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ifihadahif Posted: Mon Jun 6 14:50:23 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  A Study in Abuse
The media ignores the facts about Koran abuse and piles on the Army.
by John Hinderaker
06/06/2005

WHEN NEWSWEEK REPORTED that a Guantanamo Bay guard had flushed a detainee's Koran down a toilet, the Muslim world erupted in protests, some of which turned violent. Newsweek later retracted the story. More significantly, so did the detainee who made the original allegation--a fact that went largely unreported. Nevertheless, the U.S. military commissioned Brigadier General Jay Hood to look into allegations of Koran mishandling at the Guantanamo facility. General Hood delivered his report on June 3; it can be accessed here. The report, read together with the ensuing press coverage, suggests how far our public discourse has diverged from any realistic understanding of war, prisons, or human behavior.

The Hood report documents an exquisite concern for the religious sensibilities of Guantanamo's detainees. Consider the implications of this incident:


On 18 AUG 03, two detainees complained that the guards had violated the Koran search policy when they touched the surgical masks used to hang detainee Korans from cell walls during a security, safety, and welfare inspection. The incident was recorded in the electronic blotter system. The guards stated in the blotter log that they were not violating Koran search policy because they did not actually touch the Koran when they squeezed and felt for bulges in the surgical masks. The SOP in place at the time of the incident did not address searching the Koran through the masks.

Or this one:


On 5 JAN 03, a translator was called to translate during a search of a cell. The detainee residing
in the cell refused to show his Koran during the search. The guards informed the detainee that if he did not show his Koran they would be forced to search it. The detainee did not comply. The MPs put on clean latex gloves and used a clean towel as they conducted the search. During the search, detainees in nearby cells continuously threw water at the MPs. As the translator departed the cell, the detainee spat on him. The translator recorded the incident in a sworn statement.

Or this:


On 18 AUG 03, at 1220 hours, a guard conducted a routine search of a detainee's cell. During the search, the guard accidentally knocked the detainee's Koran out of its holder (a surgical mask) and onto his bunk. The block NCO responded to the cell and explained to the detainee that the incident was an accident. The ICRC asked MG Miller, Commander JTF-GTMO, about the incident during a meeting on 09 OCT 03. MG Miller told the ICRC that he had investigated the incident and determined it to be an accident. A guard recorded the incident in sworn statement.

There can't be a single instance, in all of human history, where the spiritual sensitivities of captured enemy combatants have been so scrupulously regarded. This is borne out by those few cases where "abuse" was actually found; they are, in the words of the often-puzzling cliché, exceptions that prove the rule. Consider what the apology and disciplinary action taken in this instance tell us about the rarity of such events:

On 25 JUL 03, a contract interrogator apologized to a detainee for stepping on the detainee's Koran in an earlier interrogation. The memorandum of the 25 Jul 03, interrogation session shows that the detainee had reported to other detainees that his Koran had been stepped on. The detainee accepted the apology and agreed to inform other detainees of the apology and ask them to cease disruptive behaviors caused by the incident. The interrogator was later terminated for a pattern of unacceptable behavior, an inability to follow direct guidance and poor leadership. We consider this a confirmed incident.

In one widely-reported incident, several copies of the Koran got wet when guards tossed water balloons into the detainees' compound:


On 15 AUG 03, two detainees complained to the swing shift guards (14002200 hrs) that the detainees' Korans were wet because the night shift guards had thrown water balloons on the block. The swing shift guards recorded the complaints in the block blotter log in accordance with normal procedures. We have not determined if the detainees made further complaints or if the Korans were replaced. There is no evidence that this incident was investigated. There is no evidence that the incident, although clearly inappropriate, caused any type of disturbance on the Block. We consider this a confirmed incident.

The Hood report doesn't explain what led up to the water balloon bombardment, but in the murderous context of Islamist terrorism, it's hard to get exercised about "torture" via water balloons.

The other incident that was widely reported
following the Hood report's issuance involved an unlucky soldier who couldn't wait to relieve himself until he went off duty, and chose an unfortunate spot:


On 25 MAR 05, a detainee complained to the guards that urine came through an air vent in Camp 4, and splashed on him and his Koran while he laid near the air vent. A guard reported to a Block NCOIC that he was at fault. The guard had left his observation area post and went outside to urinate. He urinated near an air vent and the wind blew his urine through the vent into the block. The Sergeant of the Guard (SOG) responded and immediately relieved the guard. The SOG ensured the detainee received a fresh uniform and a new Koran. The Joint Detention Operations Group (JDOG) commander reprimanded the guard and assigned him to gate guard duty where he had no contact with detainees for the remainder of his assignment at JTF-GTMO. This incident was recorded in a series of contemporaneous sworn statements made by Camp 4 guard force members. There is no record that this incident caused any type of disturbance in the block. We consider this a confirmed incident.

