Thursday, May 26, 2005

DoD News Briefing on Koran Mishandling Allegations

Full Transcript


GEN. HOOD: First off, I'd like you to know that we have found no credible evidence that a member of the Joint Task Force at Guantanamo Bay ever flushed a Koran down a toilet. We did identify 13 incidents of alleged mishandling of the Koran by Joint Task Force personnel.

Ten of those were by a guard and three by interrogators.

We found that in only five of those 13 incidents, four by guards and one by an interrogator, there was what could be broadly defined
[By muslims~Ox] as mishandling of a Koran. None of these five incidents was a result of a failure to follow standard operating procedures in place at the time the incident occurred.

We have determined that in six additional incidents involving guards that the guard either accidentally touched the Koran, touched it within the scope of his duties, or did not actually touch the Koran at all. We consider each of these incidents resolved.

In two additional incidents, involving interrogators, we found that a Koran was either touched or stood over during an interrogation. The first incident does not to be -- appear to be mishandling, as it involved placing two Korans on a television. The Koran was not touched during the second incident, and the interrogator's action during the interrogation was accidental.

We've also identified 15 incidents where detainees mishandled or inappropriately treated the Koran, one of which was of course the specific example of a detainee who ripped pages out of their own Koran.


Q: I'm not sure whether there were any flush toilets there in the beginning. But setting aside the word "flushed," were any incidents involving Korans that were placed in waste buckets or devices that were used for handling waste?

GEN. HOOD: None of those that we found were. Now, I think it's important to note that in an ACLU FOIA request, a summary of an investigation -- or a summary of an interrogation conducted by FBI personnel at Guantanamo Bay in July of 2002 indicated that a detainee had reported to the interrogating agent that the guards in the detention facility did not treat him well; that their behavior was bad; that about five months ago, this guard beat detainees and that they flushed a Koran in the toilet.

That FBI report from August, the first of August, 2002, came to my investigating team's attention with 24 hours -- 24 to 48 hours of me initiating the investigation.

And they brought that to me, and because we considered this a very sensitive report, we brought this detainee in and spoke with him.

This detainee was very cooperative with us, and we discussed with him broadly his treatment in his early days at Guantanamo Bay. And we asked him was he beaten or abused, explaining that we were interested in making sure that we are doing things right. And we had a very good conversation with him, where he said no, that he wasn't beaten or abused, but that he had heard rumors that other detainees were.


but that he had heard rumors that other detainees were.

Just a reminder...........

Al-qaeda training manual says

5. Spreading rumors and writing statements that instigate people against the enemy.