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Friday, September 10, 2004

The fog of war comes to a D.C. lunch

Since allegations of torture in U.S. prisons in Iraq became public, and the Iraq war went south, Donald "Dead-Eye" Rumsfeld has been largely kept under wraps. Today, the Robert McNamara of our era appeared before the National Press Club.

Rumsfeld expressed confidence Iraqi elections would take as scheduled next January. "By any measure, the Iraqi people want to vote. They want elections," Rumsfeld said.

He defended the lengthy call-ups of Guard and Reserve soldier deployed in Iraq, saying, "Every person serving in the Guard and Reserves and active forces is a volunteer."

Eventually, the questions turned to the Abu Ghraib prison scandal.

"The memo I wrote [sanctioning actions in violation of the Geneva Convention} involved Guantanamo Bay and had absolutely nothing to do with Iraq," Rumsfeld said.

The Associated Press reported today: "Pentagon investigations in recent months have said there have been some 300 allegations of prisoners killed, raped, beaten and subjected to other mistreatment at military prisons in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay since the start of the war on terror."

"It was wrong. We should have treated those people properly," Rumsfeld said.

The National Press Club then presented Rumsfeld with a "Certificate of Appreciation" and a mug.


At 10:36 PM, Blogger Outrage said...

As noted by Reuters, Rumsfeld also confused Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden twice during his speech before the National Press Club. In Rumsfeld's "Dr. Strangelove" mind, the war on terror and the war in Iraq really have blended into one.

At 10:37 PM, Blogger Outrage said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 11:30 PM, Blogger Outrage said...

I deleted the above comment because... it was a repeat of the first comment! Those tech folks at Blogger posted my message twice. However...

I'll take this occasion to note something else interesting about Rumsfeld's visit to the National Press Club. When asked about the Bush Administration's policy of prohibiting photographs of coffins returning home, Rumsfeld, said several times this was a policy of the previous administration, i.e., Clinton instituted the rule. A member of the audience had to send Rumsfeld a note reminding him that it was in fact George H.W. Bush's administration which instituted the policy (along with a number of other strict controls on the press's coverage of the Persian Gulf War, but that's another story).


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