Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Rumsfeld on Durbin

from Secretary of Defense Radio Interview with Scott Hennen, 970 WDAY:

Hennen: You mentioned the quagmire reference. The other one of course is Senator Durbin's comments about our forces guarding terrorists down at Guantanamo Bay. I mean you call it encouragement, but I've had listeners who suggest it's giving aid and comfort to the enemy. Is it?

Rumsfeld: Well you know, I think to have compared the wonderful work being done by the young men and women in uniform down in Guantanamo Bay, in that facility, where hundreds of members of House and Senate and from the journalist community have visited and seen for themselves that it's being handled in a highly professional way. Where the International Committee of the Red Cross was in residence for a long period of time, and has full access to it today, and anyone who had any interest in knowing what was going on down there, had an opportunity to know what was going on down there, and anyone who saw what was going on concluded that it was being very well run. Over 400 visits by a thousand national and international journalists, lawyers for the detainees, 11 Senators and 77 Congressmen have been down there. I think to compare it with Pot Pol and the Soviet Gulag was just terribly unfortunate.

Hennen: Are we doing enough to counter all that? I know you have a fabulous web site out there, We talk about it all the time. But do the men and women of the armed forces feel the support of this country? And is it enough to overcome that kind of noise?

Rumsfeld: Of course Senator Durbin's remarks were on Al-Jazeera within 15 seconds almost it seems, and they travel all the way around the world, and people all over the world see a United States Senator saying the things he said which were simply not true. That's harmful.

Now the web site and the help that the American people have been giving to these wonderful young women in uniform, young men and women in uniform who are doing such a superb job in Afghanistan, in Iraq, here in the United States and elsewhere around the world, I think the support has been so encouraging to them, and I must say I am deeply grateful to the President for mentioning it, for you for mentioning it, for the hundreds of thousands of people who have gone to the web site and found ways they can personally be helpful. It does mean a lot to the troops and we are very grateful to them.

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