San Diego Union Tribune

June 18, 2005

Sen. Durbin apologizes for Guantanamo remarks

By Dori Meinert

WASHINGTON – Attempting to stem growing criticism, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said yesterday that he regretted any misunderstandings caused by his comments that compared some U.S. actions at Guantanamo Bay to those committed by the Nazis or Cambodia's Pol Pot.

"I have learned from my statement that historical parallels can be misused and misunderstood. I sincerely regret if what I said caused anyone to misunderstand my true feelings: Our soldiers around the world and their families at home deserve our respect, admiration and total support," Durbin said in a statement issued by his office yesterday.

Durbin had been roundly criticized for his comments on the Senate floor Tuesday.

Durbin drew the controversial comparison after reading an FBI agent's report describing how detainees at the U.S. Navy base in Cuba were chained to the floor in extreme temperatures without food or water: "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."

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