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Last Updated: Monday, 17 May, 2004, 14:03 GMT 15:03 UK
Is Rumsfeld's reputation irreparably damaged?
US Defence Secretary Donald H Rumsfeld walking next to Lt Gen Ricardo Sanchez after arriving in Baghdad
US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld visited Abu Ghraib prison today.

His surprise Iraq trip comes amid continuing controversy over the abuse of Iraqi prisoners.

He said he wanted to ensure that detainees were being treated properly and US soldiers were "behaving right".

Mr Rumsfeld has said he wants to publish all available images of abuse, but was being advised not to by lawyers.

Do you think the images should be shown? Will his Iraq visit improve the situation? Is his reputation beyond repair? Send your comments.


This debate is now closed. Read your comments below.

The following comments reflect the balance of the opinion we have received:

Most of the critics here would still have Saddam in power, raping, torturing and murdering innocent civilians. And there would be no calls for his resignation.
Shane, USA

At this point in time it will be a lot more harmful to "hide" these pictures than to volunteer put them for the public. A full honest disclosure will greatly help the USA move on. Rumsfeld is not up to the job of US Defence Secretary; the world's political scene is way too complicated for his type intelligence.
Stewart Hutchings, New Haven, USA

What reputation?
M. Dwyer, Netherlands

Rumsfeld should not be walking on Iraq soil, but out of the White House. Heads have to roll for atrocities of such a serious nature, and it should be his.
Prashanth Parameswaran, Washington DC

it's possible to loose a few games and still have a winning season
Shane, USA
I think it's possible to loose a few games and still have a winning season. Like the rest of us, Mr. Rumsfeld has made mistakes. But I approve of the forthright manner in which he has handled this scandal and I continue to support him.
Shane, USA

Thank goodness for our forefathers who had a vision for this great country and the faithful who stood by them through thick and thin. Because of an action of a few we are quick to condemn all. Being a parent wasn't easy either. God Bless America and God Bless the freedom for Iraq.
Pat, Long Grove, USA

Sadly, those calling for Rumsfeld's resignation don't care a whit for the abused prisoners. Those apposed to the Bush camp are rejoicing over such a juicy scandal and will use it to their political advantage, just as they use dead soldiers.
Shane, USA

To all those defending Secretary Rumsfeld; where is the principle of vicarious responsibility? Rumsfeld cannot escape responsibility by simply saying he was not directly involved. As the architect of the invasion, he should be held to account.
G da Fonseca, New York, USA

Historically, when a blunder of this magnitude happens within the military, the Secretary of Defence resigns. I believe a major sacrifice is in order.
Thomas Gilbert, Mountlake Terrace, WA, USA

Most calling for his resignation base it on their hate of the Bush administration
Rod Sturgeon, USA

Of course he should not resign. Notice that most calling for his resignation base it on their hate of the Bush administration, not on the prisoner abuse.
Rod Sturgeon, USA

I am appalled that our government allows Rumsfeld, and others, to continue to serve. The buck stops with them and they need to take responsibility.
Susan, Ashland, Oregon, USA

Donald Rumsfeld should resign as he poses a threat to America. He has shown that he is not aware of what is going on in his own department and that could prove very dangerous to the American people. He has shamed and dishonoured the name of the American people.
Ramon C, USA

If everything in Iraq would have gone according to plan, i.e. peaceful and smooth transition to democracy, effective rebuilding of Iraq's infrastructure etc. then Bush and co would have probably and deservedly taken the credit... unfortunately things, especially with the mistreatment of prisoners have turned really sour. Rumsfeld is directly accountable and should resign, it is the morally and politically decent thing to do!
Isaaq, Hounslow, London, UK

It is quite interesting to see how unrealistically emotional people are. When Americans were executed and their bodies desecrated there was no outrage. Why should Rumsfeld resign? Did he order the torture? The answer is no.
Osuagwu, Kuwait

Better yet, let's just throw the whole despicable lot out on their tails in November. I am sick of being ashamed of my country.
Darby Hicks, Chicago, IL

"Enough is enough". It is time for American bull to halt. Americans are great but America's politicians are crooked and stubborn.
Aryan Verma, Bombay, India

Rumsfeld has been at the epicentre of the false premises on which we went to war, the failure to accurately assess the challenges of the war, and the abuse of prisoners. He is now blaming underlings for the abuse, but he set the tone that his underlings are following. He should definitely be removed from office.
Lee, Ipswich, MA

No, he is not the responsible one
Kim, Colorado

No, he is not the responsible one. The people that participated in the abuse are the responsible ones. They will be held accountable, that is the true American way. This should not be politicized as it takes away from our real task in Iraq. It is not to occupy, it is to liberate and help stabilize. The faster we can do that, the faster we can get out and the Iraqi people can hopefully live and experience the freedom they deserve from a horrible and oppressive regime.
Kim, Colorado, USA

The fact of the matter is that Congress will never make Rumsfeld resign. What the people don't understand is that all the abuse is done on Muslims and that does not even affect Congress. Had it been a case where a Jewish or Christian person had been treated a quarter of what was done on the Iraqi people it would have been the biggest case of anti-Semitism and human rights violation and Rumsfeld would have been jailed for it.
Baras, India

I am satisfied with the way that Rumsfeld is handling the situation. This is unfortunate and vile - but it does not alter the reasons for our being there.
Frances Stewart, W Union, WV, USA

It's a pretty sad day when the defenders of the Bush Administration fall back on the argument that we're still more decent and honourable than Saddam and the terrorists.
Charles, Cabot, VT, USA

Unfortunately I doubt they have the integrity to even consider it
Andrew Wertheimer, Honolulu

My country nearly "closed up shop" for over a year when Republicans attacked President Clinton for lying about having an affair. I can't believe that we are now tolerating Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld for lying about the reasons for going to war, not "planning for peace", and allowing such human rights travesties to take place Even the most naive among us should realize that this administration has no moral authority or rational long term objective in Iraq.

