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Thread: White House Says Newsweek Report Damaged U.S. Image

  1. #1
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    White House Says Newsweek Report Damaged U.S. Image

    White House says Newsweek report damaged U.S. image

    http://today.reuters.com/news/newsAr...N-KORAN-DC.XML

    (Gold9472: Hello pot, this is kettle...)

    Mon May 16, 2005 3:48 PM ET
    By Steve Holland

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House said on Monday an inaccurate Newsweek report based on an anonymous source had damaged the U.S. image overseas by claiming U.S. interrogators desecrated the Koran at Guantanamo Bay.

    At the same time, the Pentagon said an investigation remained open into allegations contained in Newsweek's May 9 report that triggered several days of rioting in Afghanistan and other countries in which at least 16 people were killed.

    Newsweek editor Mark Whitaker apologized to the victims on Sunday and said the magazine inaccurately reported that U.S. military investigators had confirmed personnel at the detention facility in Cuba had flushed the Muslim holy book down the toilet.

    "It's puzzling that while Newsweek now acknowledges that they got the facts wrong, they refused to retract the story," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said. "I think there's a certain journalistic standard that should be met and in this instance it was not."

    "The report has had serious consequences," McClellan said. "People have lost their lives. The image of the United States abroad has been damaged."

    "It has certainly caused damage to the credibility of the media as well, and Newsweek itself," he added later.


    The U.S. image had already been tarnished in many parts of the Arab world, and Washington has labored to rebuild trust among Muslims following last year's disclosures that U.S. guards at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison physically and sexually abused Iraqi prisoners.

    The report sparked violent protests across the Muslim world -- from Afghanistan, where 16 were killed and more than 100 injured, to Pakistan, Indonesia and Gaza. In the past week the reported desecration was condemned in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Malaysia and by the Arab League.

    Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, returning from a trip to Iraq, said, "I do think it's done a lot of harm."

    Muslims in Afghanistan were skeptical about the turnaround on Monday.

    "We will not be deceived by this," Islamic cleric Mullah Sadullah Abu Aman told Reuters. "It comes because of American pressure." Aman was the leader of a group of clerics who vowed to call for a holy war against the United States. Continued ...

    © Reuters 2005. All Rights Reserved.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  2. #2
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    I really really really hate Scott McClellan. I would NOT be unhappy if he was hit by a bus.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  3. #3
    somebigguy Guest
    Damaged U.S. Image?????

    Hahahahahaha....

    Phew, that was a good one.

  4. #4
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    Newsweek retracts Quran abuse story
    Pakistan, Arab League call for full investigation

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7864705/

    Scott McClellan earlier today:

    "It's puzzling that while Newsweek now acknowledges that they got the facts wrong, they refused to retract the story," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said. "I think there's a certain journalistic standard that should be met and in this instance it was not."

    (Gold9472: Now... is that pressure from above?)

    The Associated Press
    Updated: 5:33 p.m. ET May 16, 2005

    NEW YORK - Newsweek magazine, under fire for publishing a story that led to deadly protests in Afghanistan, said Monday it was retracting its report that a military probe had found evidence of desecration of the Quran by U.S. interrogators at Guantanamo Bay.

    Earlier Monday, presidential spokesman Scott McClellan had criticized Newsweek’s initial response to the incident, saying it was “puzzling.”

    Newsweek had reported in its May 9 issue that U.S. military investigators had found evidence that interrogators placed copies of Islam’s holy book in washrooms and had flushed one down the toilet to get inmates to talk.

    Newsweek acknowledged problems with the story and its editor, Mark Whitaker, apologized in an editor’s note in this week’s edition. The accusations spawned protests in Afghanistan that left 15 dead and scores injured.

    Whitaker wrote in an editor’s note that “We regret that we got any part of our story wrong, and extend our sympathies to victims of the violence and to the U.S. soldiers caught in its midst.”

    But after the White House criticized Newsweek’s response to the story, Whitaker issued a statement later Monday through a spokesman saying the magazine was retracting the story.

    “Based on what we know now, we are retracting our original story that an internal military investigation had uncovered Quran abuse at Guantanamo Bay,” Whitaker said.

    Pakistan incensed
    Pakistan, a key ally in the U.S.-led war on terrorism, had requested earlier on Monday that U.S. officials complete a full inquiry into the allegations.

    “We have asked for a thorough investigation conducted by the U.S. administration, and we would expect the results of the official investigation shared with us,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Jalil Abbas Jilani told a news conference.

    In its May 9 issue, the magazine reported that U.S. military investigators had found evidence that interrogators placed copies of Islam’s holy book in washrooms and had flushed one down the toilet to get inmates to talk.

    Whitaker wrote that the magazine’s information came from “a knowledgeable U.S. government source,” and before publishing the item, writers Michael Isikoff and John Barry sought comment from two Defense Department officials. One declined to respond, and the other challenged another part of the story but did not dispute the Quran charge, Whitaker said.

    But on Friday, a top Pentagon spokesman told the magazine that a review of the military’s investigation concluded it was never meant to look into charges of Quran desecration. The spokesman also said the Pentagon had investigated other desecration charges by detainees and found them not credible.

    Also, Whitaker added, the magazine’s original source later said he could not be sure he read about the alleged Quran incident in the report Newsweek cited, and that it might have been in another document.

    Protests across Afghanistan
    Following the report, demonstrations spread across Afghanistan, and Islamic leaders gathered to pass a resolution calling for anyone found to have abused the Quran to be punished. Many of the 520 inmates at Guantanamo are Muslims arrested during the U.S.-led war against the Taliban and its al-Qaida allies in Afghanistan.

    National security adviser Stephen Hadley said in an interview for CNN’s “Late Edition” that the allegations were being investigated “vigorously.”

    “If it turns out to be true, obviously we will take action against those responsible,” he said.

    Musharraf demanded ‘exemplary’ punishment
    Pakistan, its neighbors and allies adopted a wait-and-see position before the magazine's full retraction. The 22-nation Arab League issued a statement saying if the allegations panned out, Washington should apologize to Muslims.

    On Saturday, Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz demanded “exemplary punishment” for those behind the reported desecration. In Afghanistan and Pakistan, insults to the Quran and Islam’s prophet, Muhammad, are regarded as blasphemy and punishable by death.

    Qazi Hussain Ahmed, a hard-line Pakistani Islamist leader and opposition lawmaker, said Sunday that Islamic groups in Pakistan, Egypt, Malaysia, Britain, Turkey and other countries would hold more rallies May 27 to protest the alleged desecration.

    Cleric sees broader U.S. intentions
    Lebanon’s most senior Shiite Muslim cleric said the alleged desecration is part of an American campaign aimed at disrespecting and smearing Islam.

    Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah urged Muslims and international human rights organizations “to raise their voices loudly against the American behavior, which is hostile to Islam and Muslims.”

    In a statement faxed to The Associated Press before Newsweek’s apology, Fadlallah called the alleged desecration a “brutal” form of torture.

    “This act is not an individual act carried out by an American soldier, but rather it is part of the American behavior of intellectual and psychological education in disrespecting Islam and smearing its image in the souls of Americans,” Fadlallah said.

    © 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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