Friday, June 03, 2005

U.S. Confirms Gitmo Soldier Kicked Quran
Tempest in a Toilet

Look for the "hate America" crowd in this country a well as the Islamofacists abroad to get themselves in a lather as a result of this story.

WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon on Friday released new details about
mishandling of the Quran at the Guantanamo Bay prison for terror suspects,
confirming that a soldier deliberately kicked the Muslim holy book and that an
interrogator stepped on a Quran and was later fired for "a pattern of
unacceptable behavior."

In other confirmed incidents, water balloons thrown by prison guards
caused an unspecified number of Qurans to get wet; a guard's urine came through
an air vent and splashed on a detainee and his Quran; and in a confirmed but
ambiguous case a two-word obscenity was written in English on the inside cover
of a Quran.

The findings, released after normal business hours Friday evening, are
among the results of an investigation last month by Brig. Gen. Jay Hood, the
commander of the detention center in Cuba, that was triggered by a Newsweek
magazine report _ later retracted _ that a U.S. soldier had flushed one Guantanamo Bay detainee's Quran down a toilet.

The story stirred worldwide controversy and the Bush administration
blamed it for deadly demonstrations in Afghanistan.

Hood said in a written statement released Friday evening, along with the
new details, that his investigation "revealed a consistent, documented policy of
respectful handling of the Quran dating back almost 2 1/2 years."

Hood said that of nine mishandling cases that were studied in detail,
five were confirmed to have happened. He could not determine conclusively
whether the four others took place.

Nine cases, in 2 1/2 years. And what of the oh so sensitive Muslim detainees? Certainly their handling of the "Holy Book" is nothing less than meticulous, no? Well, as a matter of fact, no:

He also said they found 15 cases of detainees mishandling their own Qurans. These included using a Quran as a pillow, ripping pages out of the Quran, attempting to flush a Quran down the toilet and urinating on the Quran," Hood's report said. It offered no possible explanation for the detainees' motives.

Last week, Hood disclosed that he had confirmed five cases of mishandling of
the Quran, but he refused to provide details. Allegations of Quran desecration
at Guantanamo Bay have led to anti-American passions in many Muslim nations,
although Pentagon officials have insisted that the problems were relatively
minor and that U.S. commanders have gone to great lengths to enable detainees to practice their religion in captivity.

Hood said last week that he found no credible evidence that a Quran was ever
flushed down a toilet. He said a prisoner who was reported to have complained to
an FBI agent in 2002 that a military guard threw a Quran in the toilet has since
told Hood's investigators that he never witnessed any form of Quran desecration.

A tempest in a toilet, nothing more, nothing less.

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