Our only hope is that the United Nations will graciously reassert international law. Bush, Cheney, Rice, and Rumsfeld should all resign. Unfortunately I doubt they have the integrity to even consider it. I also wish that John Kerry and other Democrats would become a true opposition (or least alternative) party. They should recognize the reality and opinion that one can "support our boys" by bringing them home from this occupation.
Andrew Wertheimer, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

Mr Rumsfeld should resign. It is not a matter of effectiveness. This happened on your watch. That makes it your responsibility. Prove your a leader instead of a political hack. Apologize like a gentleman and step down.
Becca, Alabama, USA

His continued presence in the Bush Administration will only weaken the President's re-election bid
Frank Snyder, Seattle, USA
The comments by some who answered the poll strongly suggest that many of them are simply ignorant of how a democratically elected representative government operates. Secretary Rumsfeld, though possibly not knowing the fullest extent of the abuse, nevertheless is ultimately responsible. His continued presence in the Bush Administration will only weaken the President's re-election bid later on this year. Further, if it comes to be true that the Bush Administration knew about this abuse as early as January, and also tried to coerce 60 Minutes II into 'shelving' the story, then maybe the who Bush Administration should go.
Frank Snyder, Seattle, USA

No. Mr Rumsfeld should not resign. If he is truly deeply sorry for what some of the men under his purview have done, then Mr Rumsfeld should get the USA to ratify the Rome Treaty and make the USA full and equal part of the International Court of Justice. To do so, if possible with retroactive effect, say to the ongoing Iraq or Afghan operations would be exactly what is needed to show his sincerity to the whole world. Many of us would then applaud your change of heart then, Mr Rumsfeld.
Kpdodo, Mauritius

It would be just a wishful thinking because world should not expect even a single positive move such as asking for Rumsfeld resignation from President Bush. In so called democratic countries like USA OR UK, democracy can only be seen only on the day of election. Once elected than these western democracies totally ignore what the vast majority of these countries population want as we have seen anti war protests all around the world before the war. I am afraid but these very small but strong groups of radical people who are in power e.g. NEWCONS in USA will only create more destruction in the world due to their own financial and radical interests. The price of their actions will be paid by common people living in east and west in the form of bomb attacks or rising oil prices.
Shafqaat Haider, Wolverhampton, UK

The US Secretary of Shame, should just do the honourable thing and resign, at least that will a bit of integrity in the Bush administration.
Thomas, Cape Town, South Africa

Yes, Donald Rumsfeld should resign, immediately. Pushing the United States into an unjust war, sacrificing thousands of lives, causing terrorism to grow around the world, and causing the United States to face a huge economic debt, should never be described as "superb".
Josh, Washington, USA

Let Rumsfeld stay and clear the mess and be accounted for while still in office.
Basheer, Muscat, Oman

Matters can only get worse with Rumsfeld in office
Steve Baran, Chattaroy

Rumsfeld should go. No WMD, no Iraqi-9/11 connection, hundreds if not thousands of civilians killed, torture, rape and murder of Iraqi prisoners, no interim government in sight with only 50 days to go until June 30 - I'd call this decisive misleadership. Matters can only get worse with Rumsfeld in office - and they have continued to do so.
Steve Baran, Chattaroy, WA, USA

Mr Rumsfeld's actions since 9/11 have repeatedly undermined the freedoms which the Bush administration claim it is fighting this war to protect. The entire administration is deeply hypocritical.
Keith, San Francisco

Mr Rumsfeld next time, please make sure that you send real men to fight instead of those psychologically disturbed individuals. As for the rest of your life, I guarantee you that it will be full of shame, if it is not already.
Mohamed, Florida, USA

Rumsfeld's resignation would just dodge the fundamental issue: It's the war in Iraq which is wrong, not just the "abuse" of Iraqi prisoners. These acts of torture in Iraqi prisons are only a small part of the horror in a war that has left 10,000 civilians dead. In that context, the name of the boss at the Pentagon seems irrelevant.
Manuel Elguero, Mexico City, Mexico

This whole administration has been an embarrassment and failure for our country from day one. He should resign, Bush and Cheney should be impeached.
Jeff, Tampa, FL, USA

Decisive leadership is never easy
Andre Deveer, CA
If it weren't for Donald Rumsfeld where would we be? My guess is that we would be waiting for inconceivable terror to strike indiscriminately and then debating for years about what we should. Decisive leadership is never easy.
Andre Deveer, CA, USA

