Gen. Taguba Alleges Existence of Prisoner Rape Photos; White House Press Secretary Attacks ... British Media
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Wow. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs is really embodying the idea that when the message is devastating, you attack the messenger. Except in this case, Gibbs is not even attacking the messenger, but rather the newspaper that quoted the messenger.
In a major story today, London’s Daily Telegraph quoted Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba describing photos (that the Obama administration is fighting to keep secret), which allegedly depict U.S. personnel raping prisoners, other sexual assaults on prisoners with objects including a truncheon, wire and a phosphorescent tube. “These pictures show torture, abuse, rape and every indecency,” Taguba said. Put that statement against this one from the president: In defending his decision to fight the ACLU in its efforts to have the photos publicly released, Obama said on May 13, “I want to emphasize that these photos that were requested in this case are not particularly sensational .”
At the White House press briefing today, Gibbs lashed out -- not at Gen. Taguba, who made the allegation on the record, and not even specifically at the paper that quoted Taguba. Instead, Gibbs went after the entire British media, saying “I think if you do an even moderate Google search (heh) you’re not gonna find many of these newspapers and ‘truth’ within say 25 words of each other:”
“I want to speak generally about some of reports I’ve witnessed over the past few years in the British media and in some ways I’m surprised it filtered down,” Gibbs said. “Let’s just say that if I wanted to look up, if I wanted to read a writeup today of how Manchester United fared last night in the Champions League Cup, I might open up a British newspaper… If I was looking for something that bordered on truthful news, I’m not sure that would be the first stack of clips I picked up.”