Auntie: “How do you like your news little dears?”

Public: “If you’re asking whether we like our news rancid and shot through with mould in a congealed puddle of grease or fresh, we’ll take the latter. Somehow, Auntie Beeb, this does not seem like a real choice.”

It may be a bit rotten and unfounded but the BBC (al Reuters , Amnesty International and the ACLU) think you need another serving of a two-year-old ‘story’ alleging Koran-flushing. Recall that the “allegators” are suspected terrorists with no love for the USA passing unverified charges to people whose sole purpose in life seems to be sliming the USA. This is news? Power Line looks at the misleading headline by Reuters but their analysis fits the Beeb like a wart on a witch’s nose.

This story has been marked by two features, I think: lousy reporting, and a desperate desire on the part of leftists worldwide to believe that assertions made by Guantanamo detainees, no matter how outlandish and uncorroborated, are true.

I need some Alka Seltzer!

UPDATE: John Podhoretz notes the following in The Corner:

The Washington Post has a big story about the charges of Koran desecration at Guantanamo and how they appear in an FBI report. Big deal. All this means is that the terrorists at Guantanamo were retailing the story about a Koran flushed down the toilet and told interrogators about it. There are a few possibilities here. One is that the allegation is true, which seems to be a common presumption even though there is no evidence for it but the same prisoner tales repeated over and over until they sound like a cascade of differing reports. It seems at least as likely that the whole allegation is a gigantic game of telephone where the prisoners exchanged stories, the stories got retold and this is where it all ended up. It’s also very possible that the whole thing is an Al Qaeda distortion game of the sort discussed in the infamous training manual uncovered in Manchester, England — in which terrorists were instructed to use the softness of liberal democracies against liberal democracies should they get captured.

These are sociopaths we’re talking about here. Andrew Sullivan would do well to remember that. As would the Washington Post. And Newsweek. And Amnesty International. [And the BBC!-kb]

I’m feeling a bit better.

UPDATE 2: And now the BBC is reporting that the US military is able to confirm that the Gitmo detainee who alleged flushing of the Koran retracted his allegation.

The inmate who made the original allegation about the Koran being flushed down the toilet had retracted it, he said. A Pentagon spokesman characterised the incidents as mainly inadvertent handling of the Muslim holy book.

And how many confirmed incidents were there since 2001? Five.

How does the BBC headline read? Inquiry finds Koran ‘mishandling’

How does the al Reuters headline read? Pentagon says detainee retracts Koran allegation

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58 Responses to Unpalatable.

  1. James says:

    OT, but there’s this in today’s Evening Standard (London)


    “crushing of dissent”.


  2. DumbJon says:

    Michelle Malkin also covers this garbage well:


    MM also reminds us that Al-Quaida’s own manuals instruct members to lie about being tortured – but try getting the Beeb to report that.

    This story is the epitome of BBC bias. What we have here is a situation where a group of fanatics who consider mass murder to be a good day’s work, think Infidels are less than human and who have been caught planning to lodge false allegations. Maybe it’s just me, but I think the media could treat these allegations with at least the same scepticism they treat Conservative policy announcements.


  3. alex says:

    Is Al Beeb doing Al Jazeeras bidding in the UK?

    I think we should be told.


  4. Pete_London says:


    “He posted a message – which later vanished – on the
    BBC website message boards saying the corporation had shown a “wilful disregard for all that we learnt over the past 25 years, and the loss of the clear responsibility the BBC has to its licence payers”.

    Crushing of dissent indeed. Off to the White City gulag with him.


  5. alex says:

    from LGF a story that no Afghanis died in Koran Riots as reported by beeb and others


    and the LGF story



  6. jon livesey says:

    “This story has been marked by two features, I think: lousy reporting, and a desperate desire on the part of leftists worldwide to believe that assertions made by Guantanamo detainees, no matter how outlandish and uncorroborated, are true.”

    Well, not to point out the obvious, but surely the quickest way to clear this up is to bring the detainees to court.

