Pentagon Kettle Meets Newsweek Pot

Ken AshfordWar on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

Pentagon spokesman Larry Dirita today announces some uncorroborated and unverified “facts” to the world:

We’ve found nothing that would substantiate anything that you just said about the treatment of a Koran. We have, other than what we’ve seen – that it’s possible detainees themselves have done with pages of the Koran. And I don’t want to overstate that, either, because it’s based on log entries that have to be corroborated.

Sounds like DiRita is well on his way to repairing relations with the Arab world.  Heh.

Meanwhile, some Pakistanis are asking good questions.  If the Newsweek story was wrong and/or volatile and/or a “defamation of the troops” (*rolls eyes*), why did the DoD greenlight its publication?

"The damage cannot be controlled by the belated retraction from Newsweek under U.S. government pressure,” Qazi Hussain Ahmad, the leader of the religious-party alliance, said in a telephone interview from Islamabad.

Ahmad noted that Newsweek, before publishing the item, had run it past a senior Defense Department official to check its accuracy. “The fact that the story was given by Newsweek to a U.S. government official and the Pentagon cleared it before publication tells a lot,” Ahmad said.