A soldier’s take on Newsweek’s unsourced mayhem

Got this in my email this morning, from a Sgt in Saudi Arabia. It speaks for itself. Newsweek cannot simply get by with a half-assed apology, not when they are putting our troops in additional danger, making their jobs more difficult and possibly extending the warfront.

As one of many thousands of soldiers out here, I just have to shake my head at each new “revelation” drug out by the mainstream media. I have lost friends and family to this fight. I have placed my life and the life of my fellow soldiers in danger in order to achieve a measure of the freedoms we enjoy at home for the Iraqi and Afghani people. As soldiers, we all understand that we may be asked to participate in wars (actions) that we (or our countrymen) don’t agree with. The irresponsible journalism being practiced by organizations such as Newsweek, however, are just inexcusable. At this point, because of their actions, and failure to follow up on a claim of that magnitude, they’ve set the process back in Afghanistan immensely…

Most everyone in the Army has, at this point, been on one combat tour already, many are here for their second or third. This pace of battle seriously deteriorates their lives at home and morale abroad. By adding
more fuel to the fire in Afghanistan, they could very well have created a similar situation that we now face in Iraq. Instead of a single front for determined battle, we may now find ourselves committing more troops to help stabilize two countries. [Personal detail omitted - the Anchoress]

I don’t regret serving my country, not one bit, but to have everything I’m doing here undermined by irresponsible journalists leaves me disgusted and disappointed.

The fall-out from this may be long lasting, and the body count may very well continue to rise, although only indirectly attributed to this story. More of my fellow Soldiers are likely to be committed to this war, and more
Americans may have to die before this is over. I wish that they would be held criminally liable for their

Please withhold my name and unit when quoting me….

While we’re reading all of this with our morning coffee, let’s pause and remember our military in a prayer.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • MyssiAnn

    Holy Father, bless and keep those serving our country abroad. They are in harm’s way because the folly of men and women who should know better. Help us to forgive those who have wronged them and keep safe those fighting for the cause of Freedom. I believe it is Your cause, Lord, because You told us that “the Truth shall set (us) free.” Thank you, Father, in the name of your son Jesus, Amen.

  • ForNow

    Newsweek still hold the view that it would have been okay if only the story had been true. Its truth would be Newsweek’s license to trigger riots, put American servicepeople into danger, and help Al Qaeda recruit. But what kind of truth would it be?

    It would not be a “truth” that human beings were systematically tortured, murdered, robbed, etc., or anything like that.

    Whatever view — reverent or irreverent — one may hold of the Koran or of any holy book, would dumping a copy of that book or of any book down some stinky hole by some soldier somewhere be WORTH riots, murders, and the helping of the terrorists? OF COURSE NOT.

  • auzerais

    Newsweek’s irresponibility will indeed lead to more American deaths, but mere half-hearted “apologies” simply will not suffice.
    Remember, Christians did not riot when Palestinian terrorists stormed the Church of the Nativity in Jerusalem and even used the Bible for toilet paper. Nor did we riot when the “artist” Solano created his “Piss Christ” by putting a crucifix in a jar of urine.
    As Americans, we will not riot, but we should call on every American to gather as many Newsweek subscription cards as they can gather and send them back with the words “NEWSWEEK LIED, PEOPLE DIED”.

  • James R. DeSoto


    Thank you for your service. Mine were battles already fought and sacrifices already paid. Todays are are your’s and those of your brother’s and we have, do and will remember you.

    I know first-hand the disgust you must feel reading stories like this while you serve so many miles from home. It is disgusting and inexcusable. Once again, both for those who don’t return home and those who do we, as a country, will have to ask ourselves what have we done.

    Never again? Don’t hold your breath.

    James R. DeSoto

  • Darrell

    The solution? Put these guys out of business. Cancel your subscriptions to all publications that promote anti-Americanism. Stop going to the movies to see Leftist message films. Stop buying the DVDs, the books. Keep your wallet closed. They will either change, or go out of business. Cut off “the blood supply” and the tumor will die.

  • ForNow

    A major American newsmagazine is actively working to put our armed service people into increased danger and we seem helpless to do anything about it. Newsweek wants to look further into this “murky” story. It is not even retracting the story.

    This disgrace is GROWING, it is NOT being contained. Newsweek is, in effect, saying that it is sorry that its battle strike against the USA may have been merely a bit premature.

    How many more reporters has Newsweek put on the story? Have they fanned out across the country, looking for tales of what some soldier somewhere may have done with a copy of some holy book? What possible value or meaning could such a story have even if it were true? It’s purely propaganda value, purely and nothing but. And it’s purely anti-American. And it’s purely pro-terrorist.

    Sure some Muslims go psycho and we shouldn’t have to pander to that, but Newsweek is going WAY OUT OF ITS WAY to find stories to pour more fat on the fire. We are at war!

  • stephanie

    The most important issue, to me, is not whether the story is right or not. It doesn’t matter, because they SHOULD NEVER HAVE RUN IT IN THE FIRST PLACE. My right to know ends when it makes the situation more dangerous for our guys over there. PERIOD. And yes, they should have known the reaction they would recieve in the Muslim world. That’s why they ran it, no? To horrify people.

  • Charles Aronowitz

    I will never read Newsweek again. It should be boycotted.

  • MC Lodahl

    Yes, Newsweek should have checked its’ data. So should have Dan Rather. But Rather’s story about GB’s prefential treatment to evade active military service, and the fact that he went AWOL, is true, according to independent sources.
    And as for misleading information that puts our troops into danger, have you read the Downing Street Memo?

  • Kyle

    MC Lodahl:
    Old tropes. Sorry but your post doesn’t persuade, and for heaven’s sake if we’ve learned nothing from the Newsweek Debacle, it should be NOT to use anonymous “sources,” so spare us the AWOL legend.
    PS Many of us have read the entire “Downing Street Memo”. I’ll wager you have not. Please don’t cite it if you haven’t read it, because you show your understanding of the Memo to be a millimetre deep, and suitable for a bumper sticker, but that’s about it.

  • newton

    It’s time to call all of Newsweek’s advertisers and let your displeasure be known.

    Nothing hurts anyone more than a bad reputation and the possibility of catching fleas from some disreputable character. Not to mention that it also hurts in the bank account.

    Contact Newseek’s advertisers. Subscriptions are just a tiny part of it.

  • http://postwatchblog.com Christopher Rake

    Newsweek still holds the view that it would have been okay if only the story had been true.

    They’re not conceding that it isn’t true.

    For all the talk about the weakness of Newsweek’s apology, it’s no longer clear what they’re apologizing for–because in this NYT story, Newsweek editor Mark Whitaker says “We’re not retracting anything. We don’t know what the ultimate facts are.”

  • Darrell

    What independent sources? The Democratic Underground? Move On? Kos?

    Get real. Your “beliefs” are not truth, no matter how many times you retell the lies. Bush’s service is a matter of public record, check it out. Kerry’s, on the other hand, is shrouded in mystery…How about signing that Form 180, Senator? We know about your Dishonorable Discharge already from the dates of your medals and the Sections of the Military Code cited in the material you’ve already released. What remains to be learned? I can speculate. The “Duck Dinner” would be a badge of honor to your supporters…What would cause them to squeal? Hmmm….

  • Margaret

    Darrell is correct — don’t buy the MSM output. The constituency of most of the liberal newspaper and newsmagazines does not read them anyway. If decent, thinking people who have had subscriptions for years begin to realize that they are being manipulated, they will (or should) stop buying them as a matter of principle.

    I believe that the past decades of the sale of family-owned newspapers to ever-larger consortia was not just an economic phenomenum, but was the attempt by leftist groups to propagandize the public. I just wonder about the source of the money that enabled this takeover.

    We can see how the entire West has flipped into secularism and anti-Americanism in the space of two decades. Where do they get their information about the world — from TV and newspapers. If, like our universities, these sources are corrupted by liberalism, then the public will be changed also.

  • http://NEWSWEEK RICK

    “When there is no justice, there will
    be VIOLENCE”.

  • Darrell

    Margaret is absolutely right. Let me emphasize that we are the source of the money that allowed the takeover by the Left.

    Start examining every purchase now. Do you want to pay $160,000+ to have your kids inculcated by Leftists at an Ivy League University? Must you go see those Leftist message films, almost every movie made today? Buy the DVDs? The merchandise? We didn’t pay close enough attention to those “Better Red than Dead” Euro-idiots at the time, and we are paying the price. “99 Red Balloons” couldn’t hold the air that is in their heads…Stop feeding the Left! Each and every part of it.

  • Mr. Right


    Newsweak Channels Emily Litella: “What? Oh. Nevermind!”

    Put a fork in another liberal MSM outlet. They’re done. Finished. Doomed. They could save a lot of time and effort by just turning out the lights and locking the door. There is nothing they can do or say that will ever get their reputation out of the sewer, where they have joined CBS News, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times at the absolute bottom of the sludge….

