George W. BushGeorge

What was the accusation?

In 2004, photographs taken at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq revealed serious abuse of prisoners by U.S. soldiers. Critics assailed U.S. President George W. Bush, U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, and the rest of the Bush administration for the scandal and for not promptly addressing it earlier. On May 6, standing outside the White House with Jordan’s King Abdullah II, President Bush formally apologized for the “humiliations suffered by the Iraqi prisoners and the humiliations suffered by their families.” He stated that he was unaware of the pictures before they were released and that “[the] actions of the people in that prison do not reflect the nature of the men and women who wear our uniforms.” Furthermore, he promised to take corrective measures and hold accountable the people responsible for the abuse.  

Key Apologia Strategies:

Mortification, Defeasibility, Bolstering, Corrective Action



Text from Bush’s Autobiography Decision Points


Bush, G. W. (2009). Decision Points. Crown Publishers. New York.

Bush ‘sorry’ for abuse of Iraqi prisoners. (2004, May 7). CNN. Retrieved from

Kelly, G., & Porteus, L. (2004, May 7). Bush apologizes for Iraqi prisoner abuse. Fox News. Retrieved from

Reynolds, M. (2004, May 7). Bush issues an apology on prisoners. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from