Rumsfeld bears the full responsibility for what happened, and he should clear the place for someone who can handle it better. His refusal to resign reveals one bitter truth; it is that those abused in Bogharib are not human enough to be resigned for. I am just wondering what would have happened if the abused were Americans!
Bilal Amjarso, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The torture has been part of the systematic arrangement to break down the will of the people of Iraq. It is not a chance occurrence. This is one of the evidences that the "Iraq experiment" has failed woefully. The whole world warned them earlier including the Pope. They refused. Rumsfeld should first go, later Cheney and then Bush. They have created a dangerous world and multiplied International terrorism by a thousand fold due to a senseless war.
John Phoenix, San Antonio, Texas

This administration had it coming. By showing little respect and regard for international laws and due process in every policy move that President Bush made since he took office, it is little wonder why people under his command, from his cabinet members to men and women in the armed forces, believe that it is okay to disregard the traditions of the rule of law that our country should abide by.
Jemma , New Haven, USA

This is about staying in power at any cost
Kappy, Lexington
America is no less vulnerable to attack and maybe even more so than before as a result of this administration's actions. Rumsfeld has not been effective, and he has not resigned. There is no concept of responsibility nor honour. This is about staying in power at any cost.
Kappy, Lexington, USA

Rumsfeld should go first, but the entire Bush administration should be imprisoned. We impeached our last president for extra-marital dalliance. Surely torture and death of innocents is a greater crime.
George Ziemann, Phoenix, USA

Of course Rumsfeld should stay. He's the best Defence Secretary the US ever had. Calls for his resignation are politically motivated and have nothing to do with his integrity and ability.
Jas, US

Rumsfeld should resign because America is in the fore front of Human Right Defence.
Evans Ike, Austria

Rumsfeld should go!! He should 'go' to the Hague court and explain himself. Whilst at the Hague court it would be helpful if he explained his understanding of international law, and the Geneva convention.
David, Cambridge England

Mr Rumsfeld does not want to resign, because he thinks he can still be effective. He clearly does not understand that democracy is not about being effective. History is full of very effective dictators, who have left millions of corpses in their wake. Democracy is about being accountable, and if Mr Rumsfeld would understand that, he would resign in a minute.
John, London, UK

What happened was wrong, but the media induced frenzy is entirely politically motivated. Where was the outrage from the world when Saddam was raping, torturing, and murdering hundreds of thousands? Clean up the mess, punish those directly responsible and move on.
Tim Cole, Seattle, USA

Wait until the investigations have been completed and then take the appropriate actions
Penelope, Las Cruces
I see no point in allowing anyone who knew or participated in the recent prison atrocities to be permitted to resign and fade into the background. We should all wait until the investigations have been completed and then take the appropriate actions to ensure that such things never happen again and punish all who had knowledge and didn't respond.
Penelope, Las Cruces, USA

Proper government is based upon upholding high principles of conduct. When the U.S. invaded Iraq, it was justified by a flurry of conjectures that somehow the west could demonstrate its moral superiority in ways of government. Now that the tables have turned, why can't an administration which has so prided itself on taking the moral way apply the same principles of character and conduct it has so pointedly used to attack previous administrations and foreign governments? For Rumsfeld alone, a character of valour would practise what he preaches and demonstrate to the world that the U.S. really can be an example to follow, where no one is above the law and accountability isn't simply just a buzz-word for the conservative voter base.
B, Denver, USA

It would be ridiculous to put the blame in Rumsfeld for every bad thing that happens in Iraq. How could he be responsible for the abuse of Iraqi people perpetrated by a few outlaws in the US army? Let's be more sensible in this case. If he is supposed to resign - this is not reason.
Raimundo L Santos, Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Rumsfeld "takes full responsibility" but would not resign. So what does then the responsibility mean? Apparently, empty words.
Marilyn, Boston, US

There is absolutely no excuse for the recent events unfolding in Iraq. Rumsfeld, and the entire Bush administration should be impeached for this fiasco. The prisoner abuse is just the perfect icing on the cake of a completely unjustified, corrupt sham of a "war" in Iraq. This invasion is a colossal failure, and I am ashamed to be an American at this time.
Carl Shea, Orlando, Florida, USA

It is time for people at the head of our government to stop pointing fingers at others
Dean Pettit, Racine

Someone should be responsible for this disaster for our country and the world. It is time for people at the head of our government to stop pointing fingers at others. This pre-emptive invasion was their idea. It has been mis-planned, mis-executed, and poorly done in nearly every aspect possible. The American people can make a decision about Mr. Bush in November. Mr. Bush has the responsibility to make certain that the people in charge must take credit for the failures as well as their successes.
Dean Pettit, Racine, Wisconsin, USA

Bush's administration has brought anarchy not democracy. The abuses the world has witnessed in the past few days had never been witnessed before. Therefore I believe that Bush and his colleague Rumsfeld should be held accountable for the actions of their civilized arm force. I do not believe mere apology would restore dignity and integrity of Iraqis that have been the victims of such appalling crime. Resignation? No doubt about that.
Sayed Ali Fatimi, London, UK

