
    http://msnbc.msn.com/id/5335853/site/newsweek/
    ‘More Distortions From Michael Moore’
    criticizing Moore for F911.
    I also got a few bios.
    Then I got a story from Moore firing back at Isikoff.
    I also got a review from Isikoff of Blumenthal’s book in Slate. Isikoff lambast’s Blumenthal
    ‘Sid Blumenthal rearranges facts and besmirches the character of his fellow journalists.’
    The book, of course, sought to defend Clinton.
    I also got an article describing how he took his story on the Lewinsky scandal from the Wash. Post (which refused to print it) to Newsweek, which broke it.
    I also got several articles by left wingers viciously attacking him for his role in breaking the Lewinsky scandal, even referring to him as Starr’s stooge.
    Now I did get one article from a left-winger
    http://www.kafka.com/politics/2005/01/michael-isikoff-on-death-squads.php
    which itself linked to a Newsweek article about Special forces squads in Iraq. However, Isikoff did not write the original story and is not credited anywhere in the story so the link attributing this to him is incorrect.
    So we have here someone who uncovered very damaging stories about the Clinton administration. It would indeed be hard to classify someone like this as a left-winger, but then right-wingers never let little things like reason and logic get in their way.

  • wadikitty

    Alan, you have a point.
    As others have pointed out, Christians have had to put up with the infamous “Piss Christ”, amongst other desecations labeled as “art”. No rioting occurred. No one was murdered. People protested, boycotted, etc.– that’s all. The Palestinians who holed up at the Church of The Nativity used pages from a bible as toilet paper. I must have missed the rioting by Christians around the world when this was reported.
    Here’s what I think is going on here:
    1. Newsweek pays much more attention to, and is more likely to report on, anything which will make the Bush Administration look bad. They are not inclined to fact check nearly as scrupulously something they want to be true. They’re much more likely to do the digging around to find something, anything, with which to play the “gotcha” game with the US gov’t than they are inclined to do with other “superior” governments.
    They’re so anti-Bush, they’re rooting for the other side.
    2. Relativism and political correctness pays a part here too. The assumption is that we’re in just as much, or even more, danger from those evangelical Christians as radical Islam (why, just look at the Crusades! BusHitler is attempting to establish a theocracy no different than the Taliban!, ad nauseum).
    3. Here’s where it all comes together: Since the reality is that in the US Christians generally do not react to desecration of Christian symbols with riots and violence, and most American journalists operate from the assumption that Islam is no different, it doesn’t even occur to them that reporting something like this would trigger some, uh, violence.
    These reporters are products of a liberal (in the classic sense) democracies. The religous in this democracy are also a part of this culture, and behave accordingly. It is an article of faith amongst the politically correct that Islamic cultures are no different than western cultures, and in fact, are likely superior, especially compared to Amerikka.
    End result: Journalists with an anti-American agenda who are predisposed to play much more fast and loose with the “facts” when those “facts” would damage the evil Bush Administration. They are, by and large, leftist products of liberal western democracies who have no idea that reporting something as incendiary as desecration of the Koran has the potential to cause violence and death. Islamic cultures are very different from the west. Reporters should understand this, but the political blinders they’ve donned don’t seem to allow such knowledge.
    This incident shines a spotlight on MSM incompetence and bias, but it also serves as a reminder of the difference between Islamic cultures and the West. Ultimately, the fault for the violence and death lies with the perpetrators and the culture that allows this reaction.
    I wonder if Newsweek will do an article comparing reaction in the Islamic world to their report of descration of the Koran with Christian reaction in the west to things like “Piss Christ”, and Palestinans using a bible as toilet paper. Perhaps a hard-hitting analysis of these differences? I’m not holding my breath.

  • bbblue

    this is not a rumor but an abuse that the detainees voiced for years. We saw abuses worse than this one and we would be naive not to believe that this one is true. one more time it is a case of Media censorship and intimidation by the Pentagon. We are marching towards fascism with extra wide goosesteps pushed by the extreme Right and the religious conservatives!

  • Barbara

    I have to agree with Mona, above–even if the story were incontrovertibly true, it was still irresponsible to print it. (Before the I-hate-the-military types chime in, any disrespect for religion is also irresponsible on the part of hte military.) We’re in the middle of a psychological war with people who are much better at it than we are, and putting things like that out in the air–especially without pointint out that the military does in fact have rules against it, even if they are being broken–causes a predictable and deadly response, aimed at us as much as at the people who died in the riots.
    People need to think about the effects of what they say.

  • Mike

    We saw abuses worse than this one and we would be naive not to believe that this one is true.
    So now defacing a book is an abuse? Would you consider this torture bbblue? Idiot.
    I honestly don’t think that Newsweek could have expected this reaction from such a short statement. The riot resulted from crazed clerics and Islamic nutballs who will do anything to cast the US in an evil light.
    Newsweek is still culpable for running a questionable story that they couldn’t confirm.

