Shoe Thrower Says Bush's 'Icy Smile' Set Off Attack

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 19, 2009 7:20 PM CST
In this Dec. 14, 2008,. file photo, Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi throws a shoe at President George W. Bush.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – No wonder he came so close: The Iraqi journalist who chucked his shoes at George Bush practiced two years in advance and even videotaped taped himself doing so, USA Today reports. However, Muntadhar al-Zeidi said he didn't know he'd go through with it until he saw Bush "smiling icily" at the press conference. He said he's been tortured with beatings and electric shocks while awaiting trial, which has now been adjourned until next month.

Al-Zeidi spoke at a court hearing today, his first public comments since the incident. "(Bush) was talking and at the same time smiling icily at the (Iraqi) prime minister. He said to the prime minister that he was going to have dinner with him," al-Zeidi said. "Suddenly, I saw no one in the room but Bush. I felt the blood of innocents was running under his feet while he was smiling coldly as if he had come to write off Iraq with a farewell meal."