Wednesday, May 05, 2004

From now on, absolutely no pictures of the torturing

From the Washington Post:

Bush Privately Chides Rumsfeld

Bush is "not satisfied" and "not happy" with the way Rumsfeld informed him about the investigation into abuses by U.S. soldiers at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison or the quantity of information Rumsfeld provided, a senior White House official said.

The president was particularly disturbed at having had to learn from news reports this week about the scope of misconduct documented in an Army investigative report completed in March, according to the official, who refused to be named so he could speak more candidly.
From the New York Times:

Rumsfeld Chastised by President for His Handling of Iraq Scandal

The officials said the president had expressed his displeasure to Mr. Rumsfeld in an Oval Office meeting because of Mr. Rumsfeld's failure to tell Mr. Bush about photographs of the abuse, which have enraged the Arab world.

In his interviews on Wednesday with Arab television networks, Mr. Bush said that he learned the graphic details of the abuse case only when they were broadcast last Wednesday on the CBS program "60 Minutes II." It was then, one White House official said, that Mr. Bush also saw the photographs documenting the abuse. "When you see the pictures," the official said, "it takes on a proportion of gravity that would require a much more extreme response than the way it was being handled."

Another White House official said, "The president was not satisfied or happy about the way he was informed about the pictures, and he did talk to Secretary Rumsfeld about it.".
Does anyone else get the impression that Bush isn't upset about what went on in Abu Ghiraib prison, but only about the PR nightmare it has become? I wonder if Rumsfeld would have been chastised if those pictures hadn't been spashed all over the international press. "Torture is one thing, Don; just don't let me hear about it on the evening news!"


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