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US Congress Condemns Treatment of POWs in Iraq - 2003-04-10


Members of the U.S. Congress are reacting to developments in Iraq, where Amercian military officials say the regime of Saddam Hussein is losing control.

The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Republican Senator John Warner of Virginia, commented on the television pictures of Iraqis removing Saddam Hussein's statue in downtown Baghdad. "[It was] a historic moment today," he says. "Those of us who have had an opportunity to share in history, it brought back memories of the Berlin Wall [coming down], it brought back memories of what we learned in school, of when the Bastille fell and the prisoners were released."

Senator Warner spoke on the Senate floor, where he introduced a resolution condemning the treatment of American prisoners-of-war by the regime of Saddam Hussein, and pledging that those guilty of violations of international law would be prosecuted.

The non-binding resolution was unanimously approved.

There are seven American servicemen and women listed as prisoners of war. They were shown on Iraqi television earlier in the conflict.

Earlier, one lawmaker expressed concern about the prospect of retribution for the U.S. led war in Iraq. Senator John Breaux, a Louisiana Democrat, made his comments to Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge during a Senate panel hearing. "I do feel that after that conflict over there is over, we are going to be much more vulnerable over here because people who were unsuccessful in Iraq will look to the United States as an opportunity to get revenge and to do more type of terrorist activity over here," says Mr. Breaux.

Meanwhile, Congressional negotiators are working to resolve differences in House and Senate-passed versions of a bill that would pay the initial costs of the war in Iraq as well as bolster homeland security. President Bush has asked that he receive the nearly $80 billion package by Friday.

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