Flushing Credibility Down the Toilet:
Newsweek shouldn't have fucking retracted a goddamn thing about guards at Guantanamo giving the Koran a swirlie, which coincided with explosions of violence in Afghanistan. The press has become so used to being the Bush administration's crack whore that it doesn't realize when it's being fucked in the ass and the mouth by herpes-ridden cocks. And this is one of those times. What Newsweek has done is give Bush and the entire war apparatus a pass on torture. Dan Rather's "apology" on the Killian memo story effectively killed any questioning of Bush's Vietnam War punk out because those questions were tainted by the not-quite-checked-out documents rushed on the air.
Now the same will happen to any non-photographed allegations of torture or prisoner abuse. The Rude Pundit's ears bleed in anticipation of hearing Sean Hannity retch out, "Oh, you must be one of those who believed the Newsweek story" to anyone who says that prisoners at Guantanamo ought not be smeared with fake menstrual blood in order to get them to confess to anything. Once more, the Bush White House has stumbled into a way to divert the story away, away from systematic torture, away from false imprisonment, away from all of those horrors that have become the status quo for this America. Away from all the crimes committed in our names.
In its follow-up story, Newsweek quotes Col. Brad Blackner, Gitmo stooge, who says, "If you read the Al Qaeda training manual, they are trained to make allegations against the infidels." The Rude Pundit's actually read the Al-Qaeda training manual (readily available for your persual at the Smoking Gun), and it actually says nothing about making allegations against infidels. It does say that Allah disapproves of rumors. Oh, and the other thing about that? Many previously published and aired reports that talk about the desecration of the Koran are based on interviews with released Gitmo detainees. In other words, by definition they were not Al-Qaeda operatives. Unless, of course, now the military is saying Camp X-Ray is an Al-Qaeda training facility.
To wit (some of these and others are posted at Raw Story):
From ABC Radio in Australia, on August 5, 2004, said that David Hicks and Mamdouh Habib, released from Gitmo, claim that "guards would throw detainees' Korans down the toilet and shave them, to try to get them to abandon their Muslim faith." It was denied by Australia's Secretary of the Navy.
From ABC News, John Berman reporting on August 3, 2004 quoted a British citizen released from Gitmo: "Asif Iqbal says guards would 'kick the Koran, throw it in the toilet, and generally disrespect it.'" Indeed, this allegation was made in an October 2004 lawsuit filed by the four Britons wrongly detained by the U.S.
In March 2003, the Houston Chronicle reported on 18 released Afghan men who claimed that "American soldiers insulted Islam by sitting on the Koran or dumping their sacred text into a toilet." The Washington Post that same week had this quote: "Ehsannullah, 29, said American soldiers who initially questioned him in Kandahar before shipping him to Guantanamo hit him and taunted him by dumping the Koran in a toilet. 'It was a very bad situation for us,' said Ehsannullah, who comes from the home region of the Taliban leader, Mohammad Omar. 'We cried so much and shouted, "Please do not do that to the Holy Koran."'"
A January 9, 2005 report in the Seattle Times on Captain James Yee, suspected of spying but later found guilty of being horny, paraphrases Gitmo's former superintendent, Command Sgt. Maj. John VanNatta about the reasons Yee, as chaplain, would be called upon by prisoners: "One of their biggest complaints was of guards kicking their Qurans, flushing them down the toilets and disrespecting their religion." This was back in 2002. From a camp superintendent.
The riots weren't about flushing the Koran or the words of an American newsmagazine. That story's been around for years now. But it's become the story, as has Newsweek and its pussy editors. Apologies won't matter for this White House and its "allies" in the Muslim world. The White House wants Newsweek to be the beheaded corpse outside the Fourth Estate - a warning to all who would fuck with them. This is a blood game, and, motherfuckers, if you're not doing the cutting, you're the ones bleeding to death.
Clarification and/or Fuck Up: On page 13 of the Al-Qaeda Training Manual, militants are advised, as part of a mission to "overthrow . . . godless regimes," to take part in "Spreading rumors and writing statements that instigate people against the enemy." (Thanks to reader John M for the heads up.) While the Rude Pundit was referring to actions taken while in detention, certainly misinformation and diversion are Al-Qaeda tactics. Of course, this would apply if the former prisoners making the allegations were members of Al-Qaeda.