    I wasn’t there, so I don’t know, but right now I can’t decide between “outlandish assertions” and “people in denial”.

    If anyone wants me to have an informed opinion, they should give me the evidence.


  7. JohninLondon says:

    OT The Tody programme had a good sneer today at one of the colleges that was the focus of the AUT boycott.


    Hlf the journalists at the BBC seem to miss their student leftie activist days.


  8. Kerry B says:

    Yes, the BBC should report evidence, not allegations. Dredging up two-year old, uncorroborated accusations is not good journalism. This is the agenda of the ACLU and Amnesty International (which refers to Gitmo as “the Gulag of our times”)!!


    Propaganda Level: neck deep
    News Value: zilch


  9. JohninLondon says:

    I allege that BBC news presenters do strange things with goats.

    Will they run that allegation? Of course not.

    We KNOW that it is in the Al Q training manual that anyone captured should make allegations about the captors. But there are plenty of “useful idiots” willing to give credence to their lies.


  10. jon livesey says:

    “One is that the allegation is true, which seems to be a common presumption even though there is no evidence for it but the same prisoner tales repeated over and over until they sound like a cascade of differing reports.”

    Not quite. Other similar allegations involving prisoner abuse have turned out to be true, as the US Army itself admits. And in that case the US Army was in full denial mode until photograhic evidence was leaked.

    The latest allegations may turn out to be false after all, but there is currently an unseemly rush to dismiss them out of hand.

    I find myself wondering why John Podhoretz isn’t demanding an urgent investigation to clarify these issues, so that if false we have the evidence to refute them. Just mocking the allegations seems to me to be a very weak response.


  11. Andrew Paterson says:

    The fact it’s impossible to flush a 700 page book down a toilet should be of some relevence.


  12. Denise W says:

    What is never brought up on this issue is that a Koran wouldn’t even FIT down the freakin toilet! It wouldn’t even get far enough down to stop it up and overflow it! Do these idiots not think about that?


  13. Denise W says:

    Andrew, I hadn’t seen your post when I commented. Glad someone else made this point.


  14. Denise W says:

    When I say idiots, I’m referring to the MSM, of course, not commenters here.


  15. Hilary says:

    John Livesy makes the sane point: true enough the allegations are thus far unsubstantiated, if you hold that as good enough reason for the beeb not to report it , or at least withour greater caution and qualification – surely to jump to the opposite conclusions “these people are sociopaths” is to be guilty of precisely the same crime – bias, pre-judging without evidence.

    I’m quite sure that neither I, or anyone else here has any right whatsoever to claim to know what goes on inide Guantanamo – how on earth could we? Of course as long as the prisoners are denied a fair trial, or indeed any kind of trial in many cases we’re unlikely to get to the truth either way.

    Oh – btw, I have heard a news report, (or a feature interview I think rather than news) that mentioned that the training manual mentions using liberal laws to own adavantage’ – I gather this too is unsubstantiated though – who here has read the infamous Al Quaida training manual? or indeed seen a copy of it……


  16. Hilary says:

    btw – I relaise theres the copy on the web purporting to the manual – but this can’t be proven to be a mass produced document as is claimed, nor is it the definite article necessarily.

    It strikes me as VERY ODD INDEED that if this really is the manual giving instruction to America-haters how to go about putting that hatred into practice, why oh why would the US publish the thing on the WWW!

    If the need to prove its existence and affirm consent to militray intervention is MORE important than preventing further atrocities, hmmm, sees an odd way of prioritising to me.


  17. PJF says:

    Off Topic and Important:

    Those getting their news coverage exclusively from the BBC will be unaware of a scandal involving possible breach of the ministerial code by a senior UK cabinet minister. The minister’s spouse is a defendant in a court case involving money laundering and tax fraud. A senior civil servant at the minister’s department released a press statement by the minister’s spouse in relation to the case. Her Majesty’s Opposition will be asking questions in the House of Commons.

