Eat At Joes

Just a regular Joe who is angry that the USA, the country he loves, is being corrupted and damaged from within and trying to tell his fellow Americans the other half of the story that they don’t get on the TV News.

Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Monday, May 16, 2005

Bush Admin Admitted that Newsweek Article Not Responsible for Violence – Until Propaganda Strategy Changed

Today the White House and most Republican sources were blaming a Newsweek report that the US Military used flushing the Koran or threatening to flush the Koran down a toilet as a method of getting information out of them for causing riots in Afghanistan. The only problem is that until today the Bush Admin and even the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Air Force General Richard Myers, said that the Newsweek article wasn’t responsible for the increased violence. You can still access a page on the Government’s Dept. of State web site saying so – until they realize that it violates the latest propaganda and remove it. The Pentagon's Web Site contains that assessment here as well. Again until the Government realizes that it is still out there and then expunges the information. Frequently the Bush Administration has wiped information from Government Web Sites when the existing information contradicts the Bush Admin’s claim de jour. It is interesting to note that the Bush Admin has not officially said that the Koran incident did not occur. Newsweek had this to say, "On Saturday, Isikoff spoke to his original source, the senior government official, who said that he clearly recalled reading investigative reports about mishandling the Qur'an, including a toilet incident. But the official, still speaking anonymously, could no longer be sure that these concerns had surfaced in the SouthCom report." They may have been the subject of other investigations not the SouthCom report as Newsweek origninally reported based on information from this "senior Government Official." Pentagon sources refused to comment directly on this, but also refused to deny the Koran in the toilet situation occured. History Professor and Middle East expert Juan Cole has more to say about this here. It turns out that members of the Bush Goverment were actually shown the Newsweek report before it was published and they did NOT object to the facts prior to publication. Watch this for more info.

Republicans are calling for Michael Isikoff the author of the Newsweek article to be fired or forced to resign. They say that despite the fact that he may have gotten misinformation from "a senior U.S. Government official," his decision to print the information led to the deaths of 16 Afghanis. But if we follow that line of reasoning isn’t it true that President Bush supposedly decided to invade Iraq based on false information from goverment sources that Iraq had WMDs and that decision lead to the deaths of over 1600 US service members and tens of thousands to possibly 100,000 Iraqi deaths? We’ll ignore for the moment that recent memos out of Britain show that Bush had decided to invade Iraq by July of 2002 and had decided to make the “facts fit the policy” to invade. If Isikoff must be made to resign for deciding to go ahead with bad information from the government why shouldn’t Bush be subjected to the same requirement? His decision lead to thousands of times the number of deaths and upwards of $300 Billion Dollars of US Taxpayers money being spent. Why aren't Republicans calling on Bush to resign? Because Republicans don't have to play by the same rules as they demand other people do. That is part of the hypocricy that is the GOP.

Republcians and newscasters are claiming that Newsweek has admitted that their report is false. But the Columbia Journalism Review' CJR Daily writes, “Most reporters, particularly on television, are reporting that Newsweek has retracted the allegation that U.S. interrogators desecrated the Koran at Guantanamo Bay. But that's wrong: The magazine has said only that it no longer stands by its claim that allegations of Koran desecration appear in a forthcoming report from U.S. Southern Command. That's a very different point. There have been numerous other reports -- mostly from detainees -- suggesting that U.S. interrogators at Guantanamo did abuse the Koran.”

Daily Kos reports that other US News Sources had reported the Koran incidents previously citing other sources going back two years, and posits that the Bush Admin won a game of chicken with Newsweek by forcing them to back down so they could use it for political advantage. This is further evidence that the Corporate-Owned Mainstream Media is anything but liberal when they consistently knuckle under to the GOP. The current claim by the Bush Administration that riots in Afghanistan are due to the Newsweek blurb (which was only one paragraph long) begs the question of whether Afghan tribesmen read Newsweek and read it cover to cover in order to catch the single paragraph in question.

Note that prior to publication Newsweek submitted the article in question to two count them two Pentagon Officials in order to verify the information contained in them. These Pentagon Officials report to Secretary Donald Rumsfeld who reports to President Bush. Neither Pentagon Official complained about the Koran in the toilet report. One said nothing and the other complained about an entirely different fact that was corrected by Newsweek. They effectively vetted the report in doing this. The White House said nothing about the Newsweek article for 10 days following its publication. Later after riots broke out and Generals Myers and Eikenberry assured everyone that the Newsweek article was not responsible for the violence, the White House suddenly siezed upon the opportunity to blame Newsweek after the Generals assured the world that the political situation in Iraq was the cause.

My guess is that since this is in the most recent edition of the magazine, the issue hasn't made it to that part of Central Asia prior to the riots (usually US magazines delayed several weeks to that part of the world), and General Myers assessment is more accurate. The Bush Admin is effectively calling the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff a liar for saying otherwise. More on this story as it develops. Another US General, Lieutenant General Karl Eikenberry, agreed with Myers that the Newsweek article did not start the violence. The White House is calling General Eikenberry a liar by this claim as well. Personally I'll take the word of the soldiers over the Bush Administration! Republicans however doubt the word of soldiers who have devoted their lives to the defense of the nation and believe Bush instead. To each his own!



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