A t the beginning of May 2004 President George W. Bushresponded to the reports of widespread ill-treatment of Iraqi prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison by American service personnel with the

plea that Iraq ‘must understand that what took place does not represent

the America I know’. Mrs Laura Bush rallied to her husband’s assistance with

the claim ‘that’s not the picture of America’. Indeed she claimed that reports

of abuse of prisoners were quite untypical of American military conduct.