June 17, 2005

Durbin Rebuked on Senate Floor

Senator Durbin is rebuked on the Senate Floor:
The Senate Armed Services Committee chairman yesterday accused Sen. Richard J. Durbin of insulting American soldiers with a "grievous error in judgment" by comparing U.S. treatment of al Qaeda suspects to the crimes of Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin and Pol Pot, and demanded that the Senate's No. 2 Democrat apologize. The rebuke followed a similar rebuke by the commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, who called Mr. Durbin "totally out of line." Republican lawmakers lined up to condemn the remarks as making the war on terror more dangerous for American troops.
Where is the Democrat's outrage? Why were only Republican senators lining up to condemn these remarks? Aren't there any Democrats who have the common decency to acknowledge that Durbin crossed the line? Aren't there any Democrats who will support our troops - you know, the ones that Durbin has accused of hideous war crimes similar to those of Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot. Politics aside...what is wrong is wrong. I realize that the Democrats think that the alleged "abuses" at Guantanamo Bay may be a way to scandalize President Bush, but if the Democrats had any intelligence, they would be getting in line to criticize Durbin. In November, do they want the American people to associate the Democrats with someone who openly slanders American soldiers? Do the Democrats want to be seen as serious about our national security or terrorist sympathizers concerned more about the well being of captured terrorists than our own citizens and troops?

Mr. Durbin quickly appeared on the Senate floor but offered no apology. He read that part of his speech again. He said he had read earlier from an FBI's agent letter on harsh treatment of suspected terrorists and had compared such treatment to what would be found under the Soviet gulag, Nazis and Pol Pot. "To suggest I'm criticizing American servicemen, I am not," Mr. Durbin said. "I don't know who was responsible for this. But the FBI agent made this report ... I was attributing this form of interrogation to repressive regimes. "Now sadly we have a situation here where some in the right wing media have said that I've been insulting men and women in uniform. Nothing could be further from the truth. I respect men and women in the uniform."

How in the world could he have not been insulting the men and women in uniform? Who exactly did he think were guarding the captured terrorists? Let's see... Camp X-Ray is within a United States military installation in Guantanamo Bay. Camp X-Ray is run by the military. The guards are average soldiers. How stupid does Durbin think the American public is?

If you attribute a form of interrogation, which is practiced by American troops, with the tactics employed by such murderous regimes as Stalin, Pol Pot, and Hitler, then it would seem to me that you are, in effect, saying that our troops are either war criminals or, at the very least, no better than those soldiers that interrogated prisoners during the reign of terror by Stalin, Pol Pot or Hitler.
Of course, after the denial that he did anything wrong, Durbin then attributes the ensuing uproar to .... yep, that's right, the "right wing media". Listen up Durbin: The "right wing media" did not compare our soldiers to infamous war criminals. While the right wing media may be talking about this 24/7, it does not mean that they should not be... what you said was wrong and unworthy of a member of the United States Senate.
My thought - Durbin needs to act like a man and apologize.
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