Assumption of Command

26 May 2005

Headline abuse from Reuters

What does this Headline say to you: "FBI memo reports Guantanamo guards flushing Koran"

It tells me the flushing incident actually happened. Now go on and read the story:

Reuters:
The newly released document, dated Aug. 1, 2002, contained a summary of statements made days earlier by a detainee, whose name was redacted, in two interviews with an FBI special agent, whose name also was withheld, at the Guantanamo prison for foreign terrorism suspects.
[...]
Di Rita said the U.S. military questioned the detainee on May 14, and that the man was "very cooperative and answered the questions but did not corroborate the allegation recorded on Aug. 1, 2002." Di Rita said he did not know whether the man actually recanted the allegation.
So when the same detainee is question about the situation he tells a different story.
"These kind of, sort of, fantastic charges about our guys doing something willfully heinous to a Koran for the purposes of rattling detainees are not credible on their face," Di Rita told reporters.
But you couldn't tell that from the Headline.

Update: The MediaSlander Guys and I seem to be thinking a like. the have it posted there as well: Don't believe the Reuters headline, read the actual story:
That sure is a wild departure from the headline plastered on the top, which reads that an FBI actually reported a Koran flushing. Take the time to read the story's lead, and the agent merely is passing on an accusation.
I think I am going to like these guys.