Read in its entirety, the Hood report documents an extraordinary level of sensitivity to the detainees' religious concerns. Altogether, the investigators confirmed five instances where intentional or unintentional mishandling of the Koran apparently occurred, and four more where the guards' conduct "may have been inappropriate." This superlative record should be seen as a tribute to the training and discipline of the Army's guards and translators.

The Army did find, however, 15 instances of blatant Koran abuse at Guantanamo. All were committed by detainees. For example:


On 14 MAY 03, a guard observed a detainee rip his Koran into small pieces. The guard recorded the incident contemporaneously in a sworn statement.

On 5 JUN 03, a guard observed two detainees accuse a third detainee of not being a man. In response, the detainee urinated on one of their Korans. The detainees resided in adjacent cells. The event was recorded in FBI FD-302s, on 5 JUN 03 and 19 JUN 03.

On 19 JAN 05, a detainee tore up his Koran and tried to flush it down the toilet. Four guards witnessed the incident and it was recorded in the electronic blotter system.

On 23 JAN 05, a detainee ripped pages out of his Koran and threw them down the toilet. The detainee stated he did so because he wanted to be moved to another camp. Four guards witnessed the incident and it was recorded in the electronic blotter system.


If one were to sum up the Hood report in a headline, it might be: "Army Documents Extraordinary History of Respect for Koran." Or, "No Truth to Claims of Koran Abuse." Or perhaps: "Koran Abuse? Blame the Detainees." But that isn't how the story was played. Here were the headlines in England: "U.S. Admits Koran Abuse at Cuba Base", and "US Admits Guard Soiled Koran at Guantanamo". The London Times, not normally noted for anti-Americanism, led off with this summary:


An American guard at Guantanamo Bay urinated on a copy of the Koran while others kicked, stepped on and soaked copies with water balloons, the Pentagon admitted last night.

In India, the headline was "Guantanamo Guards Guilty".

Reuters' story on the report omitted any mention of the detainees' treatment of the Koran, and began:


The U.S. military for the first time on Friday detailed how jailers at Guantanamo mishandled the Koran, including a case in which a guard's urine splashed onto the Islamic holy book and others in which it was kicked, stepped on and soaked by water.

Anti-Americanism in foreign news coverage is perhaps not surprising. Here at home, however, the slant was not much different. The San Francisco Chronicle, not previously known for its solicitude for things spiritual, headlined: "U.S. Tells How Koran Was Defiled". The Los Angeles Times echoed, "Pentagon: Koran Defiled". Newsday wrote, "Quran Abuses Verified", while ABC headlined, "U.S. Confirms Gitmo Soldier Kicked Quran". Such headlines could be multiplied indefinitely. Many papers dwelt especially on the few drops of urine that inadvertently landed on a Koran, which inevitably prompts the recollection that only 16 years ago, the federal government not only tolerated the immersion of a crucifix in a jar of urine as a work of "art," but actually paid for it.

It seems that the Army--or maybe it's the United States--just can't win. It is almost inconceivable that the Hood report could have been more favorable to the Guantanamo guards and interrogators, yet the international and American press treated it as a confession of wrongdoing, at times with a hint that the Newsweek allegation had proven true after all. Little (frequently, nothing) was made of the fact that it was the Muslim detainees, not American guards or interrogators, who had perpetrated precisely the acts that were the excuse for anti-American riots in the Muslim world.

No matter how virtuous American conduct may be, the many members of the press raise the bar higher, with no regard for the realities of warfare, the inevitable sordidness of prison life, or the frailties of human nature. It is hard to see any purpose in this hypercriticism--no other country, except perhaps Israel, is held to such an extraordinary standard--other than to make it impossible for the United States to detain and interrogate prisoners. Or to fight a war.



 
addi Posted: Mon Jun 6 16:11:33 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  At the risk of sounding religiously insensitive I just shake my head when I read things like this...and I wouldn't be surprised if god does too. Extreme obsessive behavior towards a thing is idolizing that object, and that goes against the tenets of the major monotheistic religions; Islam, Christianity, and Judaism.

