Sen. Dick Durbin Explains Why Guantanamo Should Be Closed And Uses Major Alexander's Explanation. Newt Smears Alexander

[media id=8401] The Republicans are so devoid of leadership that they couldn't even offer up a sitting elected member of their party to go on Meet th

5 years ago by David
up

The Republicans are so devoid of leadership that they couldn't even offer up a sitting elected member of their party to go on Meet the Press, so they chose disgraced ex-House Leader Newt Gingrich to debate Sen. Dick Durbin on issues of what they consider national security.

David Gregory should look at his ratings one of these days. Gingrich is a washed up gasbag that FOX News has been using for years to smear the Democratic Party. I know he's a good smear merchant; he's quite the professional, but why is he on MTP in the middle of this discussion? Where is an active member of the GOP? I guess Limbaugh was too busy to come on today and represent like a good homey.

SEN. DURBIN: Just remember that President Bush called for the closing of Guantanamo; President Obama did the same, as did Senator McCain in the last campaign. And I also want to remind the former speaker that Major Matthew Alexander, who has actually interrogated al-Qaeda suspects in Iraq, attributes half of the deaths of Americans in Iraq to the detention abuses at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. Continuing Guantanamo, unfortunately, makes our troops less safe. The bottom line as I see it is Guantanamo should close in an orderly way. President Obama announced that last Thursday. We understand that at the end of the day there will be some of these people, I don't know the exact number, who will be too dangerous to be released, and President Obama said he would work with Congress and the courts to detain them in a humane, constitutional and legal way.

Gingrich immediately smears the military by saying that Durbin can always find a single troop member from the 550K that served in Iraq that would agree with your point of view.

REP. GINGRICH: Let me say, first of all, there were over 550,000 troops who served in Iraq. I'm sure you can find one to agree with you.

Does Gingrich believe that 550K troops were interrogating prisoners? Maj. Alexander is uniquely qualified to speak on such matters since, but Newt effortlessly smears him and then uses 9/11 to fudge the facts. After 9/11, we invaded Iraq which created thousands of more terrorists. There is no debate about this and the horrors at Gitmo and Abu-Ghraib fueled the fire and Gingrich knows it too.

Gregory had to ask Durbin for proof that Gitmo and Abu-Ghraib created more terrorists than ever before. Where has he been these last eight years? Curious that he didn't ask Cheney for proof for his assertions. Durbin has to reiterate the same point twice.

via MTP transcript:

MR. GREGORY: How long should Gitmo remain open?

REP. GINGRICH: Until the war is over.

MR. GREGORY: When is that?

REP. GINGRICH: We'll--when the terrorists disappear. I mean, you're faced with...

MR. GREGORY: Well, you're talking about a pretty long-term proposition here.

Gingrich wants these dungeons left open until the end of the war, my God.

REP. GINGRICH: Yes, because this is a long-term proposition. You have people out there today who want to kill Americans, who would like to set off a nuclear weapon in an American city, who would like to set off a truck bomb down the street from where we are right now. These folks are serious. They're, they're still there. They're fighting in Pakistan right now, they're fighting in Iraq right now. We just arrested four people in New York City last week. What do you do with somebody who's a dedicated, religiously-motivated terrorist? You had better keep them locked up.

MR. GREGORY: But, Senator, what about this issue of conversion in prison? What about the FBI director saying that there are concerns if you bring some of these figures into U.S. prisons?

SEN. DURBIN: Just remember that President Bush called for the closing of Guantanamo; President Obama did the same, as did Senator McCain in the last campaign. And I also want to remind the former speaker that Major Matthew Alexander, who has actually interrogated al-Qaeda suspects in Iraq, attributes half of the deaths of Americans in Iraq to the detention abuses at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. Continuing Guantanamo, unfortunately, makes our troops less safe. The bottom line as I see it is Guantanamo should close in an orderly way. President Obama announced that last Thursday. We understand that at the end of the day there will be some of these people, I don't know the exact number, who will be too dangerous to be released, and President Obama said he would work with Congress and the courts to detain them in a humane, constitutional and legal way.

MR. GREGORY: Let me pick--I want to pick up on a point here, and this is another argument that the president made with regard to keeping the prison at Guantanamo Bay open, and the, the stain on the U.S. image because of that. This is what he said.

(Videotape)PRES. OBAMA: Instead of serving as a tool to counter terrorism, Guantanamo became a symbol that helped al-Qaeda recruit terrorists to its cause. Indeed, the existence of Guantanamo likely created more terrorists around the world than it ever detained.(End videotape)

MR. GREGORY: Senator Durbin, where's the evidence to support that claim?

SEN. DURBIN: I just gave it to you: Major Matthew Alexander, who interrogated the al-Qaeda suspects in Iraq. And it was his conclusion that half of them had been recruited and were fighting, trying to kill Americans because of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. Are we going to ignore this? The fact is that closing Guantanamo, that announcement by the president, as well as abandoning torture techniques and so-called enhanced interrogation, finally said to the rest of the world that it's a new day. Join us in a new approach to keeping this world and America safe. I think it was a break from the past we desperately needed. And to turn around now and to take the approach that Mr. Limbaugh has suggested, that Newt Gingrich has suggested, Vice President Cheney, would put us back in that same terrible position where our troops will be less safe by continuing Guantanamo.

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