June 03, 2004,
Billionaire financier George Soros, the financial power behind a number of anti-Bush movements on the left, today directly compared the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal in Iraq with the terrorist attacks of September 11.
"The picture of torture in Saddam's prison was a moment of truth for us," Soros said Thursday morning in Washington at a meeting of the liberal activist group Campaign for America's Future.
"I think that those pictures hit us the same way as the terrorist attack itself," Soros continued, "not quite with the same force, because in the terrorist attack, we were the victims. In the pictures, we were the perpetrators and others were the victims."
"But there is, I'm afraid, a direct connection between those two events, because the way President Bush conducted the war on terror converted us from victims into perpetrators."
The audience, made up of left-wing activists from around the country, broke into enthusiastic applause.
Soros also outlined his theory that a doctrine of "American supremacy" took hold inside the Bush administration due to the influence of a group of "neoconservative" ideologues. Soros said the United States went to war in Iraq on false pretenses, "because there was no connection between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda" and "there were no weapons of mass destruction," but what he finds "most galling" is the idea that the United States "went to war in Iraq for the sake of the Iraqi people."
At the meeting, which was dubbed the "Take Back America" conference, Soros was introduced by Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who told the crowd that "we need people like George Soros, who is fearless and willing to step up when it counts."