    The minister in question, Tessa Jowell, is the minister responsible for the review and renewal of the BBC’s Royal Charter…

    You can read about the story here:


  18. JohninLondon says:


    How come lots of knew about the manual but you did not ? Answer = you are fed your news through the leftie prism of the BBC and the Guardian. Not the old Manchester Guardian which had a respect for balance, which had Alstair Cooke as its US correspondent but the Guardian that has now lost David Aaranovich, while the BBC hs clowns like Mtt Frei and Justin Webb mis-reporting from the US.

    So now you are told about the manual. So you seem to go straight into denial ?

    It is obvious why the manual has been published by the DoJustice. To reveal some of the propaganda methods of Al Q. It seems terriby naive and obtuse of you to ask the question. Anyone who wanted these terrorists harried and exposed would see the reason instantly. It is disingenuous of you to say that you have not actually seen the manual yourself.

    I picture you with hands over ears with the mantra “I can’t hear you, that’s not true”


  19. Pete_London says:

    Hot off the press:



    In short, a US military investigation has uncovered five incidents of Koran mishandling at Gitmo. The incidents were both deliberate and accidental.

    Frankly, big deal. We had those famously moderate muslims burning crosses in London last week. We need to stop abasing ourselves and tell a billion muslims to grow up.

    I digress …

    Buried down near the bottom they quote a Brig Gen Hood:

    ‘The inmate who made the original allegation about the Koran being flushed down the toilet had retracted it, he said.’

    The inmate lied, people died!

    To be honest though, I’m not sure which allegation this refers to. Newsweek got their story from a Pentagon source IIRC, the British muslim who made the same allegation was freed some months ago IIRC. It’s not clear which Koran and which toilet is referred to here. It’s all so confusing this ritual Koranic abuse.


  20. RightForScotland says:

    Why do we care about the abuse of the Koran? After all, I did a simple Google search and found allegations of desecration of Christian and Judaic sites in the Holy Land, and using the old St James as toilet paper.

    ITS A BOOK, buy another from Amazon.


  21. marc says:

    Rightforscotland is right. When are we going to see some media reports on Muslims attacking Christians?

    When are we going to see some Christian protest marches against the desecration of Christian symbols?



  22. Nigel Holland says:

    Off topic

    Check out this typical piece of anti-conservative bias from the BBC as high lighted on the David Davis for leader blog.



  23. max says:

    “So much for striking to protect standards. It’s a strike to ensure that licence payers’ cash goes into his members’ pockets.”
    Stephen Pollard observes.


  24. Joe N. says:

    SInce when did prisoners of war get a trial? They’re held and then repatriated when they can’t provide any more useful information.

    As for publishing the A-Q training manual, it’s important to note that we aren’t dealing with passionate, guitar playing luvvies who want to “buy the world a coke and keep it company.”


  25. Kerry B says:

    Hilary and jon livesay

    It seems to me that your underlying point about due process for the inmates at Guantanamo is used as justification for shoddy,’reporting’ by the BBC. I have no problem with expressions of opinion, left, right, middle. Just don’t try and dress it up as something it is not, (opinion dressed as news and agenda-driven reporting) something the Beeb does on a daily basis.


  26. anon says:

    Any Christians here care to worship in the church of their choice in Karachi? How about Riyadh, Tehran or Ankara? The Sudan anyone?
    Q: How do secular lefties, convinced of their own self-evident rightness, report on the regular, institutionalised, ruling elite-sanctioned abuse of Christians in muslim theocracies?
    A: They don’t. Not unless they absolutely have to. A massacre in a church in Karachi? Couple of grudging paragraphs.
    Systematic annihilation of Christians in the Sudan? Where’s the UN, yawn! What’s for lunch?
    Unfounded allegations of Koran abuse by US troops? HOLD THE FRONT PAGE!!! SPLASH PAGES 1,2,3,4,5. When people die in the inevitable rioting, raise eyes to heaven, roll out claptrap about ‘joe public’s right to know’.
    No one believes the press is objective. We all choose media to suit our tastes and prejudices. No one believes the BBC is unbiased and no one should be forced to pay for it. Simple.


