Newly released documents show that detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, complained repeatedly to F.B.I. agents about disrespectful handling of the Koran by military personnel and, in one case in 2002, said they had flushed a Koran down a toilet.
The prisoners' accounts are described by the agents in detailed summaries of interrogations at Guantánamo in 2002 and 2003. The documents were among more than 300 pages turned over by the F.B.I. to the American Civil Liberties Union in recent days and publicly disclosed Wednesday.
[. . .]
Until the new batch of documents was released, no previously released F.B.I. documents were known to have mentioned abuse of the Koran of the type Newsweek reported.
The above is from Neil A. Lewis' "Documents Say Detainees Cited Abuse of Koran by Guards" in this morning's New York Times.
Roberto e-mails to note Alan Cowell's "U.S. 'Thumbs Its Nose' at Rights, Amnesty Says:"
In coordinated broadsides from London and Washington, Amnesty International accused the Bush administration on Wednesday of condoning "atrocious" human rights violations, thereby diminishing its moral authority and setting a global example encouraging abuse by other nations.
In a string of accusations introducing the organization's annual report in London, Irene Khan, Amnesty's secretary general, listed the abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, the detention of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and the so-called rendition of prisoners to countries known to practice torture as evidence that the United States "thumbs its nose at the rule of law and human rights."
[. . .]
Ms. Khan labeled the United States detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, where more than 500 prisoners from about 40 countries are being held, as "the gulag of our times."
To learn about the Amnesty report click here.
Wally e-mails to note Douglas Jehl's "Senators May Try to Block Vote on Nominee for U.N. Post:"
Senate Democrats signaled Wednesday that they would try to block Republican efforts to push through a confirmation vote this week on John R. Bolton to be ambassador to the United Nations unless the Bush administration first provides classified documents that could shed light on his role in the handling of secret intelligence matters.
The Democrats outlined their stance as the full Senate began debate on Mr. Bolton's nomination. Unless the administration reverses course and hands over the documents, the Democratic position makes it possible that any vote on Mr. Bolton's nomination would be postponed until at least June 6, after a Memorial Day recess.
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The information sought is related to Mr. Bolton's handling of information requested from the N.S.A. and to his role in a 2003 dispute over intelligence assessments on Syria. American intelligence officials rejected as overstated testimony that Mr. Bolton sought to deliver to Congress about Syria's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs.
Sherry e-mails regarding "National Briefing."
Sherry: With so much that goes uncovered by the paper, why did they include a paragraph in "National Briefing" this morning on American Idol? If not mistaken, somewhere in the south a woman was sentenced to be executed yesterday. I'm not seeing that in the paper this morning but I am able to read a paragraph on a trashy entertainment show that I've never watched, have no interest in, and that really doesn't effect my life in any way, shape or form.
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