04. June 2005 · Comments Off on Koran Mishandling Report Released · Categories: Military

Some interesting stuff from AP:

WASHINGTON – U.S. military officials say no guard at the Guantanamo Bay prison for terror suspects flushed a detainee’s Quran down the toilet, but they disclosed that a Muslim holy book was splashed with urine. In other newly disclosed incidents, a detainee’s Quran was deliberately kicked and another’s was stepped on.

On March 25, a detainee complained to guards that “urine came through an air vent” and splashed on him and his Quran. A guard admitted he was at fault, but a report released Friday evening offering new details about Quran mishandling incidents did not make clear whether the guard intended the result.

In another confirmed incident, 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.

What are guards doing tossing water balloons in the detention area?

But it seems some detainees my be harder on their Korans than the guards:

Hood also said his investigation found 15 cases of detainees mishandling their own Qurans. “These included using a Quran as a pillow, ripping pages out of the Quran, attempting to flush a Quran down the toilet and urinating on the Quran,” Hood’s report said. It offered no possible explanation for the detainees’ motives.

In the most recent of those 15 cases, a detainee on Feb. 18 allegedly ripped up his Quran and handed it to a guard, stating that he had given up on being a Muslim. Several guards witnessed this, Hood reported.

I doubt there will be any outrage on the “Islamic Street” about those incidents though.

Update: Similar, but more extended comments from Austin Bay here. I particularly like this:

The big joke, however, is on all of us who bother discussing the”Koran mishandling” issue– and that includes Newsweek and its initial “Koran flushing” report. Our focus is Mickey Mouse, in the pejorative sense Disney despises. The big story is the tragically dysfunctional Arab Muslim Middle East that exports its religious and tribal wars as mass terror. The secondary tragedy is spoiled, privileged fools who fail to realize their beautiful liberty is protected by awkward power – and I say awkward, not evil. (That’s an indriect way of telling Noam Chomsky to get a life.) Here’s the upside: The US and its allies –its overt and covert allies– are winning this intricate war, but like a bunch of yammering chumps we’re catatonic about kicking a Koran and a jerk urinating in a grate in Gitmo. Step back: the urine splashes a terrorist sitting a cell. It’s urine, man, not shrapnel, or a 767. Is this My Lai? Is this Nanking? Buchenwald? Stalin? 9/11? The Taliban in full flower? Saddam? How odd and small a focus is this? Will the Boomer Generation ever grow up? Do you have evidence –reliable evidence– on which to question BG Hood’s integrity and the integrity of his report? It turns out in Watergate you’ve relied on the tips of the Number 2 man in the FBI – a Hoover protege.

Please see my post on the inevitability of moral compromise in war– see the quote from Septmeber 25, 2001. That’s reality, sir– mistakes, inadequate responses, oversights, and then trying the hell again because liberty, freedom, and opportunity are worth the individual effort and the united battle. But the blight you suffer from – or at least your post indicates you suffer from– is a hideous blight. You’re defeated if you have so little faith– as well as so narrow a perspective. What’s sad is your defeat is in part our mutual defeat.

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