The Korans were being used to trade secret messages between prisoners. They were right to take them away and destroy them.
I don’t usually go in for conspiracy theories but the earliest and most detailed report I can find is at http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57381753/official-burned-qurans-held-extremist-messages/
This is far from conclusive and carefully worded.
Never forget that (i) the army, like large corporations worldwide, has a finely tuned PRO department. And (ii) much of what comes out of the army or any other large organisation needs careful translation.
KABUL, Afghanistan - Muslim holy books that were burned in a pile of garbage at a U.S. military base in Afghanistan had been removed from a library at a nearby detention center because they contained extremist messages or inscriptions, a western military official said Tuesday.
The military official with knowledge of the incident said it appeared that the Qurans (Korans) and other Islamic readings were being used to fuel extremism, and that detainees at Parwan Detention Facility were writing on the documents to exchange extremist messages
He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the incident.
This is what is known as a deniable statement. The information is put out and appears to be a reasonable explanation. However, it could simply be a plausible lie.
The beauty of the wording is that if it is shown to be a lie, the military will reply, “Whoever you spoke to said that he was not authorised to speak – that is because he did not know the facts – he had it wrong – simple as that.”
Later, U.S. Gen. John Allen comments,
U.S. Gen. John Allen, the top commander of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan, apologized to the Afghan people and said the books were inadvertently given to troops for burning.
"It was not a decision that was made because they were religious materials," Allen told NATO TV. "It was not a decision that was made with respect to the faith of Islam. It was a mistake. It was an error. The moment we found out about it we immediately stopped and we intervened."
Note: "It was not a decision that was made because they were religious materials," Allen told NATO TV.”
All this actually says is the obvious – religious materials are not burned because simply because it is religious.
The next, “… It was not a decision that was made with respect to the faith of Islam.” – so it was for some other reason, but a decision to burn was made.
And then, “It was a mistake. It was an error.” What does “it” mean? I’m sure that Gen. John Allen would like everyone to think that “it” was the burning, but it can’t be the burning – it must mean, “the decision.”
Desecrating the Koran by writing in it is just as bad as setting fire to it. So why did not. Gen. John Allen say, “The Korans had been desecrated by the prisoners [and rendered unholy].”? Why was there no Koran produced to show this? Surely the saved ones had these writings?
Or perhaps they did not. Perhaps, in view of the falling numbers of prisoners for which the US has authority in advance of a hand-over, the Korans were simply surplus to requirements.