In war, truth and facts are usually the first casualties. The war on terror is a new sort of conflict, but truth is certainly embattled.
For example, Guantánamo. Amnesty International released a report indicating that Guantánamo was the “gulag of our times”. This provoked a furious response by the Bush administration, and Amnesty backed down saying that gulag was an inappropriate term, even though the organization kept the accusation on mistreatment. The columnist Charles Krauthammer defended the notion that the United States provided humane treatment to its prisoners. Joseph R. Biden for his part, called for Guantánamo base to be shut down, because it had become the greatest propaganda tool of the terrorists.
The Newsweek story about desecrations of the Qur’an in prison provoked furious response in the Middle East. It was later condemned by the Bush administration and Newsweek backed down. John Kerry, however, blamed the White House for creating the atmosphere for such abuses.
There are a lot of interpretations today about the developments that lead to confusion. Conservatives are highly concerned about the future of the U.S. enemies; liberals defend the future of Guantánamo detainees as they defend civil liberties in the United States. The view from outside America is that, once again, they are trying to hide the truth. I, personally, have sympathy with all three biases. It is hard to work up sympathy for the detainees, but we see that the abuses are an injury to our identity. We should judge ourselves as we act.

Toronto Star (Canada)

Daggers in the heart of liberty”, by Salman Rushdie, Toronto Star, June 20, 2005.