Thursday, June 23, 2005

US senator regrets Nazi remark [Al-jazeera]

Link

US Senator Dick Durbin has apologised for comparing American interrogators at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp to Nazis and other historically infamous figures.

His voice quaking and tears welling in his eyes, the number two Democrat in the Senate also apologised to any soldiers who felt insulted by his remarks.

[But not that his remarks were/are WRONG.]

"Some may believe that my remarks crossed the line," the Illinois Democrat said on Tuesday. "To them I extend my heartfelt apologies."

"They're the best. I never, ever intended any disrespect for them."

The apology came a week after Durbin, the Senate minority whip, quoted from an FBI agent's report describing detainees at the naval base in a US-controlled portion of Cuba 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," the senator said on 14 June.

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The comments created a buzz on the internet and among conservative talk radio hosts, but Durbin initially refused to apologise. [IT'S ALL THE FAULT OF THE VRWC!!]

"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," he said the day after his initial comments.

[Thanks again DICK give our enemy yet ANOTHER quote that has been used against us!

jihadists #1: Have you heard?

jihadists #2: Heard what?

jihadists #1: The US abandoned the Geneva convention and authorized torture techniques.

jihadists #2: Really?

jihadists #1: Yes, I heard it directly from a US Senator.]

By last Friday, Durbin was trying to clarify his comments, yet the White House and top Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, refused to relent.

Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, in an interview scheduled for broadcast on Wednesday on Fox News Radio, tried to equate the comment with actress Jane Fonda calling US soldiers war criminals during a visit to North Vietnam in 1972.

On Tuesday, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley - a fellow Democrat - added his voice to the chorus of criticism, saying: "I think it's a disgrace to say that any man or woman in the military would act like that."

During his apology, which Durbin delivered while looking directly into a TV camera broadcasting the proceedings, the senator said: "I made reference to Nazis, to Soviets, and other repressive regimes. Mr President, I've come to understand that's a very poor choice of words."

[snip]