  • Glyn

    Mike, the Koran isn’t a book in the sense that the Bible is a book – it’s considered to be the direct word of God. Islam doesn’t have any equivalent of Christ (who they consider a holy but human man) so the Koran is much more important.
    Anyone seen this BBC report on the matter – first time I’ve ever seen them use the term “blogswarm” for those bloggers who keep news media honest:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4551683.stm
    For what it’s worth, the British Muslims released from Guantanamo made similar allegations (see the Beeb’s report) but didn’t cause a ripple – maybe because of their background.
    By the way, can you explain to this puzzled foreigner why KAT called “Newsweek” a left-wing journal?

  • nick

    Jeff writes:
    “An incident such as this should force us to ask what the end result of journalism should be. Is it to expose anything we can expose? Is it to beat the other guy to tell you something you didn’t know?
    Or is it to tell the truth?”
    Ha! The truth has been relegated to the back bench since the inception of FoxNews. You don’t really want to know what’s true or not. What you want is a truth that fits nicely into the narrative of your worldview. If you’re so interested in the truth, why not try and get to the bottom of that leaked british memo? Because that kind of truth doesn’t much interest you does it? For that matter, let’s go ahead and look at the facts of the Newsweek story. Are you interested in a real investigation of whether or not someone desecrated the Koran at Gitmo? I bet not.

  • Glyn

    Reporting the Truth: A veteran British war correspondent writes an article defending Newsweek:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4551149.stm
    From the above comments, it seems that most people here (both left and right) probably think that it was true – but lots think it is either trivial and unimportant or maybe justified – rather like forcibly shaving prisoners’ beards off or making them eat pork.
    LATER THIS WEEK get front seats for the confrontation between Congress and George Galloway, MP over oil barrel sales, because it is going to be a doozy. (You don’t know what I’m talking about – you soon will.)

  • Mike S

    There is a third “game” beyond “show-off” and “gotcha” at work here, and that game is defeat-them; and it is hardly a game. Whether loosely or tightly-knit, it is a concerted effort by the mainstream media (MSM) to counter and ultimately defeat American foreign policy articulated and practiced by the Bush Administration.
    There is little difference between the anti-American propaganda and disinformation disseminated by the Soviet Union during the Cold War and today’s “news reports” from by the MSM.
    However, there should be no call for government regulation of the press beyond suit for slander and wartime censorship. The First Amendment is vital to safeguarding the freedoms of all Americans. The Internet and blogosphereís reporting on the reporters has ended the MSM monopoly on information dissemination. Isnít interesting that the most consistent and loudest voices for regulation of the blogosphere come from the MSM.

  • nick

    Mike,
    Care to defend this statement???
    “There is little difference between the anti-American propaganda and disinformation disseminated by the Soviet Union during the Cold War and today’s “news reports” from by the MSM.”
    Really? The vast majority of reporting being done on the war in Iraq has been accurate. The insurgency continues, the country hasn’t yet shown any signs of being able to function without a massive US presence, prisoners were in fact tortured at Abu Ghraib and the cost of the war to US taxpayers has far exceeded administration estimates prior to the invasion. Those are the facts. They may not be attractive but they aren’t exactly soviet era propaganda either.

  • Rick

    Just want to affirm a point made in the host’s post: that even if the anecodote was the truth, so what? Unless, perhaps, it was some sort of official policy to despoil these (taxpayer-provided, I’m guessing) Korans.
    If it was known to be an isolated, wildcat incident, does that really rate reporting?
    No, not with even the shallowest contemplation of the stakes.
    Cordially…

  • thibaud

    Explain the logic of the following, svp:
    When the president uses the word “crusade”, his opponents castigate him for inciting the jihadists.
    When Issikoff et al. float an unverified fable about a PissKoran, their supporters refuse to hold them responsible for careless words that incite jihadists to slaughter.
    Huh?

  • Aurora

    wait, the source doesn’t “have the balls?”
    It may come as a surprise to you Jeff, but sources involved in stories like this one are usually just a little bit harder to get to talk than the latest “country-crossover superstar,” “king of television,” etc. EW it ain’t.

  • Mike S.

