Washington: US President George W Bush has, for the first time, expressed his “terrible disappointment” over the “disgraceful acts” that took place inside Iraq’s infamous Abu Ghraib prison in 2004.
In an interview with an Arabic TV network, Bush said: "Abu Ghraib was a terrible disappointment. And admittedly, I wasn't there on the site, but I was the Commander-in-Chief of a military where these disgraceful acts took place that sent the absolute wrong image about America and our military."
The President made the comments in an interview conducted on Friday with a reporter from the Middle East Broadcasting Center, a Saudi-run station that broadcasts throughout the region.
The White House released the transcript on Sunday morning.
The Abu Ghraib scandal exploded in 2004 when photos and videos showing US soldiers humiliating prisoners began to leak out and then was published by news organizations.
Later investigations by the military found that, in addition to degrading prisoners sexually and using dogs and other methods to frighten them, some prisoners were physically assaulted and abused.
Seven US soldiers were court-martialed and sentenced to federal prison time, and the commanding officer at the prison was demoted, but no high-ranking military or government officials have been held at fault for the abuses.