Q The President was asked earlier this morning about these photos of Saddam Hussein which have now appeared in a couple of papers. He said that he didn’t feel that these photos would inspire the insurgents, the enemies of the United States, because they are inspired by other things, by what he called their bad ideology and so forth. He never really condemned the leaking of these photos, so what is his reaction? Does he think this was a terrible thing that was leaked? Or does he simply think it’s not very important, because he said it wouldn’t inspire the insurgents to do more?
MR. DUFFY: Well, the President was asked if he thought the photos would inspire the insurgents. The President responded that the insurgents have already been inspired, way prior to these photos, to kill and murder innocent civilians in America and around the world. The President has been briefed on the situation regarding these photographs, and he strongly supports the aggressive and thorough investigation that’s already underway. The source of these photos is unknown at this time. These photos were wrong; they’re a clear violation of DOD directives, and possibly Geneva Convention guidelines for the humane treatment of detained individuals.
“They’re a clear violation of DOD directives”? B-b-but Trent – the photos were taken and distributed by the military.
US military sources as saying they handed over the photos in the hope of dealing a body blow to the resistance in Iraq
“Saddam is not superman or God, he is now just an ageing and humble old man. It’s important that the people of Iraq see him like that to destroy the myth,” the source was quoted as saying.
More good questions for
Hillary Trent Duffy:
Q Well, the administration has said that the Newsweek controversy, the alleged allegations that somebody stuffed pieces of the Koran down a toilet in Guantanamo, had a serious impact and people did die from that. Does the President feel that this could have some kind of serious impact, too?
Q Is it fair to say that the President was angry about the leaking of these photos of Saddam Hussein?
Q Is the U.S. government apologizing for this picture of Saddam Hussein?
Q Can I ask you one question on the photo of Saddam. Are there rules for military guards that they cannot bring cameras when they’re on duty at the prison?
But here’s the best question of them all, watch in glee as it sends Trent into full- stammer mode.
Q In your mind, in the President’s mind, is there a difference between these images and the images which this government broadcast around the world after his capture, of his hair being inspected and his mouth being inspected by a physician?
MR. DUFFY: There is, and I can get further details about why it’s different. But the photos that were released today are a human being in custody, of a detainee, and they are possibly in clear violation of Geneva Convention guidelines. The photos that were released after Saddam Hussein’s capture were within — were within our guidelines under the Geneva Conventions, is my understanding.
Q I, for one, would be interested in how the administration views the distinction. Is that to say that a violation of the Convention is that these were — there was an attempt to humiliate a prisoner here? Is that the idea — you leak pictures of him in his — you know, in a state of undress, and so forth?
MR. DUFFY: I’m not the international lawyer, but I think we can definitely get some more information about the differences, the distinction between the photographs that were released following his capture versus the ones we’re talking about today.
Q If that could be sent out, I, for one, would be interested in that.
Jeebus, Trent, you just don’t have that ol’ Scottie spin, do you. You damn well wandered into that one.