I think people all over the world need to stop depending on emotions to tell them what to do. This is a situation for clear thinking. The U.S. Military needs to take responsibility, and take care of this matter. If you want to use emotions, then consider the treatment of our civilian Contractors. Their bodies were treated in a barbaric fashion and the world said nothing.
Junius Graham, Florence, SC

We don't know the whole story yet. This is too one-sided for Rummy to resign. It looks bad right now for Rumsfeld due to media slant. The truth will come out in due time.
Kathleen, Detroit, MI, USA

I didn't support the war and still believe it is unjustifiable. Nevertheless, war is war. The photos are a poor excuse to attack the Bush administration and its officials. If there's any country, whose nationals can honestly say, all of their soldiers are impeccably behaved, then Rumsfeld and everyone else in the Bush administration should resign. Else, leave them to get on with cleaning this mess up. The sooner it gets sorted out, the better.
Chinedu, London, UK

This was not done in my name
M Beauchamp, Virginia
The whole administration should go - but I thought that before this disgusting incident. It makes me ashamed to be American. I'm sorry. This was not done in my name.
M Beauchamp, Virginia, US

Resign? Hell no! The Defence Secretary should not even think of it. He should hang around for as long as it takes to clean up the mess that he helped to create. It is a pity that the clean name of Britain has to be stained by association.
Clyve, Caribbean

This has got out of all proportion. There are more important things to do
C M Skikne, Israel

He should be charged with war crimes. Him and Cheney are also partly responsible for the horrific Vietnam war while they were in Nixon's cabinet. Break chains of power. The same greedy, rich, white males have been leading us for years. Getting rich of deaths/wars and lying to the public about it. Let this be a precedent and get mad men like this out of positions of power.
Rob, Providence, US

Ironically, as Secretary of Defence, he has put Americans in more danger than ever before. Unfortunately, I don't think he has the integrity to resign.
Sally, New York, USA

I am a Korean War veteran. I love my country. Never in my lifetime have I seen such widespread hatred and disdain for America and Americans. These are zealots and cowards are running our country, starting with Bush and Cheney and they should all apologize to every American people and to the entire world.
Dr Philip Vargas, Falls Church, Virginia, USA

Rumsfeld is the man responsible and he should go.
Mosadek Sallak, Benghazi, Libya

The entire Bush administration must resign and save the image of US
Antony Panakal, Switzerland
Rumsfeld is the apex of an arrogant, military lobby in USA - a bunch of people who have no concern for human rights, freedom liberty and moral values which were seen as the inseparable ideology of USA. The entire Bush administration, with the exception of a few (like Colin Powell) must resign and save the image of USA.
Antony Panakal, Camorino, Switzerland

This is selective outrage - where are the apologies to the US from the Iraqis?
Bruce P, Atlanta, USA

To Bruce P - What exactly are the Iraqis to apologise for? Not being grateful for being occupied? Not celebrating the deaths of around 16,000 of their countrymen? Not celebrating the destruction of the Iraqi infrastructure?
John C, Bath, UK

One should keep in mind that on 9/11 a huge gapping hole was blown out of the offices this man supervises. If that makes him zealous in defence of his nation, perhaps it's warranted.
Karen Hannah, Winfield, USA

There's no reason for Rumsfeld to resign over this issue. This was obviously an "unknown unknown" to him, until the pictures came out.
Abbas, Pakistan

Rumsfeld did not commit the acts, but he is responsible for the sentiment and propaganda that legitimized them to these soldiers. The issues are separate: acts of abuse happen to all, but regimes whose rhetoric place them on the side of God and all that is good are the true generators of such atrocity. For the sake of Western credibility, of course Rumsfeld should go.
Osmund Iversen, Bergen, Norway

What you can change is the actual support that they possess
Martin Myall, Granada

A small nucleus of men - Rumsfeld amongst them - organised this war. If you put aside their reasons for doing so, which have been amply disproving, you are left with the fact that this group of powerful individuals have brought about the deaths of thousands of citizens of a distant country and 600 of their own country men. They alone are responsible. Yet they could not have done it without the support of millions of American citizens. That is the past and you can't change it. However, what you can change is the actual support that they possess. The rest of the world's citizens don't have a say in it. If these men are permitted to continue, it is every each American that votes for them or who does not speak out, who is responsible.
Martin Myall, Granada

It is funny that the extremity or the "gravity" of the issue was only made apparent to Donald when the media, and ergo the entire world, became aware of the abuse. Makes one wonder if this "apology" is a desperate attempt at re-establishing himself, or somehow redeeming his "human" face. Besides, his decision to resign or not to resign will only prove as another distraction gimmick, while several other atrocities continue to take place without the apparent knowledge of the "higher level". I would personally like to have him stay, face the music, and prove the idiosyncrasies of the American government. Also, a simple resignation will provide ample excuse for America that justice or apology was done. Pitiful.
Adnan Alam, Kingdom of Bahrain

No he should not. How can he be accountable for the actions of a foolish girl? Only in a free and decent society could issues like this be even reported. Saddam's murder of hundreds of thousands of his own citizens should put this into context. I did not see him apologising on Arabic television or the do gooders asking for his resignation! Hypocrites galore.
John Karran, Liverpool

