Pass the crow and take your best shot
By PHIL GAILEY
Published May 17, 2005
The situation in Iraq is ugly enough. Now violent anti-American protests are spreading throughout Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden's hideout before a U.S. invasion scattered or captured his terrorist gang. The protests were ignited by a brief report in Newsweek that U.S. interrogators at Guantanamo Bay prison flushed copies of the Koran down the toilet as part of their effort to break down Muslim inmates. This is just what we need after the photos from Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq showing U.S. soldiers sexually humiliating and abusing Muslim prisoners.
That is how I began my Sunday column, which was written Friday. By Monday, the big news was the editor of Newsweek retracting and apologizing for the story. It turns out the magazine based its report on an anonymous source - "a senior U.S. government official" - who now says he can't be sure if the story about pages of the Koran being put down the toilet was true.