    Nick,
    Torture is: ìthe inflicting of severe physical pain on somebody, for example, as punishment or to persuade somebody to confess or recant something.î Provide an instance where the MSM has documented such an incident of torture at Abu Ghraib. Striping a detainee and denigrating his manhood is certainly insulting but it is hardly torture.
    As to the ìcontinuing insurgency,î even the MSM, albeit buried deep in the back of the paper, is reporting that the vast majority of ìinsurgentsî found today in Iraq are not, in fact, Iraqis fighting for their political cause, but rather foreign mercenaries funded by foreign (to Iraq) Muslim extremists who know that democracy in the Middle will be their death knell.
    Look to post World War II Germany and Japan for an example of the level of American presence and commitment required to stabilize a long-standing fascist regime that has been defeated militarily. And, following that war, just as the Soviet Union sought to undermine those emerging democracies with their sham ideology, so too are the Islamofascists. Until George Bush took office, the largest standing Army in Europe was from the United States. Our presence in the Middle East is no less important to the security of the United States than was our prolonged presence in Europe and Asia. President Bushís actions regarding redeployment of our troops in Europe back to the States clearly shows he has no desire to keep Americans soldiers on foreign soil one minute longer than necessary to insure our national security.
    As to the expense to the American taxpayers for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, how much should the US Government spend to keep the war on terror beyond our borders? Some perspective; since the 9/11 attack on the US, our government has spent $5 trillion on social welfare and entitlement programs. And millions of those on the receiving end of this largess are in this country illegally and pay no federal taxes beyond perhaps the federal tax on gasoline. It is estimated that the supplement spending for Afghanistan and Iraq in that same time period has been approximately $200 billion or about 4% of our entitlement program expenditures. My ìwelfare,î i.e. my security and that of my family is, to me, worth four cents on the dollar.
    These too are facts, but this perspective is not to be found in MSM reporting or commentary.

  • dick

    I can’t believe that thse commenters write with a straight face that they could not have known what the result would have been of printing this story. How many examples do you need? Look at Abu Ghraib, look at the murder of the film maker in Holland, look at the rioting in Morocco right now, look at the rioting in Mecca when they thought someone went into their great mosque with authorization, look at how they use their mosques to store arms and hide in them because they think no one would enter a holy place or desecrate a holy book. Unbelievable!! We already know that the Muslims believe that the Koran in all its copies is the absolute word as passed to Mohammed. What do you think they would do!! Seems to me that that is exactly why this story got out there to begin with and the reporters and editors should have known what would happen. After all, they are supposed to be aware of the manners and mores and attitudes of the areas they are covering; otherwise how can we trust what they say about the local attitudes and the “Arab Street”?
    Newsweek should do all it can to ameliorate the situation and do it is person where the problems are. They caused them; they should attempt to fix them as much as possible!!

  • http://www.glcq.com paul_lukasiak

    People need to think about the effects of what they say.
    another “shoot the messenger” wingnut!
    our leaders need to think about the effects of what they DO…and realize that this is a free country, and stop doing things in secret that make this country look bad when those secrets are revealed.
    Explain the logic of the following, svp:
    geez….someone who compares what the President of the United States says with the factual reporting of a private citizen thinks he’s got any idea what “logic” is!
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    anyone who wants to understand what happened and why it happened should probably read Juan Cole today….
    http://www.juancole.com/

  • http://carolynhileman.blogspot.com/ Carolyn Hileman

    I believe that this was a major push by the media to convince us that Bush has no control over either country. Guess what it blew up in their face and now they want to slink back home, no harm done. Tell that to the military who were forced to fire on innocent people because they read a bunch of lies…

  • Mona

    Glyn writes: the Koran isn’t a book in the sense that the Bible is a book – it’s considered to be the direct word of God. Islam doesn’t have any equivalent of Christ (who they consider a holy but human man) so the Koran is much more important.
    No, the Koran *IS* a book exactly as the Xian Bible is. Xians, especially fundamentalists, believe the Bible is literally the Word of God. Inerrant and handed down by God who employed human beings merely for their penmanship skills.
    That Mohammed is a prophet per Islam while Jesus is allegedly the Son of God in Xianity, does not bear on how both faiths regard their sacred texts, which is substantially the same. (Nor does it bear on the fact that Newsweek knew, or should have known, that Muslims in parts of the world where we have soldiers take these things to more deadly lengths than do contemporary Xians, NO MATTER WHAT the reason for that difference might be.) But Western Xians don’t issue fatwas (Salman Rushdie, anyone) or riot and kill for being disrespectful of their text and/or religion.
    Many Middle Eastern Muslims, however, do. And that is why Newsweek was irresponsible to run w/ this story. And btw, I believe it likely that the story is false in most of its particulars. My point above is simply that I would not approve of its being published even if there were 15 sworn affidavits defending its veracity. Not in light of the propaganda war that is afoot, that it is not that important even if true, and given the demonstrated murderous zealotry of the jihadists.

  • http://rolandog.com rolandog

    Can’t agree more with you. One would think that by this millenia the crimes of passion and sin would’ve been overcome by rational prevention and other stuff…
    But who would’ve thought that an article in a magazine would have enough power to kill people.
    An investigation would’ve been more rational.

  • Mork

    I’m not sure what the imperative to report would have been: Why did we need to urgently know this? What public good is served? If it were absolutely true, that might be one matter but…

    Wow – doesn’t take much for our heroic defender of the First Amendment to flick the switch to incipient facsist.

  • ralph phelan

    Rolandog writes:
    “One would think that by this millenia the crimes of passion and sin would’ve been overcome by rational prevention and other stuff…”
    Only if one is a liberal. Conservatives believe that human nature is constant, and that therefore “crimes of passion and sin” are going to be around so long as Homo Sapiens is.

