I'd have to say that is the single most ridiculous thing I have heard since Putin claimed that the downfall of the Godless, evil empire of the Soviet Union was the greatest tragedy of the 20th century.
Let's do some comparison:
Prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay - 540
Prisoners held by the Gulag - millions
The Gulag was an unbelievable atrocity from the time it was set up by the Communists in the 1920's on through the 80's when it was finally dismantled. Millions of innocent people, from prisoners of war (both Soviet and German, the Soviet's tended to be very harsh on their returning POW's) to political dissidents to various ethnic groups (ever wonder why the Chechens are so angry at the Soviets?) were sent here in Sibera to work and most likely die.
Although I am usually good at analogies it is difficult for me to express how much this stupid statement is out of line, to compare Guantanamo Bay, where there are 3 meals / day, medical attention, and not harsh torture, starvation and show trials - in no way does this represent the Gulag, and it would have to go on for about 60 more years, as well.
I guess it would be about like saying that your common cold is the "Black Death" of our time. Or saying that you missing lunch is the same as the Famine caused by the Great Leap Forward. Once again this comparison is so disgraceful to the memory of the dead and so out of line I barely can reference it.
If you want to learn actual facts about the Gulag instead of idiotic rantings from ill-informed jerks at Amnesty International, I suggest you go here and order her book right away, and here is another interesting site.
Yes, everyone who is intersted in history should read Applebaum's Gulag. Be prepared for a very long and depressing read. AI is totally out of line with this article and should be ashamed of itself. Where is all of the outrage over actual gulags like the ones operating in North Korea, that awful prison camp? Actually the author of the article should be fired, but that will never happen. Maybe a more suitable punishment for the author would be spending some time in the research room with Applebaum reading the lists of millions of people who were starved, worked to death, diseased, raped, shot, beaten and frozen. Or maybe the author would be more interested in reading about the kids who were sent to the Gulags. Also mandatory reading are The Gulag Archipelago and One Day In The Life of Ivan Denisovich.
More: A great quote from The Belmont Club:
Anyone who has lived in the Third World or any of the places which Amnesty International purports to care about knows -- and I mean knows for a fact -- what police abuse, torture, arbitrary detention, etc. really are and that it cannot be compared in any wise to the "Gulag" in Guantanamo Bay. Moreover, anyone who has lived in such places knows that the last place where victims can find practical help is from Amnesty International.