Speech from Zell Miller

May 13, 2004

U.S. Senator Zell Miller
Floor Statement on the Situation at Abu Ghraib prison
Remarks as Delivered on the Senate Floor

Mr. President, here we go again, here we go again. Rushing to give aid and comfort to the enemy. Pushing and pulling and shoving and leaping over one another to assign blame and point the finger at America the Terrible. Lining up in long lines at the microphones to offer apologies to those poor, pitiful Iraqi prisoners.

Of course, I do not condone all the things that went on in that prison, but I for one, Mr. President, refuse to join in this national Act of Contrition over it. Those who are wringing their hands and shouting so loudly for "heads to roll" over this seem to have conveniently overlooked the fact that someone's head HAS rolled - that of another innocent American brutally murdered by terrorists.

Why is it? Why is it that there's more indignation over a photo of a prisoner with underwear on his head than over the video of a young American with no head at all? Why is it that some in this country still don't get that we are at war? A war against terrorists who are plotting to kill us every day. Terrorists who will murder Americans at any time any place any chance they get. And yet here we are, America on its knees, in front of our enemy, begging for their forgiveness over the mistreatment of prisoners. Showing the enemy and the world once again how easily America can get sidetracked and how easily America can turn against it self.

Yes, some of our soldiers went too far with their interrogation tactics and clearly were not properly trained to handle such duty. But the way to deal with this is with swift and sure punishment, and immediate and better training. There also needs to be more careful screening of who it is we put in these kinds of sensitive situations. And no one wants to hear this, Mr. President and I'm reluctant to say it. But there should also be some serious questioning of having male and female soldiers serving side by side in these kinds of military missions.

But instead, I worry that the HWA - the Hand-Wringers of America - will add to their membership and continue to bash our country ad nauseam. And in doing so, hand over more innocent Americans to the enemy on a silver platter.

So I stand with Senator Inhofe of Oklahoma, who stated that he's "more outraged by the outrage" than by the treatment of those prisoners. More outraged by the outrage. It's a good way of putting it. That's exactly how this Senator from Georgia feels.

Thank you Mr. President.

I yield the floor.

Amen, by God!