July 14, 2005  


House Republicans Demand Apology from Sen. Durbin; Senate Democrats Should be Outraged by Inappropriate Comments Made about U.S. Military Men and Women

WASHINGTON, D.C.--Today Reps. Kay Granger (R-TX), Sam Johnson (R-TX), Joe Wilson (R-SC), John Kline (R-MN) and Geoff Davis (R-KY) called on U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) to apologize for his remarks smearing the reputation of America’s military men and women, likening them to Nazis.



The Associated Press reported, “During a speech Tuesday, the Senate’s No. 2 Democrat quoted from an FBI agent’s report describing detainees at the Naval base in Guantanamo Bay…

‘…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.”

Several House Republicans called on Senator Durbin to apologize for his disparaging remarks against the men and women who are bravely serving in the U.S. Armed Forces:

“Sen. Durbin’s comments yesterday, where he likened U.S. servicemen and women to Nazis, is outrageous, disrespectful and anti-American,” said Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-TX). “Our men and women in the military are putting their lives on the line every day to protect this country at home and abroad and are working tirelessly to help stabilize Iraq and Afghanistan so that democracy will flourish in the Middle East. It’s despicable for a U.S. Senator to speak this way and so show such lack of respect for their work and lack of regard for the truth.”

“Why did Dick Durbin say this and why aren’t Democrats outraged? They should demand an apology from one of their most-vocal leaders. Aren’t they ashamed for him and embarrassed that he’s smearing the reputation of our brave men and women in uniform? Dick Durbin’s comments were reckless and irresponsible and he should apologize,” said Congressman Sam Johnson (R-TX).

“By likening US soldiers to brutal dictators, Senator Durbin is empowering terrorists who seek to murder thousands of innocent Americans. His irrational and careless remarks undermine the important service of America’s soldiers and encourage terrorists who seek to damage the United States,” said Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC). “I am appalled by that a member of the Senate minority leadership would make such comments. He should be embarrassed and should apologize immediately.”

“The comments of Senator Durbin on the floor of the United States Senate are an outrage,” said Congressman John Kline (R-MN). “By comparing the questioning and treatment tactics employed by our men and women in uniform to the genocide and atrocities committed by the “Nazis, Soviets in their Gulags, or some mad regime – Pol Pot or others that had no concern for human beings,” he has dishonored our servicemen and women, and has diminished the true suffering of the victims of those regimes of terror.

"Senator Durbin's regrettable comments about the conditions at Guantanamo have led to a predictable backlash by people who don't agree with our nation's policies in the first place,” said Congressman Geoff Davis (R-KY). "The detainees being held at Guantanamo are suspected terrorists who would like nothing better than to continue the heinous acts that began Sept. 11, 2001. The detainees are in jail -- not at Club Med -- and should expect to be treated as such. But they receive three healthy meals a day, beds in which to sleep and prayers are announced five times a day. They are living better than our men and women in uniform who are fighting for freedom and liberty in the desert.”

From the intelligence retrieved at Guantanamo Bay, the military has been able to prevent numerous attacks planned against the U.S. and dismantle vast terrorist networks. Detainees at Guantanamo Bay include terrorist trainers and financiers, recruiters and bomb-makers, and body guards of Usama Bin Laden.

Since September 11th, more than 70,000 detainees have been captured in Afghanistan and Iraq, the majority of whom have been released. Approximately 800 suspected Al Qaeda or Taliban operatives have been sent to Guantanamo, including an intended 9/11 hijacker, and of that approximately 520 remain, 235 have been released or transferred to other countries and 61 are awaiting release or transfer. Each case is reviewed at least annually for possible release. There are almost a dozen incidents where detainees have been released from Guantanamo and then taken part in anti-Coalition activities in Iraq.