M A I N   N E W S

Bush wants strong action against abusers

Washington, May 4
US President George W Bush has discussed with Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld the “strong actions and steps that the military is taking to address matters in the prison system in Iraq and prevent prisoner abuse”.

President Bush and Mr Powell met yesterday to discuss the US Administration’s and military’s response to the revelations of abuse of prisoners in Iraq, according to White House spokesman Scott McLellan.

“They talked about the comprehensive review of the policies and procedures throughout the prison system in Iraq. And the President wanted to make sure that appropriate action was being taken against those responsible for these shameful, appalling acts,” Mr McLellan said at his briefing here.

Asked about the fallout in the Arab world and what President Bush proposed to do about it, Mr McClellan said: “The President made it clear the other day, he expressed his disgust at these images... They do not represent the high standards of conduct that our military is committed to upholding.”

He emphasised that while the US did not tolerate abuse and took steps to correct the situation, the Saddam Hussein regime “encouraged and tolerated” abuse and torture.

Asked if President Bush thought that soldiers who abused Iraqi prisoners should stay in the armed forces, Mr McClellan said: “I can’t get into discussing specific cases that may be being pursued. But there are criminal charges that are being pursued by the military. The military has instituted a comprehensive review of policies and procedures throughout the prisons in Iraq. — AFP


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