6.16.2005

Dick Durbin: Not my Senator.

This is the type of thing that makes me embarassed to be a citizen of Illinios. No self-respecting bloc of voters should continue electing this guy. It is not just Dean causing the Democrats problems, leading Senators like Dick Durbin here and the inncident where Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) called President Bush a loser continue to shift the country, if not towards the right, at least away from the left.
As you will see in the article, Senator Durbin (D-IL)took the floor of the senate to read an e-mail from an FBI agent pertaining to Guantanamo Bay. After the reading, he uttered these words:

"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."

So what terrible, heinous crimes of war did the agent claim took place? Being chained to the floor, in very cold temperatures, being forced to listen to loud rap music. Now no one wants to be in that situation, but I think most reasonable people realize that this is NOTHING compared to the regimes mentioned. Is America killing Muslims en mass? No. Is America piling the skulls of innocents? No. Do we make furniture out of anyone's body parts, gas people, or use them for gross medical experiments. No, no, and no.
A lot of people would not agree with Durbin that the treatment at Gitmo even qualifies as torture. Among them would be many Holocaust survivors, gulag survivors, Cambodians, Iraqis, and Afghans. All have seen real torture all to often, and don't appreciate the belittling of their experience by comparing some uncomfortable terrorists to genocide. And I also suspect the Iraqis and Afghans in particular would like Mr. Durbin to answer a question: In your long speech that includes not only these accusations but references to Abu Ghraib and the WWII Japanese internment, why didn't you bother to mention the torture that took place under Saddam Hussein? Certainly you could accuse Americans of being like him, too. But Durbin doesn't, because if it were up to him, Saddam Hussein would still be in power.
Also in part of his flawed tyrade, he accuses the United States of breaking the codes of the Geneva convention. Now one could argue whether or not a lot of the statutes in it are still relevant or practical today, but that is not the point. The point is that the Geneva convention does not apply to the detainees, as none were wearing the uniform of a country when captured. They are terrorists; they do not follow the rules of the convention, so we are not obliged too in dealing with them.

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