An Iowa soldier in Iraq who also happens to be chairman of the Iowa Republican Party says the alleged abuse of Iraqi prisoners that’s grabbed headlines lately is not commonplace. Chuck Larson of Cedar Rapids uses much of the same language as republican President George Bush in saying the incidents “do not represent the values of the men and women in uniform, the U.S. Army or the United States”Larson says the Army is a “microcosm of our society and so there are a tremendous number of outstanding individuals, but there are few bad apples.” He says the matter will be handled through the millitary’s judicial system. Larson, who is also a state senator, works for the 372nd Engineering Battalion as an attorney, or in military lingo a Judge Advocate General. However, he will not be involved in the prosecution of the prison abuse incidents. Larson says Iraq is beginning to stabilize and become more secure. Larson says while clearly there’s more work to be done, a “very small population of Iraqis” is leading the insurgent effort. Larson says it’s the folks who reaped the great benefits under Saddam Hussein, and Larson says they’re fighting to get their power back. Larson spoke with Radio Iowa this morning via satellite phone.
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