  27. Eamonn says:

    On the Today programme news this morning, the Koran was referred to reverentially as “the holy book”.

    I have no problem with that, as long as the Bible is also called the same. But is it on the BBC? Ever?


  28. Susan says:

    Not just Christians. 20 Shiite Muslims just got blown up in Pakistan today.

    And 14 of them are on trial — including 5 children —
    for “blasphemy” in the enlightened Pakistan.

    Of course, who are we to talk? Oriana Fallaci is now on trial for the same “offense” — “blasphemy” against Islam — in Italy.

    Does anyone understand why a country that has been Christian majority for about 1800 years would put a citizen on trial for “blasphemy” against a newly come, alien belief system?


  29. Eamonn says:

    Because amongst the European elites the desire to be good dhimmis knows no bounds.


  30. Susan says:

    On the Today programme news this morning, the Koran was referred to reverentially as “the holy book”.

    Argh. Gag.

    I didn’t need to know that, Eamonn. I haven’t had my breakfast yet.


  31. JohninLondon says:

    Useful discussion on what “fair and balanced” means.

    BBC fails abysmally on most of the tests mentioned.



  32. Miam says:

    This is better

    Viewers force change to forecasts


    Why they ever thought that a 3-second fly-by on each area would suffice I’ll never know.

    Also, If there’s a big cloud over your part of the UK it completely hides the contours of Britain so you can’t see where your area is.

    Hope the ‘updated’ look will be better.


  33. Comrade_Smirnoff says:

    You must be joking! Muslims have been the victims of white imperialism for hundreds of years.

    The Americans bomb Iraqi women and children with planes and missiles from afar, like cowards! and they have the audacity to call Zarqawi a Terrorist??? Puh!!!

    I wouldn’t be suprised if Zarqawi was actually working for the CIA (just like BIN LADEN) it’s all a mind game, it’s all deception, it’s all black ops. The Americans actually WANT a civil war between suni and shia. To quote Bush’s infamous state of the union address. “We will turn the terrorists against each other.”

    Hah! Gotcha, we know your game mate. Well it ain’t gonna work. The arabs are sick and tired of having their sophisticated civilisation torn apart by hungry imperialist wolves.

    The rapacious Western savages are doomed to fail, and the evil, exploitative, racialist capitalist superstructure will collapse, freeing mankind from his chains and alienation, and returning him to his natural, communistic, benevolent self.


  34. Jack says:

    Miam,’this is better’-debatable.
    What that article from Bias News fails to mention is the £1 million that it cost to introduce those maps! Now effectively money down the drain.
    Q. Will anyone be sacked for this waste of money?
    A. I doubt it, they will probably be sent on a holiday to get over the stress of their failure.


  35. thedogsdanglybits says:

    With reference to various posts on the weather maps, above having read the Evening Standard article at: http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/articles/18888759?source=Evening%20Standard I picked up on one particular line – “everybody knew the land was green, not brown. “I can’t even work out what some of it is,” he added”
    Well what does the land look like?
    One way was to go to: http://www.multimap.com/ , plug in a postcode, chose the aerial photo option on maximum scale and look.
    At 1:200,000 scale you get a view that covers a couple of hundred square miles. Try it with pretty near any postcode in the country and it looks predominately…..green.
    Unless, of course you type in the postcode of Broadcastng House ‘W1A 1AA’ when, suprise, there is a distinctly brownish tinge.
    And what does this longwinded process go to show?
    What we knew already.
    That the BBC see’s everything from a metropolitan point of view and prefers to pretend that the rest of the country doesn’t exist.

