RIOTS IN AFGHANISTAN….General Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke to reporters about Newsweek’s Koran desecration story last Thursday:
It is the judgment of our commander in Afghanistan, General Eichenberry, that in fact the violence that we saw in Jalalabad was not necessarily the result of the allegations about disrespect for the Koran, but more tied up in the political process and the reconciliation process that President Karzai and his cabinet are conducting in Afghanistan. He thought it was not at all tied to the article in the magazine.
Of course, that was five days ago, back when the Army itself still thought the charges of Koran desecration at Guantanamo were plausible enough to merit further investigation. At the time, when they were afraid the charges might be true, they were eager to claim that the riots were entirely unrelated. Now that the charges appear to be false, they’re equally eager to pretend that the blood of Afghanistan is on Newsweek’s hands.
Newsweek should have been more careful with its sourcing, but they aren’t responsible for the riots in Afghanistan and the Pentagon knows it. The press should ignore the transparently calculated outbursts of banshee howling from the right and acknowledge this too.