Sunday, May 15, 2005

Wait A Second

If you were one of the few who read the actual Newsweek "Editors Note" on the Koran having been desecrated in Guantanamo (in the toilet), you might get a different impression than the way the story has been reported in the press. According to nearly everything on the wires now, this is being called this "an apology," admitting error or calling the the info just plain "wrong."

Turns out there was no apology from Newsweek, just regret for the dozen killed and very inconvenient dust having been kicked up. The supposed "error" relates to a minor clairification of detail from a key Bush Administration source who still "clearly recalled reading investigative reports (in Military docs) about mishandling the Qur'an, including a toilet incident." After the massive pressure put to bear, the source now says s/he can not be sure the info was in the final Pentagon report... perhaps just a Government Investigator report. SO WHAT!!! THIS IS NOT AN APOLOGY!!

What the hell is going on media?? Are we supposed to feel good and think the world is going to forget about this just because the Pentagon brass did not choose to include this in their final report on abuses in Gitmo? This is information that was reported in the Western press more than once already... by innocents (one a journalist) who were let free... as well as corroborated in some sort of official military report - by a Bush Official. But it didn't make it in the final Southcom report. What a suprise considering the forthrightness we have come to expect from the Pentagon.


Blogger Mark D. Glesne said...

'Editor Mark Whitaker said the magazine inaccurately reported that U.S. military investigators had confirmed that personnel at the detention facility in Cuba had flushed the Muslim holy book down the toilet.'

'"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," Whitaker wrote in the magazine's latest issue, due to appear on U.S. newsstands on Monday.'

"We regret that we got any part of our story wrong" ... sounds like an apology for false reporting to me.

10:14 AM  
Blogger Mark D. Glesne said...

'"Based on what we know now, we are retracting our original story that an internal military investigation had uncovered Koran abuse at Guantanamo Bay," Newsweek Editor Mark Whitaker said in a statement, a day after apologizing for the report.'

5:04 PM  
Blogger Mark D. Glesne said...

'KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - Afghanistan's government said Tuesday that Newsweek should be held responsible for damages caused by deadly anti-American demonstrations after the magazine alleged U.S. desecration of the Quran, and it suggested that foreign forces may have helped turn protests violent.

Pakistan joined the international criticism of the magazine's article and said Newsweek's apology and retraction were "not enough."'

1:00 PM  
Blogger Mark D. Glesne said...

Excerpts from 'A Letter to Our Readers', Newsweek

May 30 issue - "... As most of you know, we have unequivocally retracted our story. In the light of the Pentagon's denials and our source's changing position on the allegation, the only responsible course was to say that we no longer stand by our story.

We have also offered a sincere apology to our readers and especially to anyone affected by violence that may have been related to what we published. To the extent that our story played a role in contributing to such violence, we are deeply sorry.

Let me assure both our readers and our staffers that NEWSWEEK remains every bit as committed to honest, independent and accurate reporting as we always have been. In this case, however, we got an important story wrong, and honor requires us to admit our mistake and redouble our efforts to make sure that nothing like this ever happens again."

Face it Matt: Newsweek has admitted their story was wrong... you might - for the sake of your own reputation - want to follow suit.

10:49 AM  
Blogger leftside said...

Mark, I know you are not stupid and your quoting tells me you;ve actually read Newsweek's explanations, so why do I still have to defend my modest points?

All I was doing was simplifying the facts on why they retracted. I was hoping I didn't have to repeat it again... the "single source "wasn't sure" he'd read the Koran allegations in the final Pentagon report or another report. The phantom second source was actually a Pentagon official who cleared the Koran portion of the story by not having a problem with it. The allegation of Koran abuse are many, detailed and varied. The Admin. did not deny a story about Koran abuse havng sparked hunger strikes in Gitmo in the NY Times....

You can quote the weak-kneed editors at Newsweek all you want but until you show me something different than these facts, the Newsweek retraction just makes my position of media cowardice in the face of power stronger

8:35 PM  
Blogger Mark D. Glesne said...

WASHINGTON, May 26 - The American military commander at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, said today that investigators had found "no credible evidence" that a Koran had ever been flushed down a toilet there to unsettle detainees, and no serious incidents of intentional mishandling of the Muslim holy book by Americans.

The commander, Brig. Gen. Jay W. Hood of the Army, said 13 possible incidents had been investigated in which the book might have been mishandled: 10 by guards and 3 by interrogators. Of the 13, only 5 embody "what could be broadly defined as mishandling of a Koran," the general said, but declined to provide details.

In several other incidents, he said, guards had accidentally touched the book or touched it "within the scope of their duties." And in two other incidents, both involving interrogations, there was possible inadvertent mishandling, General Hood said.

"We've also identified 15 incidents where detainees mishandled or inappropriately treated the Koran, one of which was the specific example of a detainee who ripped pages out of their own Koran," the general said.

The general's Pentagon briefing was part of an attempt to quell bitter feelings in the Muslim world sparked by reports of mistreatment of the holy book. General Hood said he was confident that the guard force's procedures for handling the book were adequate, but he also said that they were continually reviewed.

9:18 AM  
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