May 9th Newsweek published allegations that Guantanamo Bay interrogators had flushed a Qu’ran down a toilet. The incident allegedly occured during questioning of captured terrorists as a psychological tool to gain important intelligence information and was based on one anonymous source.
The resulting uproar in the Islamic world created riots and demonstrations of anti-American sentiment in Afghanistan, Indonesia and Gaza to name a few. This week brings confirmation that Newsweek is a card carrying member of the “lamestream media.”
Two weeks ago, in our issue dated May 9, Michael Isikoff and John Barry reported in a brief item in our periscope section that U.S. military investigators had found evidence that American guards at the detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, had committed infractions in trying to get terror suspects to talk, including in one case flushing a Qur’an down a toilet. Their information came from a knowledgeable U.S. government source, and before deciding whether to publish it we approached two separate Defense Department officials for comment. One declined to give us a response; the other challenged another aspect of the story but did not dispute the Qur’an charge.
Although other major news organizations had aired charges of Qur’an desecration based only on the testimony of detainees, we believed our story was newsworthy because a U.S. official said government investigators turned up this evidence. So we published the item. After several days, newspapers in Pakistan and Afghan-istan began running accounts of our story. At that point, as Evan Thomas, Ron Moreau and Sami Yousafzai report this week, the riots started and spread across the country, fanned by extremists and unhappiness over the economy.
Last Friday, a top Pentagon spokesman told us that a review of the probe cited in our story showed that it was never meant to look into charges of Qur’an desecration. The spokesman also said the Pentagon had investigated other desecration charges by detainees and found them “not credible.” Our original source later said he couldn’t be certain about reading of the alleged Qur’an incident in the report we cited, and said it might have been in other investigative documents or drafts. Top administration officials have promised to continue looking into the charges, and so will we. But we regret that we got any part of our story wrong, and extend our sympathies to victims of the violence and to the U.S. soldiers caught in its midst.
(Read more here) And the rebranding of media sources continues with the new and disproved “Newsweak.” Magazine.
Ace has it about right: “Fact-checking comes later… after a couple of newly-minted corpses.
And once again this stupid wench is pumping out the Rovian Plot theory, “The media once again is falling prey to the demands of the White House,” in explaining why a “Newsweak” retraction isn’t neccesary.