Illustration by Bob AulMississippi Senator Trent Lott is certainly not one of the usual suspects when it comes to George W. Bush critics, but the prisoner-abuse scandal in Iraq has set off the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. "I'd like to know more about exactly what has been happening," Lott told fellow conservative Joe Scarborough on MSNBC's May 4 Scarborough Country. "Was this an isolated incident? Was it a pattern of misconduct? Who was involved? Was it military, CIA, reservists, people on contract with the government? We don't know the answers to all that yet."
Scarborough tried to steer the discussion into criticism of Bush opponents who might seize on the scandal for political gains, but Lott obviously had more on his mind. "Apparently, this investigation and a report has been in the process for weeks. Nobody in Congress seems to have been notified that this was going on. The conduct was totally ridiculous, intolerable. . . . [T]here is a broad-scale, bipartisan feeling that the Congress has not been properly reported to and that we've got to do something about it."
He revealed on CNN's American Morningthe next day what has really outraged him about the whole deal: "I'm very disturbed that in the Intelligence Committee we didn't have this report that's apparently available at the Pentagon. We got it off the NPR website. Now that's totally unacceptable." The Fox News website, sure, that'd be totally acceptable because it'd essentially be a White House press release. But liberal commie pinko NPR? Oh, the humanity!