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June 16, 2005

Comments

Geek, Esq.

So, I imagine that Hugh Hewitt's reaction would be equally dispassionate if that had been the description of US POW's held by Saddam.

Yep, if Private Jessica Lynch had been bound naked in a fetal position for such a long time that she soiled herself, was shaking from extreme cold and in a semi-conscious state, people like Hugh would be saying "We were wrong about Saddam. He treats prisoners according to American principles and values."

creepy dude

Hugh Hewitt's mindset is itself a threat to America.

Slartibartfast

Scary as this is, I agree with CD and Geek, above. This ain't Durbin calling the military Nazis. This is Hewitt, Boortz and (I expect) most of the right-wing professional punditry attempting to blow smoke all over actual abuse.

As opposed to just making up the actual abuse, which no one's making a case for in any event. Are these guys calling the FBI agent who wrote these reports a Nazi, too?

Geek, Esq.

The only ones extrapolating the abuse issue to all of our troops are people like Hugh Hewitt.

Slartibartfast

Oh, and if it were only neglect, pointing that out, too, would be good and proper, because we have a moral (and perhaps legal) obligation to, you know, treat other human beings better than some people treat dogs. When people treat dogs this badly, it makes the nightly news (or does here in sunny Florida, in any event). Does anyone think that it's a good idea to suppress this kind of bringing-to-attention?

Slartibartfast

Sorry, "these guys" was intended to refer back to the professional punditry who are all unhinged because of Durbin's comments. This should not, I should stress, be taken as my entry into the Dick Durbin fan club, but that's neither here nor there.

Al

Oh yeah, because turning up the air conditioning too high is JUST like the mass murder of 6,000,000 (Nazis), 20,000,000 (Stalin), 2,000,000 (Pol Pot).

What planet are these moonbats on?

Slartibartfast
Oh yeah, because turning up the air conditioning too high is JUST like the mass murder of 6,000,000 (Nazis), 20,000,000 (Stalin), 2,000,000 (Pol Pot).

Who said that, again? What Durbin actually said is that according to those reports he quoted, this is not the sort of treatment we'd expect from our country (which I hold as being an exemplar of democracy), but rather more like what we'd expect from the kind or regime we say we're dead set against.

And I have to agree with him. I don't think we're Pol Pot or Hitler or Stalin, but I do think we've got to reconsider how much this kind of thing entitles us to occupy the same part of the topo map as the moral high ground.

gt

As the mess in Iraq gets worse and AMericans support for the war and Bush continues to drop the Right is likely to do two things. One is to blame everyone but the ones actually creating and implementig policy. The other is to deny we are losing and simply claim victory no matter what happens.

I expect a combination of both and in growing numbers in the coming months.

Paul Zrimsek

Is the working assumption here that the only alternative to shrugging off the reports of abuse is likening our own country to the Nazis?

Blame this administration for the Patriot Act if you must, but Godwin's Law was passed long before it took office.

Slartibartfast

...and of course it's much more important to focus on an apparent Godwin violation than actual, documented prisoner abuse. Well, I know which of those things is going to bring more shame on me.

Paul Zrimsek

I'll take that as a "yes", then. But who said anything about what's more important?

TM

The 6,00,00 figure for the Nazis is waaay low - that is the normal estimate for Jews only. Plenty of Poles, Gypsies, and other ethnic tragets died, not to mention civilians caught up in the general meelee.

I think 10,000,000 for the Nazi death camps is a common estimate.

Anyway, I am with Paul - why didn't Durbin say that our behavior reminded him of the French in Algeria, or the Brits in Northern Ireland, just to pick a few examples of bad behavior off the top of my head.

I exhort the left to continue down this line.

Al

Well, slartibartfast, if I didn't know that you were a regular poster here, I would think that your comments on this thread were really posted by Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden or Kim Jong Il.

(In saying that, I'm not, of course, comparing you in any way to Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden or Kim Jong Il. Right?)

Geek, Esq.

Because 99% of the US has no idea about the history of the French in Algeria?

Again, if this had been Americans subjected to that kind of treatment, and it were leftwingers trying to downplay the significance or severity of the treatment, I can only imagine how ol' Hugh would label them. Probably with a Jane Fonda metaphor.

TM

Or, closer to home, I have a constructive suggestion for Sen. Durbin of Illinois - the next time he feels like flapping his gums, he can tell folks that Gitmo sounds almost as bad as Chicago:

Over the last two decades, Chicago, Illinois has earned the reputation of having one of the highest rates of police coerced false confessions in the United States. Many documented cases involved the use of unusually brutal tactics, including electric shock, beatings and using a plastic bag to restrict oxygen. The problem got so out of hand that the Chicago Police Department was forced to conduct an internal investigation to weed out corrupt officers who were known to conduct cruel interrogations.

