Friday Night Dump

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Friday Night Dump

It's 7:15 pm Friday night and the Pentagon has decided to put out a little after-hours confession that the Quran has been abused in military interrogations in dealing with prisonors of war, er, I mean "detainees" in Guantanamo Bay.
The Pentagon on Friday released new details about mishandling of the Quran at the Guantanamo Bay prison for terror suspects, confirming that a soldier deliberately kicked the Muslim holy book, and that an interrogator stepped on a Quran and was later fired for "a pattern of unacceptable behavior."

In other confirmed incidents, a guard's urine came through an air vent and splashed on a detainee and his Quran; water balloons thrown by prison guards caused an unspecified number of Qurans to get wet; and in a confirmed but ambiguous case, a two-word obscenity was written in English on the inside cover of a Quran.
But if that isn't enough of a story we find out how the how the controverial Newsweek article alleging Quran abuse had a role with an interesting twist.
The findings, released after normal business hours Friday evening, are among the results of an investigation last month by Brig. Gen. Jay Hood, the commander of the detention center in Cuba. The probe was triggered by a Newsweek magazine report -- later retracted -- that a U.S. soldier had flushed one Guantanamo Bay detainee's Quran down a toilet.
Adding insult to injury, our dear government delivers this news wrapped in a nice fat lie for extra flavor.
A Pentagon spokesman, Bryan Whitman, denied that the military was trying to bury bad news late on a Friday night, a tactic often used by government agencies. "It was completed and we try not to hold these things after their reviews are completed," Mr. Whitman said in a telephone interview.
It'll be interesting to see if this story catches the MSM's fancy over the weekend.

Also, just a curious aside, but what the hell are Gitmo prison guards doing with water balloons anyways? Is there such a thing as government issue water balloons?

In all seriousness, what I find most troubling is the ignorance of our own military-- do they not realize that to much of the Muslim world considers this is a religious war? Actions like this only further support their notion of a Christian holy war against Islam, a perspective that is very dangerous to ignore and we do so at our own peril because, as history instructs us, "Holy Wars" don't ever really end.

There hasn't been much of a real debate over the abuse of religious texts as an interrogation technique. While I stand very, very firm against torture, I do not think that abusing religious texts qualifies as torture. So, in theory, I don't have a problem with it. However, in practice, I think it's incredibly myopic and irresponsible. We will not win any "hearts and minds" in the Middle East using tactics such as these, if anything, we are only "aiding and abetting" the terrorists in their recruiting efforts.

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