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Rumsfeld Says He Will Not Resign to Satisfy Political Critics - 2004-05-07

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld took responsibility on Friday for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. troops, but said he would not resign just to satisfy his political critics.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld extended his deepest apologies to the Iraqi prisoners abused in U.S. military custody and said that he favors compensating them for their suffering.

Appearing before Congress, Mr. Rumsfeld added that he accepts full responsibility for the mistreatment. He said that he would resign if he felt he could no longer serve effectively as Defense Secretary, but told lawmakers he won't quit for political reasons.

?Needless to say, if I felt I could not be effective, I'd resign in a minute,? he said. ?I would not resign simply because people try to make a political issue out of it.?

President Bush voiced support for the Defense Secretary, calling him a valuable member of his cabinet.