To John Karran, Liverpool: By claiming that Saddam didn't resign over his atrocities so Rumsfeld shouldn't either, you are putting American democracy on the same level as Saddam's ex-regime. Hope the American people appreciate! And it begs a question: exactly what kind of democracy was the Coalition supposed to bring to Iraq?
Emmanuel, Brussels

We must remember that the terrorists responsible for such acts are a minority with no legal identity, not a superpower who came in to teach democracy
Sami El-Bayoumi, Egypt

Apologizing for ones mistakes sets a good example to other leaders, and, after such an admission of guilt, resignation is the only option if the US is to retain any credibility. Also, to comment on Senator Lieberman's statement that, "barbaric acts were perpetrated against the US with no apology given", we must remember that the terrorists responsible for such acts are a minority with no legal identity, not a superpower who came in to teach democracy and protect human rights.
Sami El-Bayoumi, Egypt

No, he should not resign! He, personally, did not commit any acts of abuse and I find it hard to believe he would have condoned or encouraged it. In my opinion, the soldiers smiling and laughing in the pictures, while humiliating Iraqi prisoners should be brought up on war crimes. The soldiers, not Rumsfeld.
John, Pittsburgh, USA

Mr Rumsfeld's resignation could increase Mr Bush's popularity
Michal Nowicki, Lodz

Yes he should resign or rather be dismissed immediately. He was a baron of this cruel and unjustified intervention and occupation. It also proves that American hegemony is dangerous for freedom and democracy. But Mr Rumsfeld's resignation could increase Mr Bush's popularity as he urgently needs a scapegoat.
Michal Nowicki, Lodz, Poland

As the leader of our armed forces and a symbol of American aggression in a failed Iraqi campaign, I believe he should be asked to resign. Then perhaps we can look at the real motivations for our rush to war and find a reasonable exit strategy.
Fritz Seefeldt, Kent, Ohio, USA

There is only one conclusion for the US occupation in Iraq or any Muslim country... disaster
Yahya Aly Reza, Lahore

Will Rumsfeld resigning clear the real issue at stake... I think not. These mistreatments are bound to happen in a country where the intruder is not wanted. I think America should focus on getting out of Iraq very soon; clearly their methods and policies are not working. There is only one conclusion for the US occupation in Iraq or any Muslim country... disaster.
Yahya Aly Reza, Lahore, Pakistan

Make him clean this mess up.
James Saunders, Alexandria, USA

He said he has taken the responsibility, then let him step down as a sign that he is responsible and he has paid the price.
Yembeh, Sierra Leone

This despicable atrocity soils the reputation of our fine men and women in uniform
Chris Irvine, USA

In my country we have accountability. Mr Rumsfeld was in charge of the Pentagon. This happened on his watch. This despicable atrocity soils the reputation of our fine men and women in uniform as well as alienating our long time friends and allies. There are no excuses. He should resign!
Chris Irvine, USA

In his heart Donald Rumsfeld is deeply sorry for having failed to do his dirty job and let the pictures comes to the surface. But he, has no moral courage to resign.
Safi, Hong Kong

No. The Arab leaders didn't condemn the mutilation of the four Americans.
Mugure, Somerset, NJ

Of course, Donald Rumsfeld can't go because we are right into election campaign, and this would be an acknowledgement of failure. It's a real pity, but that's how it is. American voters will decide what will happen to Rumsfeld - and others - in November. And the rest of the world will look carefully and judge on America by its deeds. The same counts for the UK next year. For Iraqis to be the victim is really sad, but that's about all the rest of the world can do.
Martin, Madrid, Spain

In light of all this, American Intelligence is looking increasingly like a contradiction.
Sheikh, Pakistan

Bush should fire him because of the damage he is doing to the administration
Andrés Moreira, Santiago

I just watched the Senate session with Rummy. After all what we have seen this week... such arrogance! If he doesn't quit because of his responsibilities in the war and its atrocities, then Bush should fire him because of the damage he is doing to the administration.
Andrés Moreira, Santiago, Chile

Careful, the measure by which you judge, will be used on you as well!
Chip, Raleigh, NC, USA

What a surprise that this board is calling for resignation! Do you honestly think this embarrassing event would not have happened if Rumsfeld's post were held by somebody else? Of course not... it really depends, again, on what he knew and when. To all you liberals: instead of being so partisan, why don't you be a little more realistic about the situation at hand?
Jeff T, New York, USA

It looks like the anti-Americans and American left are well represented on this board. Mr Rumsfeld was notified by the Pentagon and it was the Pentagon who brought it to light. The investigations were underway and reprimands already handed down prior. Rumsfeld has done a fine job under very trying circumstances and Iraq in the long run will be much better off as well we in the west including many other countries much more dependent on Middle East oil and stability. Time will prove the Iraq action right and the apologies will be expected from every leftist nay-sayer including the ones here.
Frank, Pittsburgh, USA

I'm torn on this issue. He almost certainly did not order such brutality, but its occurrence is probably partially due to the stance he has publicly taken regarding insurgents. In my humble opinion, his resignation should be contingent on the availability of a better man/woman for the job.
Matthew Huntley, Stockton, USA

