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Urine big trouble now

(NOTE: Thanks to Michelle Malkin for linking. Michelle is all over this story, and has also rounded up plenty of other links that are well worth checking out.)

Most of the time, charges of media bias boil down to differences in judgment and opinion. Sometimes, however, the bias is so blatant and brazen that it beggars belief. This is one of those times.

After Newsweek's false report that U.S. guards at the Guantanamo Bay dentention facility flushed a Koran down a toilet, the Pentagon launched its own investigation of the goings-on at Gitmo.

On Friday, it announced the results, which included precisely four isolated instances of Koran "mishandling" by U.S. personnel. In two of these (a water balloon thrown into a cell, and the incident described below) the Koran was not specifically targeted. Once, a Koran was kicked. Once, one was stepped on. And in a fifth incident, a "two-word obscenity" was found inside a Koran — but the Pentagon could not conclude whether a guard or a detainee had written it.

And that's it. In fact, the report found that detainees were three times as likely as guards to damage the Koran. As the BBC reports:

Pentagon spokesman Lawrence DiRita said there had also been 15 cases of "mishandling and outright desecration by detainees".

The report said these included "using the Koran as a pillow, ripping pages out of the Koran, attempting to flush a Koran down the toilet and urinating on the Koran".
So, the findings of the Pentagon report could be fairly summed up as follows: "There were very few instances of disrespectful treatment of the Koran by U.S. personnel, which were dealt with appropriately. Most damage or mistreatment of Korans was perpetrated by the detainees themsleves."

But that didn't stop Reuters from blaring the following headline:
Jailers splashed Koran with urine
What image does that headline conjure up in your mind? When I read it, I imagined guards with buckets full of urine, drenching copies of the Koran in stale piss.

That's not exactly what happened.

Reading past the sensational headline, and a lead paragraph that repeats the same claim, we get to the considerably less shocking truth. It turns out there was one (1) instance where a guard left his post and urinated near an air vent. According to the Pentagon report, "the wind blew his urine through the vent" and into a cell block.

Okay, let's be skeptical for a minute and consider the possibility that the guard intentionally peed through the vent to antagonize the prisoners. That's bad behavior, to be sure, but it's not the same thing as deliberately splashing urine on a Koran. Reuters' hysterical headline seems to be based on the report's record of a detainee's comments to guards:
It said a detainee told guards the urine "splashed on him and his Koran."
So we have a situation where the detainee felt comfortable telling the guards about one particular guard's misconduct. Sounds like a pretty decent prison environment to me. And how, pray tell, did the cruel American captors respond to his insolence?
The statement said the detainee was given a new prison uniform and Koran, and that the guard was reprimanded and given duty in which he had no contact with prisoners.
That seems like the best possible way anyone could have handled the situation. And it emphasizes that the only reason these detainees have Korans in the first place is that the U.S. gave them copies out of respect for their religious beliefs. But that doesn't seem to matter to Reuters, who saw a good opportunity to fan the flames of hysteria and outrage, and took it.

In case the Reuters story changes (which has been known to happen), I've saved a screenshot here.


Anonymous said...

Just playing Devil's Advocate here, but a few questions:

How does one accidentally get his urine blown through an air vent and onto both the inmate and the Koran? (if that's what happened)

How much urine must have poured onto the inmate for him to realize what it was? I find it hard to believe that more than a few drips could be blown through an air vent unless the guy was urinating practically on the air vent, but a few drips would probably be mistaken for condensation, wouldn't it?

Why was the guard reprimanded? Being unintentional, surely that isn't an offense? Unless he was reprimanded for urinating near an air vent instead of in the toilets that is.

The whole story strikes me as odd. 

Posted by Anon.

Anonymous said...

Seems like its just sensational journalism, as opposed to media bias, to me. But in any event, this is just a drop in the bucket (sorry) compared to the worldwide shitstorm that will inevitably follow the court-ordered release of these  videos. That will be bad, trust me. 

Posted by Bojack

Anonymous said...

Drop in the bucket...Eeeww... 

Posted by Anon.

Anonymous said...

Yeah I heard about this on Drudge.You know if the MSM acted like this during WW2 half the world would be speaking German or Japanese. I'm just about sick of troops having to "respect" the Koran when the religious beliefs of an American in any government setting has to be "hushed down".

This is probably one of the reasons the Americans are viewed in a negative way around the world. Americans are not viewed as a religious people like during the era of two world wars. And we all know how much the Muslim world loves and believes in their God, Allah. So it only makes sense that part of the reason Americans are seen as 'infidels' by the muslim world, is because moral and religious beliefs have changed in America compared to say 1900-1970. So why should they, or would they, respect a non-religious society, or one that's so ashamed of religion? Why would they respect a society that thinks gay marriage, for instance, is a bigger issue than religion? I'm sure that's not the only reason Americans are viewed as infidels but it's a good place to start.

Back to the MSM...
The people that are complaining about Koran desecrations and "disrespecting" religious rights of Muslims are the same ones who would complain about American children having a bible class in public school. They are the same people who complain about the Boyscouts of America, for instance, receiving any kind of Government aid whatsoever because they acknowledge a higher power. I mean come on! And yet they worry about allegations of Koran desecration?

And Bojack is right about the release of more "abuse" photos at Abu Ghraib. You can thank the tax exempt A nti Christian Losers Union for that one. I thought the ACLU was supposed to represent Americans? Now this great American organization has gone to bat for the terrorists once again. The ACLU always seems to be there every time with a keen eye making sure those evil Americans don't hurt or disrespect anyone. But hey, it's a free country.
For now. ;-) 

Posted by Chris K

Anonymous said...

who could be against civil liberties? One of the things I love about Americans is that many of them, perhaps most, take civil liberties very seriously. One of the civil liberties they take seriously is the ability to know what the government does with their tax dollars.
America is a great country because, even when the news is bad--like our soldiers are using sadistic sex to torture suspects--they believe in their country enough and love freedom enough to want the evidence of that presented in full to the public.
America is not unique in this. Some other countries have a lot of people who love freedom and who are strong because they criticize themselves first and foremost, because knowing their weak points makes your stronger. I think America leads the way among these countries, though. It is at the forefront of those with the political maturity and intellectual strength to relentlessly pursue truth, wherever it may lead. 

Posted by bunkerbuster



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