One story, four headlines.
The story: in 2002-2003 some Guantanamo detainees told FBI investigators that guards had flushed a Koran down the toilet, and desecrated the Koran in other ways.
Now, the headlines:
Yahoo news: FBI memo reports Guantanamo guards flushing Koran
The Boston Globe: FBI records cite Quran abuse allegations
The LA Times: Guantanamo Detainees Had Alleged Koran Desecration–Government documents reveal perceived abuses
The New York Times: Documents Say Detainees Cited Abuse of Koran by Guards
So, we have one story and four headlines. We all know how important headlines can be, since a certain percentage of readers hardly read beyond them. There is a difference in the impact of the headlines: the first two headlines could easily lead a reader to conclude that the allegations may have had some substance or independent corroboration, while the latter two make it clear that the allegations were made only by the detainees themselves.
But then we have the overarching question: why report this particular story at all, and why now? After all, what does it tell us? It is virtually a non-story; the equivalent of “Osama Bin Laden alleges the US is out to destroy the Moslem world,” or even “11th century Christians allege Jews stick pins in host.” Each of these statements might end up being quoted in an FBI report (well, maybe not the second), but that doesn’t mean the claimants are speaking the truth. And it isn’t as though detainees at Guantanamo are unbiased sources without an ax to grind.
So, why bother to report this story at all? My guess is that it’s an attempt to say “where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Here’s the smoke.” A subtle–or perhaps not so subtle?–way to circle the wagons and support Newsweek, and to drive home the point that, as Amnesty says, the US is running the Gitmo Gulag.