Skip to comments.Durbin visits Gitmo, dines with Illinois troops
Posted on 07/11/2006 12:10:45 PM PDT by Chi-townChief
WASHINGTON -- Sen. Dick Durbin on Monday made his first trip to a prison camp at Guantanamo Naval Base since his remarks last year criticizing U.S. soldiers there for allegedly bad treatment of prisoners from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Durbin, the Senate's second-highest-ranking Democrat, had said in recent weeks that he was eager to visit the U.S.-controlled base in Cuba but wanted assurances from the Pentagon that he would receive a complete tour of the facility.
Virginia Sen. George Allen, who is running for re-election this year and is frequently mentioned as a possible candidate for the GOP presidential nomination in 2008, accompanied Durbin on the trip.
Criticism of Durbin's remarks about Guantanamo last year was widespread, with even Mayor Daley questioning how Durbin could compare U.S. interrogation methods at the camp to the methods of Nazis.
Teary-eyed, Durbin apologized a week later on the Senate floor, saying he never meant disrespect for U.S. soldiers around the world.
The controversy stemmed from Durbin having quoted from an FBI agent's memo describing detainees 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 then.
A statement released by Durbin's office Monday said Durbin and Allen were scheduled to visit a variety of the detention facilities at Guantanamo, be briefed by commanders and eat lunch with Illinois and Virginia soldiers. Durbin spokesman Joe Shoemaker said the trip was expected to keep the senators busy all day.
Due to security concerns, more details were not to be released until after the senators returned to Washington.
Durbin, as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is expected to participate in a hearing today focusing on military commissions such as those used to send detainees from Iraq and Afghanistan to Guantanamo Bay.
The Supreme Court last month ruled that President Bush's plan to try detainees captured in the war on terror through secret military tribunals violates U.S. and international law.
Say what you will about Durbin, but it's refreshing to see a Senator traveling so far to visit his constituents and supporters.
You're kidding right?
Illinois names can be so fun.
"No thanks. I don't have much of an appetite."
Last week my son left for Iraq out of downtown Chicago. Dickhead Durbin was at a press conference to help stop a beetle from harming Illinois' trees that day instead of at the going away ceremony for the soldiers!!!!
The man is less than scum.
Perhaps Senator Turban will stay and become a mullah..
Are they gonna keep him at Gitmo? Huh? Huh?
Riiight. Ten to one, he'll be on TV by the end of the week bitching about the "appalling detainee conditions" he observed. Of course, he'll cry and apologize the following week, so that'll square things.
I get it.
Senator Durbin is a meathead AND a pussy.
He's gets criticized for comparing our guys to Nazis, then he goes out on the Senate floor and does the mea culpa act with tears.
You just have to quit holding back and really let your feelings show. ;)
No - I really consider Durbin's natural constituents to be the individuals currently in custody in Guantanamo.
Yes he is!!!
Please thank your son for his service to our country! Thank you for raising such a man as this. My prayers are with you all!
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