Via Glenn, we learn that Anne Applebaum of the WaPo is telling us that from Guantanamo, there are "(confirmed) reports that prisoners themselves used Korans to block toilets as a form of protest."
Oh, dear - is the Newsweek/WaPo/MSNBC journalistic enterprise back in the toilet again?
Guided by the notion that the only dumb question is the one you don't ask, let me throw this out - when did Ms. Applebaum get that confirmed? Or did Newsweek confirm one type of unconfirmed report for another? In his press briefing last May 12 (transcript), Gen. Myers said this:
They have looked through the logs, the interrogation logs, and they can not confirm yet that there was ever the case of the toilet, except for one case, a log entry which they still have to confirm, where a detainee was reported by a guard to be ripping pages out of a Koran and putting them in the toilet to stop it up as a protest, but not where the U.S. did it."
Emphasis added. Now, Ms. Applebaum may have updated her info, or done some fine reportorial work to advance this story by contacting the Pentagon. Or Google-News may have betrayed me.
But my confidence in the WaPo is not at its peak just now, and since she does not even hint at a source for the news that this report is now confirmed, I would love to see some reassurance on this point.
And that reassurance will not be coming from the May 17 press briefing by Pentagon spokesperson Larry Di Rita, who addressed these very points:
Q Isn't this commander's inquiry by General Craddock -- I understood it that he was actually looking into these allegations.
MR. DI RITA: I think he'll make a determination -- and it's not he, it's a colonel at his command. I think he'll make a determination based on what he finds, whether any of them -- whether -- how much he wants to go out and try and corroborate some of them. I mean, for example, a detainee who was alleged to have torn pages out of his Koran and shoved it in a toilet, he may want to go out and try to corroborate that. I mean I don't know to what extent the next steps will involve that kind of thing.
Q Larry, just to be clear, there have been numerous allegations by detainees who have been released --
MR. DI RITA: Mm-hmm.
; -- by attorneys who have talked to detainees, alleging mistreatment of the Koran, including instances where it was supposedly thrown into a toilet. Are you saying that none of those allegations were credible, and that none of them have -- have any of them been investigated, and were any substantiated?
MR. DI RITA: We've found nothing that would substantiate precisely -- anything that you just said about the treatment of a Koran. We have -- other than what we've seen, that it's possible detainees themselves have done with pages of the Koran -- and I don't want to overstate that either because it's based on log entries that have to be corroborated.
Well, maybe it has been confirmed subsequently. Maybe.