Skip to comments.Al Jazeera: US senator stands by Nazi remark (Dachau Durbin)
Posted on 06/16/2005 9:33:46 AM PDT by ambrose
US senator stands by Nazi remark
Thursday 16 June 2005 7:20 AM GMT
A US senator has refused to apologise for comparing the actions of US soldiers at Guantanamo Bay to those of Nazis, while others have decried or defended the mandate and method used to hold prisoners there.
US Senator Dick Durbin on Wednesday refused to apologise for comments he made on the Senate floor referring to Nazis, Soviet gulags and a "mad regime" like Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.
Illinois Republican Party chairman Andy McKenna had demanded he apologise.
"Senator Durbin's comments come as a great disservice to our military personnel in Guantanamo," he said. "They are also a great disservice to all US soldiers and veterans who have fought, and continue to fight, to overcome evil regimes and spread democracy around the world."
Durbin did not plan to apologise for the comments, spokesman Joe Shoemaker said.
"This administration should apologise to the American people for abandoning the Geneva Conventions and authorising torture techniques that put our troops at risk and make Americans less secure," Durbin had said in a statement on Wednesday evening.
During a speech on Tuesday, Durbin, the Senate's No. 2 Democrat, quoted from an FBI agent's report describing detainees at the naval base in Cuba as being chained to the floor without food or water in extreme temperatures.
"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"
US Senator Dick Durbin "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 is not alone in his criticism.
Human-rights groups have long accused the administration of unjustly detaining suspects at the prison camp. Amnesty International last month called the detention centre the "gulag of our times".
President George Bush and other administration officials, however, have strongly resisted such comparisons and questioned Amnesty's objectivity.
"It's difficult to explain to a mom and dad who's lost their son or daughter how you can have someone in Guantanamo Bay, release them and then they kill your son and daughter"
"I take strong exception to any characterisations that try to diminish what our military is doing and the standards and values that they adhere to," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said.
The Bush administration calls the Guantanamo prisoners "enemy combatants" who are entitled to fewer legal protections than those afforded to prisoners of war under the Geneva Conventions.
According to US Attorney-General Alberto Gonzales on Wednesday, the US government often considers whether it would be better to stop detaining prisoners at Guantanamo.
"That's a question that is evaluated, I would say, quite often," he said in Sheffield, England, where he will attend a meeting of G8 interior ministers on Thursday and Friday.
On Wednesday, he had said "there will of course be an end", but did not specify when.
He also pointed out that about a dozen of those who had been released had returned to fight against the US.
"It's difficult to explain to a mom and dad who's lost their son or daughter how you can have someone in Guantanamo Bay, release them and then they kill your son and daughter," he said.
Since the camp was set up after the 11 September 2001 attacks on the US, 167 detainees have been freed and 67 others released to the custody of their home governments.
About 520 detainees from about 40 countries remain at Guantanamo. Only 12 have been handed over to military commissions for investigation of possible war crimes and four have been charged.
In a three-hour hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, legal experts from the US military and the Justice Department said the US had a right under the Geneva Conventions to hold enemy combatants.
But committee chairman Senator Arlen Specter suggested lawmakers would have to clarify what he called a "crazy quilt" of laws and regulations governing the detentions.
Some lawmakers want the facility closed, saying it has become a liability that inflames Muslims against the United States.
"Guantanamo is an international embarrassment to our nation, to our ideals and it remains a festering threat to our security," Senator Patrick Leahy, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said.
A Pew Research Centre poll, taken over the weekend, indicated most Americans agree that reports of abuse at Guantanamo are isolated incidents, and 39% think the news media is paying too much attention to the issue.
The poll found a sharp partisan divide on the issue - Democrats believing the abuses to be systemic and Republicans saying they were isolated incidents.
You can find this article at: http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/796AA4AC-531C-4E6F-B855-7FBC52506824.htm
Unfortunately at that time the Democrats were around, however the democrats of that day are the Republicans of today. Time changes everything.
should be phoqUing
I vote for deportation of the Gitmo 520....by air to ground missle to Iran.
His speech on the floor is Constitutionally protected, so he can make all the aid-and-comfort statements he wants to on the floor, and nothing can legally happen to him. Not to count being voted out of office the next time he runs, that is.
I'd rather have Dachau Durbin arrested for treason/sedition under the Patriot Act. He knows full well what he was saying, the anti-American/anti-US soldier propaganda firestorm it would cause, his public position and where he made those comments, yet he made them anyway and refuses to apologize. It's not freedom of speech, it's purposely trying to cause physical harm to our soldiers, citizens, and country as a whole.
I went to Townhall and blasted out an email voicing my displeasure as well.
I would like very much to HEAR a little out cry from the citizens of his state. DO THEY agree with this BS. If not, WHEN will the RECALL election be held?
I know what you mean. I haven't been this seeing-red mad since ... well, since the last time our elected traitors opened their mouths.
The military should be at his office door right now and escort him to prison. No trials, no courts, no lwayers ... just a short prison trip and then the noose.
Durbin fits in with the long tradition of Copperhead Democrats:
Copperheads (politics) in the news
Warning: there is some racist (the " N-word") language in this article. It is simply the language that was used during the American Civil War.
The Copperheads were a group of Northern Democrats who opposed the American Civil War, wanting an immediate peace settlement with the Confederates. They were also called Peace Democrats.
The most famous Copperhead was Clement L. Vallandigham, who was a serious thorn in President Lincoln's side.
More on the Copperhead agenda
They opposed emancipation of American slaves, forming groups to persuade Union soldiers to desert, and helped Confederate prisoners of war escape. The name Copperheads was given to them by Republicans and may have derived from the venomous snake (the Copperhead) that strikes without warning or may have been a reference to the copper liberty-head coins which many wore as badges.
Copperheads opposed turning the Civil war into a total war to destroy the South and restore the Union. They sometimes met with Confederates, aiming at restoring peace.
How they were treated in the Union
As war opponents, they were suspected of disloyalty, Lincoln often having them arrested. In summer 1864, Ulysses S. Grant was bogged down in the Siege of Petersburg and William Tecumseh Sherman getting nowhere in Georgia. At this sad moment for the Union, during midterm election in Lincoln's home state of Kentucky, Lincoln suspended habeas corpus and arresting every Democrat he could round up. The Democrats still swept the July 1864 election in Kentucky.
The Confederates loved the Copperheads and encouraged their activities whenever possible.
Areas of strength
The Copperheads were strongest in Irish Catholic groups (poor Catholics were often anti-war, expecting to lose jobs to newly-freed slaves) in the eastern Pennsylvania coal country, and German Catholic areas of Wisconsin. They were also strong in border areas. They sometimes carried signs reading things such as "The Constitution As It Is, The Union As It Was," or, more offensively, "We won't fight to free the nigger."
Every Union defeat such as the Battle of Chancellorsville led to louder calls from the Copperheads and given the inept Union leadership through much of the war, they had ample ammunition.
The decline of the Copperheads
After the spectacular victory at the Battle of Atlanta in Fall, 1864, and the end in sight of Grant's dug-in siege of Petersburg, the Copperheads declined in influence.
He can be reprimanded by his fellow senators for those remarks.
Obama and Durbin.
A black-skinned white and a dickhead.
never happen unless they arrange a tit-for-tat with Santorum's remarks.
I'm with Rush, Durbin has told the truth about what he and better than 70% of the current Democrats in Congress really think about our U.S. military and the soveirgnty of our country.
No apology is needed from him, what is needed is resignation.
THAT'S RIGHT PUT ALL OF THE BLAME ON G.BUSH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!