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Newsweek gets the Koran story wrong? Bull

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I don't buy it.

Chris and I have been talking about this (I'm still in Paris), and we think President Bush placed a little call to the head of Newsweek, asking him to beg off the story since riots are now spreading across the Middle East. I simply refuse to believe anything the Bush administration says about anything at this point. And the administration's assurances that they "investigated" the story and found it not true - well, let's talk about WMD, let's talk about "no evidence of widespread abuse" of prisoners at US facilities around the world.

I say, bull. As Joe alread noted, this is not the first time the story has been reported about US authorities flushing the Koran down the toilet at Gitmo. And let's not forget everything else they've been doing to the detainees, at Abu Ghraib and beyond. Newsweek is backing down to help Bush out, and it's sad.

And in that vein, check out this paragraph from the Newsweek "retraction":

The spark was apparently lit at a press conference held on Friday, May 6, by Imran Khan, a Pakistani cricket legend and strident critic of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf. Brandishing a copy of that week's NEWSWEEK (dated May 9), Khan read a report that U.S. interrogators at Guantánamo prison had placed the Qur'an on toilet seats and even flushed one. "This is what the U.S. is doing," exclaimed Khan, "desecrating the Qur'an." His remarks, as well as the outraged comments of Muslim clerics and Pakistani government officials, were picked up on local radio and played throughout neighboring Afghanistan. Radical Islamic foes of the U.S.-friendly regime of Hamid Karzai quickly exploited local discontent with a poor economy and the continued presence of U.S. forces, and riots began breaking out last week.
Then there's this little tidbit from an AP photo about the story:
Pakistani lawmaker and the chief of a coalition of radical Islamic groups, Qazi Hussain Ahmed gestures during a press conference in Islamabad, Pakistan, Sunday, May 15, 2005
Gee, I guess the press got their White House talking points already. "Radical Islamic foes"? Wonder if Newsweek and the AP would refer to the religious right as "radical" if they protested over the Bible being flushed the down the toilet?

Did the White House just strike the word "homosexuals" from the usual talking points and insert "Islamic foes" instead?

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