Unless, of course, it's a cartoon book, which I read religiously every night in bed. Once I caught my dog laying on a Dilbert book of mine. I screamed at him, "You VERY VERY BAD DOG! You're going to doggie hell!"
The thing is I don't believe in a literal hell, but he doesn't know that.

: )


 
ifihadahif Posted: Mon Jun 6 16:17:17 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  addi said:
>At the risk of sounding religiously insensitive I just shake my head when I read things like this...and I wouldn't be surprised if god does too.
>
Don't be ridiculous, what makes you think god has a head ?
>
Extreme obsessive behavior towards a thing is idolizing that object, and that goes against the tenets of the major monotheistic religions; Islam, Christianity, and Judaism.
>
It is more than just a little weird isn't it ?
I wonder if they have special rules at the printing company where they are made ?


 
Aeon Posted: Mon Jun 6 17:33:06 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  At the risk of sounding insensitive: It's a fucking book! Who cares if it was stepped on or whatever... the physical book shouldn't be as important as the message it conveys.


 
Silentmind Posted: Mon Jun 6 21:25:17 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  It exists in any major relgion. If I went down to the local church during a sermon/mass, took a bible and pissed on it, chances are, I'd offend them. Same thing if I took a Torah and pissed on it. Or took a Menorah and snapped it. It would offend a large many of people. Regardless of if it should or not, it does. Desecrate a holy object, and people will get pissed off. I'm glad I'm atheist, but if someone pissed on my history books, I'd be offended.


 
DanSRose Posted: Tue Jun 7 01:21:27 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  *ka-thunk**ka-thunk* That's the sound of my head against my desk as I read that. I don't trust the people making the allegations and I don't trust the people denying the allegations- They both have much to gain and much to lose.

And I don't trust either because my car died died died die the engine went splat. Not that that has anything to do with anything. I'm just pissed. On the other hand, Six Feet Under's season premiere was tonight, so good on that. But, Dead!Car..


 
ifihadahif Posted: Tue Jun 7 06:46:40 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Silentmind said:
>It exists in any major relgion. If I went down to the local church during a sermon/mass, took a bible and pissed on it, chances are, I'd offend them.
>
True, but there is a difference.
By pissing on a bible, your risk of physical harm is minimal, but piss on a koran and you will likely be murdered.


 
Mesh Posted: Tue Jun 7 07:27:56 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  ifihadahif said:
>Silentmind said:
>>It exists in any major relgion. If I went down to the local church during a sermon/mass, took a bible and pissed on it, chances are, I'd offend them.
>>
>True, but there is a difference.
>By pissing on a bible, your risk of physical harm is minimal,


Depends on where you're at. But I agree with you for the most part.


 
addi Posted: Tue Jun 7 08:10:21 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Silentmind said:
>It exists in any major relgion. If I went down to the local church during a sermon/mass, took a bible and pissed on it, chances are, I'd offend them.

I agree with you, Silentmind. I wasn't trying to defend any person that feels the need to violate any holy text. Anyone that does that has their own set of serious personal issues to deal with.
I just see a huge difference in how people respond to an act like that. It's one thing to be offended, and quite another to strike out in overzealous righteous anger, calling for physical harm or even the offenders death.
My reaction to their overreaction is wanting to tell them to get a life, chill out, bring it down a thousand, drink a beer and go watch a movie...have some healthy sex, smile and start enjoying life, cuz it's short and gonna be over before you know it.
God would want it that way.
: )


 
Silentmind Posted: Tue Jun 7 19:34:33 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  addi said:
>Silentmind said:
>>It exists in any major relgion. If I went down to the local church during a sermon/mass, took a bible and pissed on it, chances are, I'd offend them.
>
>I agree with you, Silentmind. I wasn't trying to defend any person that feels the need to violate any holy text. Anyone that does that has their own set of serious personal issues to deal with.
>I just see a huge difference in how people respond to an act like that. It's one thing to be offended, and quite another to strike out in overzealous righteous anger, calling for physical harm or even the offenders death.
>My reaction to their overreaction is wanting to tell them to get a life, chill out, bring it down a thousand, drink a beer and go watch a movie...have some healthy sex, smile and start enjoying life, cuz it's short and gonna be over before you know it.
>God would want it that way.
>: )


