Friday, May 20, 2005
Tighty Whitey Photos Spark Protests
photo via timesonline.co.uk
Iraq - Protests erupted across Iraq today, sparked by the publication of candid photos of the former dictator laundering his pants while wearing only his underwear. The photos were published Friday May 20, 2005 by the British tabloid The Sun and in the U.S. by The New York Post. Demonstrators took to the streets in Iraq carrying signs and chanting in support of their former leader. "Down with America, up with pants!" and "Ho ho, hey hey! Give Saddam a robe today!" shouted the protesters in unison.
Saddam's defense lawyer said that the photos violate his human rights, but many protesters had other concerns. Collections were being taken up for the purchase of a washing machine and spare clothing for the deposed dictator to use while in custody awaitng trial. "What we want to know is, why does he do his own laundry? Why doesn't he have more pants? Where is his harem? That is why we are here," said protester Mohammed al-Naseri before climbing on top of a nearby car with his guitar to lead the crowd in singing Neil Young's A Man Needs A Maid.
White House spokesperson Scott McClellen immediately condemned the publication of the photos. "This incident is under investigation. These photos will have lasting damage to our image abroad, and we expect a retraction from the papers that published the photos immediately. We would also encourage The Sun and The New York Post to publish photos that reflect American values and how well we are treating Saddam Hussein." Pressing for specifics, a reporter in the press corps asked, "Who made you editor of The Sun and The Post? What are you asking them to do?" To which Scotty replied, "It is incumbent on them to do their part to repair the damage," he said.
"What, like maybe show Condi Rice delivering flowers or a fruit basket to Mr. hussein in his cell?" the reporter asked.
"We've made our views known," said the Press Secretary.
"Or maybe a new pair of pants?" asked another pool reporter.
Scotty replied, "I'll look into that," as he ended the press briefing.