We have seen what Western democracy does when it invades defenceless countries. First no WMD next torture and third cover up - all it sums up to is that American democracy equals torture. We need an independent commission to investigate both UK and American actions in Iraq.
Paul, Thika, Kenya

We didn't hear a peep when Iraqi insurgents burnt and minced American soldiers
Guy, Boston

Yes, he should resign. But I would like to remind all of you who preach about double standards that you should pay attention to the fact that we didn't hear a peep when Iraqi insurgents burnt and minced American soldiers and then hung the burnt bodies from a bridge. Where was your righteousness then? Where were the presidential apologies from Arab nations?
Guy, Boston, USA

Rumsfeld has known this for very long and he has been covering up for the army until last week when the photographs went public. He needs to resign on moral grounds. What is happening in Iraq is sadistic, brutal, cruel and inhumane. Did the Americans go into Iraq for torturing and assaulting innocent Iraqis?
Sahil Kumar, Minneapolis, MN

Our only authority for going to war is derived from our beliefs and conduct - these are tarnished almost beyond repair.
Keith Woods, Twyford, England

One must respect Mr Rumsfeld for claiming full responsibility and shedding some element of truth on the issue. However he must resign.
Gabriel, Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Should the President of a company resign if a manager abuses his employees?
Adrian Leishman, Jacksonville

This question does not make any sense. Should a CEO of a company quit if a janitor in a division in a different country kills someone? Should the President of a company resign if a manager abuses his employees? Liberals all over the world are simply looking for any excuse to harm Bush. This is very sad.
Adrian Leishman, Jacksonville, USA

In Iraq every day American soldiers are being killed. It is quite natural to project American soldiers by some unusual way. It happened in all military operations in the world. Bottom line this war was baseless and directed only for oil and Israel.
Manok, Bangladesh

Of course, He should go, but will that make Bush administration a better one. It seems that what the Bush-Cheney camp had in mind for the Iraqi people is now surfacing. They never intended for the free Iraq, but rather, a subdued Iraq that became an example of how American power can humiliate people so bad. Now the infamous "you are either with us or against us" rule is in full swing. And the poor Iraqis are the first victims of American determination to conquer. If they are not stopped, then Rumsfeld is just a tip of an iceberg.
Ahmed Farah, Elwak, Somalia

Mr Rumsfeld should be asked to resign. If for no other reason, that 50 years down the road, when history books mention the scandal over Abu Ghraib prison, it also notes that the US Secretary of Defence of the time has resigned over it.
Adam AwXirsi, Columbus, OH

President Johnson displayed a note on his desk reading: "The buck stops here". As Bush hasn't the character to emulate his predecessor the buck should stop with Rumsfeld leaving office.
Cliff Harris, Teulada, Spain

American History 101 for Cliff Harris of Teulada, Spain, and BBC readers who failed to notice "The buck stops here" sign was on Harry Truman's desk, not Lyndon Johnson's. To keep the two presidents separate in your minds, just remember that Truman was the short guy who had the atomic bombs dropped on Japan. Johnson was the tall guy most responsible for the Vietnam War. I doubt that you'd really want George Bush or Donald Rumsfeld to "emulate" either of them.
Mark, Boston, USA

Frankly, I have no idea what will happen to Rumsfeld? I suppose his resignation (if that happens) won't make much of a difference in the overall policy of the US.
Ahmad Farooq, Islamabad, Pakistan

He should not only go but be held by the international community as an enemy combatant.
Gavin Reid, Cape Town, South Africa

But with elections due, I don't think it makes a difference
Chris Kijjambu, Kampala, Uganda

I think the Americans should really think very hard this time around while electing their leader. The Iraq/terrorism thing is not affecting only them but the entire world especially people like me who have dreams of studying abroad. I mean with all these tight immigration situation coming up in the event of terrorism and now the Iraqi situation, guys like me are at a disadvantaged position of ever seeing our dreams fulfilled. On whether Mr Rumsfeld should resign, it's again up to the American population to decide. But with elections due, I don't think it makes a difference.
Chris Kijjambu, Kampala, Uganda

Not only should Rumsfeld go, but the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Mr. Bush himself, should go as well.
Joe, Chicago, US

I see no reason why Rumsfeld should resign. He is not living with the soldiers neither does he go to the war front with them. It just goes to show that soldiers are the same all over the world - from the jungles of Africa to the pristine cities of Europe. If you put the Pope in charge of an army, it still won't stop soldiers being soldiers.
Bolaji Tunji, Lagos, Nigeria

Donald Rumsfeld should go, not only because of this debacle, and the fact that the rot started when the USA (Bush & Donald Rumsfeld) refused to honour the Geneva Conventions of War, but also because of his arrogance of operating all the time on a need to know basis, where anyone who is not in his clique does not need to know. It's only a matter of time; he and his boss will be gone in the next election. Sadly the alternative fails to raise ones hopes of an immediate improvement.
Rick Rickman, Vuda, Fiji Islands

I am encouraged by the comments coming from the US as I was rather shocked earlier to witness the majority of their senators grovelling to Rumsfeld. Little wonder that this administration is so arrogant. I really hope the Americans will vote for some strong willed politicians at the next elections instead of some of the vain prima donnas we saw earlier.
Nicholas Simpson, Sliema, Malta

