For Immediate Release
May 14, 2004
From remarks by Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, Baghdad, Iraq, 5/13/04
The things that happened at Abu Ghraib prison under Saddam Hussein were horrific; thousands and thousands of human beings were mistreated, tortured and killed.
We have recently seen abuses at the prison under U.S. responsibility. It has been "a body blow" for all of us, but it does not represent America, nor does it represent American values.
The people who engaged in the abuses will be brought to justice. The world will see that a free, democratic system functions and operates transparently.
Many positive things are happening in Iraq with America's help: Schools are open, hospitals are open, and clinics are open. The ministries are being turned over to Iraqis.
Iraqis are being trained to provide their own security. Three hundred Iraqi security forces have been killed while bravely building a new Iraq.
It won't be an easy path to travel from a repressive dictatorship to a stable, prosperous, successful country that respects all religious and ethnic groups, is at peace with its neighbors and respects human rights.
There will be plenty of potholes in the road, and mistakes will be made, but Iraq is being put on a path toward a freer system.
However, one day we will look back and our servicemen and women will be proud of their service. They will say it was worth it.