Monday, May 16, 2005

Huh. Is Newsweek Lying?

It's a sad state of affairs when the first thing I thought this morning upon hearing from NPR that Newsweek was potentially "retracting" their story about desecrations of the Koran at Guantanamo Bay was, "well I'll be, they pressured NW into lying".

Oh, look, Plaidder's got a tip on this one: Newsweek Got Gitmo Right.

"A former interrogator at Guantanamo, in an interview with the Times, confirmed the accounts of the hunger strikes, including the public expression of regret over the treatment of the Korans." (Neil A. Lewis and Eric Schmitt, "Inquiry Finds Abuses at Guantanamo Bay," New York Times, May 1, 2005.)

"The behavior of the guards towards our religious practices as well as the Koran was also, in my view, designed to cause us as much distress as possible. They would kick the Koran, throw it into the toilet, and generally disrespect it." Center for Constitutional Rights, 2004.


Returning Afghans Talk of Guantanamo, 2003

The People the Law Forgot (Part One) (Part Two) Dec 2003.

So. How about that. That's three years worth.

Islam as interrogation tool: need for limits?

Army Sgt. Erik Saar couldn't wait to get to Guantánamo Bay to help ferret information from the terrorists being held there. When the intelligence linguist arrived, however, he was startled to hear the Muslim call to prayer. Why, he wondered, would America make such a "concession to the religious zealotry" of the detainees?

Tell me, would anyone think that question if the detainees were Christian?

Yet as he worked as an interpreter in the cell blocks and interrogation rooms, Sergeant Saar's attitude changed. Methods that demeaned Islamic beliefs and tried to make detainees feel separate from God struck him as counterproductive. They not only failed to produce information, he says, but also fueled the sense there and abroad that the US is at war with Islam.

Well, duh. Not duh to you, Sgt, just duh. Of course they would have that effect. I mean, it makes sense, doesn't it? Once you know what the Koran actually means to Muslims?

Why Koran is such a hot button

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