Reports already published describe things like: female US interrogators wearing revealing outfits intended to offend Muslim men, a female US interrogator pretending to rub menstrual blood on a Muslim man's face, Army guards at Abu Ghraib forcing a group of naked men to stand in a line and masturbate in front of each other and in front of female guards, in fact the entire sorry scandal of our gulag in Iraq, and the Muslim world was fine with it until last week. Then Newsweek's source corrects himself and says the description of a US interrogator flushing a Quran down a toilet wasn't in the confidential Army report due out in a few days, it was in some other confidential report he saw recently. So, what is Newsweek to retract? How have they inflamed the Muslim world? By saying, 1) a government report confirms that at least one Quran was flushed down a toilet by a US interrogator, but 2) we attributed it to the wrong confidential US government report. In other words, it did happen.
So, tell the Mandarin again why Shrub and his puppeteers are in high dudgeon about it? Because it is Rathergate all over again. Just as with reports of Bush's dereliction of duty in the Texas Air National Guard, the story itself is unequivocally true and already proven. But by calling out the mob to scream about bad reporting, the truth of the story is forgotten and the mainstream press is cowed into talking about something else. You gotta love that Karl Rove. Pure genius.
Update: As usual, Andrew Sullivan made the same point, but said it better: here.