Tuesday, May 11, 2004

It is generally known as...PROJECTION

It is, generally, known as projection. Bush's hypberbolic praise of Rumsfeld was simply an extension of how the guy thinks of...HIMSELF.

By referring to his "strong" leadership and "superb job" he obviously hopes to project this image to Americans given that Rumsfeld is simply following his orders:

"You are courageously leading our nation in the war against terror," Bush said to Rumsfeld, who was standing over his left shoulder, a few paces back. "You're doing a superb job. You are a strong secretary of defense, and our nation owes you a debt of gratitude." <<

Translation: I am courageously leading our nation in the war against terror. I am doing a superb job. I am a strong president and our nation owes me a debt of gratitude."

Good try but...NO cigar:


Washington Post Staff Writers - Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Bush Lauds Rumsfeld For Doing 'Superb Job' - President Views More Photos of Prisoner Abuse By Mike Allen and Bradley Graham

President Bush went before cameras at the Pentagon yesterday to unequivocally praise Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld in an effort to head off growing pressure for his resignation, then examined more than a dozen new photos documenting abuse of Iraqi detainees. Bush's aides had known for several days about the graphic photographs, which include sexual abuse of detainees and other mistreatment of naked, hooded detainees. But the session gave the commander in chief a vivid view of fuel that could continue to feed a scandal that was a distraction a week ago, but now is consuming the White House and creating real alarm among Republicans.

Bush shook his head in disgust at the images, which included frames from videos, said an aide who was present.

The president did not mention the photos when he and Vice President Cheney, in a rare joint appearance, stepped into Rumsfeld's dining room to endorse the man who has become the symbol of the administration's response to months of warnings about U.S. military activity in a prison that was a torture chamber under Saddam Hussein.

"You are courageously leading our nation in the war against terror," Bush said to Rumsfeld, who was standing over his left shoulder, a few paces back. "You're doing a superb job. You are a strong secretary of defense, and our nation owes you a debt of gratitude." <<

Translation: I am courageously leading our nation in the war against terror. I am doing a superb job. I am a strong president and our nation owes me a debt of gratitude."

>>The president promised "a full accounting for the cruel and disgraceful abuse of Iraqi detainees." In a message aimed at Muslims whose suspicion of U.S. motives has turned to hostility, Bush pointed to the government's investigations of both the incidents and the military prison system in Iraq. "We will honor the rule of law," he said.

Bush continued to refer to those involved as "a small number." He read the statement somberly, then left without taking questions.

Pentagon officials prevailed at least temporarily in their insistence that the administration not immediately release the images, which include the forced masturbation of a detainee. Instead, the Pentagon was negotiating with congressional leaders to make them available this week to members of the House and Senate Armed Services committees, and perhaps other lawmakers.

A White House official said some of Bush's aides have argued that the photos are certain to become public, and that it would be better to "put it out now on our terms than wait for it to come out later." These aides fear that holding back the photos could prolong saturation news coverage of the scandal, which is preventing the White House and Bush's reelection campaign from drawing attention to other issues.

Pentagon officials have fought to continue withholding the photos, pointing to the ongoing criminal investigations, and the possibility of lawsuits based on privacy issues.

White House communications director Dan Bartlett said Bush wants the Pentagon to "use its best judgment" about the release of the photos, based on criminal, legal and congressional issues. "The president fully supports those considerations," Bartlett said.

The Senate itself sought time to consider the legal issues involved in taking possession of the photos. Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.), chairman of the Armed Services Committee, advised the Pentagon that three Senate lawyers needed to review how viewing the material might affect criminal investigations, privacy rights and other legal issues.

Bush looked at the photos in Rumsfeld's office. White House press secretary Scott McClellan said the president reacted with "deep disgust and disbelief that anyone who wears our uniform would engage in such shameful and appalling acts."

Pentagon spokesman Lawrence DiRita said Bush had been shown "a sample" of a dozen to two dozen photographs that included "inappropriate behavior of a sexual nature." He provided no details, saying Pentagon officials were debating how much could be revealed about the pictures without jeopardizing criminal investigations of those responsible for the abuses.

DiRita said the Pentagon possesses three disks of photos, one of which includes some brief video clips. Many of the photos are redundant, and some have little to do with Iraqi detainees but show sex between U.S. soldiers, according to other officials.

First lady Laura Bush called the situation "sad" and not a fair picture of the United States military. "To be perfectly frank, I can't bear to look at the ones that have been in the newspaper," she said on ABC's "Good Morning America."

In addition to wrestling with the questions of congressional and public access to the remaining photos, Pentagon officials focused yesterday on accelerating a range of inquiries that have grown out of the prison scandal. They include a number of criminal investigations, an assessment of the role of military intelligence personnel in abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad, and a broader look at the treatment of detainees at other military internment centers in Iraq and elsewhere.

Republican officials said they fear that public attention could remain focused on the scandal for weeks to come as more photos and videos dribble out. The Senate Armed Services Committee will continue hearings into the matter today, with testimony scheduled from Major Gen. Antonio M. Taguba, whose explosive report documented the mistreatment of Iraqi captives. The first court-martial is scheduled to begin in Iraq next week and will be public.

A report made public yesterday by the International Committee of the Red Cross said the administration had been warned for months that abuse of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. soldiers was widespread. McClellan said at his televised briefing that the White House was "aware of some of the issues that the Red Cross raised" before the report on Abu Ghraib by CBS's "60 Minutes II," which was broadcast April 28.

McClellan said the military had been working to address those issues. "These concerns have been brought to our attention previously," he said.

A CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released yesterday showed that on the issue of which candidate would do a better job of handling Iraq, Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) had moved into a statistical tie with Bush. In March, Kerry was 15 points behind Bush. Bush's approval rating was at 46 percent, the lowest of his presidency.

But the scandal has produced no gain for Kerry in a head-to-head matchup, which remained a dead heat. Matthew Dowd, the Bush-Cheney campaign's senior strategist, said the data show what he has long predicted -- that the two sides will go up and down but will remain basically tied and "then battle it out in the last 60 days."

Also yesterday, the Army Times, a newspaper widely distributed in military ranks, published an editorial rebuking Rumsfeld and Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, for "a failure of leadership." It suggested they and other senior officials may need to be relieved to restore accountability. The paper is part of a set of publications that includes Navy Times, Air Force Times and Marine Corps Times -- all owned by Gannett Co. Inc. and with a joint circulation of more than 250,000.

"This was not just a failure of leadership at the local commander level," the editorial said. "This was a failure that ran straight to the top. Accountability here is essential -- even if that means relieving top leaders from duty in a time of war."

On Capitol Hill, the Senate voted 92 to 0 for a resolution condemning the abuses, apologizing for them, urging "appropriate measures" to prevent their repetition and calling for a "full investigation" by the administration and Senate committees. A separate resolution denouncing the abuses -- without an apology or reference to congressional probes -- passed overwhelmingly in the House last week.

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) said Bush shares blame, and accused him of presiding over "America's steepest and deepest fall from grace in the history of our country" and "a colossal failure of leadership."<<


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