Torturer In Chief

From Holden:

While the New York Times focuses on Dear Leader’s responses to questions regarding stem cell research during this morning’s photo-op with Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen (seen here covered with red paint after announcing his support for Chimpy’s vanity war in March 2003), I’m interested in the following set of questions and answers.

Q Mr. President, how do you react to the continuing reports about mistreatment of prisoners held by American military around the world, and also the perception abroad that the ones that are paying for it are low-ranking soldiers, but that nobody higher up is taking any responsibility?

PRESIDENT BUSH: I think the world ought to be — pay attention to the contrast between a society which was run by a brutal tyrant in which there was no transparency and a society in which the whole world watches a government find the facts, lay the facts out for the citizens to see, and that punishment, when appropriate, be delivered.

If I’m not mistaken, I think about over 20 percent of the people thus far that have been held to account as a result of the Abu Ghraib issue have been officers. There have been over, I think, nine investigations, eight or nine investigations by independent investigators that have made the reports very public. I’m comfortable that we’re getting to the bottom of the situation and I know we’re doing so in a transparent way. Obviously, ours is a country that respects human rights and human dignity, and if those rights and dignity have been denied, we will hold people to account.

Steve.

Q Sir, are you worried that the publication of the Saddam photo, along with the Newsweek story, will further inflame tensions and inspire the Iraq insurgency and anti-Americanism in the Middle East?

PRESIDENT BUSH: I think the Iraq insurgency is inspired by their desire to stop the march of freedom. Remember, these are ideologues of — that murder innocent people in order to spread their dark vision of hate. And, therefore, when light begins to show up in the form of democracy, it frightens them. There is no future for these haters in a free world. And so they’re inspired by the fact that they see democracy emerging in Iraq. That’s what causes them to want to kill. They’re frightened by the fact — and inspired the wrong way, by the way — by the fact that Afghanistan is free. They’re seeing the people in Lebanon demand free and fair elections. And their ideology cannot survive in a democratic society. See, the only way they can survive is to — is to try to shake our will by killing innocent life.

And that’s why our strategy in Iraq is to train the Iraqis so that they, themselves, can fight off these terrorists. Listen, eight-and-a-half million people went to the polls, in spite of the fact that the — people had been killed and there was incredible intimidation. And they defied the bombers. These people want to be free, and the killers don’t want them to be free. And so our strategy is to help the Iraqis realize the dream of a free society. And when the Iraqi troops are properly trained — and we’re headed in that direction — of course, it will take less of a coalition effort to help this new democracy get started.

Yes, Steve.

Q What about the Saddam photo? Does that have any —

THE PRESIDENT: Well, you asked me whether or not that would inspire people. You know, I don’t think a photo inspires murderers. I think they’re inspired by an ideology that is so barbaric and backwards that it’s hard for many in the Western world to comprehend how they think. But I would just remind people, if you want to know how ideologically grim their vision of the world is, just remember the Taliban. They said, if you don’t agree with our religious views you’ll be prosecuted; if you’re a woman who seeks freedom, you’ll be beaten. So these people are motivated by a vision of the world that is backward and barbaric.

This man is a war criminal whose policies increase the risk placed on our soldiers.

Impeachment followed by war crimes trials, that’s the only way this country can ever hope to lead the world again.