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Thursday, June 16, 2005
 
Aid And Comfort To The Enemy
by Cordeiro
I wanted to wait until a transcript of Senator Dick Durbin's remarks comparing US troops to Nazis was made public until I commented on them. I wanted to make sure what I heard was what I heard. When I heard the sound byte on Laura Ingraham's radio program yesterday, I thought I must have an auditory problem. Surely a US Senator would not make such a comparison.

My ears work just fine.

Thanks to James Taranto I now have the transcript. I quote it verbatim. No edits. Any emphasis is my own so you don't miss the most outlandish claims.

When you read some of the graphic descriptions of what has occurred here [at Guantanamo Bay]--I almost hesitate to put them in the [Congressional] 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 report:

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.
Senator Durbin, you are a disgrace to the Senate, to the American people, and to the State of Illinois. How dare you, sir, compare American Servicemen to Nazis, Soviet Gulag Wardens, or Pol Pot.

You are either woefully ignorant of history or deliberately using the torture and death of millions of innocent human beings to score cheap political points. Do you really believe anything you described from the FBI report comes anywhere close to the horrors of Dachau, Auchwitz, Siberia or the Killing Fields of Cambodia? Are you really making that claim?

You should be ashamed of yourself, Senator. Your remarks, by now beamed around the world and translated into a dozen languages, do nothing but bolster the Anti-American sentiment stoked by Islamofascists and nurtured by al-Jazzera.

You are a United States Senator in a time of war. Its time you started acting like one.

Here endeth the lesson.
6 Comment(s):
I think Kos put it best:

"Remember when torture was bad? And getting rid of it was good?
And let's not forget, 'torture' was used as a rationale for this war -- as in, we'll invade and end the torture.

Of course, none of that has happened. The torture that was so bad under Saddam, is equally bad under U.S. command... And these cowards -- these people who will neither serve the cause they claim is so vital, nor urge others to serve it -- now rush to defend behavior that is indefensible?"

Honestly, I believe your patriotic indignation is misplaced.
Kos thinks he's being tortured if he gets too much foam in his latte.

Honestly, I think your "Blame America" and "America is always the problem" attitude is seriously misplaced.
Kos thinks he's being tortured if he gets too much foam in his latte.

Uh, huh... I guess you got him there???

Let's not beat around the Bush: GOP Hardliners believe torture is OK as long as it falls short of beheading cuz they're bloody terrorists and they shouldn't have any rights.

Whereas some leftists are calling for closing Gitmo, many moderates simply find this treatment, no matter to whom, apalling.

Blame America? What? Where did I or Kos write that? I know you are a strong patriot, but I believe it is possible to be a patriot AND criticize our government.
Your definition of torture is far, far too broad. Making someone uncomfortable and offending their senses does not constitute torture.

As for the "Blame America" comment, read Kos a little deeper. It doesn't take long to find.
Ok... one last comment.

Can we agree that sleep deprivation and starvation could constitute torture or is that just as ridiculous as "too much foam in latte"?
In short, no. Sleep deprivation does not constitute torture. If that were so, then babies would be outlawed because they cause parents to live in a sleep deprived world for years at a time.

As for starvation, I've checked the menus at Gitmo, and among other statistics you'll find the detainees weight actually increases due to their improved diets.

If you want to see torture, try visiting the Holocaust Museum in DC. Try reading about the Bataan Death March or the Hanoi Hilton.

While I might agree that being exposed to hours of Christina Aguilera music borders on cruel and unusual, it does not cross over into torture.

Nice try.
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