Friday, February 17, 2006

Daily Telegraph Visits Gitmo

The British paper The Daily Telegraph offered up an inside look at Guntanamo Bay and the dentention center which holds roughly 500 Al Quaeda and Taliban fighters captured whe the U.S. invaded Afghanistan in response to the brutal murder of 3000 Americans on 9/11. The article is fairly straightforward and paints a picture of a well kept facility. It also notes that this was a significant upgrade from the original conditions but for the most part it is good prison life as prison life goes. However, there is one portion of the article that jumps right off the page at you. While discussing the handling of certain uncooperative prisoners the Telegraph article says:

It is during incidents such as this that the guards have responded in controversial ways, such as abusing the Koran (the famous incident of a Koran being flushed down a prison lavatory is alleged to occurred during one such confrontation.) But fearful of a repetition of the prisoner abuse that occurred at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, the guards are under instructions not to retaliate.

Was that the Koran flushing incident of Newsweek fame I see passing before my eyes? The very incident which was proven to have been false at best or at worst not even perpetrated by a U.S. soldier? Yet the Telegraph article just tosses the allegation out there in the context of discussing how guards deal with prisoners who continue to resist. They do use the word "allege" but if on hand you raise the possibility that guard are abusing the Koran, then parentheitically point to a known incident as having allegedly occured right after than your are essentially tying the two together and giving validation to the latter. The incident which was reported by Newsweek and led to riots in the Muslim world(surprise!) was based on one unnamed source and later proven to have been a lie. Apparently the Telegraph did not get the memo or they actually believe the story to be true as originally told. Whatever the case may be, it is obvious this was an attempt to smear U.S. soldiers with an incident that they never committed in the first place.

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