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Friday, June 19, 2009

Hall of Shame (How Many Awards can One Gingrich Get?)

Think Progress reports:

Last month in the Washington Examiner, former House speaker Newt Gingrich denounced President Obama’s supposed plot to “release trained terrorists currently held at Guantanamo Bay into American suburbs.” The men he was so afraid of are innocent Chinese Muslims known as Uighurs, who have since been released in Bermuda after spending seven years locked up in Guantanamo. According to 2008 State Department Human Rights report, these men faced “severe cultural and religious repression” at the hands of the Chinese government. In 2001, they stayed in a Uighur camp in Afghanistan and “were later turned in to the authorities by Pakistani villagers in return for an American bounty,” even though werenever a security threat.

However, in his column, Gingrich said they posed a “paramount threat and “have been allied with and trained by al Qaeda-affiliated terrorist groups.” In an interview with Fox News, Gingrich added that the United States should just send them back to China.

One of Gingrich’s Republican colleagues is now calling out his ignorance. At a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Human Rights on Tuesday, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) said that Gingrich belongs in the “hall of shame” for fear-mongering about the Uighurs. He also said that the Bush administration unjustly detained these men at the bidding of the Chinese government in a “pathetic” attempt to gain the country’s support for the Iraq war.


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