July 18, 2005

Durbin abuse case not verified

Remember the gut wrenching speech by Dick (The Turbin) Durbin

Military investigators did not substantiate major charges of prisoner abuse contained in one FBI agent's e-mail that was read on the Senate floor by Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin as an example of U.S.-sanctioned torture at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The unnamed FBI agent wrote that she saw one al Qaeda suspect lying in his own excrement, that he had pulled out his own hair and that he had no food and water. The female agent also said he was shackled to the floor and subjected to loud rock music and to extreme temperatures.

Mr. Durbin, of Illinois and the Senate's No. 2 Democrat, read the e-mail June 14 in a speech attacking the Bush administration. He then likened Guantanamo interrogation techniques to the Nazis, Josef Stalin's prisoner gulag, Pol Pot and the internment of Japanese during World War II. He later issued an apology on the Senate floor.

That investigation was completed last week by Air Force Lt. Gen. Randall M. Schmidt, who commands the 12th Air Force, the air component of U.S. Southern Command, which oversees the 520-inmate prison at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo.

Gen. Schmidt wrote in his report, "Another FBI agent stated she witnessed a detainee short shackled and lying in his own excrement. The [investigation] was unable to find any documentation, testimony, or other evidence corroborating the third agent's recollection to this allegation or her e-mail allegation that one of the detainees had pulled his hair out while short shackled."

His statements were widely quoted by the Arab media including al-Jazeera. That is appropriate considering that both parties would be equally as likely to give America the benefit of the doubt.

Companion OpiniPundit

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