Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Newsweek, inmates, and the Koran

I haven't said much about Newsweek erroneously printing that American soldiers flushed the Koran down a toilet. But I don't know that there's much to say. I'm not shocked that we can't trust Newsweek, but more so, I have a hard time believing that this Newsweek story caused the riots in Afghanistan. I mean, maybe it's what set them off, and certainly Newsweek should be held accountable for this in some way, but they were looking for a reason to riot I would say.

But there's another issue here. There's talk that Newsweek is right in concept, if wrong in this particular circumstance. The old "Fake but Accurate defense." People seem to be buying into this because on MSNBC a few minutess ago, they quoted some viewer writing in and saying that he is sure that this type of thing has happened that other inmates at Gitmo have said the same thing and that "Newsweek is a victim of intimidation by the Pentagon."

Uh...I don't think so.

First, how did this random viewer hear reports from former Gitmo inmates? And...are they reputable sources in their own right? If they can make such statements and create riots in the middle east and encourage the insurgency, then they will make the statements, true or not.

Glenn Beck was talking about this today as well and he said something interesting: If he was a POW and something started flushing a Bible down the toilet, even as a strong Christian, it wouldn't make him start talking. I mean, if I saw that I wouldn't think, "Oh no, don't flush the Bible, I'll tell you all the top secret information that I have if you'll only stop before you get to Deuteronomy!!" (Because not having to read Leviticus again doesn't sound so bad, does it?)

Seriously though, as Glenn said this morning, his faith in Jesus is in his heart and a single Bible. And a caller on the show said that if someone in America had flushed the Bible down the toilet, it would be seen as a beautiful display of free speech.

So bottom line: flushing a Koran doesn't seem like an effective interrogation tactic nor does it seem like a reason to get so fired up.

Oh and I should also mentioned that live on the air this morning, a producer for the Glenn Beck show flushed his NEWSWEEK down the toilet one page at a time.