Oh, I was just making a statement. Wasn't even in reference to your post. And hif, I agree, most would be just offended. But there are wackjobs in every organized, and unorganized religion that would threaten physical harm. I would venture a guess that the percentage is about the same amongst the major religions.


 
ifihadahif Posted: Tue Jun 7 22:09:08 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Silentmind said:
>addi said:
>>Silentmind said:
>>>It exists in any major relgion. If I went down to the local church during a sermon/mass, took a bible and pissed on it, chances are, I'd offend them.
>>
>>I agree with you, Silentmind. I wasn't trying to defend any person that feels the need to violate any holy text. Anyone that does that has their own set of serious personal issues to deal with.
>>I just see a huge difference in how people respond to an act like that. It's one thing to be offended, and quite another to strike out in overzealous righteous anger, calling for physical harm or even the offenders death.
>>My reaction to their overreaction is wanting to tell them to get a life, chill out, bring it down a thousand, drink a beer and go watch a movie...have some healthy sex, smile and start enjoying life, cuz it's short and gonna be over before you know it.
>>God would want it that way.
>>: )
>
>
>Oh, I was just making a statement. Wasn't even in reference to your post. And hif, I agree, most would be just offended. But there are wackjobs in every organized, and unorganized religion that would threaten physical harm. I would venture a guess that the percentage is about the same amongst the major religions.
>
I would have to disagree with your last statement about the percentages being the same. Maybe a couple hundred years ago, but not now. I would say that Wahabism is a far greater percentage of Islam than any Christian, Hindu, or Buddhist "wackjob" as you put it in their respective religions.
The radical muslims are more than mere wackjobs, they are a significant part of the muslim world and until very recently they were a growing population.


 
addi Posted: Wed Jun 8 07:35:11 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  ifihadahif said:

>The radical muslims are more than mere wackjobs, they are a significant part of the muslim world and until very recently they were a growing population.

I think it would be interesting to read some valid statistics on this. I also think it would be next to impossible to find them.

Perhaps it's my personal bias speaking, but something tells me that out of the millions and millions of practicing muslims in the world that the percentage of radical muslims still remains a small percentage of the whole. We hear about what they say and do every day and perhaps mistakenly jump to the conclusion that this vocal minority is much larger than it really is.
I also think that too many muslims may have a mistaken belief (taken from their news sources, mosque leaders, government, etc) that the vast majority of western christians are fanatical Allah hating lunatics.

Maybe it's just wishful thinking on my part, but I want to believe that the majority of people worshipping Jesus and Muhammad still allow reason, rationality, and love to guide them in their daily lives.


 
ifihadahif Posted: Wed Jun 8 09:04:21 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  addi said:
>ifihadahif said:
>
>>The radical muslims are more than mere wackjobs, they are a significant part of the muslim world and until very recently they were a growing population.
>
>I think it would be interesting to read some valid statistics on this. I also think it would be next to impossible to find them.
>
>Perhaps it's my personal bias speaking, but something tells me that out of the millions and millions of practicing muslims in the world that the percentage of radical muslims still remains a small percentage of the whole. We hear about what they say and do every day and perhaps mistakenly jump to the conclusion that this vocal minority is much larger than it really is.
>
Begin with the radical clerics, they number in the thousands, and mulitiply that by the people they minister to.
That alone will get you a significant number of wackjobs. Admittedly, it's not really accurate to a percentage, but it does yield a picture of a lot of potential terrorists.
Remember, a small percentage of millions is still a helluva lot of people.
>I also think that too many muslims may have a mistaken belief (taken from their news sources, mosque leaders, government, etc) that the vast majority of western christians are fanatical Allah hating lunatics.
>
I totally agree.
>Maybe it's just wishful thinking on my part, but I want to believe that the majority of people worshipping Jesus and Muhammad still allow reason, rationality, and love to guide them in their daily lives.
>
I totally agree with this as well, but given the choice between the Wahabbism of the Middle East and the wackjobs of the west, the obvious answer is a no-brainer.
You just don't see a lot of heads rolling around over here and that means a lot to me.


 
addi Posted: Wed Jun 8 09:20:10 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  ifihadahif said:

>I totally agree.

*Addi shivers*


: )


 
FN Posted: Wed Jun 8 09:23:36 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  ifihadahif said:
>Silentmind said:
>>It exists in any major relgion. If I went down to the local church during a sermon/mass, took a bible and pissed on it, chances are, I'd offend them.
>>
>True, but there is a difference.
>By pissing on a bible, your risk of physical harm is minimal, but piss on a koran and you will likely be murdered.

