By Allan Lengel
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Secret Service said Monday that its agents responded “appropriately” to Sunday’s shoe throwing incident in Iraq involving President Bush, but the incident was under review.
“We’re looking at the incident to see if there’s anything that we can do better,” said Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan. “We do that after any foreign trip.”
“The thing just happened so we’re trying to get all the information together,” he said, adding that the agents had yet to return to the states.
He said people attending the conference were checked for weapons and underwent background checks to assure they were representing their respective media companies.
He said Secret Service agents and Iraqi security acted appropriately and immediately started moving toward the man after he threw the first shoe.
The reporter was identified as Muntazer al-Zaida, who works for the independent Iraqi television station Al-Baghdaddia.
Agence France Press reported Monday that the Iraqi government was facing mounting pressure from Arab world to release the shoe-throwing reporter. The reporter jumped up during the press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, hurled the shoes at Bush and yelled “It is the farewell kiss, you dog.”
Agence France reported that the man’s colleagues in Baghdad said he had long been planning to throw shoes at Bush.