Outrage over abuse? or photos?
When I logged on this morning, I almost immediately noticed this headline on MyWay.com: "Rumsfeld Chastised by President for His Handling of Iraq Scandal." It linked to this story in the New York Times. The third sentence in the story lept off the page:
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.
Now I don't know whether it was Mr Bush or the writers of the story, but it says the President was displeased because of the Secretary's failure to inform him about the photographs, not about the abuse itself. This was the last in a string of clues that made me think that the way the story is written really is true!
As I noted yesterday, this is not a new story. CBS sat on it for two weeks, while reports within the military of torture seem to go back a year. But what is it that makes this a story? The photos. Only the photos, not the abuse. If it weren't for the photos, this would be just one more "allegation" for which the Administration's supporters would demand absolute proof — a so-call smoking gun — before they would take it seriously.
And, at least according to the story, what is it that displeased Bush? Not the fact that the torture occurred, but the fact that there were actually photographs documenting the torture.
Maybe it was just the writers' mischaracterization. I hope so. It's just too disgustingly sickening to believe otherwise.