A Prez Who Doesn’t Read


The AJC’s Cynthia Tucker nails it.

Perhaps the most disturbing thing about the pictures is the smiling visages of American soldiers as they force naked Iraqi men into degrading sexual poses. They remind me of photographs of lynchings from the bitter days of Jim Crow, when white Southerners brought their families out to watch the torture and execution of black Southerners, as if they were going to the circus. In those photos, too, the torturers are all smiles.The White House acknowledges that Rumsfeld alerted the president several weeks ago — if not months ago — to a sweeping investigation of complaints of abuse and torture of prisoners by U.S. soldiers, not just in Iraq but also in Afghanistan. But Bush never bothered to read the full report. For that matter, neither did Rumsfeld. He complained in a TV interview that the documents comprise “a mountain of paper.”

So neither man had any deep and abiding concern over the fact that U.S. soldiers were emulating some of the torment employed by Saddam Hussein when he held prisoners at Abu Ghraib. Before the release of the photos, neither seemed to care that abusing Iraqi prisoners — forcing them into just the sort of humiliating poses that are most offensive in the Islamic world — would only set back the cause of establishing a pro-Western democracy in Iraq.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Clueless, The Sequel.

See, the President doesn’t read, and Rumsfeld, who does, couldn’t be bothered. Too much work and, anyway, Junior had his bass-fishing expedition to think of. But then they saw the pictures. Words? Pish-tosh. Not visual enough. But pictures? ‘Oh, is that what those words mean?’

What, are we drealing with 2nd graders here?

Of course, there is another explanation: they didn’t have to read it because they already knew what was in it because they ordered it.

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