Max Boot says:
All the headlines about “Abuse of the Koran at Gitmo” are absolutely accurate. Brig. Gen. Jay Hood’s internal investigation has uncovered some shocking incidents. On at least six occasions, Korans were ripped up. They were urinated on three times, and attempts were made to flush them down the toilet at least three other times.
Why aren’t millions of Muslims rioting in response to these defilements? Because the perpetrators were prisoners, not guards. As John Hinderaker notes on weeklystandard.com, the most serious desecrations of the Koran at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility were committed by the Muslim inmates themselves.
Far from confirming accusations of American depravity, what the report actually shows is that Guantanamo is the first gulag in history run on the principle that no sensibility of the inmates should be offended, no matter how inadvertently.
The Hood report suggests that, for the most part, this elaborate etiquette is obeyed. The worst lapse, splashed (so to speak) across front pages around the world, occurred March 25, when a guard urinated outside an air vent and some of his urine blew into a cell and onto an inmate and his Koran. Human rights absolutists should be relieved (sorry, can’t help myself) to know that the detainee received a fresh uniform and a new Koran, and the guard was reprimanded and reassigned.
That’s the most heinous case of Koran abuse by Gitmo personnel. The four other verified incidents involved an interrogator kicking a Koran, guards accidentally getting a Koran wet with water, an interrogator (subsequently fired) stepping on a Koran and a “two-word obscenity” mysteriously appearing on the inside cover of a Koran.
More serious incidents of Koran abuse by Americans conceivably could come to light, but it is clear that anyone who did so would be acting against orders. Reading the Hood report — which is by one count the 189th (no kidding) Defense Department investigation of how prisoners in the war on terrorism are treated — I couldn’t help but think: Too bad Muslims don’t show the same exquisite concern for the sensibilities of others.
Robert in the comments of an earlier post suggests that the Newsweek report of a Koran being flushed down the toilet and implicitly other systemic abuse is “reasonably accurate.” I suppose it depends on what the meaning of “accurate” is.
In that comment Robert also says that Guantanimo has been a symbol of malintent. Perhaps that is because the mdiea reports every allegation of prisoner abuse as if it was fact and is skeptical of any claims by or for the US. Heather MacDonald notes:
It may be true that Guantanamo Bay has become synonymous with lawlessness throughout vast swathes of the Western and Muslim worlds. But no one is more responsible for that reputation than the New York Times, Newsweek, the Washington Post, and other mainstream media outlets, which have never encountered a prisoner-abuse story that they didn’t find credible and worthy of broadcast.
Read the whole thing for details of the misreportage and active spin against the facility and implicitly. But the best coverage of this issue is Lileks He quotes an article in Time magazine on the “torture” at Guantanamo and comments:
The techniques Rumsfeld balked at included “use of a wet towel or dripping water to induce the misperception of suffocation.” “Our Armed Forces are trained,” a Pentagon memo on the changes read, “to a standard of interrogation that reflects a tradition of restraint.” Nevertheless, the log shows that interrogators poured bottles of water on al-Qahtani’s head when he refused to drink. Interrogators called this game “Drink Water or Wear It.”
This is how articles are written, conventional wisdom chopped pressed and formed: the techniques Rumsfeld “balked at” – meaning, I assume, did not permit – did not include actual suffocation, but the use of a wet towel that would induce the misperception of an emanation of a penumbra of suffocation. NEVERTHELESS. Key word, that. Lines crossed not in fact but in spirit. He balked at fake suffocation, aye; NEVERTHELESS the climate of pain and retribution did not forbid men from freely dumping bottles of Dasani on the heads of the detainees. Why, it was a game to the interrogators. “Drink Water or Wear it.” Spiritually, it’s a first cousin to Saddam’s game, “Use Tongue Then Lose It.”
After the new measures are approved, the mood in al-Qahtani’s interrogation booth changes dramatically. The interrogation sessions lengthen. The quizzing now starts at midnight, and when Detainee 063 dozes off, interrogators rouse him by dripping water on his head or playing Christina Aguilera music.
Djinni in a bottle, no doubt.
According to the log, his handlers at one point perform a puppet show “satirizing the detainee’s involvement with al-Qaeda.”
So Doug is part of the torture crew, then. From the ever-prescient Pythons:
Vercotti: Doug (takes a drink) Well, I was terrified. Everyone was terrified of Doug. I’ve seen grown men pull their own heads off rather than see Doug. Even Dinsdale was frightened of Doug.
2nd Interviewer: What did he do?
Vercotti: He used… sarcasm. He knew all the tricks, dramatic irony, metaphor, bathos, puns, parody, litotes and… satire. He was vicious.
Lileks is incredibly funny and it is worth reading the whole thing for the humor alone, but his point is brutually clear. This is spin by the US media not any actual abuse and certainly not anything the rest of the world would otherwise recognize as abuse.
He is taken to a new interrogation booth, which is decorated with pictures of 9/11 victims, American flags and red lights. He has to stand for the playing of the U.S. national anthem.
Okay, this is torture. But only if you’re interrogating a poster on the Democratic Underground.
His head and beard are shaved. He is returned to his original interrogation booth. A picture of a 9/11 victim is taped to his trousers. Al-Qahtani repeats that he will “not talk until he is interrogated the proper way.”
Meaning what? Forced to kneel before a camera and confess you’re a Jew before your head is sawed off?
In addition to more coverage of the abuse of people, the MSM coverage also neglects coverage of the abuse of our symbols. Gateway Pundit notes:
It is interesting how the news media today will jump on a story if it denigrates our military or our country. The media may get their facts from an anonymous source and rush to print it in a major newspaper or weekly magazine. The story may turn out to be inaccurate. The original accuser may even retract his accusations. But, the damage is already done and our media moves on to their next anonymous sourced Anti-American story.
Yet, here tonight there is actual footage of Muslims burning, spitting on, and making urinals out off our American Flag. And, as US citizens we are supposed to get immuned to a lot of this. Many people believe that we even deserve this! We constantly see Muslims spit on and burn effigies of our president, threaten our country with the words (in English) on their posters, spit on the symbols of our nation, and now today, piss on our flag and our president!
Read the posts to see the imagery of these protests. He catalogs a bunch of protests that were not covered by the major media.
At the end of his post, Robert calls me to account for demanding more responsibility of Newsweek and the other MSM. He thinks I am being inconsistent or irresponsible for calling Newsweek to account for its lies. He is intent on protecting Newsweek from any sort of legal liability associated with the deaths it caused. He implicitly admits that Newsweek is guilty of its crimes even as he explicitly tries to deny it. He just suggests that the punishment should be competition from other media. I’m ok with that punishment, but then I expect explicit condemnation of newsweek’s reportage from people like Robert, not mealy mouthed defense as “reasonably accurate.” Robert when you stand up and say that people should stop subscribing to Newsweek while they are being this irresponsible with the truth, I will back down on demanding punishment.