Friday, May 20, 2005

Bush Promises Probe into Saddam Underwear Pictures

Semper ubi, sub ubi!


LONDON (Reuters) - Washington promised an investigation on Friday into how pictures of Saddam Hussein in his underpants were splashed across the front-page of Britain's biggest-selling daily newspaper.

The imprisoned former Iraqi leader appeared on the front of the Sun, naked except for a pair of white briefs and holding a pair of trousers in his hand.

The Sun quoted U.S. military sources as saying they had handed over the pictures "in the hope of dealing a body blow to the resistance in Iraq."

Other photographs showed Saddam, with short, dyed-black hair and a mustache, washing clothes by hand and asleep on his bed.

The photos later appeared in the New York Post. Both papers are owned by Australian media baron Rupert Murdoch.

A U.S. military statement said the pictures might be a year old. They contravened Saddam's rights as a prisoner and could have broken the Geneva Convention, the military statement said.

"Multi-National Forces-Iraq is disappointed at the possibility that someone responsible for the security, welfare, and detention of Saddam would take and provide these photos for public release," the statement said.

"This lapse is being aggressively investigated to determine, if possible, who took the photos, and to ensure existing procedures and directives are complied with to prevent this from happening again," it said.

The White House said President Bush had been told of the pictures and "strongly supports the aggressive and thorough investigation that is already under way."

Saddam's lawyers expressed outrage.

What to say. How dumb do you have to be to do something like this in the wake of the Abu Ghraib scandal and the Koran-flushing scandal? I am exercising mush restraint from unleashing the persistent bubbling stream of profanity I feel in my chest.


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