Bush Criticizes Rumsfeld Over Iraqi Prisoners
In a first for his Administration, President Bush let it be known that he was upset with Defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld over the release of the Iraqi prisoner photos. Bush claims he learned about them on 60 Minutes II, just like the rest of us.
Another White House official said, "The president was not satisfied or happy about the way he was informed about the pictures, and he did talk to Secretary Rumsfeld about it." The disclosure of the dressing-down of the combative Mr. Rumsfeld was the first time that Mr. Bush has allowed his displeasure with a senior member of his administration to be made public. It also exposed the fault lines in Mr. Bush's inner circle that have deepened with the violence and political chaos in American-occupied Iraq.
Will Rumsfeld resign? Doubtful.
Despite the behind-the-scenes criticism of Mr. Rumsfeld, Mr. Bush insisted that the defense secretary still had his full support. "Of course I've got confidence in the secretary of defense," Mr. Bush said in an interview with Al Hurra, an Arab television network.
So the "dressing-down" was just a cheap soundbite.
On a related note, apparently many of the soldiers responsible for the abuse are from Appalachia. Their unit is the 372nd Military Police Company.
Specialist Charles A. Graner Jr. is a guard at one of Pennsylvania's most heavily secured death row prisons, accused by his former wife of violent behavior. Pfc. Lynndie R. England was married and divorced before she was 21, worked at a chicken-processing plant in West Virginia and wanted to attend college to become a storm-chasing meteorologist. And Staff Sgt. Ivan Frederick, another prison guard, planned to quit the Army Reserve this year to spend more time fishing near his rural home in central Virginia. But he did not get out soon enough.
Here's what court records show about the man entrusted with guarding death row and Iraqi prisoners:
Specialist Graner was involved in a bitter divorce. In court papers, his wife, Staci, accused him of beating her, threatening her with guns, stalking her after they separated in 1997 and breaking into her home. Since 1997, local judges have issued at least three orders of protection against him, records show.
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