Friday, May 13, 2005

Newsweek Provides Aid and Comfort...

To our enemies. Newsweek should know that there is no such thing as non-subjective reporting. Everything is subjective.

Newsweek ran a brief article in their Periscope section repeating tentative allegations that interrogators flushed a Quran down a toilet.

Investigators probing interrogation abuses at the U.S. detention center at Guantfinamo Bay have confirmed some infractions alleged in internal FBI e-mails that surfaced late last year. Among the previously unreported cases, sources tell NEWSWEEK: interrogators, in an attempt to rattle suspects, flushed a Qur’an down a toilet and led a detainee around with a collar and dog leash.

CBS won a Peabody Award for breaking the story of the military investigation into prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib. Their report was based on actual documented abuse, including photographs, logs, and sworn testimony already compiled as part of the military investigation. It turns out that Michael Isikoff, the author of the Newsweek piece, has something a little less than that.

But the top US military officer said a review of interrogation logs has so far found no evidence to corroborate the explosive allegations.

"They cannot confirm yet that there was ever the case of the toilet incident except in one case, a log entry that they still have to confirm, where a detainee was reported by a guard to be ripping pages out of a Quran and putting them in a toilet to stop it up as a protest," said General Richard Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. - Egypt Election Daily News

Rather than a Peabody Award for the journalists at Newsweek, the fruit of their labor has so far been riots, chaos, and death in Afghanistan. In all fairness, the unrest began as peaceful student protests over the article that were later escalated into the violent riots that are going on now.

KABUL, Afghanistan - Government officials said the violence sweeping Afghanistan and four other provinces appeared to have been planned and that religious hard-liners and armed men had usurped what had started as a student protest against reports that U.S. troops at Guantanamo Bay Cuba had desecrated the Quran.

In Jalalabad, "the students were peaceful and were shouting," said a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, Lutfullah Mashal. "But there were some specific hard-line religious groups involved. From their activities it looks like it was preplanned."

Mashal said there were some indications that the violence had been influenced by religious or extreme elements across the border in Pakistan, whether supporters of the Taliban, who were removed from power in late 2001 in an American-led military campaign, or Pakistani groups.

Sharifa Shahabof the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission was leading an election seminar for women when the demonstration began. She and 20 others were taken to the basement of the U.N. mission for protection, she said.

"This was not a demonstration," she said. "It was completely organized violence. It started with students from the medical college, and then armed men seized the occasion and abused it."

I hope it was worth it to Michael Isikoff and John Barry at Newsweek. I also hope this story can be substantiated with real evidence and is not based solely on allegations made by former detainees that have been released from Guantanamo. I know the Newsweek story was only a spark for the fire, but I hope our American journalists aren't in the business of printing any wild claims in their zeal to pile onto the award wining military abuse band-wagon.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Glad, this is CODArm from PTOP. Great site, I will be checking it often.

1:43 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

I think some in the media don't even think about the consequences of what they write. I think they do it just to break the "big story" and promote their careers. Others I think do it just out of blind spite for Dubbya.

6:29 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

It's really all about money and not enough news to fill in the amount of programming space and time they have. Now, news isn't just competing with other news - it has to compete with Cosmo and the O.C. So instead of real reporting, the news looks for scandals and scare tactics. That's the free market for you - the price of boring news just isn't as high as the price of exciting (even if it's misleading) news.

7:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your Newsweek Provides Aid... piece. First I found it, then, using a a direct quote, I came up with the actual text of the Newsweek article from Newsweek's site. Without the quote, a search from Newsweek's home page did not turn the article up. Perhaps they really aren't that proud of it.

10:04 PM  

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