Skip to comments.White House Plays Down New Quran Reports (Barf Alert!!!)
Posted on 06/04/2005 1:36:34 PM PDT by Kaslin
CRAWFORD, Texas - A Pentagon report detailing incidents in which U.S. guards at Guantanamo Bay prison desecrated the Quran is creating another public relations challenge for President Bush.
Two weeks ago, the White House was thrown on the defensive by a now-retracted Newsweek report alleging that U.S. interrogators at the detention center for alleged terrorists in Cuba had flushed a Quran down a toilet.
The story stirred worldwide controversy and the Bush administration blamed it for deadly demonstrations in Afghanistan. Saying America's image abroad had suffered irreparable damage, the White House responded with a verbal offensive against the media.
On Saturday, a day after the Pentagon described a series of cases of U.S. personnel mishandling the Quran, the White House downplayed the issue.
"It is unfortunate that some have chosen to take out of context a few isolated incidents by a few individuals," presidential spokesman Scott McClellan said in a statement.
Joe Lockhart, former press secretary for President Clinton, said that when a news organization such as Newsweek makes a factual mistake, White House officials are tempted to try to discredit the entire story.
"I think on this issue, they fell into a trap," Lockhart said. "They saw a way to push back on a damaging story by making it look like it was just out-of-control journalists, and now they've had to admit that it has happened."
McClellan's statements after the Newsweek report left an impression that no desecration at all had occurred at Guantanamo, Lockhart said.
"While the news organization got an example wrong, they got the practice right," he said. "I think certainly the public is within their right, in this case, to believe they were misled."
The Pentagon confirmed Friday evening after the networks' evening news shows had aired that a U.S. soldier had deliberately kicked a prisoner's holy book. The report also said prison guards had thrown water balloons in a cell block, causing an unspecified number of Qurans to get wet; a guard's urine had splashed on a detainee and his Quran; an interrogator had stepped on a Quran during an interrogation; and a two-word obscenity had been written in English on the inside cover of a Quran.
Pentagon officials said the problems were relatively minor and U.S. commanders have gone to great lengths to enable detainees to practice their religion.
White House officials noted that the investigation last month, by Brig. Gen. Jay Hood, the commander of the detention center, also found 15 cases of detainees mishandling their own Qurans.
"These included using a Quran as a pillow, ripping pages out of the Quran, attempting to flush a Quran down the toilet and urinating on the Quran," Hood's report said. It offered no possible explanation for the detainees' actions.
McClellan declined to answer questions about whether the White House issued misleading statements, whether the credibility of the Bush administration had been tarnished or whether the Pentagon report would hamper Bush's efforts to spread democracy in the Middle East.
On her goodwill trip to the Middle East last month, first lady Laura Bush said Newsweek should not be solely blamed for the deadly protests that followed its report.
"In the United States if there's a terrible report, people don't riot and kill other people," she said. "And you can't excuse what they did because of the mistake you know, you can't blame it all on Newsweek."
"We've had terrible happenings that have really, really hurt our image of the United States," she said. "And people in the United States are sick about it."
It's about time somebody said this. I've always wondered why Mrs. Bush wasn't more of a presence throughout the last election. My respect for her is consistently reaching new highs.
"These included using a Quran as a pillow, ripping pages out of the Quran, attempting to flush a Quran down the toilet and urinating on the Quran," Hood's report said. It offered no possible explanation for the detainees' actions."
The Hood report cited three separate incidents in which detainees tried to flush the Quran down the toilet.
In one incident, on February 23, 2004, the report said a guard saw a "detainee place two Qurans in his toilet and state he no longer cared about the Quran or his religion.
Five minutes later, after the detainee retrieved the Qurans, he ripped several pages out of one Quran and threw the pages on the floor. Then, he placed both Qurans on the sink."
Another time, on January 19, 2005, a detainee "tore up his Quran and tried to flush it down the toilet. Four guards witnessed the incident," the report said.
The report also cited 12 other incidents by detainees, including one who used his Quran as a pillow, another who urinated on his holy book and several who ripped pages from the Quran.
Capt. Jeff Weir, an Army spokesman at the facility, told CNN in a phone interview that the detainees were typically trying to stage some form of protest when they mishandled the Quran.
For a great link on some artilces on the truth about the Koran, visit:
And so this week, the media strikes back like a 3 year old child.
Sorry it won't cyber link
To DEB RIECHMANN, and whomever else presumes to define for me subjects deemed "important" enough to disrupt the functions of my formally elected government, to endanger our troops around the world, and to bring disgrace to my country. Don't bother.
I can't take you seriously, since in my lifetime, you have yet to demonstrate any consistency and sanity whatsoever.
Show me one instance where the word "desecration" has been used previously when any religion is insulted, abused and mocked in any way, including our overwhelmingly traditional Christian one.
Show me where you are authorized to allow (by repeating and publishing) any foreign country, group or individual to define criminal activity by an American or on behalf of the U.S.
In short, I don't have time to entertain manufactured crises, calculated to disrupt and deflect time energy and expense from the pressing functions of government.
I just wish I could say the same for my President and other elected officials.
In other words, buzz off!/
where are the whiners when the muslims burn our flag or desicrate the bible?Do we throw a fit and kill each other over it? get a grip people! I'd be ashamed if our government actually lowered themselves to make a real issue of this crud.
Where is the outrage over the desecration of an American Military Toilet in such a demeaning manor?? I'm ready to riot. I want my reperations. Now.
Your mission in life, whether or not you wish to accept it, is to post that picture EACH time you see some stupid story about this book.
Call me insensitive, but I really don't give a sh*t if they were...had it been the Bible it would have gotten no mention at all. We have to stop kissing the
Muslims Islamofascist terrorists a$$es...isn't that what freedom of religion and speech is all about?
I hear it makes great toilet paper too.