Sunday, May 22, 2005

The wonders of fact-checking!

If Newsweek had even put the slightest bit of effort into fact-checking their inflammatory "flushed-Koran" story; they might have discovered this:

Log entries by the guards indicate that in about a dozen cases, the detainees themselves somehow damaged their Qur'ans. In one case a prisoner allegedly ripped up a Qur'an; in another a prisoner tore the cover off his Qur'an. In three cases, detainees tried to stuff pages from their Qur'ans down their toilets, according to the Defense Department's account of what is in the guards' reports. ...prison commanders concluded that certain hard-core prisoners would try to agitate the other detainees by alleging disrespect for Muslim articles of faith. of these incidents bears special notice. Last week, NEWSWEEK interviewed Command Sgt. John VanNatta, who served as the prison's warden from October 2002 to the fall of 2003. VanNatta recounted that in 2002, the inmates suddenly started yelling that the guards had thrown a Qur'an on or near an Asian-style squat toilet. The guards found an inmate who admitted that he had dropped his Qur'an near his toilet. According to VanNatta, the inmate then was taken cell to cell to explain this to other detainees to quell the unrest. But the incident could partly account for the multiple allegations among detainees...

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.

So this is it. Apparently, the only recorded cases of Koran desecration where those perfomed by Islamic terrorist themselves, in an attempt to cause unrest. Unless, of course, one considers the touching of a terrorist's Koran as an act worthy of riot and murder.

But the terrorist sympathizers that make up the mainstream media did not bother to check the facts; they saw an opportunity to embarrass the Bush administration and befoul America's image, and they jumped on it. The terrorists are many things, but stupid is not one of them; they know the media is looking for this type of red meat, and they feed it to them, in the form of baseless allegations, videotaped executions, and the mass murder of innocents. No mattter how henious the crime, they know that the media will absolve them, and blame their common enemies, the American people and their president, George W.Bush.

The media is now playing the same game that CBS played when the Rathergate documents were easily proven to be hoaxes; "False but true"/"Where there is smoke there is fire", etc. etc....

They are liars, and no matter how fast they dance, the audience is beginning to slip out of the theatre, first in trickles, now in droves....

Link to the above info here:
Great example of flatuant liberal media blame-Bush bombast here :

UPDATE: Washington Post treis to defend Newsweek by printing its own lies, and gets busted

A May 18 article incorrectly stated that former Army translator Erik Saar said in previous media interviews that guards at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, routinely tossed Korans on the ground. Saar has said there were "chronic problems" with the way military guards handled the Koran and failures to follow military procedures for respectfully handling the Muslim holy book when guards inspected cells, but he did not say that guards routinely tossed copies of the book.



The probligo said...

It really is very simple. It is a case, not of WHAT you believe, but WHO CAN you believe.

Personally, it is a long time since I took any of the American media seriously as an independent source on a given topic.

It is a long time since any pronouncement from the US Administration deserved the respect of acceptance without question.

These days, finding truth in American politics is as hard as making an honest after tax buck.

So, I tend to scratch around a circuit of sources including Reuters, NZ Herald, Xinhua, FT, USA Today, WaPo, FoxNews, NYT and Guardian. Sources from India and Indonesia are worth a look on some topics too.

VERY CAREFUL reading and balancing of the nuances that each like to stress can give a reasonable picture of events.

In the instances you have given, my own conclusions are -

There is something quite rotten at the bottom of Gitmo, and the detention centres in Iraq, and the many undisclosed interrogation centres.
The "truth" about these places will never be reliably disseminated publicly.
I have no doubt that there are people within the US Armed Forces who DESERVE trial for war crimes.
I also know without any doubt that those acts will never be punished. As an example, the three or four leading contenders for the (dubious) honour of releasing the photos of Saddam will probably meet tragic ends at the hands of Iraqi insurgents some time soon. It will be another tragic case of good men giving their lives for their country. There will be no trial, there will be no truth.

How would we ever know different?

Rich said...

If you can't trust the Press, who can you trust!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!