King George, The Koran & Newsweak
Torture, rendition and murder are par for the course, but desecrating the Muslim holy book is "abhorrent", says Condi.
...While U.S. authorities have not denied outright that incidents involving the Qur’an have occurred at Guantanamo, General Richard Myers, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said last week that no evidence had been found yet to back the allegations.
But in the face of the widespread protests, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice last week decried the desecration of any holy text as "abhorrent" and promised that any offenders at Guantanamo would face "appropriate action".
U.S. officials opened an investigation, but maintained that members of the Guantanamo security force were sensitive to the religious beliefs and practices of the detainees in U.S. custody, reports Reuters.
U.S. national security adviser Stephen Hadley earlier on Sunday stressed the report had not been confirmed. "If it turns out to be true, obviously we will take action against those responsible," Hadley said on CNN's "Late Edition."
The May 9 report, which appeared as a brief item by Michael Isikoff and John Barry in Newsweek’s "Periscope" section, had a huge international impact, sparking the protests from Muslims who consider the Qur’an the literal word of God and treat each book with deep reverence, reports Reuters.
Newsweek, which said opponents of the Afghan government including remnants of the Taliban had used its report to fan unrest in the country, said it was not contemplating disciplinary action against staff, the news agency reports.
"This was reported very carefully, with great sensitivity and concern, and we'll continue to report on it," said Newsweek Managing Editor Jon Meacham. "We have tried to be transparent about exactly what happened, and we leave it to the readers to judge us."
"The issue here is to get the truth out, to acknowledge as quickly as possible what happened, and that's what we're trying to do," Newsweek Washington Bureau Chief Daniel Klaidman told the "CBS Evening News" on Sunday, reports the Associated Press.
The White House said Monday that Newsweek's response was insufficient, the news agency reports.
"It's puzzling that while Newsweek now acknowledges that they got the facts wrong, they refused to retract the story," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said. "I think there's a certain journalistic standard that should be met and in this instance it was not."
Sure it is... wink, wink.
Who says the Bush Machine isn't transparent?