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Thursday, May 26, 2005

Time for Newsweek to retract its retraction

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Detainees at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, alleged in 2002 that guards mistreated the Quran, according to some of the hundreds of FBI documents released by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The ACLU obtained the documents from the FBI through a federal court order in a lawsuit based on a Freedom of Information Act request. Most of them are records of detainee interviews with FBI agents.

According to the documents, released Wednesday by the ACLU, a detainee interviewed in August 2002 said guards had flushed a copy of the Quran in a toilet.
So, in the past two weeks, we've learned that a) the riots in Afghanistan had little to do with the Newsweek story--just one more sign and chant at the protests, and b) the story was almost certainly true in the basic facts--Koran abuse including throwing it in the toilet.

On the other hand, maybe the FBI hates America.

I'd say that Newsweek has lost much more credibility by not standing by its story than it did by running it. Meanwhile, the Bushies and their supporters haven't lost any credibility--because they had none to begin with.

In case you missed it, the Pat Tillman story--ex-NFL star shot down while heroically storming a hill in Afghanistan to rid the world of terrorists--is a total fabrication created by the Pentagon. Tillman was accidentally shot by his fellow Rangers, and the military immediately decided to spin the story another way, just like they did with Jessica Lynch:
The latest military investigation, exposed by the Post earlier this month, "showed that soldiers in Afghanistan knew almost immediately that they had killed Tillman by mistake in what they believed was a firefight with enemies on a tight canyon road. The investigation also revealed that soldiers later burned Tillman's uniform and body armor."

Patrick Tillman Sr., the father -- a lawyer, as it happens -- said he blames high-ranking Army officers for presenting "outright lies" to the family and to the public. "After it happened, all the people in positions of authority went out of their way to script this," he told the Post. "They purposely interfered with the investigation, they covered it up. I think they thought they could control it, and they realized that their recruiting efforts were going to go to hell in a handbasket if the truth about his death got out. They blew up their poster boy."

"Maybe lying's not a big deal anymore," he said. "Pat's dead, and this isn't going to bring him back. But these guys should have been held up to scrutiny, right up the chain of command, and no one has."

Mary Tillman, the mother, complained to the Post that the government used her son for weeks after his death. She said she was particularly offended when President Bush offered a taped memorial message to Tillman at a Cardinals football game shortly before the presidential election last fall.