  • Kat

    (But who would’ve thought that an article in a magazine would have enough power to kill people.) Remember the article about the Nigeria beauty pageant. These jihadis are not exactly rational people and as long as they can brainwash enough people to believe the koran is more important than the Bible according to Glyn, then they will have reason to act like assholes. Too bad they don’t have respect for religion when they burn churches and destroy buddahs.

  • foreign devil

    Well…here’s EVIDENCE of what the Islamists are up to and it’s worth having a riot at the Pentagon for:
    http://www.journeyman.tv/?lid=17466
    4, 5 and 6 yearolds being trained to chant hate slogans and carry and fire AK47s in the Sudan. Called “Children of Terror” the 13 min. video was only recenlty smuggled out of the country and comes courtesy of LGF. It will chill you to the bone. These babies are being prepared now as infants–to kill us in the future!

  • http://recycledsip.blogspot.com/ Clyde

    Mona, what’s with the silly “Xian” stuff? You don’t have to believe it, but you might as well use the proper label. Or are the other folks “Mlims”?

  • Bill

    So the power of that one article excuses people rioting and killing? Selective outrage says I.

  • Kat

    I wonder if Newsweek did an article on the muslims’ taking the Church of Nativity hostage, whilst they tore up Bibles for toilet paper, urinated and defecated on the altar, put cigarette holes in the tapestries, and stole all the sacramental objects that looked like gold. And did the Christians in Bethlehem and around the world turn into barbarians and act like animals as they rioted and swarmed and burned the muslim flag.

  • Jim C.

    Jeff wrote,

    This mistake cost people their lives, put the lives of our soldiers in the Mideast at risk, damaged the American position in the effort to defend itself and spread democracy, and damaged the already tattered reputation of journalism.

    And to what end?

    Gee, I thought that was obvious. Put the lives of our soldiers in the Mideast at risk and damage the American position in the effort to defend itself and spread democracy.
    Alan wrote,

    Newsweek’s actions were reprehensible and I hope the editors and reporters behind this are fired. But they are not to blame for the deaths. The culpability for that rests squarely on the rioters.

    If this story had turned out to be true, right wingers would be saying we should blame the rioters, not the US. In fact, those on the right often (and rightly, I believe) argue that people must take responsibility for their own decisions. But I guess there is now a caveat–people make their own choices unless incited by the liberal media.

    If this story had turned out to be true, left wingers would be saying we should blame Bush, Rove, and all the usual suspects, not the rioters. In fact, those on the left often say that people can’t be held totally responsible for their own decisions. But I guess there is now a caveat–people are responsible for their own choices if the liberal media – or any prominent liberal – needs to be absolved.

  • Mona

    Clyde: I don’t understand your question. “Xtian” or “Xian” is a common shorthand used by “Christians” since the Church Fathers. I picked it up while pursuing a religious studies major — from Xian profs who used it on the blackboard and in syllabi.
    It is from the Greek letter Chi, what we call X, which was short for Christ in early Xian writings. I’ll provide links if you like setting out the Xian pedigree for the shorthand, but this really is all off topic.

  • ChrisPer

    Clyde, Xian for Christian is a shorthand used by some Xians as far back as hiding in the Roman catacombs. It is irritating the first time you see it, but has legitimacy. Its just a txt msg shorthand.

  • a

    “This mistake cost people their lives, put the lives of our soldiers in the Mideast at risk, damaged the American position in the effort to defend itself and spread democracy, and damaged the already tattered reputation of journalism.”
    unlike say George W Bush.
    So let me get this straight- we’ve been using religious bashing in our torture techniques but the unamed source who still stands by his story. Didnt another story about flushing the Koran come out of Gitmo like a year ago?

  • kat

    Yes, it is A-OK to make light of Christianity, Jesus in a nappy,etc. etc. That’s called leftist art. But dare treat the koran with disrespect and it’s a travesty. Two faced leftists.
    Yes, I think in the Al Queda terror manual it allows lies like the flushing a koran down the toilet or anything to get the young jihadis hot and bothered–must be some big fucking toilets they got over there for big assholes, I guess.
    I bought a koran after 911. I dare not say what became of it.

  • HA

    Jim C.
    If this story had turned out to be true, left wingers would be saying we should blame Bush, Rove, and all the usual suspects
    If a story is true, they blame Bush. If a story is false, they blame Bush. Notice a pattern?

  • dgalanis

    “spread democracy”? … are you SERIOUS ? …get off it …pls …

  • http://www.armandroussoblog.com Armand Rousso

    This incident has stained the image of the media and put it in the wrong light.
    The reactions of people across the globe are quite predictable..everyone seems to be so upset and lamenting over the innocent lives which will no more see the break of the next dawn. I am myself agitated as well as deeply aggrieved by this grave error on the part of Newsweek.
    Armand Rousso

  • http://opine.typepad.com Tom Moseley

    Newsweek should be prosecuted for the deaths of people for the sake of sensationalism. Click on my name for more.

