Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Dan Rather and CBS Sat On Abu Ghraib Story for Two Weeks...

... at the request of General Myers. So says the WP. That would not be too problematic in itself, except that General Myers claimed on ABCNews This Week (sorry, I couldn't find the transcript) that he hadn't yet read the Taguba memo (it apparently was working its way up the chain of command). And today, President Bush said during an interview on Al Hurra (an Arab television station):

Q When did you learn about the -- did you see the pictures on TV? When was the first time you heard about --

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, the first time I saw or heard about pictures was on TV. However, as you might remember, in early January, General Kimmitt talked about a investigation that would be taking place about accused -- alleged improprieties in the prison. So our government has been in the process of investigating.

So let me get this straight--General Myers knew that CBS was going to break a story about prison abuses, but did not bother to get his hands on--and read--the Taguba report the two weeks during which he managed to stall the CBS story? Moreover, why didn't General Myers talk to the President about the CBS story that was bound to hit soon? Or are we supposed to understand President Bush's response as an equivocation--that he did not see or hear about pictures until the 60 Minutes II story? Give me a break. The Bush administration was keeping wraps on the Taguba report and other instances of abuse that they knew of (those murdered in Afghanistan, for instance), hoping that the stories would never see the light of day. And President Bush has the audacity to say, in that interview with the Arab TV station:

And secondly, there is investigations to determine how widespread abuse may be occurring. And we want to know the truth. I talked to the Secretary of Defense this morning, by the way. I said, find the truth, and then tell the Iraqi people and the world the truth. We have nothing to hide. We believe in transparency, because we're a free society. That's what free societies do. They -- if there's a problem, they address those problems in a forthright, up-front manner. And that's what's taking place.

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