In the wake of the Newsweek controversy, Pentagon Spokesman Larry DiRita said explicitly that there have been no credible allegations of Koran desecration. Here’s DiRita at his 5/17/05 press briefing:
When we have received specific, credible allegations — and typically that’s not what we see when we see a lawyer speaking on Al- Jazeera — but when a specific, credible allegation of this nature were to be received, we would take it quite seriously. But we’ve not seen specific, credible allegations.
The truth is, the Pentagon received specific allegations of Koran desecration from a very credible organization, the International Red Cross. Reuters reports:
The International Red Cross told the Pentagon as early as 2002 detainees at Guantanamo Bay prison had reported U.S. officials mishandled the Koran, Red Cross and Pentagon officials said on Thursday.
Will the press demand an explanation for DiRita’s obvious deception?
UPDATE: David Corn has similar concerns.