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Monday, May 16, 2005
 
When "Sorry" Just Isn't Enough
by Cordeiro
Last week, Newsweek put forth a story detailing the "desecration" of a copy of the Qur'an at the detention center at the US Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay. How was this sacred text allegedly desecrated? It was supposedly flushed down the toilet in order to make a terrorist spill his guts.

The story was flamboyant. It was front page news. It was explosive.

The story is false.

From the Newsweek Editor's Desk:

Last Friday, a top Pentagon spokesman told us that a review of the probe cited in our story showed that it was never meant to look into charges of Qur'an desecration. The spokesman also said the Pentagon had investigated other desecration charges by detainees and found them "not credible." Our original source later said he couldn't be certain about reading of the alleged Qur'an incident in the report we cited, and said it might have been in other investigative documents or drafts. Top administration officials have promised to continue looking into the charges, and so will we. But 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.
What were the results of Newsweek's sorry excuse for journalism? Let's review:

Fifteen dead, many more injured - several relief buildings burned to the foundations. Years of coalition building with Muslims - creating a credible force against worldwide terrorism - set back who knows how far.

That's right, dear reader. Newsweek's May 8th Periscope column written by Michael Isikoff and John Barry touched off riots and violence that cost the lives of 15 people and put American soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines in harm's way. It was based on one anonymous source and uncorroborated by anyone or anything else.

I could go on and further vilify Newsweek, but Colonel David Hunt, US Army (Retired) sums up my thoughts rather nicely:

This is a lie. This is [a] criminal act as far as I'm concerned. People died. A lot worse things should happen to Newsweek than ... making this half-assed apology. It's treasonous at worst. How about not hurting the war? How about causing no harm? I think Newsweek should lose every reader it ever had.
Well said Colonel.

Here endeth the lesson.
1 Comment(s):
This is a lie. This is [a] criminal act as far as I'm concerned. People died. A lot worse things should happen to Newsweek than ... making this half-assed apology. It's treasonous at worst.

I agree that it was terribly irresponsible for Newsweek to publish something so wrong without verifying everything first, but hell, isn't that what the CIA, MI5, and other intelligence agencies did involving Iraqi WMD? I don't believe Newsweek was trying to commit treason or even wanted any reaction beyond larger readership.

Besides, anyone that thinks this one article alone caused these riots is a moron that's been listening to the MSM way too long.
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