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Prisoner Abuse in Iraq 'Abhorrent' Bush Says - 2004-05-05


President Bush says the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. soldiers is "abhorrent" and does not reflect American values.

Mr. Bush made his remarks in an interview with the Arabic-language U.S.-government-sponsored Al-Hurra television. He also is speaking today to Dubai-based Al-Arabiya.

In the Al-Hurra interview, Mr. Bush said he still has confidence in Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld despite the growing controversy.

Earlier Wednesday, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Mr. Bush does not think Mr. Rumsfeld should resign.

The commander of U.S.-run prisons in Iraq Wednesday apologized for the abuse of detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison.

Major General Geoffrey Miller offered apologies on behalf of the United States and the U.S. military for what he called a "small number of leaders and soldiers who committed unauthorized and possibly illegal acts."

General Miller made his remarks to Arab and Western reporters who were given a tour of the prison outside Baghdad.

Hundreds of Iraqis demonstrated outside the prison Wednesday, chanting anti-American slogans and demanding the release of jailed relatives.

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said the military has begun a "broad review" of U.S. detention facilities in Baghdad, the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and elsewhere. He said at the moment the abuse appears to have occurred only at the Abu Ghraib prison

Images of Iraqi detainees, wearing hoods and posed in embarrassing positions, have drawn worldwide condemnation since first being broadcast by CBS television last week.

The U.S. military says six officers face criminal charges in the case, and six other people have been reprimanded.

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