Harkin’s Floor Speech on Gitmo and the Levin-Reed Amendment

JULY 17TH, 2007 | ryan.alexander

Senator Tom Harkin took to the Senate floor yesterday to speak out in support of his own amendment with Sen. Dianne Feinstein to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay as well as support the Levin-Reed amendment to redeploy troops from Iraq within 120 days and set a withdrawal deadline for most troops to be out of Iraq by April of next year.

During his speech on his legislation with Senator Feinstein to shut down the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo, Harkin recalled his experience as a young House staffer on a fact-finding trip that helped to expose the infamous tiger cages at Con Son Island:

Mr. President, there are disturbing parallels between what transpired on Con Son Island nearly four decades ago and what has happened at Guantanamo in recent years. In both cases, prisons were deliberately set up on remote islands, clearly with the intention of limiting scrutiny and restricting access. In both cases, detainees were not classified as prisoners of war, expressly to deny them the protections of the Geneva Conventions. In both cases, detainees were deprived of any right to due process, judicial review, or a fair trail; they were simply held indefinitely, in isolation, in legal limbo. In both cases, when the mistreatment of detainees was exposed, the United States was accused of hypocrisy, of betraying its most sacred values and violating international law.

On the Levin-Reed amendment, Senator Harkin renewed his call for an end to the Republican obstructionism that has blocked efforts by Democrats to change course in the war in Iraq:

We have reached the point, frankly, where you either side with the President and his demand that we stay the course in pursuit of what he calls victory, or you side with the American people and our military commanders, who have co included that there is no military solution to the mess in Iraq.

You either support this endless, pointless war, or you support a smarter, more focused campaign against the terrorists who truly threaten us.

Senator Harkin will be participating in the all-night Senate session called by Senator Harry Reid to call attention to the Republican obstructionism that has blocked progress in the war on Iraq and hopefully pressure Republicans into allowing an up-or-down vote on the Reed-Levin amendment to the Defense Authorization Act.

Stay tuned to the Tom Harkin blog as we will update the blog with Senator Harkin’s comments from the all night session as soon as we get them.

Also be sure to take a minute to show your support for Senator Harkin by clicking here to sign his petition to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay today.

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On August 12th, 2007 at 06:34 AM, W Saul wrote:

Sen Harkin and his cronies continue to encourage our enemies by telling them THEY are WINNING. Their incessant cheerleading for the ultra extremists in Afganistan and Iraq has contributed to the deaths of American soldiers.

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