Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

Think at your own risk.
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Just to make it easy for Powerline and Limbaugh...
Pentagon spokesman Larry DiRita conveniently divided the Koranic abuse (and I'll asume any future abuse charges) into three explanatory branches: 1) it never happened, 2) they did it to themselves and 3) anyone who has made charges against U.S. forces is a member of al-Qaida.

From WaPo:

The Pentagon spokesman said uncorroborated log entries at the detention center refer to incidents in which detainees themselves "have, for whatever reason, torn pages from the Koran, et cetera." He said that so far, "the only types of practice that we've seen that correlates to what Newsweek said has to do with what detainees themselves did at Guantanamo."

Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has told reporters that in one unconfirmed Guantanamo log entry, "a detainee was reported by a guard to be ripping pages out of a Koran and putting them in a toilet to stop it up as a protest."

In any case, Di Rita said today, "there is a command philosophy [at Guantanamo] that is clearly one of treating religious items, including the Koran, with a great deal of respect." Nevertheless, he said, there have been instances "where a Koran may have fallen to the floor in the course of searching a cell" and a detainee complained that he was offended.

As for more serious allegations of desecration, Di Rita said, many detainees are members of the al Qaeda terrorist network who "were trained to allege abuse and torture and all manner of other things."

Keep in mind, however, that those former detainees making the charges, including at least one British citizen, are by definition, no longer incarcerated at Camp Delta. So if they made the charges because they are members of al-Qaida, why in the name of God did we let them go?

And what of the Americans, including a former Army translator, who have charged that blatant disrespect of religion is not only going on at Gitmo, but is going on as part of a program to break the detainees for interrogation? Are they members of al-Qaida too? Is Michael Isikoff? And can we now expect the Bush administration to dismiss any future charges of detainee abuse in Afghnistan, Iraq or elsewhere, to be brushed off as the crazed rantings of terrorists?

Sings point to "yes."

Irony Alert

By the way, more than a few people are noticing the White House's hypocrisy problem on this story, having committed the ultimate information blunder that got tens of thousands of people, including more than 1,600 American G.I.s, killed... including E&P and Michigan Rep. John Conyers.

Says Greg Mitchell in Editor:
But, really, you almost have to laugh when administration officials get all huffy about the U.S. losing respect in the Muslim world -- and the fact that “people have lost lives” -- because of the nugget in Newsweek, in the wake of Abu Ghraib, the confirmed deaths of dozens of prisoners in U.S. custody, the outsourcing of torture to Egypt and other countries, not to mention the killing of tens of thousands in Iraq in a war largely based on bogus tips from unreliable sources.

Adds Conyers, in an apparent letter to the White House:
There is, Conyers said, "a sad irony in this White House claiming that someone else's errors or misjudgments led to the loss of innocent lives. Over 1,600 Americans and tens of thousands of Iraqis have lost their lives in the Iraq war, a war which your Administration justified by falsely claiming that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction."
posted by JReid @ 4:47 PM  
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"I am for enhanced interrogation. I don't believe waterboarding is torture... I'll do it. I'll do it for charity." -- Sean Hannity
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