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Powell: Prisoner Abuse Scandal 'Could Get Worse'

With video footage and more photos expected to emerge of U.S. soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners, public outcry over the mistreatment could soon intensify, Secretary of State Colin Powell says.

After being briefed with President Bush at the Pentagon about the abuses, Powell said: "It could get worse before it gets better. But it will get better. I just don't know what tomorrow will bring, but this is not over yet."

Powell tells NPR's Juan Williams that the photos released so far have given the United States "a black eye" and caused outrage in the Arab world.

"We have presented ourselves as a value-based country and we are," he says. "And so when they see this kind of activity taking place, it causes a tremendous response out in the [Mideast] region. I think Americans are as outraged by these pictures as our Arab friends."

Powell says he will try to put the issue in "some context and perspective" when he meets with Arab leaders at a conference in Jordan this weekend.

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Juan Williams
Juan Williams, one of America's leading journalists, is a news analyst, appearing regularly on NPR's Morning Edition. Knowledgeable and charismatic, Williams brings insight and depth — hallmarks of NPR programs — to a wide spectrum of issues and ideas.