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Administration Knew For Months-TOOK NO ACTION!
By Jerri Ann Lewis

The Bush Administration pled innocent. They swear they knew nothing about the abusive treatment of Iraqi prisoners of war until the media released news reports on the matter. "I wish we had known more sooner and been able to tell you more sooner, but we didn't." quotes Rumsfeld.1 Reports by external organizations such as Amnesty International and International Committee of the Red Cross date as early as 1 to 2 years ago. Not to mention the fact that there were also letters from concerned relatives of some American soldiers in Iraq, at least one statement from a senator, and questions raised by some military officials.2

The White House was aware of the mistreatment of the Iraqi detainees for over a year. Some of the reports detailed graphic abuse bordering on torture. Many prisoners have reported being beaten, handcuffed in odd positions for hours, stripped naked, attacked by large dogs, or threatened with rape or death. One Iraqi POW was stripped, covered in a sheet with a bag over his head and wires attached to his extremities, and threatened with electrocution.3

Now, let us think for a moment. How would you feel if the tables were turned? What if one or more of these prisoners was your brother, father, cousin, son, or daughter? What would you do if you did not know where he or she was for an extended period or how he/she was being treated? Then, consider you knew nothing of them for months and months and months. Subsequently, you learn there were organizations that reported of your relative(s), as well as hundreds of other prisoners, being mistreated while our government sat by and did nothing to help them. What would you do?

The Iraqi families with imprisoned relatives had these same thoughts months ago. Many of them trusted the Americans to help them, only to have their family members hurt. How does anyone respond to this and proceed forward after such a horrible scandal? Well, the President and his crew issued public apologizes, but it was just too little too late.4 The Iraqi people have shown their outrage by protests and eruptions of violence. President Bush might not get control of the abuse situation, but we, Americans, can get control of the voting polls to stop him from another detrimental 4 years.

1 Trevor Royle and James Cusick, "How Much Did They Know?" Sunday Herald. May 9, 2004.
2 Dave Moniz, "U.S. missed chances to stop abuses," USA Today, May 14, 2004.
3 AFP, "Leadership failure led to prison abuse, says General," Yahoo News. May 11, 2004.
4 James Cusick, "Bush and Blair say they are shocked by the abuse of war prisoners ... but they knew about it two years ago," Sunday Herald. May 9, 2004.

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