From the Right:
It should be obvious to anyone who so much as glances at the documents being cited that the FBI was reporting the statements of detainees rather than endorsing or validating those allegations. Immediately before describing the Koran-in-the-toilet allegation, the FBI notes the detainee’s statement that “God tells Muslims to do a jihad against non-Muslims.” Does Kos expect us to believe the FBI is endorsing that statement too?
Many detainees have made allegations of serious physical abuse as well as mistreatment of the Koran. Notwithstanding the MSM’s “flood the zone” coverage, that’s neither unexpected nor particularly newsworthy.
Those liberal bloggers. They want a scandal, too, and they want it now! So they’ve pounced on the story about a 2002 FBI report that repeats the same Koran-flushing story as Newsweek.
Yesterday afternoon I saw the first story, and last night I saw two others. I thought an FBI agent actually witnessed the flushing. Contrary to what you may read on liberal blogs today (the buzz will be significant), the FBI agent did not. It was a disgruntled detainee who told the agent it happened.
Besides leading the way on Rathergate, Easongate, and Newsweek, conservatives track media bias every day. Whole blogs are dedicated to nothing else. Except for the so-called Gannongate scandal, liberal political bloggers are usually relegated to defending rags that slander the military. As a matter of fact, rags defend rags. Check out this Washington Post story about the FBI report. Also read their media critic’s column (relevant part is closer toward the end).
While Western press agencies continue to report years-old allegations of Qu’ran abuse from detainees as if they were new, the Exempt Media completely missed important corroboration from Iraq’s new government that Saddam sheltered and even encouraged al-Qaeda terrorists during his reign of terror. CQ reader Jason Smith at Generation Why? notes this revelation from the Italian news portal AKI which confirms that Saddam’s regime sponsored an Islamist conference and specifically invited AQ’s #2 man and Zarqawi to attend:
Amazing. Mainstream media is determined to give the jihadis a weapon they can exploit to the fullest, and the ACLU is right with them: FBI memo reports Guantanamo guards flushing Koran. (Hat tip: LGF readers.)
Notice once again: this story originates with an anonymous source whose complaint was investigated and not found to be credible—and more importantly, Islamists are specifically trained to make claims like this.
From The Middle:
Joe Gandleman’s The Moderate Voice (Who also has a very good round up himself)
So what do we know?
- There were allegations elsewhere about the Koran being flushed down the toilet.
- No evidence has surfaced yet to prove that it happened. You can argue “it can’t be proven because they’re covering it up” but where is the proof of that? It could simply be that it’s an accusation. OR someone said something they heard. OR someone passed along something a guard told them had happened but didn’t (or did but they didn’t see it).
- Newsweek still did not follow proper confirmation procedures. A corporate bigwig recently announced that the magazine would tighten up the use of anonymous sources. Why? Because the Periscope item was not rock-solid in confirmation.
So tidbits coming out about allegations about the Koran won’t change Newsweek’s performance on this story. The issue of what happened to the Koran isn’t the same as the journalism issue of how the magazine decided to report it.
: The Washington Post — appearing to rally ’round its corporate cousin, Newsweek — plays up a story today about allegations of “Koran abuse” (what an amazing piece of newspeak that is) at Guantanamo. As near as I can tell, there’s nothing new in this: the prisoner allegations have been around for sometime; this is a repetition of them through more documents. This will yield another round of political, media, ideological, and ethnic nya-nyas on both sides. Meanwhile, I wonder, is anybody in Iraq preparing a report on beheading abuse and Muslim-Muslim murder, otherwise known as “human abuse?”
From The Left:
Of course, the Pentagon denies it, and that’ll be the spin (if they even acknowledge the story at all). Because it doesn’t matter how many times the Pentagon lies–they want to believe, and always will. They are Charlie Brown to the Pentagon’s Lucy, but without the anguish. They lay on the field after the football has been snatched away and do not even notice that their clothing is lying in improbable heaps around them, do not realize that they have been played for fools once again.
Update: a reader points out that Charlie Brown loses his clothes when he is pitching, not when he is trying to kick the football. Never let it be said that this blog does not strive for accuracy at all times.
Turns out Newsweek was wrong about its source, right about the story….
…Darn it. Now who can the wingers blame for setbacks in Afghanistan and Iraq?
The American media certainly has its share of problems these days, but the state of American media criticism is little short of buffoonish. How is it possible that our press critics have spent two weeks clucking nervously over the fact that Newsweek’s source made a mistake about which report he saw the Koran allegations in, thus providing the White House with exactly the cover they needed to avoid responsibility for the fact that it’s their disastrous policies that are responsible for what’s happening in Afghanistan? Who needs Paris Hilton to distract attention from reality when America’s media critics will do it for free?
So there it is. I think that the story is overblown and that the media is trying to protect themselves by rehashing old news that is anecdotal. Of course in these situations, that is all you have. But as the country is split the Democrats will insist this is vindication for Newsweek, while the Republicans will maintain that it is all tripe and that it is a terrorist trying to hurt the USA.