  • Barry

    It’s frightening how many people are willing to check common sense and logic at the door just to root for their side.
    Guess what folks? Saying Bush lied isn’t being a “crazy liberal,” it’s citing a fact. He has lied, and not only do righties want to ignore that fact, they also want to believe it could never happen again.
    I still haven’t seen anything to show that interrogators did NOT flush a Koran down the toilet. Retraction of the story doesn’t make it go away.

  • Mike

    Barry, I still haven’t seen anything to show that you haven’t beat your wife!

  • Scott

    Nice comeback, Mike. You friggin idiot. Do the world a favor. Grab your bottom lip, pull it over your fucking head, and swallow.
    Retard.

  • Mike

    Scott, didn’t know you and Barry were so close. Maybe I should have said husband.

  • paleobones

    Mike said:
    Torture is: ìthe inflicting of severe physical pain on somebody, for example, as punishment or to persuade somebody to confess or recant something.î Provide an instance where the MSM has documented such an incident of torture at Abu Ghraib. Striping a detainee and denigrating his manhood is certainly insulting but it is hardly torture.
    Typical of the wingnut, you conveniently leave out details to fit your narrow viewpoint. Webster’s defines torture as (and I’ll include the url to the page citing the fact [http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=torture]; something you fail to do…)
    tor?ture Audio pronunciation of “torture” ( P ) Pronunciation Key (tÙrchr)
    n.

    • 1.
      • 1. Infliction of severe physical pain as a means of punishment or coercion.
      • 2. An instrument or a method for inflicting such pain.
  • 2. Excruciating physical or mental pain; agony: the torture of waiting in suspense.
  • 3. Something causing severe pain or anguish.
  • The International definition of torture is [http://www.apt.ch/un/definition.shtml].
    “For the purposes of this Convention, the term “torture” means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.”
    [Continue reading down the page and find the "War crime of inhuman treatment" and you will see why Bush refuses to be bound the ICC and why he declared the prisoners exempt from the Geneva conventions.]
    Anyway, notice 2 of the 3 definitions from Webster’s mention *mental* aspects (“mental pain” and “anguish”). If you think torture is just physical pain you are mistaken. By definition, what happened and what is currently happening at Abu Ghraib/Gitmo is torture (flushing the Qu’ran in a toilet would be an effective mental tactic to a Muslim because, as mentioned before, the Qu’ran is literally the word of God to their faith.)
    Further, to take up your challenge, here is one instance of the MSM covering a specific incident from Abu Ghraib (wasn’t hard to find [http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&lr=&c2coff=1&tab=wn&ie=UTF-8&q=%22abu+ghraib%22+torture+shock&btnG=Search+News]). AP carried a story about PBS’s interview with a former Abu Ghraib prisoner (here’s a copy of the report on your fave newssource Faux News so you won’t accuse me of making it up… [http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,154834,00.html]:
    “Haj Ali Shallal Abbas, a former prisoner who says he was the man under the black hood in the infamous photo from Abu Ghraib, describes the torture in detail. “They made me stand on a box with my hands hooked to wires and shocked me with electricity. It felt like my eyeballs were coming out of their sockets,” he says. “I fell, and they put me back up again for more. Once, I bit my tongue so hard, my mouth was full of blood.”
    More info of that incident can be found at http://www.pbs.org/now/thisweek/index_042905.html
    There’s your instance… As for the rest of your post, links please (but I won’t hold my breath).

  • http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/5/17/103545/420 walter

    yeah and what about the adminstration’s lies and unchecked sources that led us into the war with iraq? And even if you throw out the one questioned fact in the newsweek article, the rest of the abuses are well documented.

  • Mike

    Yes walter, so it’s OK to run a fake news story because there have been other instances of other stuff going on. And what are the rest of the abuses? The fake menstrual blood thing, forcing detainees to watch a woman fondle her breasts? Must have been hell!

  • paleobones

    Mike, let’s get one thing clear here… Newsweek is *not* recanting the report of the flushing of the Qu’ran. That has been corroborated by numerous other sources outside of Newsweek over the past few years (as mentioned by a previous poster).
    What is being recanted is the charge that the military will be releasing a report on Abu Ghraib/Gitmo abuses that contain a reference to the Qu’ran flushing incident. After publication, the anonymous source could not definitively recall whether or not he/she saw mention of that specific incident in the upcoming report. Because of that inconsistency, Newsweek did the right thing and recanted that portion of the story that dealt with the upcoming report. The rest of the story is *unchanged*.
    (An interview with the Editor of Newsweek that will [a bit of a jab to Michelle Malkin here] s-p-e-l-l-i-t-o-u-t for you can be located at http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/)
    You really need to stop watching just Faux News and start getting your news from multiple sources.

