Wednesday, January 3, 2007

U.S. would have done things differently

(AP) As the storm over the handling of the hanging gained strength, Maj Gen. William Caldwell was among several U.S. officials who suggested displeasure with the conduct of the execution.

"If you are asking me: 'Would we have done things differently?' Yes, we would have. But that's not our decision. That's the government of Iraq's decision," the general said.

The White House declined to join in the criticism.

"The president is focused on the new way forward in Iraq so these issues are best addressed out of Iraq, out of Baghdad," deputy White House press secretary Scott Stanzel said. "Prime Minister Maliki's staff have already expressed their disappointment in the filmings, so I guess we'll leave it at that."

Stanzel said the U.S. military and the U.S. Embassy in Iraq had expressed concerns about the timing of the execution and about "the process and what took place."

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said U.S. officials had questioned holding the execution on a Muslim festival day, the opening of Eid al-Adha, and as well as some procedures.

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