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Rohrabacher: Gingrich Belongs In The ‘Hall Of Shame’ For His Fear-Mongering On Uighur Detainees

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"Rohrabacher: Gingrich Belongs In The ‘Hall Of Shame’ For His Fear-Mongering On Uighur Detainees"

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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 were never 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:

The Bush administration…held Uighurs in Guantanamo as terrorists, and they did this, I believe, to appease the Chinese government in a pathetic attempt to gain its support at the beginning of the war against Iraq, and also to ensure China’s continued purchase of U.S. treasuries. Many, if not all, the negative allegations against the Uighurs, can be traced by to Communist Chinese intelligence, whose purpose is to snuff out a legitimate independence movement that challenges the Communist party bosses in Beijing. [...]

In the hall of shame, of course, is our former speaker, Newt Gingrich. His positioning on this should be of no surprise — and is of no surprise — to those of who, during Newt’s leadership, were dismayed by his active support for Clinton-era trade policies with Communist China.

Watch it:

Through their translator, the Uighurs have expressed dismay at Gingrich’s ignorant remarks. “How could he speak in such major media with nothing based in fact?” related the translator. As many human rights experts noted, the Uighurs would likely have been tortured if returned to China, as Gingrich had hoped.

Transcript:

ROHRABACHER: And also, right off the bat, I’d like to express my deep appreciation to the leader in Bermuda — it’s Premier Brown — for his courage to do what is morally right in this situation. He’s demonstrated, I think, the best of democracy. That’s what leadership is all about: being willing to take such tough stands. I’m sorry that our own leadership here at home, and even in my own party, seems lacking at this moment. [...]

Much to my dismay, some pundits in the Republican party have fallen for this bait and are lumping the Uighurs in with Islamic extremists. The Bush administration did not help matters. It held Uighurs in Guantanamo as terrorists, and they did this, I believe, to appease the Chinese government in a pathetic attempt to gain its support at the beginning of the war against Iraq, and also to ensure China’s continued purchase of U.S. treasuries. Many, if not all, the negative allegations against the Uighurs, can be traced by to Communist Chinese intelligence, whose purpose is to snuff out a legitimate independence movement that challenges the Communist party bosses in Beijing.

No patriot, especially no Republican who considers themselves a Reagan Republican, should fall for this manipulation, which has us do the bidding of a dictatorship in Beijing.

In the hall of shame, of course, is our former speaker, Newt Gingrich. His positioning on this should be of no surprise — and is of no surprise — to those of who, during Newt’s leadership, were dismayed by his active support for Clinton-era trade policies with Communist China.

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