Rumsfeld should only be the start of who should go. They need to clear the board. Then in November the American voter will have their say!
Marty Caulfield, Arkansas, USA

If he does not lose his job for the lack of post invasion planning and he does not lose his job for this prisoner abuse, what does he have to do to lose his job?
P Ballent, Chicago, US

When things go badly wrong then nobody seems to take full responsibility
Mustafa, London

Mr Rumsfeld should do the honourable thing and resign! The American administration wants all the praise and glory when things go right for them but when things go badly wrong then nobody seems to take full responsibility for their bad actions. This is not clearly the version of democracy that the US wants to impose on the Middle East.
Mustafa, London, UK

If this had happened with most European countries, there would have been a resignation - the acceptance of responsibility that his/her department has done grievous wrongs. There is no tradition of that type of resignation in the US, but it is clearly time for Rumsfeld to do the brave and honourable thing and apologise - then resign.
Mel, Washington/London

It is time to resign. The invasion of Iraq is an egregious blunder. We never learn.
Michael Gottlieb, Philadelphia, USA

Removing him will not change anything
Erik Wilkinson, Atlanta

Rumsfeld is but one player in an administration rife with mediocrity and failed policies. Removing him will not change anything. The real change needs to happen even higher up. A change of administrations in November is our only hope for a more balanced and sane foreign policy.
Erik Wilkinson, Atlanta, USA

It's high time that he steps down. Whether he publicly announces his knowledge or not Mr Rumsfeld was aware of the abuses and permitted this to carry on. The entire current administration has been cashing in on the Americans' fears and threatening their future through the lack of training placed by its leaders. Time to go, Donald.
Gary Brubaker, Brit in NYC

Can you imagine what would be the consequences if these Iraqi prisoners were Americans and the soldiers were Iraqis? We would not have left any stone unturned. I expect the same in this case and Rumsfeld should quit as he has failed in his duty and failed us the American people.
Mark Tomson, Dallas, Texas, USA

The greater crime is surely starting a war based on a lie. Everything else follows from that. But why pick on Rumsfeld? Surely Bush is ultimately responsible?
Chris, London, UK

As Churchill said to Chamberlain - "For god's sake, go!" Showing that he is sufficiently shamed by these revelations to resign his post is the only way in which Rumsfeld and Bush will even begin to be able to repair some of the damage which has been done.
Mike Knell, London, England

Rumsfeld gave a green light when he stated that enemy combatants were not protected by the Geneva Convention or the US Constitution. He should take responsibility for what he said. Bush should send a clear message to the Arab community and the world by demanding Rumsfeld's resignation.
Paul, Albuquerque, NM, USA

The US agenda was to liberate Iraq from Saddam, not to do the same as he'd done
Sumeet Sawhney, Ottawa

If US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld knew about Iraq abuse beforehand then I think he should himself quit the post. The US agenda was to liberate Iraq from Saddam, not to do the same he'd done. Now who will liberate Iraq from US?
Sumeet Sawhney, Ottawa, Canada

Of course Rumsfeld should be removed from office but Bush, Blair and everyone else in the coalition responsible for the war in Iraq should resign. The USA and Britain are equally responsible for the total mess that has arisen. Everything is happening that the anti-war demonstrators predicted would happen.
Raymond Rudaizky, London, UK

Rumsfeld the tough old warrior should go
Brian Guest, Curitiba

Yes, Rumsfeld the tough old warrior should go. But for political reasons he will not. We can just expect more apologies and investigations. Nevertheless the Middle East's longstanding complaint of double standards from the US will just get louder and louder. The reason to go to war was WMD, but the subtext was values and brutal dictatorship. The vision and values expressed by President Reagan of freedom and democracy like a "shining city on a hill" has taken a big blow. What a mess, what a misalignment of words and deeds from the top to the lowest ranks.
Brian Guest, Curitiba, Brazil

Any self respecting person should have resigned by now. Mr Bush is waiting for "the enquiry"...
Sashi Kumar, New Delhi, India

Rumsfeld should neither resign nor be fired. Let him without sin cast the first stone. The position requires a strong person, which he is.
Jean Jolkovski, Arlington, VA, USA

Indeed he should. This intervention has been shaped by him and his ilk and has been an unmitigated disaster for countless Iraqis, hundreds of US troops and their families and for the reputation of the US after one brief moment of unparalleled sympathy post-9/11. The "own goals" roll on!
Antaine ó Cuinneáin, Dublin, Ireland

Yes, but he should not be a scapegoat. Many people in the Executive Branch and military should go.
Shawn Hampton, Eugene, OR, USA

Not only Rumsfeld should resign, also Bush and Cheney. Cheating on your Secretary of State, lying to the whole world about the WMD, trying to cover up the abuse scandal. And then I'm not even mentioning the Enron and Halliburton scandals. Some other president nearly got impeached for a cigar ... Strange mentality over there.
Wim, Deinze, Belgium

I'm not a fan of resignations in matters like this. They rarely solve anything, and it's just a way of the guilty party to try to and draw a line under a matter. Removing Rumsfeld from what is already a corrupt government will solve nothing, the entire Bush administration must go.
Tony, UK

