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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: International | Anti-War
GOP Senator Senator James Inhofe labels Iraq prisoners as terrorists, denounces Red Cross
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A Republican member of the Senate Armed Services Committee dismissed Tuesday the outrage over the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. troops, saying Iraqis depicted in widely broadcast photographs probably had "blood on their hands."
If they're in cell block 1A or 1B, these prisoners -- they're murderers, they're terrorists, they're insurgents," said Inhofe, a conservative from Oklahoma. "Many of them probably have American blood on their hands. And here we're so concerned about the treatment of those individuals."
Though he called the soldiers charged with abusing Iraqi prisoners "seven bad people," he added, "I am also outraged that we have so many humanitarian do-gooders right now crawling all over these prisons looking for human rights violations while our troops, our heroes, are fighting and dying."
Last fall, the Senate debated a bill that would have created regulations to combat global warming. Sen. James Inhofe [R-OK] led the opposition, and went so far as to call global warming a hoax.
Even if there had been public hearings, though, it's not clear they would have featured strong opposition to the relaxation of interrogation rules. Indeed, some of the legislators now criticizing Rumsfeld were also the ones clamoring for the gloves to come off in the first place. Warner, for instance, joined Senator James Inhofe last year in expressing concern that Allen West, a lieutenant colonel who was punished for staging a mock execution of an Iraqi prisoner, was being treated too harshly. During a November 2003 hearing, Inhofe criticized the Army for pursuing criminal charges against West, and Warner told Inhofe, "I think you're quite correct in your observation. All congressional offices have a high level of concern about this case." He added that the military should not "let the lawyers have exclusive jurisdiction" over how it treats Iraqi prisoners.