View Full Version : Rumsfeld Dismisses Iraqi Abuse Claims

11-29-2005, 10:11 PM
Rumsfeld dismisses Iraqi abuse claims


From: Agence France-Presse

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld today dismissed allegations of Iraqi security force abuses as "unverified comments" and not a sign that the US-trained force is unprepared to take over security.

Mr Rumsfeld's comments follow reports of kidnappings and execution-style killings of Sunnis, allegedly by men in Iraqi police uniforms and vehicles.

The New York Times said mounting evidence suggests that Iraqi security forces are carrying out executions in predominantly Sunni neighborhoods, and Sunnis are convinced the Shiite-led Government is waging a campaign of terror against them.

"What you're talking about are unverified – to my knowledge, at least – unverified comments," Mr Rumsfeld said when asked about the reports. "I just don't have any data from the field that I could comment on in a specific way."

He said he did not know how widespread the problem of abuses by Iraqi security forces is, and admitted that the Pentagon knowledge of the forces under the Iraqi interior ministry is more limited than those under the defence ministry.

"And it's obviously something that one has to be attentive to. It's obviously something that General Casey and his troops are attentive to and have to be concerned about," he said, referring to the US Iraq commander General George Casey.

"I am not going to be judging it from 4000 miles away."

Nevertheless, he said he did not think the allegations of abuse were an indicator that the Iraqi security forces are not ready to take over security of the country.

President George W. Bush is under intensifying domestic political pressure to reduce the US military presence in Iraq and bring home American troops.

Mr Rumsfeld and other senior administration officials have said they intend to accomplish that by giving Iraqis responsibility for security over areas of the country in phases as they are ready.