  • Mike

    Yes boneboy, I understand what Newsweek is doing. Essentially they are now left with a story based on allegations from released detainees with an axe to grind! Do you understand that? The rest of the story is unchanged and no longer credible!

  • Mike

    BTW, that still doesn’t change my comment to walter. Originally Newsweek ran a fake news story that, as written, was unsubstantiated.

  • http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/5/17/104253/423 walter

    of course they have axes to grind, they were detained and held illegally by the US. and during their stay in cuba, they were mistreated at the hands of the US. Once released after many months of detention, without ever being charged, they go home and speak out about the horrible treatment they received. it is no different than you going to someone’s house for a dinner party and once there you are singled out for some reason and ridiculed or even physically attacked. once you leave, you are going to go home and spew to your friends about the crappy time you had. that’s what these free, wrongfully accused, men are doing now that they are able to exercise their free speech rights once again.
    From Carl Conetta, Project on Defense Alternatives, by e-mail:
    Also citing the toilet incident is testimony by Asif Iqbal, a former Guatanamo detainee who was released to British custody in March 2004 and subsequently freed without charge:
    “The behaviour of the guards towards our religious practices as well as the Koran was also, in my view, designed to cause us as much distress as possible. They would kick the Koran, throw it into the toilet and generally disrespect it.” (Center for Constitution Rights, Detention in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, (4 August 2004, deposition available at ccr-ny.org)

  • http://thinkprogress.org/index.php?p=892 walter

    here’s more from http://www.thinkprogress.org
    Remember when we learned that the evidence for
    Iraq’s supposed mobile biological weapons labs came
    from an unreliable source? What was McClellan’s response then?
    QUESTION: Does it concern the President that the primary source for the intelligence on the mobile biological weapons labs was a guy that U.S. intelligence never every interviewed?
    MCCLELLAN: Well, again, all these issues will be looked
    at as part of a broad review by the independent commission
    that the President appointedÖ But it’s important
    that we look at what we learn on the ground and compare that
    with what we believed prior to going into Iraq.
    [White House Press Gaggle, 4/5/04]
    There you have it. When confronted with an anonymous source who provided faulty intelligence that the President relied upon to go to war, McClellan chose not to talk about standards of accountability that should be met. Instead, the White House passed the buck to an independent commission and suggested that it didn’t matter what subsequent information they learned about Iraq’s intelligence because they didn’t know it when they went to war. Newsweek has taken responsibility by retracting its story. Will President Bush take responsibility for his own errors?
    QUESTION: He’s the president of the United States. This thing he told the country on the verge of taking the nation to war has turned out to be, by your own account, not reliable. That’s his fault, isn’t it?
    MCCLELLAN: No.
    [White House Press Briefing, 7/17/03]

  • paleobones

    Yes boneboy, I understand what Newsweek is doing. Essentially they are now left with a story based on allegations from released detainees with an axe to grind! Do you understand that? The rest of the story is unchanged and no longer credible!
    I wouldn’t exactly call Amnesty International a non-credible source: [http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGAMR511452004]
    Then [the guard] brought a box of food and he made me stand on it, and he started punishing me. Then a tall black soldier came and put electrical wires on my fingers and toes and on my p3nis, and I had a bag over my head. Then he was saying ëwhich switch is on for electricity?í Iraqi detainee, Abu Ghraib prison, 16 January 2004(1)
    Oh, wait… That can’t be torture as it doesn’t fit *your* definition of torture. After all, it’s not like they flipped the switch or anything… Geez, get real man…
    But here’s a few more questions for that great mind of yours to ponder…
    Q: Why would the US not join the International Criminal Court (which, btw, the US has the dubious distinction of joining only 6 other countries to not be a part of the ICC: China, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Qatar and Israel)? [http://www.hrw.org/campaigns/icc/us.htm]
    Q; Why did the Bush administration try to change (and successfully so for awhile) the legal definition of torture? [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A37687-2004Dec30.html]
    Q: Why would Bush write in a Feb. 2002 letter:
    “I accept the legal conclusion of the Attorney General and the Department of Justice that I have the authority to suspend Geneva (conventions) as between the United States and Afghanistan. I reserve the right to exercise this authority in this or future conflicts.”
    other than to use torture as an interrogation device? [http://www.globalpolicy.org/empire/un/2004/0623waivegeneva.htm]
    Q: Why, with more than 37 detainees (that we know of) dying while in U.S. custody, many of them during or after harsh interrogations, Col. Thomas Pappas, in charge of military intelligence at Abu Ghraib, reportedly said, after witnessing the death of a prisoner while being interrogated, that if he is charged with the crime, “I’m not going to go down alone for this.” Who else is he talking about? [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/11/AR2005051101818.html]
    Q: Why would the US keep “ghost detainees,” something prevented under the Geneva Conventions, other than to hide abuse and torture? [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/11/AR2005051101818.html]
    Q: And finally, to answer your question of why we only are hearing from the tortured… Why would Maj. Gen. Bennie E. Williams make the decision to not court martial Col Pappas for the alleged abuses he was responsible for?
    Actually, I know the answer to that one.
    “Army commanders rejected Pappas’s repeated claims to investigators that the abuse originated in orders, pressure and encouragement by his superiors.”
    By court martialing him, his testimony would become part of the “official record” and be subject to further investigation. Pappas would name his superiors as party to the torture, which would eventually be traced up the chain of command to our civilian buddies in the Pentagon/WH…
    With a government prepared to go this far, why would you think that there would be *any* MSM access to these stories at all? Just because the MSM can’t write about it doesn’t mean the abuse/torture doesn’t exist…
    (BTW, lovely language filter on this site. Not like I’m calling you a p3nis or something…)

