The weekly news magazine, Newsweek, has dropped a story involving the desecration of the Muslim holy book, the Quran, during an interrogation at
Guantanamo Bay by U.S. personel. The story was, and the information it brought into the light, was blamed for rallys, attacks, 15 deaths, and dozens
of injuries in Afghanistan this week. However, the other side of this story is that it all may not be as it seems. Newsweek is working to confirm its
sources, as it can now be sure they are credible.
Newsweek magazine backed away Sunday from a report that U.S. interrogators desecrated copies of the Quran while questioning prisoners at the
Guantanamo Bay naval base -- an account blamed for sparking violent riots in Afghanistan.
At least 15 people were killed and dozens injured last week when thousands of demonstrators marched in Afghanistan and other parts of the Muslim
world, officials and eyewitnesses said.
Violent protests broke out in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, and elsewhere last week after the magazine cited sources saying investigators looking into
abuses at the military prison found interrogators "had placed Qurans on toilets, and in at least one case flushed a holy book down the toilet."
Muslims revere the Quran, and defacing it "is especially heinous," Newsweek wrote in its latest issue.
At a Pentagon press conference Thursday, Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, cited U.S. commanders as saying the protests in
Jalalabad, at least, were more about local politics than anti-American sentiment stirred by the Newsweek report.
A day later, Isikoff reached his source again, who said that although he remembered reading investigative reports about desecration of the Quran,
including a toilet incident, "he could no longer be sure that these concerns had surfaced in the [Southern Command] report."
DiRita "exploded" when Newsweek informed him that one of the original sources behind the report had partially backed off the story, the magazine
"People are dead because of what this son of a bitch said," DiRita told Newsweek, according to the magazine's report. "How could he be credible now?"
DiRita confirmed the quote to CNN.
He said investigators have found nothing to support allegations that U.S. troops had desecrated copies of the Quran, but turned up one case he said
has now led to stricter procedures at the prison camp.
In that case, a Quran fell to the floor during a routine search, he said. The book was encased in surgical mask, which prisoners at the facility are
given to protect the book.
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It is absolutley appaling to hear that people working for the United States of America would do something so henious as flushing a book that is held
as holy by a people down a toilet. I find it impossible to believe that no where in their mind during the proccess, these interrogators said "maybe
this is wrong." There would be riots in the streets if prisoners in our prisons had Bibles flushed before their eyes, so it is understandable that
the people of Afghanistan would be so furious with these actions.
However, with the second piece of information, that this story may not be true, I would be even more appalled. 15 people are no longer on this earth
because of the story Newsweek ran. If it published a story without confirming its sources that is directly responsible for peoples injuries and/or
deaths, then there should be a far reaching and thorough investigation into how Newsweek conducts its news gathering.
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