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(2004-05-07) -- Democrat presidential hopeful, and Vietnam veteran, John Forbes Kerry today said President George Bush is "not fit to be disgusted" at photos of U.S. military prison guards hazing Iraqi prisoners.
The president recently granted two interviews with Arab-language TV networks, telling reporters that he found the actions of the prison guards to be "abhorrent."
But Mr. Kerry immediately held a news conference to challenge the president's credibility on the issue.
"While I was commanding a swift boat in the Mekong Delta, George Bush stayed stateside with the National Guard," said Mr. Kerry. "He never had an opportunity to commit atrocities against the enemy, like I did, so he's not fit to judge the abuses in Abu Ghraib prison. America needs a commander in chief who knows the harsh reality of war and man's inhumanity to man?the darkness that lurks in the soul of even the most cultured, erudite and refined among us."
White House spokesman Scott McClellan said, "Senator Kerry is entitled to his opinion. I think the president was simply reacting to the photos the same way most Americans did."
A spokesman for the Kerry campaign said Mr. McClellan's remarks represent another example of "Bush's right-wing attack dogs questioning Senator Kerry's patriotism."
Later, when asked by a reporter on his campaign plane what he thought when he first saw the prisoner-abuse photos, Mr. Kerry said, "I was disgusted. They were abhorrent."
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