    In passing, if you’re looking for an antidote to touchy feely non-judgemental UK radio spend a bit of time one afternoon with Dr. Laura Schlessinger who does an agony aunt program broadcast out of Omaha http://www.1290kkar.com/
    To the woman who phoned in to talk about the third husband she’s had with drug and violence problems:
    ” Look into the possibility of arranged marriages, hun. You’re obviously not responsible enough to choose a husband for yourself. Next caller…”


  36. Verity says:

    They referred to the koran as “the holy book” on the BBC? That should be enough to get their licence yanked right there.


  37. alex says:

    dogs bits

    Dr Laura is just what we need, faced with such a caller the BBC would find and Outreach Advisor and give out a number to call “…if you have been affected by any of the issues raised on this program”.

    What we really need from the BBC is a number to call to apply for our money back.
    With Interest.


  38. dan says:

    Couple of snippets from “The Times”

    In an article on the DG’s plans for change/strikes

    “the Director-General wryly noted that he had received 35 requests for interviews from BBC News when he announced the restructuring plan in December, compared with one each from ITN and Sky.”


    and from an article on the BBC’s satisfaction with 10 more years of forced funding

    “Interestingly, by the BBC’s own admission in the Green Paper, if the licence fee was dropped in favour of a subscription fee, the cost would have been £156 a year in 2004, an increase of 30 per cent — or £35 a year — to cover for the fact that not everyone would take it up. A significant increase in percentage terms, but not in cash terms.”



  39. jon livesey says:

    “It seems to me that your underlying point about due process for the inmates at Guantanamo is used as justification for shoddy,’reporting’ by the BBC.”

    I think that you need to re-read what I wrote. I’m not particularly concerned about due process. I’m saying that if someone wants *me* to have an informed opinion, they need to get the evidence out in the open.


  40. jon livesey says:

    ” Why do we care about the abuse of the Koran?”

    This discussion is getting very confused. I don’t care about the Koran at all. As an atheist I don’t care about any holy books “as holy books”.

    What I care about is what this sort of thing does to our relations with Moslems, and how it affects the security situation in Iraq.

    Any time the people you claim to be liberating can find an excuse to accuse you of misconduct, that’s a tactical error on your part. Unless you actually *want* to alienate Moslems, you don’t go out of your way to do things that are higly offensive to them, such as stripping them naked or ‘mishandling” their holy book.


  41. Peter says:

    What John Livesy needs to understand is the Jihadist faction of Islam will always find something that is highly offemsive to them.They have managed to lower the bar so that whilst they can fly planes into buildings,car bomb innocent women and children and slowly hack a mans head off on video, the mere allegation of illtreatment can cause outrage.
    They have already read us their mission statement it is war to the death,this isn’t going to resolved by slapping an ASBO on them.


  42. thedogsdanglybits says:

    For the second time in six months the BBC looks like coming out on the losing side of a democratic debate. First the shock horror victory of Bush in the Presidential contest and now, as it was gearing up to brainwash the country into assenting to the European Constitution, the French may well (if you’ll excuse a mixed metaphor) shoot its fox.
    With the UK referendum a dead duck (to libel another deceased creature) the europhiles at the Beeb will be repositioning themselves.
    How do we think they’ll jump?
    If you listened to this evening’s World Tonight we were treated to the novel experience of BBC presenters just reporting the news from Paris with balanced interviews from both perspectives. It’s a pleasent suprise but it can’t last.
    Personally I think there’ll be an attempt to triangulate the French non because the constitution is contrary to French socialist aspirations with an assumed UK no because it is too socialist. Thusly they will argue that it must be about right if it upsets both sides equally.
    This has to be a falacy because many of the French are rejecting it for precicely the same reason that many of the Brits would if asked. Too much interference from Brussels. Even the French left feel this way. They want the freedom to head off to build their socialist paradise without the impedence of the EU.
    I think we may look back on this as the absolute high-water mark of the EU but like any over-large wave, when it breaks it comes down with an almighty crash and a lot of things get swept away.
    One of those things is likely to be the Euro which has been far from successful since its introduction. How a state (which is what Europe has become in all but name and democratic validity) goes about dismantling its currency I havn’t a clue but is unlikely to be a painless process. We may have our feet dry at the moment but we are bound to be caught with the spray.
    I wonder if we might also see a retreat of the statist mentality. If the EU starts to disintigrate a great deal of current government policy becomes irrelevent. So does much of our bureaucratic encumberance and the institutions it spawns. One of those is the BBC. We may be seeing the back of it sooner than we hoped.


