What Did The President Know And When Did He Know It?

It’s past time for Senator Carl Levin to call General Anthony Teguba and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld before the Senate Armed Services Committee to testify about Abu Ghraib.

The White House on Sunday insisted that President George W. Bush first learned about abuse at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison from media reports, contrary to assertions by a former top general that Bush likely knew about the scandal before it broke.

“The President said over three years ago that he first saw the pictures of the abuse on television,” said White House spokesperson Scott Stanzel in Crawford, Texas, where Bush is spending the weekend at his ranch.

Stanzel was responding to questions about a New Yorker magazine report quoting the top military investigator of the Abu Ghraib scandal, retired Army Major General Antonio Taguba, as saying “the president had to be aware” of the abuse of prisoners by US military guards at the facility.


“The question you have to ask about the president is this: No matter when he learned — and certainly he learned before it became public, and no matter how detailed it was — is there any evidence that the president of the United States said to Rumsfeld, what’s going on there, Don? Let’s get an investigation going,” [investigative reporter Seymour] Hersh told CNN.

9 thoughts on “What Did The President Know And When Did He Know It?

  1. Boy is it past time. Good lord!
    When an executive is making claims of that kind of extraordinary power and it gets revealed how that power is being used, I certainly believe with every fiber of my being that that executive owes the people a full and complete explanation of what is going on. Is this really a democracy? If it is, the government is supposed to be us. Not them. “They” are ignoring our concerns, ignoring our questions and turning them back to us with this answer: “I don’t have to tell anyone anything, because I’m in charge.”
    O really?
    Great post, Holden.

  2. I’m with Tena. Shrub makes claims of an extremely strong executive branch (almost omnipotent), yet whenever anything surfaces from within the branch, Shrub says that he is totally unaware of it.
    In short, he claims almost omnipotent power but has no responsibility to see that it is used well.
    Worse than the Greek gods.

  3. At least the Greek god turned themselves into swans every now and then and had sex with women. If only we could catch George getting a blowjob and then get him to lie about it under oath, THEN we could show the world and the final 28 percetn just how different the justice system is for Republicans!
    Nah, it would never happen, it would be good for the republicans, they would say, “Well he’s human, see, and Clinton…”

  4. “The President said over three years ago that he first saw the pictures of the abuse on television,” said White House spokesperson Scott Stanzel
    Their non-denial denials are getting repetitive and ridiculous. Of course he first saw the pictures on the teevee, because when the pictures surfaced in the DoD, he made damn sure not to look at them.
    Doesn’t mean he wasn’t giving Rummy the go ahead to do whatever he wanted inside Abu Ghraib.

  5. Until we can beat back the absurd claim that we are in a “war on terrorism”, that there is a “global war on terrorism” and even that terrorism is our biggest threat, we are really impotent. A real war does require that we have a strong leader, who is willing to take the risks needed to win that war. But, we are not at war, and haven’t been during the past 15+ years. And, terrorism is an extremely minute threat to us, worth no more than good police and FBI work to keep down.
    We are, unfortunately, attempting to be a colonial power, occupying Iraq for the benefit of some US corporations, but that isn’t by any stretch of the imagination, a war. And, the person responsible for most of the terror so many of us feel is our own president, not someone in another country. The true war on terror is the 2008 election.

  6. You have to carefully ask the question and parse the answer. Mr. President, when did you first learn of the abuse? Answer: Only when I saw it on TV. Real Answer: Oh, I was briefed months ago, but “they” told me not to look at the actual pictures so I could tell you that I first learned about the specific form of abuse shown in the pictures when I saw them on TV. I do so enjoy playing CYA with the public. Next question?

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