It seems the half-life of the McClellan/DiRita slap-around of Newsweek may be rather short.
According to just-released FBI documents revealed by a FOIA request, there have been repeated claims of desecration or mishandling of the Koran in US detention facilities, some of them including precisely the sort of thing alleged in the Newsweek article. It is also clear that at least some of the accusations were ones the military found credible enough to discipline soldiers over.
What's worth noting is the motivation for all these antics over the last week.
We already know there have been serious problems, to put it charitably, with the treatment of US prisoners in Cuba, Iraq and Afghanistan. And it is hard to say that the claims of mishandling Korans were particularly egregious in comparison to things we know for a fact did happen.
Remember, the McClellan/DiRita attacks on Newsweek weren't simply about getting a few facts wrong or weakly sourcing a story. Their claim was that the charges were outrageous, damaging and false, when in fact it turns out they were outrageous, damaging and quite likely true. And even more damaging for the US after McClellan and DiRita spent a couple weeks heaping attention on them.
The result of the White House and DiRita's jihad against Newsweek has only been to encourage a whole new round of international outrage and embarrassment about abuses we have to hope are now being addressed. And all, obviously, to score points in the media wars at home -- which the Bush administration so often seems to consider the true central front in the war on terror.