Abu Ghraib was a "sex Ring"
Sat Oct 14, 2006 01:39

Abu Ghraib was a "sex Ring"

Shays: Abu Ghraib Abuses Were Sex Ring
Guardian Unlimited, UK - 7 hours ago
... Shays sought to defuse controversy over his previous comments suggesting the Abu Ghraib abuses weren't torture but instead involved a sex ring of troops. ...

Connecticut's GOP Rep. Christopher Shays Self-Destructs
by Joe Gandelman

Question: Is Connecticut Rep. Christopher Shays being coached on his campaign pronouncements by Virginia Senator George Allen? You have to wonder when you read this:

U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays was under fire yesterday after saying in a debate earlier this week that the abuse at Abu Ghraib prison was not torture but rather a "sex ring" involving National Guard troops.

Oh. And all along we and most Americans thought it was torture. In fact, GOPers who were insisting it was not torture never called it a "sex ring." But if you live long enough, anything can happen. AND:

Amnesty International officials and Shays' challengers in the 4th District said it was absurd for the Republican incumbent to call the acts at the Iraqi prison anything but torture.

Hey. It's election year. Shays, who has up until now been considered one of the more moderate Republicans in the House, earlier this week came under fire when he defended House Speaker Dennis Hastert and blasted Senator Teddy Kennedy (who was campaigning against him) by saying at least "no one died" in the Foleygate teen page cybersex scandal.

According to an Amnesty International bigwig Shay's comments are dismaying for another reason as well:

This is outrageous for a sitting congressman who was shown pictures (of Abu Ghraib) that were not even available to the public because they were supposed to be more provocative," said Joshua Rubenstein, Northeast regional director for Amnesty International. "The photographs did not only depict humiliating and degrading treatment of prisoners. They showed prisoners who were killed."

During the debate Wednesday night at Congregation B'nai Israel in Bridgeport, Shays, R-Bridgeport, was asked what the government should do to restore the country's moral image in the world after accusations of torture at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay.

"Now I've seen what happened in Abu Ghraib, and Abu Ghraib was not torture," Shays said according to a transcript provided by Democratic challenger Diane Farrell's campaign and confirmed by others who attended the debate. "It was outrageous, outrageous involvement of National Guard troops from (Maryland) who were involved in a sex ring and they took pictures of soldiers who were naked. And they did other things that were just outrageous. But it wasn't torture."

This incident is a snapshot that shows the intense pressure some GOPers are under this year. Shays suddenly finds himself in a tough re-election battle because some voters who voted for him before don't want to vote for him this year because they prefer to send a message to Washington and the President George Bush.

He has to defend his party on the Foley scandal because he's being linked to it by association with the GOP. And he has to say something on the torture issue but again doesn't want to suffer due to belonging to the GOP.

So he put his foot in his mouth. Twice.

That kind of steps on his message...and won't help him win back Democrats and independents who once voted for him.


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