Congressman Leonard Boswell says as a retired military man, he can’t understand the alleged abuse in an Iraqi prison. Boswell says military police units are trained not to do what ws depicted in those photos. Boswell says M-Ps are told to treat prisoners respectfully, and he “just has to hope” that the incidents are isolated and not widespread. Boswell says such conduct cannot be tolerated, but can be understood when soldiers seek to avenge the death of other soldiers. Boswell says when somebody very close to you has been maimed or killed, “it’s pretty hard to keep your senses straight for a while.” Boswell says however, that abuse of prisoners is never acceptable and the message needs to go out that “this is not the American way.” Boswell says one of his concerns is the heavy use of contractors rather than enlisted or reserve military men and women in military operations, including the operation of military prisons. Not only are contractors more expensive, they may lack the necessary military training according to Boswell. Boswell made his comments during taping of an Iowa Public Television program — just as Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld testified in Washington. Boswell says he’s going to reserve judgement on Rumsfeld until he hears the secretary explain what steps have been taken to deal with the photo flap.
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