UPDATE: I fully realize that this Koran abuse story is just plain stupid. But I believe that it’s important to cover the coverage. It brings me no joy to do so, believe me. In fact, it really sucks the fun right out of writing.
If you feel that you just can’t take any more, please don’t abandon all hope. Simply follow this link to a story about how some Stryker soldiers rescued two Iraqi hostages in Mosul, one of them an Iraqi government official who had been abducted 58 days ago.
That’s the sort of thing we ought to be hearing more about.
This latest breaking Koran story sure has legs. The WaPo continues to crank out the information, and we are rapt with attention. Here’s the latest front page headline:
Yes, I know it’s the same headline that ran earlier for a story by Lexie Verdon. But it’s a good headline.
This latest installment reveals details too gory for prime time, but we’ll run them anyway:
[Brig. Gen. Jay W. Hood] said most of the 13 cases involved accidental or inadvertent touching of the Koran by guards and interrogators — such as someone bumping into the holy book, or one case when an interrogator stacked two Korans on a television.
He then went on to detail how many atrocities were committed by guards and how many were committed by interrogators.
Fortunately, the tone of this latest article is even-handed and informative:
Hood took pains to specifically deny a now-retracted report in Newsweek magazine’s May 9 issue that said officials had confirmed a detainee’s claim that a guard had flushed a Koran down a toilet. The White House, the Pentagon and others have linked that report to riots overseas that left 16 people dead.
Last time it was the “Bush administration” that linked the reports to “deadly riots overseas”. Now they not only elaborate on “deadly”, but they admit that it’s not just the Bush administration that links the Newsweek report to the riots.
Now, if we’re lucky, they’ll soon point out that some of the “others” that make the link are the rioters themselves.
But I’m not holding my breath.
It’s sort of surreal, actually, to read this story. If I didn’t know better, I’d think that Gen. Hood was the one most likely to be lying. He “characterized” some things. “Hood took pains to specifically deny” other things. “Hood emphasized” yet more things. But maybe I’m just thin-skinned.
Also, Guantanamo Bay is a government facility. Doesn’t the presence of the Koran and prayer time allowance threaten to tear down our precious separation of church and state? Just think of the example we’re setting for the Cubans.
The only problem I see with the incident where two Korans were accidentally stacked on top of a television set, however, is the fact that there was a television set present. What is that even doing there?
(I’d like to reiterate my belief that Newsweek’s decision to run the Koran flushing story was “unpatriotic”. This belief is not dependent upon the story being false. Last night, when I first noticed a new front page story in the Washington Post about the Koran, I gave them the benefit of the doubt as far as patriotism went. Give ’em an inch…)
Also, tomorrow is the day that an international day of protest was scheduled to occur according to some Pakistani religious leaders. I wasn’t able to figure out how prominent these particular guys were, and I don’t know if the big show is still on or not. We’ll see.
If it comes off, though, remember that it is specifically and particularly a day of demonstration over the Newsweek story. I fully expect media coverage to doubt the connection. If they do, they are intentionally LYING.