For Immediate Release
Thursday, May 13, 2004
Press Release - Approaches to the Prisoner Abuse Issues
Press Release: David Sanders—Democratic Candidate for US Representative (4th District)—Discusses His and Congressman Buyer’s Approaches to the Prisoner Abuse Issues
Thursday, May 13, 2004--Dr. David Sanders, candidate for the office of U.S. Representative for the 4th Congressional District of the State of Indiana, appeared at a press conference at 9:30 AM Thursday, May 13, 2004 at the Tippecanoe County Democratic Headquarters, 320 Main Street in Lafayette.
Dr. Sanders began by asking for a moment of silence to remember the Americans who have died or been wounded serving their country in Afghanistan and Iraq. He then condemned the treatment of Americans at the hands of the Iraqi insurgents.
"I have compared the brutal mutilation of the Americans to the barbaric treatment of the body of King Saul by the Philistines as described in the Book of Samuel," Sanders said.
He then expressed his disappointment that Congressman Buyer had decided to exploit the issue of abuse of Iraqi prisoners for political gain.
"I was not going to bring up the issue of Congressman Buyer’s deceiving Congress about being called to active military duty. I thought that Congressman Buyer would have the good sense not to revive it. His Republican opponent documented beyond a shadow of a doubt that Congressman Buyer took a leave of absence from Congress under false pretenses."
"Congressman Buyer’s suggestions that if he had been serving as a lawyer in Iraq he could have prevented the abuses are inconsistent with the facts and are insulting to those members of the military who are serving in Iraq. His exploitation of the issue demonstrates that his earlier offer to serve was also a political maneuver. Congressman Buyer has made a number of public statements. Presumably he did so, because he wanted the voters to hear them. I’m going to help him out."
Last week Congressman Buyer stated on the radio, "The Arab World. Don’t overreact here. Because look at what you did to our own four contractors and what you did with the bodies in hanging them from a bridge."
Dr. Sanders declared, "Holding the entire Arab World collectively responsible for the outrages is a form of bigotry and is inconsistent with our stated goals in Iraq. I do not believe that the citizens of the 4th District want to be represented by an individual with this attitude. The war was not supposed to be about vengeance. The repulsive crimes done to Americans do not justify prisoner abuse by Americans."
"One of Congressman Buyer’s responsibilities was to be a liaison with the International Red Cross. Congressman Buyer has publicly ridiculed their efforts to protect prisoners’ rights. Perhaps if the criticisms of the International Red Cross had been taken more seriously the abuses could have been stopped earlier."
"Congressman Buyer may not have set the best example for prisoner treatment. He has bragged on two occasions in Congress about kicking an Iraqi officer who was crying on the ground in a prisoner camp. I am not alleging that this action is in any way similar to the abuses that have been documented recently. It just indicates his attitude towards prisoner treatment."