In case you missed it: Newsweek Editor Mark Whitaker said, "Although other major news organizations had aired charges of Qur'an desecration based only on the testimony of detainees, we believed our story was newsworthy because a U.S. official said government investigators turned up this evidence. So we published the item."
Red Cross Says It Told U.S. in 2002 About Alleged Mishandling of Koran "The International Committee of the Red Cross said yesterday that it repeatedly expressed concern to the U.S. government in 2002 and early 2003 about a series of credible detainee allegations that military guards at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba had mishandled and shown disrespect to the Koran."
Ari Berman makes the case that Newsweek Was Right Berman quotes from the article NYT article Inquiry Finds Abuses at Guantanamo Bay posted over at Remote Post :
"Contrary to White House spin, the allegations of religious desecration at Guantanamo such as those described by Newsweek on 9 May 2005 are common among ex-prisoners and have been widely reported outside the United States. Several former detainees at the Guantanamo and Bagram airbase prisons have reported instances of their handlers sitting or standing on the Koran, throwing or kicking it in toilets, and urinating on it.
One such incident (during which the Koran was thrown into a pile and stepped on) prompted a hunger strike among Guantanamo detainees in March 2002. Regarding this, the New York Times in a 1 May 2005, article interviewed a former detainee, Nasser Nijer Naser al-Mutairi, who said the protest ended with a senior officer delivering an apology to the entire camp. And the Times reports: "A former interrogator at Guantanamo, in an interview with the Times, confirmed the accounts of the hunger strikes, including the public expression of regret over the treatment of the Korans." (Neil A. Lewis and Eric Schmitt, "Inquiry Finds Abuses at Guantanamo Bay," New York Times, May 1, 2005, p. 35.)
Caving in to pressure from the Pentagon and the White House, Newsweek magazine Monday retracted a story on anti-Muslim abuse of detainees held in the Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, detention camp. Notice that with all the talk about Newsweek the fact that these specific allegations have already been reported (March 26, 2003 in the Washington Post for example) is really not made clear to the American public. Returning Afghans Talk of Guantanamo: “others complained that American soldiers insulted Islam by sitting on the Koran or dumping their sacred text into a toilet to taunt them.”
See my post But was the Newsweek story about the Quran actually wrong?