Rumsfeld and Bush have, together, created more enemies than they set out to destroy. They both should go.
Ry Glover, Canada

Only if it can be proven that Rumsfeld had direct knowledge of these horrific acts and did nothing to stop them, should he be dismissed. There were mistakes made somewhere within our military, these mistakes should be fully investigated and procedures put in place to make sure that this never happens again. Of course those who opposed the war in the first place will say that not only Rumsfeld, but anyone else who supported the war should go.
Mike Parker, Oklahoma, USA

Actions speak louder than words (and photographs)
Martin, Brit in US

Rumsfeld should go! Actions speak louder than words (and photographs). Another expensive inquiry is never going to make up for all the damage the US military has done in the last 60 years, culminating in this fiasco. The US will never be trusted again (if it ever was).
Martin, Brit in US

As an American and a WWII veteran, I am appalled at the actions of a reserve military police company at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Apologies are cheap; prompt action is required, and that means courts martial for the "commandant" and her despicable crew.
Robert F Butterworth, Newton, MA, USA

If Bush is serious about apologizing and fixing this problem Rumsfeld needs to go. Better yet if Bush leaves too.
Sarah, Kent, WA

The whole idea of the war was a catastrophe, justified with lies paranoid ideas and it's only the beginning of misery bloodshed. I hope the fire does not spread throughout the whole area. I wish the persons making decisions are mentally well balanced.
Garabed Zakarian, Amman, Jordan

Rumsfeld should go, and the reasons go far beyond the Iraqi abuse revelations: undertaking a war against Iraq with false justifications, an inadequate number of troops, his refusal to use the detailed planning for the occupation by the US State Department. Rumsfeld should resign, and if he does not, Bush should fire him.
Michele B Wagner, Boston, USA

Mr Donald Rumsfeld should not and cannot leave the Bush administration at this time. It will be a disaster for Mr George W Bush if he leaves. In any case they both have come to a disastrous stage. They ruined themselves because they are greedy and power-drunk. They are guilty of war because they are among those who believe that others should be violently suppressed to follow the Bush-Rumsfeld-Cheney way. They are guilty of war because they covet properties of others (Iraq). We cannot cheat nature!
Kolawole Raheem, Finland

Donald Rumsfeld should stay
Philippe, La Paz

Donald Rumsfeld should stay. If he stays, I'm pretty sure that US are going to lose that unjustifiable and neo-colonialist war. Rumsfeld is the better agent to insure a durable loss of prestige of US, and bring them finally to respect international law!
Philippe, La Paz, Bolivia

I think he is doing a good job under very trying conditions.
George, West Vancouver, Canada

Of course he should go, but we all know how Bush runs the White House, so, I'm afraid, he'll stay!
Ben Smith, London

He should go: he's been totally ineffectual in his role and this latest series of allegations proves it. If he doesn't know what's going on in his dept, how can he brief the president?
Andy Mc, Basingstoke, UK

Rumsfeld should stay on the job. Correct mistakes and get the job done.
Mike Kilo, Trenton, USA

Mr Rumsfeld knew, and he did nothing to stop it. He should therefore pay with his job. But the notion that Rumsfeld didn't tell Bush is ludicrous. Of course Bush knew. The way he's throwing Rumsfeld to the wolves is sickening, and is indicative of the cowardice of this President.
Jean, Montreal

Of course Rumsfeld should resign; he's an insult to the representation of the American people. I wish he'd resigned long ago. That aside, I'm disappointed that the BBC has chosen to use the same euphemistic political rhetoric spouted by the Bush administration. This mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners is not "abuse". It is outright torture. Call it what it is.
Amanda Barraza, Taipei, Taiwan (US citizen)

Nothing short of Rumsfeld's resignation should be sought
P Parameswaran, Washington DC

Nothing short of Rumsfeld's resignation should be sought by the US government, which is the least they can do to assuage global rage. Inaction will only further fuel and incite more Islamic hatred and terrorism, with massive long term consequences for the US.
Prashanth Parameswaran, Washington DC

I think that Rumsfeld should leave. He is very arrogant and his policies are very secretive and seemingly corrupt. He is a bad representation of the American people and I think most Americans would agree. I think that he should resign because of his overall actions, but not just because of these pictures.
Chris, Toledo, Ohio, USA

Frankly I think that Mr Rumsfeld is two-faced, uncaring and in many ways immature person. Comments like "Freedom is messy" shouldn't flow so easily in such an unqualified and abrupt manner. I would have liked to see the back of him a long time ago.
Sinan, New Zealand

Rumsfeld should have never been US Defence Secretary in the first place. The US president was not elected but selected, so as our president occupies an illegitimate presidency, so are his appointees illegitimate. These pictures are only symptomatic of a much larger problem. The whole administration should resign in my opinion.
Steven Boothe, San Luis Obispo, USA

Go already! When the US administration wants to "check if this might be something systemic" you know its going to be ugly.
Holmengraa, Kirkenes, Norway

The Secretary should stand and he should be the first to take responsibility for the absolute mess that the invasion of Iraq has become. Mr. Rumsfeld has been responsible for countless deaths during his tour of duty at the White House through many similar illegal campaigns by the US. Isn't it time to come clean?
Meghan Myres, Canada




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