  • http://gatewaypundit.blogspot.com/ Jim Hoft

    I was sick of their coverage before the election. How soon I had forgotten what a rotten outfit they are. Wasn’t it their top editor that said the MSM was giving 10% to the dems in each election? How many recruits are they giving Al Qaeda? Too bad they can’t add these to their election totals!

  • shutupneocon

    The only people responsible for the violence and associated deaths supposedly tied to the Newsweek story are the subhumans that committed it. It is completely inconceivable that any Western religion would act in such fashion to equivalent slurs on the Bible
    or the Torah-and the religions themselves are already known to be regularly insulted and denigrated in the land where the religion of filth holds sway.This is a gigantic example of the sheer idiocy of trying to reform and rehabilitate the failed, ignorant and incompetent of the world, and yet more confirmation of how Muslims-not just the Arabs, who’ve got that 2nd handicap as well-are simply unable to attain what the Western world(or what remains of it)considers civilization, or anything resembling it on their own;leeching off it under the suicidal stupidity of ‘multiculturalism’ is another matter, at least until enough in the West wake up enough to end that bit of nonsense.The attempt at ‘rebuilding’ these benighted lands and creatures is an utter and foolish waste of lives and financial resources and has absolutely nothing to do with the interests of the US or the average citizen.If your friend wants to hold someone responsible for the wreck he sits in, let him start with those who put him there for no good reason, like President Drunk ‘n AWOL.

  • oxley

    Like Darrel said, cut off their blood supply. DON’T open the pocketbook for all this liberal jibe!!! Shut off the TV, don’t rent or buy the movies, don’t subscribe to the leftist publications, boycott, boycott, boycott!!! Most of all keep your childrens eyes and ears away from such (*^(&().

  • Mark

    Alas, my Newsweek subscription (which I have kept up for 20 years) expired in December, but the useless rag keeps showing up in my mailbox. I’m sure it’s part of a pathetic attempt to keep up their circulation numbers. For about a year now it’s been going directly into my recycling, but perhaps there is a good use for it after all. I’m not sure the paper will flush well though.

  • http://realclearpolitics Greg Anderson

    Needless to say, I will never subscribe to or buy an issue of Newsweek again. I am going to look at but not buy the next issue of Newsweek. I want to know what advetisers are still supporting this BS so I know who’s products I should avoid buying.

  • Tom

    I know we shouldn’t be surprised at the utter lack of judgment and bias displayed by the Entitled Media (formerly Main Stream Media), but somehow they keep topping themselves. The only place outlets like Newsweek have credibility is with America-Haters within and without the nation. This time those little idiots got a lot of people killed through their actions.

    The only fig leaf I’ll give them is that this probably was not a conspiracy on their part, just monumentally bad judgment and blinding bias. I hope they’re happy, now the “Arab Stree” is finally riled up for American blood, but it wasn’t Bush who did it, it was the “wise men” at Newsweek.

    Now the Left is all lining up to protect their own; claiming we’re blaming the victim. B.S! Does the phrase “incitement to riot” ring a bell? The guilty include the rioters AND the inciters. In this case the latter include not just Islamofascists, but the editors and 2 certain reporters at Newsweek. If they don’t think they should be expected to make these kind of judgment calls, then they should be in a different line of work and not enjoying the privileges they now practice.

    What’s especially pathetic is that these guys claim to operate under ethical guidelines. Hah! The more that comes out about the Newsweek process the worse it looks. If the public really knew now news (especially international news) was reported and edited, they’d never believe a word coming from the EM.

    Anyone who don’t understand by now that we fight terrorists over there, so we don’t fight them here is too dumb or blinded by bigotry/bias to be worth any time.

    They wanted the story to be true, it was too perfect, it contained everything they love to hate: Guantanamo, the US military, terrorists, Islam, supposed Bush Administration insensitivity, etc. etc.. They should be destroyed for this, but since that’ll never happen, at least fired and condemned.

    Please help start a punishment of the magazine until everyone responsible is fired. All the conservative media/blogosphere should start calling for a boycott of every advertiser in Newsweek and on MSNBC.com until the magazine fires all of them: the reporters, all the editors responsible, up through editor-in-chief.

    Maybe we need the equivelant of Sarbanes-Oxley for the EM. Personal liability for editors who publish false stories, at the whim of any prosecutor who feels like being the next Spitzer. I haven’t heard Newsweek and their ilk complaining when Sar-Box hit boards of directors.