At the center of abuse allegations was former Commander Jon Burge, who allegedly tortured one hundred eight men between 1973 and 1991, according to a Chicago NBC5.com article. Burge denies the claims. The accusations began in February 1982 after the murder of two police officers during a routine traffic stop. Less than a week after the slayings, Andrew Wilson was brought into the police station for questioning. During that time, he claimed that several police officers, including Burge, beat him, tried to suffocate him with a plastic bag, electrically shocked him and forced him against a hot radiator, Rob Warden said in a 2003 article for the Center on Wrongful Convictions...

Slartibartfast
I would think that your comments on this thread were really posted by Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden or Kim Jong Il.

Would you like to go in the shredder feet first or feet last?

I'll take that as a "yes", then. But who said anything about what's more important?

I'd take that as a maybe, but that's just me. Durbin's not all that smart, but if you actually read what he said, he didn't liken our soldiers to Nazis. Or maybe he did, and I missed it. A quote would be nice. Maybe Durbin's dead wrong on this, though, and such reports are indicative of what we believe is appropriate treatment.

the next time he feels like flapping his gums, he can tell folks that Gitmo sounds almost as bad as Chicago:

Always a compelling argument, that police departments are even more abusive. Here's what I think, though: previous attempts to bring this sort of episode to the attention of President Bush (disclaimer: aside from this, and lack of even the minimal, defensive lip service to this, has done a pretty good job, as far as I'm concerned) have met with similar dismissal. So here's me: just because you ideologically disagree with the messenger, and you disagree with the way in which the message is delivered, doesn't mean you ought to dismiss the message.

That's all I'm saying. There's something there we ought to be looking at, and instead we're seeing "Nazi".

Geek, Esq.

Were those Chicago incidents conducted under rules drafted by the White House?

gt

That's quite an argument Tom. I can just hear Condi talking to the Iraqis and Muslims in general, "If you think our military is brutal you should see our police!"

SteveMG

Watching people defend the indefensible is always an interesting hobby but sometimes hobbies have more serious consequences. As in this case.

That Senator Durbin chose the specific examples of the mass murder of millions of innocent Jews, Cambodians and assorted Russian nationalities (men, women and children) as a comparison of the mis-treatment of one terrorist reveals the absolute moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the leadership of that once great party.

His inability (or unwillingness? let's be charitable and say inability) to distinguish among these four events speaks volumes.

That others would defend that vile comparison reveals their own moral and intellectual vacuum. And since nature abhors a vacuum, that emptiness is filled with hatred and loathing for their own country.

At one time, I would call such statements and apologies for them disgusting. But after awhile, after you hear silence while enemies murder and behead and slaugher thousands of innocents, one just shrugs one's shoulders and recognize how far hatred and self-loathing can fall.

SMG

Slartibartfast
His inability (or unwillingness? let's be charitable and say inability) to distinguish among these four events speaks volumes.

Speaks so many volumes that his stupidity has somehow completely negated prisoner abuse? Interesting. So, if I've read this correctly, how he made this particular point is much more crucial than the point he's making?

TM

if this had been Americans subjected to that kind of treatment, and it were leftwingers trying to downplay the significance or severity of the treatment, I can only imagine how ol' Hugh would label them.

Your point is what? That Hugh will defend Americans even more vociferously than Durbin will defend terrorists?

If Hugh gets wind of these comments, I bet he will still sleep nights.

just because you ideologically disagree with the messenger, and you disagree with the way in which the message is delivered, doesn't mean you ought to dismiss the message.

The chaps at Blogcritics do a nice job of separating the message from the messenger.

And your point is what? Everyone who disagrees with Durbin's analogy approves of torture? Ridiculous.

Actually, I am digging the Chi-twon comparison. Consider - were th nazi death camps, the killing fields, and the gulags stae sponsored and approved operations?

Was the police behavior in Chicago offically sanctioned procedure? OR did the system eventually identify and correct it?

Is this "torture" at Gitmo state sponsored (and if so, why was the FBI investigating?

Which example, Chicago or Auschwitz, seems closer to Gitmo?

(I'll stop there - let me know if the questions are too difficult).

The Kid

Durbin and most of you have lost all sense of proportion. He has a leaked report of abuse of one prisoner. Because a criminal investigation is proceeding, the authorities can’t comment on it. Durbin, the publicity hound knows this and is unfairly – because he knows that others have to keep quiet – milking it for all it’s worth.

The point I took from TM’s extract of the Chicago mess is that abuse can be typical and tolerated in some organizations. Some prisons have been known for the criminality of the guards. But there’s no evidence that such is the case with Gitmo, yet the moonbats howl as though it were. In so doing, they are discrediting the personnel – military and civilian – who serve there honorably doing a really tough job. Each one of them knows that in the future they’ll get funny looks when someone finds out that they served at Gitmo.

Cecil Turner

It appears Durbin has a history of Godwin violations on the subject. But if the worst abuses in Gitmo don't compare with treatment in Chicago, what exactly is the beef? Is anyone seriously suggesting we couldn't find worse abuse in just about any prison in the US (let alone the Third World)?

