In an attempt to repair US image among Arabs, US President George W. Bush vowed Wednesday that any American soldier guilty of "abhorrent" abuse of Iraqi prisoners will be punished.
"We want to know the truth," Bush said in an interview with the US-sponsored al-Hurra television network, one of two he was giving.
However, Bush did not apologize. He said he had discussed the scandal with US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld earlier in the day.
"I said, 'find the truth, and then tell the Iraqi people and the world the truth,'" said Bush. "We have nothing to hide. We believe in transparency because we're a free society. That's what free societies do."
"It's also important for the people of Iraq to know that in a democracy everything is not perfect, that mistakes are made. But in a democracy as well those mistakes will be investigated and people will be brought to justice."
According to Bush, the American Army had launched an investigation in January but that he personally had not seen pictures until CBS television aired them one week ago.
"First time I saw or heard about pictures was on TV," said Bush. "The American people are just as appalled" as Iraqis, Bush added.
"The America I know is a compassionate country that believes in freedom. The America I know cares about every individual. The America I know has sent troops into Iraq to promote freedom, good honorable citizens that are helping Iraqis everyday," the US leader conveyed. (Albawaba.com)
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )