Thursday, May 06, 2004

From the “always important to read more than the headline” department.

New York Times this morning:

Headline:

Rumsfeld Chastised by President for His Handling of Iraq Scandal

I think:

Ooo, this seems juicy. The President is slapping around Rumsfeld for his less-than-prompt-and-outraged responses t what’s going on at Abu Ghraib. Or maybe the fact that he dithered with the press about whether or not the abuses counted as torture. Or something. Wow, maybe Bush has a small kernel of human decency and empathy.

And then,

From the article itself:

The disclosures by the White House officials, under authorization from Mr. Bush, were an extraordinary display of finger-pointing in an administration led by a man who puts a high premium on order and loyalty. 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.

I think:

No, I was wrong, he’s just mad about the fact photos were taken! This point is repeated again and again, he’s angry about the photos because this makes the torture much worse. No it doesn’t. It makes the PR campaign to save your ass much worse, Mr. President. You should be dressing him down for the fact that the torture happened in February and you didn’t hear about until now. You should be dressing him down for going on TV and not admitting that it was torture. You should be dressing him down for the absolutely ridiculous level of failure in the defense planning for postwar Iraq. You should be, quite frankly, asking for his resignation for his consistent mendacity towards the American people.

But no, Mr. President. You dress him down because there was photographic evidence of wrongdoing by US soldiers. Not for the wrongdoing itself, but because you weren’t told there was documentation.

Nice one, Mr. President. You’re a real class act.

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