WASHINGTON, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- U.S. President George Bush says the revelation of prisoner torture at Abu Ghraib in Iraq was "a terrible disappointment."
In the latest of a series of interviews he has been giving in the waning days of his presidency in which he has acknowledged certain regrets, Bush told the Saudi Arabian network MBC-TV, in comments released Sunday, that the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. military jailers had damaged American prestige.
"Abu Ghraib was a terrible disappointment," Bush said. "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."
He also said the Iraq mission has taken "longer than I thought it would," but, he added, "I am pleased to see a multiethnic society begin to emerge. I talked to the leaders of Iraq yesterday and today and congratulated them on doing some hard work. And I love to hear their spirit in their voice."