I've been following and not posting specifically on Senator DickDurbin's comments the other day. I'm sure, by now, we're all aware of them:
When you read some of the graphic descriptions of what has occurred here --
I almost hesitate to put them in the record, and yet they have to be added
to this debate. Let me read to you what one FBI agent saw. And I quote from his
On a couple of occasions, I entered interview rooms to find a
detainee chained hand and foot in a fetal position to the floor, with no chair,
food or water. Most times they urinated or defecated on themselves, and had been
left there for 18-24 hours or more. On one occasion, the air conditioning had
been turned down so far and the temperature was so cold in the room, that the
barefooted detainee was shaking with cold....On another occasion, the [air
conditioner] had been turned off, making the temperature in the unventilated
room well over 100 degrees. The detainee was almost unconscious on the floor,
with a pile of hair next to him. He had apparently been literally pulling his
hair out throughout the night. On another occasion, not only was the temperature
unbearably hot, but extremely loud rap music was being played in the room, and
had been since the day before, with the detainee chained hand and foot in the
fetal position on the tile floor.
If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime -- Pol Pot or others
-- that had no concern for human beings. Sadly, that is not the case. This was the action of Americans in the treatment of their prisoners.
Now, I'm not going to get into the semantics of the arguement. It was a monumentally stupid statement to make for no other reason than the beating EVERYONE has been taking when Hilter, Germany or Nazi's are even mentioned. I mean, if someone handed me a speech or wrote a speech containing any of these metaphors, I would simply say "find another way to say it". Its that easy.
What cracks me up is the complete looney-fest that is going on in the right wing blogosphere. I mean, first it was "he should apologize" and then it was "he should be censured" and now its "he should resign". I mean, give me a break! Just as an exercise, lets show how many on the right have done this as well...but the difference is, its not our soldiers, its just, ya know, Democrats. To be fair, should they all resign? Or is it all right to call political opponents anything, you just can't intimate that about our soldiers, which, with any 5th grade reading comprehension skills, you can see that Durbin is not doing that. But like I said, I have no desire to defend him, it was completely idiotic.
Thank God some conservatives still have a sane bone left in their body. Daily Kos makes a good point referring to comments made by Powell, Hagel, Graham and Specter critical of actions at Gitmo:
Want to know what's interesting about that list of Republicans above?
Colin Powell, Army general. Chuck Hagel, two purple hearts and a bronze star in
Vietnam. Lindsey Graham, US National Guard Judge Advocacy Group. Arlen Specter, US Air Force. Of the conservative bloggers, the one that seems to get this is John Cole, also a veteran.
This truly shouldn't be a partisan issue. So why is the other side
reacting the way they are?
I truly think this is a case of smoke and mirrors. If they can distract you enough from the real issue, they are winning. The real issue is torture, prisoner abuse and lack of due process. Its time to draft a real policy. Its time to hold those accountable, accountable. If only the right wing bloggers would spend half the amount of time bringing to light these hopefully isolated instances of abuse as they did to Durbins comments, we'd be back on track to the moral highground--where we belong for God's sake.