As you may already know, the gutless wonders of the Bush administration just put this information out at their favorite time for releasing embarrassing news: late in the day on Friday (in this case, after the network news broadcasts went off the air).
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....
This is interesting:
In one of the unconfirmed cases, a detainee ... alleged that in one instance a female military guard threw a Quran into a bag of wet towels to anger another detainee, and he also alleged that another guard said the Quran belonged in the toilet and that guards were ordered to do these things....
Pay no attention to that. No one ever ordered anyone to do anything improper. Ever. Really. It was just a few bad apples. The same with the naked monkey piles and the hanging of prisoners from their wrists while their legs were beaten to a pulp. A few bad apples. A few bad apples.
This is interesting, too:
In another of the confirmed cases, a contract interrogator stepped on a detainee's Quran in July 2003 and then apologized. "The interrogator was later terminated for a pattern of unacceptable behavior, an inability to follow direct guidance and poor leadership," the Hood report said....
Who was this guy? What else did he do? I have a hunch he didn't get dismissed merely for disrespect. (Oh, sorry, I forgot -- we're not supposed to put all the pieces together.)
Here's my favorite response to all this, from the much-admired right-wing blogger La Shawn Barber:
If I See One More Koran "Mishandling" Story...
...I just might buy a few to kick around myself. The madness has gone far enough. The West is too darn "civilized" for its own good. We're teetering on the edge, ready to take a suicidal leap just to show the world how "compassionate" and "tolerant" we are.
Despite what they may say, Muslims are and have always been on a mission to conquer and kill infidels. They’ve been doing it for centuries and will continue until we're all dead, or they're all dead, or the world ends, whichever comes first. We need to get over ourselves and focus on stopping the spread of Islamofacism. Period. Save civility and Koran "handling" for less perilous times.
Allah couldn’t have a better spokesperson than a typical American journalist....
Lovely. And I love that last sentence: The Pentagon releases information to the media, but if a journalist actually writes a story containing that information, he or she is a traitor. Right -- got it.
Look, La Shawn, 9/11 gave us a two-part mission: We have to defeat the people who want to kill us and we have to prevent as many people as possible who could go either way from joining their ranks. I'd never expect you to feel sorry for jihadists (though you could try to understand that many of our prisoners are innocent) -- but I would ask you to try to grasp the notion that respect for the Koran in these prisons is part of how we accomplish the second part of the mission.
(As is, needless to say, not beating prisoners to death, not hooding them and making them think they'll receive electric shocks to the genitals if they fall off a box, not putting them in naked monkey piles, and on and on and on.)