GOP congressman: Abu Ghraib was just a "sex ring"

Fresh off of downplaying Foleygate, Christopher Shays declares what happened at Abu Ghraib "not torture."

Published October 13, 2006 5:01PM (EDT)

Connecticut Rep. Christopher Shays -- last heard downplaying Foleygate because it's not Chappaquiddick -- said in a candidate's debate this week that what happened at Abu Ghraib "was not torture."

"It was an outrageous, outrageous involvement of National Guard troops from Maryland who were involved in, really, a sex ring," Shays said. "They took pictures of soldiers who were naked, and they did other things that were just outrageous. But it wasn't torture. It's difficult, though, to have a dialogue with the rest of the world about that when you have news media all around the world saying we're torturing people."

Maybe Shays just has his scandals confused. Foleygate is the one where a Republican congressman seems to have gotten his jollies by talking dirty with teenagers. Abu Ghraib is the one where -- among other things -- an Iraqi died during questioning from the CIA while hanging from his wrists with his hands cuffed behind his back.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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