Skip to comments.White House Castigates Durbin for Remarks
Posted on 06/16/2005 11:38:05 AM PDT by West Coast Conservative
The White House said a senator's comparison of American interrogators at Guantanamo Bay to Nazis, Soviet gulags and Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot was reprehensible and a disservice to those serving in the military.
White House press secretary Scott McClellan said it is "beyond belief" that Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin would compare treatment of dangerous enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay to the death of millions of innocent people by oppressive regimes.
"Our men and women in uniform go out of their way to treat detainees humanely, and they go out of their way to uphold the values and the laws that we hold so dear in this country," McClellan said.
Durbin, the Senate's No. 2 Democrat, made the comparison during a speech on the Senate floor Tuesday after reading an FBI agent's report describing detainees at the Naval base in Guantanamo Bay as being chained to the floor without food or water in extreme temperatures.
"If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime Pol Pot or others that had no concern for human beings," Durbin said.
Said McClellan: "I think the senator's remarks are reprehensible. It's a real disservice to our men and women in uniform who adhere to high standards and uphold our values and our laws."
A Durbin spokesman said Wednesday that the senator did not plan to apologize for the comments. The senator issued a statement saying it's the administration that should apologize "for abandoning the Geneva Conventions and authorizing torture techniques that put our troops at risk and make Americans less secure."
Human-rights groups and other congressional Democrats have accused the administration of unjustly detaining suspects at Guantanamo. Amnesty International recently called the prison "the gulag of our time" and some Republicans have questioned whether it should remain open.
I'd like to hear from Bush or Cheney on this one, not the spokesman.
or some republican senator, have any of them spoken up?
Glad the White House has commented, but, frankly, a greater condemnation is necessary. Durbin should be reminded that it is the U.S. Armed Forces who give him the freedom to speak on a Senate floor at all.
When Durbin leaves the Senate, he can always get a job as an anti-America propaganda reporter for Al Jazeera.
Senator Dirtbin ought to be censured!
we need to replace McClellan with Laura Ingraham, then we would have someone up there making a cogent rebuttal to Durbin.
Flagellate, they should flagellate rather than castigate.
Yeah, Durbin obviously went way over the line on this, I'm glad people are trying to call him on it.
I'm still in shock from the comment made by Hugh Hewitts liberal guest last night. He said that the people who jummped to their death from the WTC had a better choice than the poor terrorists who are forced to pee on themselves at gitmo.
It's a good thing I don't know where he lives or I would cross country and end up in jail.
Mr. Durbin is either being very ignorant, stupid or a fibber when he says this. The GITMO detainees aren't covered by the Geneva Convention.
Mr. President...I would like to hear from you...my husband serves you proudly and is irate at being compared to a Nazi.
Dennis Prager covering it now.
It's times like this that I miss Ari.
How disgusting. These people (like Durbin) are scum, liars, and completely unAmerican.
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