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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

VOICE OF AMERICA
SLUG: 2-315681 Bush / Iraq (Long)
DATE:>
NOTE NUMBER:

DATE=MAY 6, 2004

TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT

TITLE=BUSH / IRAQ (L)

NUMBER=2-315681

BYLINE=SCOTT STEARNS

DATELINE=WHITE HOUSE

CONTENT=

VOICED AT:

INTRO: President Bush has apologized for U-S soldiers who abused prisoners in Iraq. From the White House, V-O-A's Scott Stearns reports, the apology came during a meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah.

TEXT: President Bush says he told King Abdullah that those responsible for the wrongdoing will be brought to justice, and their actions do not represent American values.

/// BUSH ACT ///

I told him I was sorry for the humiliation suffered by the Iraqi prisoners and the humiliation suffered by their families. I told him I was equally sorry that people who have been seeing those pictures didn't understand the true nature and heart of America.

/// END ACT ///

Mr. Bush says he and Americans are sickened by images of the abuse, which he says are a stain on America's reputation.

In interviews Wednesday with Arab-language television stations, Mr. Bush denounced the abuse, but stopped short of apologizing for it.

King Abdullah said Jordanians were also horrified by the images, but he is confident the abuse does not reflect U-S morals or standards.

/// ABDULLAH ACT ///

I am quite convinced that, once the investigation is underway, those who are guilty of those crimes will be brought to justice.

/// END ACT ///

President Bush reaffirmed his support for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, amid calls by some members of Congress for his resignation over the actions of those U-S soldiers involved in the abuse.

The president said Mr. Rumsfeld is a good secretary of defense.

/// SECOND BUSH ACT ///

Secretary Rumsfeld has been the secretary through two wars. He is an important part of my Cabinet and he will stay in my cabinet.

/// END ACT ///

While Secretary Rumsfeld told the president earlier that the military was investigating allegations of prison abuse, Mr. Bush did not know the severity of that abuse, until he saw the images on U-S television last week.

In a meeting with Mr. Rumsfeld Wednesday, Mr. Bush said he told the Defense Secretary that he should have known about the pictures and an interim report on the abuse before they appeared in the media. (SIGNED)

NEB/SKS/RH/TW



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