U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld testified today to the Senate Armed Services committee on Capitol Hill. He appeared before congressional committees in back-to-back hearings on the scandal, which came to light last week with the release of photographs showing the humiliation of Iraqi prisoners in a U.S.-run jail outside Baghdad.
Rumsfeld, in his opening remarks said, ‘I feel terrible about what happened to these Iraqi detainees. They are human beings. They were in U.S. custody. Our country had an obligation to treat them right. We didn’t, and that was wrong. So to those Iraqis who were mistreated by members of the U.S. armed forces, I offer my deepest apology.’ REUTERS/Gary Hershorn
“To those Iraqis who were mistreated by members of the armed forces, I offer my deepest apology. It was inconsistent with the values of our nation,” Rumsfeld said in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Rumsfeld took full responsibility saying “it’s my failure …”, but also went on to say that he only saw the pictures last evening and admitted the system needs improving. He defended the President’s innocence and refused to heed calls for his resignation by those whom he accused of playing politics… CNN.
Rumsfeld’s testimony appeared heartfelt and forthright, though perhaps spiced with a dash of acrimony. Nevertheless he did what was required of him to save face for the Bush administration. Will it be enough to avoid his resignation? Only time will tell.