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Sunday, May 02, 2004

Bush and the Photos

To his credit, President Bush spoke out Friday about the photos depicting abuse of Iraqi prisoners by American and British troops/intelligence officers.
"Their treatment does not reflect the nature of the American people. That's not the way we do things in America. I didn't like it one bit," Bush said. "I share a deep disgust that those prisoners were treated the way they were treated," he said.
Will he go further in his condemnation?

The AP said he's been mum all weekend:
Over the weekend, however, he kept silent on the matter, although he made an indirect reference to it on Saturday night.

"We count ourselves lucky that this new generation of Americans is as brave and decent as any before it," Bush told the White House Correspondents' Association dinner.
In the AP story, Senator Joe Biden is quoted saying the President should go further. And Tristero points out that (a) Bush's comments can be read in a less favorable light; and (b) Tony Blair's condemnation was much stronger and more direct. Other bloggers criticize Bush's words as well.

Why the silence?

I have a theory.

These photos completely screw up the "attack Kerry" plan. Remember what Karen Hughes said just last weekend (on CNN) about John Kerry's old testimony that US soldiers committed war crimes in Vietnam?
"I remember watching Senator Kerry, back when he was against the war, when he came home, and I was very troubled by the kind of allegations that he hurled against his fellow veterans, saying that they were guilty of all kinds of atrocities," said Hughes, the daughter of a retired Army officer who served in three wars, including Vietnam.

"As someone whose father was over there fighting, I don't appreciate that. I resent that. I know my father was not guilty of any atrocities, and I really find that that's an irresponsible kind of charge to make."
The White House spin doctors must be hard at work trying to get out of this dilemma.

Condemn the troops in Iraq?

Or, condemn the guy who used to condemn the troops in Vietnam?

Update about the abuses: This is apparently not just a few bad apples at the prison -- and there seems to be at least one dead (murdered?) Iraqi prisoner. Thanks to Lambert at corrente for the link.

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