After an introduction by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, billionaire financier George Soros told left-wing activists at a Washington function today the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal in Iraq is comparable to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.
“The picture of torture in Saddam’s prison was a moment of truth for us,” Soros said at a meeting of Campaign for America’s Future, according to National Review columnist Byron York.
“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,” he said, “a direct connection between those two events, because the way President Bush conducted the war on terror converted us from victims into perpetrators.”
York said the audience, attending a conference called “Take Back America,” broke into enthusiastic applause.
In her introduction, Clinton told the crowd “we need people like George Soros, who is fearless and willing to step up when it counts.”
Soros also criticized the “neoconservative” ideologues who he says promoted the doctrine of “American supremecy” in the Bush administration, sending the U.S. into war on false pretenses, York reported.
The billionaire insisted there was “no connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida” and “there were no weapons of mass destruction,” according to the columnist. But he found “most galling” the idea that the United States “went to war in Iraq for the sake of the Iraqi people.”
In January, Soros told an audience at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace no less than the future of the planet hinges on the results of the presidential election.
“I’m ready to put my money where my mouth is,” he said. “2004 is not an ordinary election. It’s a referendum on the Bush doctrine. The future of the world hangs in the balance.”
According to the endowment’s website, the speech was meant to launch Soros’ new book, “The Bubble of American Supremacy: Correcting the Misuse of American Power.”
WorldNetDaily reported the Hungarian-born billionaire seeks to raise up to $75 million and has pledged more than $15 million of his own money to prevent Bush from staying in the White House.
He committed an unprecedented $10 million to “Americans Coming Together,” or ACT, which plans to mobilize voters in 17 states regarded as battlegrounds in the 2004 election.
WorldNetDaily reported Soros also pledged up to $5 million to mobilize anti-Bush activists and voters online. He and other wealthy donors are financing the Internet political-mobilization project MoveOn.org, founded by a California millionaire in 1998 to defend President Clinton from impeachment.