  • Blogesota

    Newsweek was right all along. Several newspapers over the past several years have reported the exact same information. I’d call that corraboration.

  • nick

    Mike,
    Your comments about what does and does not constitute torture have been addressed elsewhere in the comments so I will move ahead to this:
    “As to the ìcontinuing insurgency,î even the MSM, albeit buried deep in the back of the paper, is reporting that the vast majority of ìinsurgentsî found today in Iraq are not, in fact, Iraqis fighting for their political cause, but rather foreign mercenaries funded by foreign (to Iraq) Muslim extremists who know that democracy in the Middle will be their death knell.”
    Nice. Where’d you get this info from? Read this. It’s a quote from the San Diego Union Tribune. Certainly a conservative newspaper.
    “Despite concerns about foreign fighters, U.S. officials said the most significant challenge to the stabilization effort comes from domestic Iraqi insurgents, not from foreign terrorists despite the attacks organized or carried out by foreigners.”
    It’s rather self serving to assume that Iraqi’s are not taking part in the insurgency. Self serving and false, no matter what Rush or Hannity say.
    Then there’s this little exercise in circular logic:
    “Some perspective; since the 9/11 attack on the US, our government has spent $5 trillion on social welfare and entitlement programs. And millions of those on the receiving end of this largess are in this country illegally and pay no federal taxes beyond perhaps the federal tax on gasoline.”
    So, just so I get this right, you supported the Bush tax cuts right? ‘Cause it’s our money right? ‘Cause we can make better decisions about what to spend our money on than the government.
    But somehow this intitlement money, this $5 trillion dollars of already collected tax money, this money that is taken out of your check and mine every week in exchange for a government promise of medicaid and social security (there is no way you get to $5 trillion dollars in expenditures without including social security and medicaid), is being spent on ungrateful illegal aliens and the shiftless poor unfortunates among us. But, that’s not really your point is it? No, you’re point is that all this money we’re spending in Iraq, (it’s 300B, not 200B, you’re playing semantic games with what’s been spent rather what’s been appropriated)
    is money well spent because we are free of terrorists within our borders. Mike, I have news for you. We are not out of the woods just yet. These people took ten years between the first World Trade Center bombing and 9/11. Anyone who thinks they aren’t still out there planning and training for some spectacular carnage down the road is a fool. If we have an event tomorrow, next week, next month, I am sure it will be a great comfort to all those who are effected that we spent $300b on a war of choice.
    Wingnuts. How nice it must be to play the victim all the time and yet be able to blame the left for the culture of victimhood. How nice it must be to talk about responsibility but never have to take responsibility. How great it would be to take credit for honor and courgage and bravery but let others do the actual fighting and dying.

  • paleobones

    Nick, nice… ;) I was waiting for his links… I guess they’re not coming…

  • paleobones

    Mike,
    Just in case you do come back I’d like to add to my earlier point of the MSM covering specific torture incidents, Molly Ivans wrote an article today documenting some of the more heinous stories. It would be worth a look for you to read it…
    http://www.workingforchange.com/article.cfm?itemid=19061
    What you are shutting your eyes to:
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2088-1431300,00.html
    “We know that thousands of men, women and children were grabbed almost at random from their homes in Baghdad, taken to Saddamís former torture palace and subjected to abuse, murder, beatings, semi-crucifixions and rape.
    All of this is detailed in the official reports. What has been perpetrated in secret prisons to ìghost detaineesî hidden from Red Cross inspection we do not know. We may never know.
    This is America? While White House lawyers were arguing about what separates torture from legitimate ìcoercive interrogation techniquesî, the following was taking place. Prisoners were hanged for hours or days from bars or doors in semi-crucifixions; they were repeatedly beaten unconscious, woken and then beaten again for days on end; they were sodomised; they were urinated on, kicked in the head, had their ribs broken, and were subjected to electric shocks.
    Some Muslims had pork or alcohol forced down their throats; they had tape placed over their mouths for reciting the Koran; many Muslims were forced to be naked in front of each other, members of the opposite sex and sometimes their own families. It was routine for the abuses to be photographed in order to threaten the showing of the humiliating footage to family members.”
    Drop the party line and look at this as a human being. This is *our* government doing this in *our* names. It must be stopped…

  • http://brokekid.net Brokekid

    I’m going to take a wild guess and say that this did in fact happen, I can’t believe anyone is surprised. Muslims are fed up with the hypocrisy of the United States, our policy on the Middle East, treatment of prisoners arbitrarily rounded up and put in pens in Abu Ghraib and Guantanmo.
    This isn’t a new story, google it, you’ll find more incidences than this one alone. What’s amazing is the Rumsfeld has failed to reign in the military and its practices for gathering information. Get a clue people.

