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Posted: 5/13/2004 12:28:23 AM EST

Rumsfeld on Surprise Visit to Iraq

BAGHDAD (May 13) - Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld made a surprise visit to Iraq on Thursday as the United States struggled to quell criticism over the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by American military guards.

The embattled secretary, traveling under tight security to a country where more than 700 U.S. troops have died since last year, landed at Baghdad airport and later began meetings with senior U.S. military officers in the capital.

Rumsfeld denied on a 15-hour flight from Washington that the Pentagon was trying to cover up the scandal at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad.

"If anybody thinks that I'm (in Iraq) to throw water on a fire, they're wrong," he told reporters aboard his aircraft.

"We care about the detainees being treated right. We care about soldiers behaving right. We are about command systems working," he added.

Other U.S. defense officials said the sudden trip by Rumsfeld and General Richard Myers, chairman of the Pentagon's Joint Chiefs of Staff, was triggered by the recent publication of photographs of U.S. military guards humiliating naked Iraqi prisoners.

"This is a terrible tragedy. We're not going to ever say it's not," said Myers. But "I think we absolutely have the high moral ground" in Iraq, he told reporters.

05/13/04 04:50 ET

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Typical Reuters, all no mention of the beheading of a American, just the prison situation...
Link Posted: 5/13/2004 1:00:04 AM EST
Rumsfeld just might be the best Sec. of Defense in my lifetime. Either that, or it's Dick Cheney.
Link Posted: 5/13/2004 1:06:29 AM EST
I gauge a politicians value by how much the European socialists and the liberal left hate them.
Rumsfeld is a good man.
Link Posted: 5/13/2004 6:12:24 AM EST
He is taking way too much heat for the stinking prison pics. I am glad to see him INSIDE the combat area. He is making a positive statement with his vist .
Link Posted: 5/13/2004 6:26:06 AM EST
its all PR
Link Posted: 5/13/2004 6:29:33 AM EST
I hope he's there to crack some skulls and get all this "abuse" shit behind us so we can get back to the work of killing terrorists
Link Posted: 5/13/2004 6:37:49 AM EST
Link Posted: 5/13/2004 6:39:13 AM EST
he's there to tell these morons, to keep up the interrogation policy and if i see any new pictures you're all getting the firing squad.
Link Posted: 5/13/2004 6:42:05 AM EST
That'll teach him to mind the store.....LOL.

GW: Here's your desert camouflage, helmet and Interceptor vest.

Rumsfeld: Wha...?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
Link Posted: 5/13/2004 7:03:09 AM EST
I wonder if he took his golf clubs.
Link Posted: 5/13/2004 7:11:08 AM EST
The news media is going to play this prisoner abuse thing to the max and to cast as much bad light on GWB as they can while they can. The beheading of Nick Berg and the killing of the 4 USA contractors have pretty much fallen off the radar screen for most of the news media.
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