America's top military officer says Washington believes terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has been injured in Iraq. But General Richard Myers says the extent of the injuries remains unclear.
Word that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi had been injured first surfaced on an Islamic website. During an appearance on the CBS television program Face the Nation, General Myers indicated the military has been monitoring the site and has little reason to believe the claim is untrue.
"What we tend to believe is what is on their website where they say he is wounded, please pray for him and so forth. So we think he is probably wounded."
General Myers, who will soon retire as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stressed that no matter what happens to the al-Qaida leader, U.S. military operations against terrorists in Iraq will go on.
"I think people need to understand that we are going after Zarqawi, his lieutenants, his organization on a 24 hour, seven day a week basis, that we are getting much better at this work, that we have detained over 400, that we have killed 250, some of them his closest lieutenants."
It was the second television interview of the day for General Myers, who was asked earlier on the Fox News Sunday program about a new Amnesty International report that is highly critical of the treatment of detainees held by the United States as part of the war on terrorism.
The Amnesty report compares conditions at the U.S. naval station at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to those of the prison camps, or gulags, of the old Soviet Union. General Myers called the charges absolutely irresponsible.
"The ICRC (the International Committee of the Red Cross) has been at Guantanamo since day one. It is essentially a model facility. The contract for food ensures that the detainees there have the proper Muslim approved food is 2.5 million dollars annually, just to make sure they are fed right."
General Myers stressed it is U.S. government policy to treat all prisoners according to international standards set in the Geneva Convention. But he went on to note that there are special challenges involved when dealing with suspected terrorists or insurgents who are not fighting for a country, and whose hatred of America is dangerous and deep.