Isn't that the same with racism?

Talk about white trash and nobody cares.

Talk about marginalised immigrants and you're a racist.


 
FN Posted: Wed Jun 8 09:32:51 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  One thing I do know though, seen during the documentary I watched and mentioned in some earlier posts, during the first days people are forced to pee in their pants.

They get to drink a lot because high tension can cause dehydration, after which they are brought to a room where they are told that they can urinate, yet they aren't allowed to pull down/open their pants.

It's a custom the muslim's that are praying have to be completely clean, yet since they did not allow them to open their pants, or change them during the first days, they had to pray in their urine-soaked pants.

In the documentary I saw, the same thing happened, and when one of the volunteers asked if he could have a new pair of pants since he was forced to urinate in the one he was wearing, the supervisor (an ex-interrogator/supervisor of Guantanamo, following the approved guidelines) told him he could not have a new pair, since he had voluntarily urinated in it.

The volunteer rebutted that by saying that he did not have a choice since he wasn't allowed to open his pants or pull them down, so he had to urinate in his pants, after which the supervisor told him that nobody had physicly forced him to do so, so it had been his own choice, so he wasn't allowed to get a new pair. They share your logic there, hif ;o)



Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that these people come from a different culture, so have different values and customs. I don't care about somebody pissing on a bible or a koran or whatever, and I don't think many christians would care if they had to pray while being dirty or clean, yet for muslim's it's a part of their traditions, so I can see how it must have an impact on them, although I agree that the reactions were blown out of proportion.


 
Mesh Posted: Wed Jun 8 09:33:10 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Christophe, white people are nothing but ugly fatties who cant dance, suck at sports, and have small penises(for the men) or asses (for the women). They also are uptight pricks who are afraid of everything and like to wear sweater over their shoulders while they try to play tennis. Thats why noone cares.





Black people are all lazy, violent savages who leech off the government and spend their spare time smoking crack and playing basketball. Their spare time, is of course, anytime they are not DEALING crack and shooting people/robbing people.


Which one would more people find offensive?





 
FN Posted: Wed Jun 8 09:47:11 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  meshuggah said:
>and have small penises(for the men) or asses (for the women).

Speak for yourself, friend.

And also, I don't like big asses. I like feminine hips, but that's something very different than a big ass that waggles all over the place.


 
Mesh Posted: Wed Jun 8 09:56:51 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  I was just using commonly held stereotypes. Of course my genitalia are of massive proportions. And I agree with the feminine hips thing completely. No one likes to see cottage cheese.


 
addi Posted: Wed Jun 8 10:01:53 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  meshuggah said:
>Christophe, white people are nothing but ugly fatties who cant dance, suck at sports, and have small penises(for the men) or asses (for the women). They also are uptight pricks who are afraid of everything and like to wear sweater over their shoulders while they try to play tennis.

It's so true...there's nothing like playing a set of tennis with my pastel green cashmere sweater draped over my shoulders. That way I can suck at playing, but still look cool.
And I work right next to a male black stud. I just know his penis is longer than mine.



 
FN Posted: Wed Jun 8 10:05:20 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Largest Penis by Race
"It is generally said that the penis of the Negro is very large," so wrote German anthropologist Johann Friedrich Blumenbach in 1795. "And this assertion is so far borne out by the remarkable genitory apparatus of an Ethiopian which I have in my anatomical collection." Louis Jacolliet, a 19th century French writer who spent three decades investigating penis size, had this to say: "In no branch of the human race are the male organs more developed than in the African Negro." Certainly, the belief in the well-endowment of the African race has an extensive history. But is it justified by the facts?

Going strictly by the Kinsey data, which still remains one of the most exhaustive studies on penis size to date, the average white male has a penis measuring 6.2 inches long and 3.7 inches around, whereas the average black male has a penis 6.3 by 3.8 inches, for a difference of 0.1 inches--not what you'd call statistically significant. When it came to flaccid length, however, blacks fared a little better: 4.3 inches long, versus 4.0 inches for white males. So it may be, therefore, that while those of African heritage appear larger initially, under actual working conditions things tend to even out. You should consider this a tentative hypothesis rather than a scientific fact, as there were only 59 black respondents to the survey, versus 2,500 for whites.



http://sexualrecords.com/WSRphysiology.html#largest_penis_by_race


 



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