  • Kat

    Muslims are fed up with hypocrisy of the US–well, I have news for you, I’m fed up with Muslim policy–I’m so fed up with pussy footing around muslims that I just want to piss on the koran. How dare muslims be the biggest hypocrites on earth while they bitch about others. You earn respect, and muslims haven’t earned mine. If you sit with your finger up your ass and not dare say a peep against terrorists, then you can screw off. If you condone and martyrize the terrorists, you are one.
    http://memritv.org/Transcript.asp?P1=669
    “We have ruled the world before, and by Allah, the day will come when we will rule the entire world again. The day will come when we will rule America. The day will come when we will rule Britain and the entire world ñ except for the Jews. The Jews will not enjoy a life of tranquility under our rule, because they are treacherous by nature, as they have been throughout history. The day will come when everything will be relieved of the Jews – even the stones and trees which were harmed by them. Listen to the Prophet Muhammad, who tells you about the evil end that awaits Jews. The stones and trees will want the Muslims to finish off every Jew. ”
    Who is the big hypocrite here? Islamic Nazis, that’s who.

  • paleobones

    Kat,
    Let’s address your point that all Muslims are extremists. I’ll counter that point by saying that all Christians are extremists and back that with a few salient quotes:
    From http://www.theocracywatch.org/
    “He [God] is using me, all the time, everywhere, to stand up for a biblical worldview in everything that I do and everywhere I am. He is training me.”
    – Tom DeLay
    “This Republican Party of Lincoln has become a party of theocracy.”
    –U.S. Representative Christopher Shays, R-CT
    “Christians have an obligation, a mandate, a commission, a holy responsibility to reclaim the land for Jesus Christ — to have dominion in civil structures, just as in every other aspect of life and godliness.
    But it is dominion we are after. Not just a voice.
    It is dominion we are after. Not just influence.
    It is dominion we are after. Not just equal time.
    It is dominion we are after.
    *World conquest* [my emphasis]. That’s what Christ has commissioned us to accomplish. We must win the world with the power of the Gospel. And we must never settle for anything less… Thus, Christian politics has as its primary intent the conquest of the land — of men, families, institutions, bureaucracies, courts, and governments for the Kingdom of Christ. (pp. 50-51)”
    – George Grant – From “The Changing of the Guard, Biblical Principles for Political Action”
    “Unique among the nations, America recognized the source of our character as being godly and eternal, not being civic and temporal. And because we have understood that our source is eternal, America has been different. We have no king but Jesus.”
    –John Ashcroft http://www.quotationspage.com/quotes/John_Ashcroft/
    “The termites are in charge now, and that is not the way it ought to be, and the time has arrived for a godly fumigation.”
    – Pat Robertson http://www.funnystrange.com/quiz/answers.php
    Bush:
    “The Bush Administration awarded $2 billion in grants to religious organizations in 2004.”
    http://www.mediatransparency.org/stories/faiththenation.html
    His “faith-based” initiative seeks to put $8 billion into religious organizations. http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/12/20021212-6.html
    He freudian slips “crusade” while talking about about the war on terrorism. http://www.csmonitor.com/2001/0919/p12s2-woeu.html
    And, of course, they wouldn’t be fanatic enough to use their office to promote their faith? Oops…
    “Therefore I, George W. Bush, Governor of Texas, do hereby proclaim June 10, 2000,
    Jesus Day [again, my emphasis]
    in Texas and urge the appropriate recognition whereof.
    In official recognition whereof, I hereby affix my signature this 17th day of March, 2000″
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/jesus/readings/jesusdaymemo.html
    I guess what I’m trying to say is you can find extremists in any religion. This country’s problem is that our religious fanatics are elected to office and control a helluva lot of bombs.
    And a final thought… Jesus would *sooo* kill those rat-bastard Muslims… That message cheerfully brought to you from “Focus on the Family,” a non-profit corporation. Actually, I made that up just in case you think I’m trying to pawn off sarcasm as a legitimate quote…

  • reason

    Why the Hell has no one pointed out that the general on the ground in the area of those riots said flat-out that they had nothing to do with Newsweekís story? Those riots were about local conditions. The neo-conservatives have simply latched onto them as an excuse to attack Newsweek and distract attention away from the Bush administrationís policy of torture. I remind you all that Abu Ghraibís torture was made public well over a year ago, and IT IS STILL GOING ON!!