16 May 2005

Newsweek's Big Blunder Gets People Killed

This country's news media is infected. Infected with the bug that places sensationalism above public responsibility. Last fall, Dan Rather and his cohorts at CBS went forward with a story damaging to the President at the 11th hour of the Presidential campaign. They went forward with a story that relied heavily on documentation that wasn't authentic. Thanks in no small part to observant bloggers, this fraud was exposed. Rather has "retired" and his cohorts have largely joined the unemployment line with damaged credibility. CNN's Eason Jordan was deposed because of statements that he made claiming that US troops were intentionally targeting journalists in Iraq and Afghanistan. Charges which couldn't be proven. He would have gotten away with it had it not been for those of us in the blogsphere who brought these false statements to public attention. Jordan resigned to save CNN further embarrassment and the MSM still never picked the story up. And now, Newsweek goes forward with a story claiming that US interrogators desecrated the Quran in order to extract information from detainees. FoxNews.com had this to say: Newsweek magazine Sunday apologized for a May 9 report alleging U.S. interrogators flushed the Quran down the toilet at Guantanamo Bay, a claim that had prompted attacks in Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Gaza Strip that left 15 dead and scores more injured. "We regret that we got any part of our story wrong and extend our sympathies to victims of the violence and to the U.S. soldiers caught in its midst," Editor Mark Whitaker wrote in the magazine's latest issue. In response to the demonstrations and subsequent deadly clashes that sparked promises by the U.S. for an investigation, about 500 Islamic scholars and tribal elders gathered in Faizabad, 310 miles northeast of Afghanistan's capital, Kabul. The scholars called for a resolution mandating anyone found to have abused the Quran to be punished, said Maulawi Abdul Wali Arshad, head of the religious affairs department in Badakhshan province. Arshad and the provincial police chief said the scholars demanded a "reaction" from U.S. authorities within three days, but they denied reports that the scholars threatened to declare a holy war if the deadline was not respected. The controversial Newsweek report said U.S. military investigators found evidence that interrogators had placed copies of Islam's holy book in washrooms and had flushed one down the toilet in efforts to get inmates to talk. Newsweek Washington Bureau Chief Daniel Klaidman said the magazine believes it erred in reporting the allegation and that military investigators had confirmed the accusation. "The issue here is to get the truth out, to acknowledge as quickly as possible what happened, and that's what we're trying to do," Klaidman told the "CBS Evening News" on Sunday. Whitaker wrote that the magazine's information came from "a knowledgeable U.S. government source," and before publishing the item, writers Michael Isikoff and John Barry sought comment from two Defense Department officials. One declined to respond, and the other challenged another part of the story but did not dispute the Quran charge, Whitaker said. "Top administration officials have promised to continue looking into the charges, and so will we," Whitaker wrote. On Aug. 1, 2002, an FBI agent who went to Gitmo made a report detailing statements from a detainee who said a U.S. official had flushed the Quran, sources told FOX News. The FBI did not confirm that this allegation was true, but it did pass on a report about the detainee's statement to the Department of Defense, U.S. officials said. Several U.S. officials told FOX News they have no evidence of the incident, which they said could have been triggered by a released detainee making unfounded allegations. On Thursday, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Richard Myers said a guard claimed a detainee was ripping pages out of a Quran and putting them in the toilet to stop it up as a protest. Officials at Guantanamo keep detailed logs of detainee actions, as well as what at times have been considered questionable countermeasures taken by guards that human rights groups have charged amount to abuse, officials said. Many of the 520 inmates at Guantanamo are Muslims arrested during the U.S.-led war against the Taliban and its Al Qaeda allies in Afghanistan. National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley said in a televised interview that the allegations were being investigated "vigorously." "If it turns out to be true, obviously we will take action against those responsible," he said. FOX News' Anna Persky, Bret Baier, Nick Simeone and Heather Scroope and The Associated Press contributed to this report. FoxNews military analyst Col. David Hunt stated that Newsweek's error is responsible for murder and those responsible should be held accountable and charged with the murder of those who died due to the violence which ensued because of the story. People in the middle-east and other countries with high concentrations of Muslims took the word of Newsweek to be the truth because it came from the United States. Their blunder cost lives and may cause more. A simple "I'm sorry" doesn't cover it. Anyone with half a brain should know that our interrogators are smarter than that. Desecration of the Quran would only serve to strengthen the resolve of those who resist other interrogation methods. So why would our guys do that? The short answer is they wouldn't. It would be counter productive to do so. I think Col. Hunt is correct. The editor of Newsweek and the writer of the story should be compelled to reveal their sources and be charged with a crime. Their sources should also be charged with a crime. Chances are that Newsweek has paid for that information. And by receiving payment for false statements which led to the commission of a crime is conspiracy in the least and murder at the most. End of Rant. Help Put A Stop To The Most Dangerous Organization In America. We are trying to organize a march on all of the ACLU state offices in all of the 50 states. To help in this matter, we are trying to raise money to pay for advertising in our nation's newspapers promoting the march. You can help. Visit Bulldoze The ACLU online store and buy a bumper sticker or t-shirt. All of the proceedes will be going into advertising for this march. Thank You.

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