Newsweek has acknowledged that its witness isn't certain that he read in a forthcoming official report that interrogators flushed a Koran down the toilet. Based on the reaction of the Bush Administration, which essentially blames irresponsible reporting for rioting in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and deaths in Afghanistan, you'd think that it had been proven that no misuse of the Koran had taken place. Of course that's not the case, as the witness has merely stated that he can't remember if it was in the official report, or just in an investigative report. All told, that's a fairly minor detail for the Administration to base its indignation on. Especially when Newsweek took the fairly unusual step of showing its story to a senior Pentagon official for review before it published its story, and received no criticism for its description of this matter. Even more especially when Newsweek isn't the first to report these wrongs (also scroll here)! Then add in the fact that such abuse has been encouraged in camps that teach American counter-intelligent agents (see bottom of this piece), and there's very little reason to doubt the veracity of the underlying assertions.
Newsweek isn't blameless, but what they did wrong pales in comparison to the wrongs perpetrated in Guantanamo Bay. And if the story caused rioting and deaths in Muslim countries, the blame lies with the people who committed the deeds and the government that supported them, and not Newsweek's reporting of them.
So why is Newsweek the fall guy instead of the BA?
Reminds me of the whole CBS fiasco last year -- despite the fact that there's still a critical underlying story (Bush's wartime record), somehow the messenger becomes the story, and thereby drowns out the underlying story.