Sunday, May 22, 2005

These are the Other Koran Allegations? 

Newsweek shines a little light into the further corners of all the supporting allegations of Koran abuse. This is to their credit, assuming it's intentional.

In fewer than a dozen log entries from the 31,000 documents reviewed so far, said Di Rita, there is a mention of detainees' complaining that guards or interrogators mishandled their Qur'ans. In one case, a female guard allegedly knocked a Qur'an from its pouch onto the detainee's bed. In another alleged case, said Di Rita, detainees became upset after two MPs, looking for contraband, felt the pouch containing a prisoner's Qur'an. While questioning a detainee, an interrogator allegedly put a Qur'an on top of a TV set, took it off when the detainee complained, then put it back on. In another alleged instance, guards somehow sprayed water on a detainee's Qur'an. This handful of alleged cases came out of thousands of daily interactions between guards and prisoners, said Di Rita. None has been substantiated yet, he said.

In December 2002, a guard inadvertently knocked a Qur'an from its pouch onto the floor of a detainee's cell, Di Rita said. A number of detainees protested. That January, partly in response to the incident and partly to provide precise guidelines for new guards and interrogators, the Guantanamo commanders issued precise rules to respect the "cultural dignity of the Koran thereby reducing the friction over the searching of the Korans." Only chaplains or Muslim interpreters were allowed to inspect detainees' Qur'ans. "Two hands will be used at all times when handling Korans in a manner signaling respect and reverence," the rules state. "Ensure that the Koran is not placed in offensive areas such as the floor, near the toilet or sink, near the feet, or dirty/wet areas..."

Di Rita said that the Pentagon may look further into the reports found in the logs. The Pentagon is not ruling out the possibility of finding credible reports of Qur'an desecration. But so far, said Di Rita, it has not found any.
I'm trying to think of something clever, inciteful and witty to say about this. But I'm not sure I can top the simple text. When people are justifying the false reports by pointing out all the other allegations, they'd best check out what they're talking about before playing for double or nothing with their credibility.

What have we got?

We have a false report. We have numerous ridiculous cases of inadvertent, meaningless, or even staged "desecrations". We have training manuals from the inmates' organization teaching them to stage this theatre of the absurd for political advantage.

Please stop giving it to them.
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