Monday, May 16, 2005

Thanks Newsweek!

Newsweek, in its May 9th issue, reported that American interrogators at Gunatanamo Bay, Cuba had flushed a copy of the Koran down a toilet.

Islamists in Pakistan soon seized on this report to stoke anti-American sentiments. In Afghanistan, violent protests in a number of cities claimed 15 lives, while smaller incidents took place in Pakistan, Indonesia, and the Gaza Strip. Bloggers such as Roger L. Simon were virtually alone in pointing out the flimsy, anonymous sourcing behind Newsweek's article.

On Sunday, Newsweek admitted that the anonymous source it cited could not, in fact, corroborate the Koran allegation. Unfortunately, the damage is already done. 15 people are dead, and American lives have been put at risk. The US has spent three and a half years, billions of dollars, and most importantly, 141 lives building a decent, democratic Afghanistan. In its grossly irresponsible rush to publish a story that would embarrass the Bush Administration, Newsweek has jeopardised these efforts and handed our enemies a major propaganda victory. All on the basis of an anonymous source who didn't know what he was talking about. In the words of Pentagon spokesman Lawrence DiRita:

"People are dead because of what this son of a bitch said. How could he be credible now?"


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