From the desk of
Mark Whitaker
Managing Editor, Newsweak


(for immediate release, staff and sponsors)

     As editor of Newsweak, I am a bit surprised to have found myself embroiled in a bit of a brouhaha this weekend regarding the reportage of certain activities which may or may not have happened to a copy or copies of the Koran (or Quran) at the hands of U.S. military interrogator / investigators at Guantanamo Bay during the period between March of 2003 and May 2003.

     In the issue dated May 9, Newsweak reported that American interrogators had flushed a copy of the Koran, the sacred Muslim text, down a toilet. We believe that this report may not have been altogether factual.

     This past Saturday, I personally attended a meeting with Col. Guido Farelli USMC, where he demonstrated how such an action would not in fact be possible. Using an American Standard 'Champion' model #2002.012 with a 1.6 gallon flush, Col. Farelli showed how even a small publication, such as the May 9th issue of Newsweak, could not be readily flushed away. Dissembling the magazine into numerous small pieces, it still required 13 separate attempts to completely dispose of the raw materials.

     The Koran, as Col Farelli explained to me, had an average length of 1300 pages (dependent on publisher), and was much closer to the size of a human head. The Colonel then asked me if I thought that it would be possible to flush a human head down a toilet. I told him that I did not think so. He then proceeded to demonstrate, using my head as 'an average sized specimen', and even after multiple flushings I had not been disposed of, even though the Colonel had kindly attempted to assist with my passage.

     I am now convinced that our reporting was indeed faulty, and wish to stress to both our staff and advertiser, that in the upcoming months, Newsweak will make all efforts to use a little more common sense.

M. W.


2005, Mark Hoback