Ah, the joy of the media in self defense mode. After taking another pummeling by the blogosphere over false stories at Newsweek, the mainstream media rounded up the wagons and decided above all else they were going to be correct on the Gitmo story.
So when the Pentagon released their report on the Guantanamo Bay prison, they had 5 examples of “I told you so”. At the bottom of the articles they finally got around to mentioning that the suspects held there were even more disrespectful to the Koran, and they were the ones who tried to flush the Koran down the toilet. But when you are in self defense mode, nothing else matters.
The press in this instance reminds me of my young boys when we catch them doing something wrong. They know it is wrong, but come up with excuse after excuse trying to get out of trouble, and provide many examples of how their brother did much more wrong. And if we had done anything within 5 orders of magnitude wrong along the same lines in the last 6 months, they are very quick to bring it up.
There were mistakes made at the Guantanamo Bay prison, no doubt. But the scrutiny and passion directed at the guards there has been intense. When instances of wrong doing have been found, the judgments have been swift and effective.
However, when the media makes mistakes that create a hostile environment for these soldiers and our soldiers overseas, there is nothing done.&NBS;If Micheal Isak off&NBS;was treated at the same level as the guards of the Guantanamo Bay prison, would he still be writing a column for Newsweek?
I think not.
Here is a round up of the the Guantanamo Bay prison articles from last night and this morning.
Click on read more below for the stories.
WASHINGTON – The Pentagon on Friday released new details about mishandling of the Quran at the Guantanamo Bay prison for terror suspects, confirming that a soldier deliberately kicked the Muslim holy book and that an interrogator stepped on a Quran and was later fired for “a pattern of unacceptable behavior
In other confirmed incidents, water balloons thrown by prison guards caused an unspecified number of Qurans to get wet; a guard’s urine came through an air vent and splashed on a detainee and his Quran; and in a confirmed but ambiguous case a two-word obscenity was written in English on the inside cover of a Quran.
The findings, released after normal business hours Friday evening, are among the results of an investigation last month by Brig. Gen. Jay Hood, the commander of the detention center in Cuba, that was triggered by a Newsweek magazine report — later retracted — that a U.S. soldier had flushed one Guantanamo Bay detainee’s Quran down a toilet.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – American jailers at the Guantanamo prison for foreign terrorism suspects splashed a Koran with urine, kicked and stepped on the Islamic holy book and soaked it with water, the U.S. military said on Friday.
U.S. Southern Command, responsible for the prison at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, described for the first time five cases of “mishandling” of a Koran by U.S. personnel confirmed by a newly completed military inquiry, officials said in a statement.
In the incident involving urine, which took place this past March, Southern Command said a guard left his post and urinated near an air vent and “the wind blew his urine through the vent” and into a cell block.
It said a detainee told guards the urine “splashed on him and his Koran.” The statement said the detainee was given a new prison uniform and Koran, and that the guard was reprimanded and given duty in which he had no contact with prisoners.
Southern Command said a civilian contractor interrogator, who was later fired, apologized in July 2003 to a detainee for stepping on his Koran. In August 2003, prisoners’ Korans became wet when night-shift guards had thrown water balloons in a cell block, the statement said. In February 2002, guards kicked a prisoner’s Koran, it added.
In the fifth “confirmed incident” of mishandling a Koran, Southern Command said a prisoner in August 2003 complained that “a two-word obscenity” had been written in English in his Koran. Southern Command said it was “possible” a guard had written the words but “equally possible” the prisoner himself had done it.
Interesting how incident #5 may not have been a real incident. Oh well, it makes better copy. Sounds like the military was being absolutely honest, and the media is making them pay. Also interesting, Reuters made no mention of any of the detainees abusing the Koran. I guess it did not fit the script.
Huge Kudos, they seem to have done the story correctly! Very impressed!
Detainees, not soldiers, flushed Quran
A U.S. military investigation into the mishandling of the Muslim holy book at the Guantanamo Bay prison for suspected terrorists has determined that detainees — not U.S. soldiers — attempted to flush the Quran down the toilet there.
However, the report did find four confirmed incidents in which U.S. personnel at the base mishandled the Quran, including guards kicking a detainee’s Quran; a guard’s urine “splashed” a detainee and his holy book after coming through an air vent; and guards got in a water balloon fight that resulted in two detainees’ Qurans getting wet.
In a fifth confirmed incident, it could not be determined whether a guard or a detainee wrote a two-word obscenity in a detainee’s Quran.
The Hood report cited three separate incidents in which detainees tried to flush the Quran down the toilet.
In one incident, on February 23, 2004, the report said a guard saw a “detainee place two Qurans in his toilet and state he no longer cared about the Quran or his religion.
Five minutes later, after the detainee retrieved the Qurans, he ripped several pages out of one Quran and threw the pages on the floor. Then, he placed both Qurans on the sink.”
Another time, on January 19, 2005, a detainee “tore up his Quran and tried to flush it down the toilet. Four guards witnessed the incident,” the report said.
The report also cited 12 other incidents by detainees, including one who used his Quran as a pillow, another who urinated on his holy book and several who ripped pages from the Quran.
That is how this story should have been written.
New York Times (Eric Schmitt)
A military inquiry has found that guards or interrogators at the GuantÃƒ ¡namo Bay detention center in Cuba kicked, stepped on and splashed urine on the Koran, in some cases intentionally but in others by accident, the Pentagon said on Friday.
The splashing of urine was among the cases described as inadvertent. It was said to have occurred when a guard urinated near an air vent and the wind blew his urine through the vent into a detainee’s cell. The detainee was given a fresh uniform and a new Koran, and the guard was reprimanded and assigned to guard duty that kept him from contact with detainees for the remainder of his time at GuantÃƒ ¡namo, according to the military inquiry.
The investigation into allegations that the Koran had been mishandled also found that in one instance detainees’ Korans were wet because guards on the night shift had thrown water balloons on the cellblock.
In another case, a two-word obscenity was written in English on the inside cover of a Koran, but investigators could not determine whether a guard or detainee had written it.
Last week, the head of the investigation, Brig. Gen. Jay W. Hood, commander of the GuantÃƒ ¡namo Joint Task Force, announced at the Pentagon that his preliminary findings had uncovered five cases in which the Koran was mishandled at the prison, but he refused to provide details.
In releasing those details in a final report on Friday, General Hood emphasized that any abuse of the Koran was unusual and that the military had gone to great lengths to be sensitive to the detainees’ religious faiths, including issuing more than 1,600 Korans at the detention center.
“Mishandling a Koran at GuantÃƒ ¡namo Bay is a rare occurrence,” General Hood said in a statement released by the military’s Southern Command. “Mishandling of a Koran here is never condoned.”
… (Buried at the end of a very long article)
The report also found 15 incidents in which detainees had mishandled the Koran.
The military’s statement said the investigation had examined 31,000 documents, both on paper and electronically; classified and unclassified computer drives used by task force personnel; and legal documents and news articles for any mention of possible abuses of the Koran.
General Hood concluded that the current policy regarding the handling of the Koran was appropriate, but the military statement said that some additional minor changes, which it did not describe, were under review.
The New York Times shows its bias.