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from Daily Mislead

May 19, 2004

Two weeks ago, President Bush appeared on Arab television claiming that he wanted to stop the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison and implying that he had nothing to do with the policies that led to them. During his appearance Bush said, "We want to make sure that if there is a systemic problem -- in other words, if there's a problem system-wide -- that we stop the practices" (1). However, a new report appears to show that the President and top Administration officials may have authorized procedures that led to the abuses in the first place.

A new investigation by Newsweek "shows that President Bush, along with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Attorney General John Ashcroft signed off on a secret system of detention and interrogation that opened the door to such methods" of abuse and torture as documented at Abu Ghraib (2). The secret orders were designed "to sidestep the historical safeguards of the Geneva Conventions, which protect the rights of detainees and prisoners of war. In doing so, they overrode the objections of Secretary of State Colin Powell and America's top military lawyers."

The President has repeatedly said he wants to "usher in an era of personal responsibility" (3). Yet, despite these revelations, the White House has yet to admit any culpability. When asked whether a crucial Presidential legal memo (4) attempting to skirt the Geneva Conventions (5) helped to create the atmosphere that led to the prison abuses, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said, "Absolutely not" (6).

Sources: 1. President Bush Meets with Al Arabiya Television on Wednesday, 05/05/2004, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=36188.
2. "The Roots of Torture", Newsweek, 05/24/2004, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=36189.
3. President Bush Discusses Progress in Education in St. Louis, 01/05/2004, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=36190.
4. "Memos Reveal War Crimes Warnings", Newsweek, 05/19/2004, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=36191.
5. "Report: White House Memo Backed Abuse", San Francisco Chronicle, 05/17/2004, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=36192.
6. Press Gaggle by Scott McClellan, 05/17/2004, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=36193.

Posted: May 23, 2004


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