WASHINGTON – President Bush on Tuesday dismissed a human rights report as “absurd” for its harsh criticism of U.S. treatment of terrorist suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, saying the allegations were made by prisoners “who hate America.”
“It’s an absurd allegation. The United States is a country that promotes freedom around the world,” Bush said of the Amnesty International report that compared Guantanamo to a Soviet-era gulag.
Bush spoke after separate air crashes killed four American and four Italian troops in Iraq. The governor of Anbar province, taken hostage three weeks ago, was killed during clashes between U.S. forces and the insurgents who abducted him.
Standing in the sun, sweat beading on his forehead, Bush said the job of the U.S. forces in Iraq is to help train the nation’s own forces to defeat insurgents.
“I think the Iraqi people dealt the insurgents a serious blow when we had the elections,” Bush said. “In other words, what the insurgents fear is democracy because democracy is the opposition of their vision.”