  43. Denise W says:

    I was watching on BBC America the other day where the BBC was asking Dutch people on the street if they were for or against the EU. Everyone they interviewed said they were against EU Constitution and would vote “no”. I was shocked that this was actually reported.


  44. JohninLondon says:

    On the 6 O’Clock News, radio 4, aq guy reported that the UK population has now passed 60 million.

    He then argued that the days of claiming that we are an overcrowded island are long gone. He concluded by saying “who knows, we may soon be begging for more immigrants to come and look after us.”

    15 seconds of factual news, 3 minutes of his Guardianista opinion.


  45. jon livesey says:

    “What John Livesy needs to understand is the Jihadist faction of Islam will always find something that is highly offemsive to them.”

    The outrage over these alleged events is not confined to some “Jihadist faction”.

    That’s so obvious that it really ought not to need pointing out.


  46. jon livesey says:

    “He then argued that the days of claiming that we are an overcrowded island are long gone. He concluded by saying “who knows, we may soon be begging for more immigrants to come and look after us.”

    This is actually not unreasonable as an opinion. It’s not a question of land area – we have far to go before reaching the density of a Singapore or Hong Kong.

    It’s more a question of demographics. As the population ages, we actually do need more younger workers to help with the worker/retired ratio. If we don’t have large families, more immigration is about the only answer.


  47. Joerg says:

    You’re a member of the Communist Party, Jon?


  48. jon livesey says:

    ” You’re a member of the Communist Party, Jon?”

    No. I learned my anti-communism the hard way; by actually living in the old USSR. I’m a genuine anti-communist, not the armchair variety.

    And if you think about it for even a moment, if I was a commie – or any other boogie-man of your choice – I’d be delighted by the US Army’s misbehaviour, not worried by it.

    Another thing that’s so obvious that it really shouldn’t need pointing out.


  49. DumbJon says:

    Well, now, about that Islamic outrage:


    See that’s the thing. Andrew Marrtian might be jamming away on the ‘it’s all a matter of perspective’ riff, but here we have two material facts that the BBC has not passed on:

    i/ there is evidence of Islamoids planning to make false allegations

    ii/ people have questioned the claims of Koran Toilet Induced Death Syndrome.

    Given the Beeb’s constant pseudo-legalistic babblings about the Geneva Conventions and the like, I feel quite justified in pointing out that suppression of exculpatory evidence is exactly the type of thing that sets the Bebboids off on a whineathon when done by the Bill.


  50. JohninLondon says:

    jon livesey

    You are missing the point yet again. We re talking about BIAS.

    1 The BBC reporter suggested that we should welcome much more immigration. That is bias towards more of the multi-culti mess they have created already.

    2 As you say – this was an OPINION. But we don’t want his OPINION. Why should we be fed OPINION by some BBC hack we have never heard of ?

    I bet he ws proud of his little report. Got ll his colleagues to murmeur “That’s the way, give it to them”. Whereas any BBC reporter who tried to lard the same report on rapid population increase with comments of alarm, of opposition to further mass immigration, would be ostracised. The BBC canteen culture, the editorial theme, is totally pro-immigration. It is BIASED. The fact that you are on that side as well is neither here nor there. The point is that there are different sides to the issue, but the BBC only presents the Guardianista side.

    3 So if you want to deny this systemic bias, please produce examples of BBC reporters advancing THEIR opinions that we need to block this scale of immigration. I think we will be a long time waiting.