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.
A two-word obscenity was written in English on the inside cover of another copy. One interrogator was fined for "a pattern of unacceptable behaviour", according to a month-long inquiry.
The details will cause further embarrassment for the Pentagon, which has been fighting claims that the Koran was systematically mishandled as a tactic by US interrogators to break detainees.
The findings were deliberately released late into the night in an attempt to minimise the damage. But Pentagon chiefs insisted that despite the problems uncovered, the investigation revealed that the vast majority of personnel respected the Koran.
Well, isn't that just peachy. The "vast majority" of personnel are respectful. That doesn't sound like an appropriate apology for the affect on Muslim sensibilities throughout the world for the significant minority who are not respectful.
President Bush has challenged the stories of former detainees released from Guantanamo Bay, calling them lies. The remark was in response to a report from Amnesty International that branded Guantanamo Bay, which houses 550 prisoners from Afghanistan and the War on Terror, a "modern-day Gulag".
General Hood revealed last week that investigators had found five cases of mishandling of the Koran. Further details emerged last night and confirmed that one US soldier deliberately kicked a copy of the Koran and an interrogator stepped on one as part of a pattern of unauthorised behaviour. One unidentified American urinated through an air vent onto a detainee and his Koran. In other confirmed incidents, guards threw water balloons that left an unspecified number of Korans wet.
What I'm most ashamed of is America's self-righteous dishonesty. Now, who's going to apologize to Newsweek????