And you really gotta like getting this kind of info from Al Jazeera:

A Pew Research Centre poll, taken over the weekend, indicated most Americans agree that reports of abuse at Guantanamo are isolated incidents, and 39% think the news media is paying too much attention to the issue.

SteveMG

"So, if I've read this correctly, how he made this particular point is much more crucial than the point he's making?"

My goodness, you can't see that HOW someone makes a point, viz., the historical analogies or references they make, is as important as the point being made? And that when someone tries to conflate two (or four in this case) separate historic events, the distortion renders the original point meaningless.

If I said your defense of Durbin sounded like Muezenberg's propaganda wouldn't my analogy be so silly as to make my criticism bankrupt? If I said the Democrats obstruction was similar to the Bolsheviks' actions against Czarist Russia, wouldn't you dismiss my larger point as one originating from a crank?

When Santorum made the historical reference to the Nazis when he criticized Democratic filibusters of judicial nominees, the Left went ape-shit. And rightly so (for the most part). His larger point, about Democratic obduracy of the confirmation process, was totally lost and rendered bankrupt when he brought up the Nazis.

Let me ask you: Is there ANY historical reference or event that the left uses when criticizing the Administration that you would find over the top? Nazis, Khmer Rouge, NKVD? Anything?

Or is this simply about accumulating power. Beating the evil Christers and neocons permits anything?

SMG

Cousin Dave

I cannot believe some of the posts here. Slart, Geek, etc., you are either with us or you are with the terrorists. (creepydude, I'm not bothering to ask you, because you've already made your position clear.) There is no nuance to be had here. Whose side are you on -- our side or their side?

And yes, I'm questioning your patriotism. As for Durbin, I'm not questioning his patriotism -- I'm dissing it. He is an enemy agent wannabe. He is unfit to be in the Senate, and if the Republican leadership in the Senate had any balls, there'd be an expulsion vote.

"Yep, if Private Jessica Lynch had been bound naked in a fetal position for such a long time that she soiled herself..."

As opposed to being gang-raped, fed into a metal shredder, or having her head sawed off with a rusty knife -- what the f is your point?


Cousin Dave

"Or is this simply about accumulating power. Beating the evil Christers and neocons permits anything?"

Being liberal permits anything. Laws and morals clearly are for chumps.

Paul Zrimsek

You're wasting your breath, SteveMG; these guys are just like Vidkun Quisling. Which is admittedly a ridiculous thing to say, but that's not as important as the point I'm making-- even if it's not possible to tell just what point I'm making because of the absurdly exaggerated way I'm making it.

Miracle Max

When you ride alone you ride with Bin Laden.

SteveMG

Cousin Dave:
".. you are either with us or you are with the terrorists."

Sorry, I have to disagree. I don't think the defenders of Durbin are in any way supporters of terrorism.

It seems to me that they believe that Bush and the neocons and what some call the "Christers" are more of a threat to America than the terrorists. They don't like or support the terrorists; it's that they view the threat from them as being smaller than the threat from those on the Right.

If you recall Christopher Hitchens' comments after 9/11 where he talked about the hundreds of letters and e-mail from his leftist readers all saying that the real threat to America came from Bush and Ashcroft and not the jihaddists.

In many ways, it's similar to the Cold War where the left embraced anti-anti-communism more than they embraced anti-communism. Many didn't defend or support Stalin et al. (some did) but they believed that any threat from communism was exaggerated and that the real danger came from the Right's use of the largely non-existent threat to suppress liberties and consolidate power here.

And so they want to defeat Bush (or the Right or neocons or Christers) more than they want to defeat the terrorists. The view the latter as less a direct threat than the former.

SMG

Cecil Turner

It's also worth noting VADM Church discussed the charges in the FBI e-mail three months ago:

We were aware of the FBI document of July of last year that talked about instances at Guantanamo Bay. Two of those instances have been investigated, and a third was under investigation as soon as that memo was received by the Army Criminal Investigation Division. I know there's two investigations ongoing, one by SOUTHCOM and one by the current Naval Inspector General looking at all these documents.
He also summed up the state of abuse at Gitmo in relation to abuse investigations in general:
Of these investigations, 71 (or 38%) had resulted in a finding of substantiated detainee abuse, including six cases involving detainee deaths. Eight of the 71 cases occurred at GTMO, all of which were relatively minor in their physical nature, although two of these involved unauthorized, sexually suggestive behavior by interrogators, which raises problematic issues concerning cultural and religious sensitivities.
The gulag/concentration camp comparison looks to be a bit of a stretch.

gt

"you are either with us or you are with the terrorists"

That's the silly nonsense that usually third-graders grow out of.

SteveMG

"you are either with us or you are with the terrorists"

"That's the silly nonsense that usually third-graders grow out of. "

Almost as silly - but not as dangerous - as making historical references to Auschwitz, Kampuchea and the Gulag when talking about Guantanamo.

Odd, one disturbs you enough to post critically, but the other doesn't.

SMG

Geek, Esq.

TM:

"Your point is what? That Hugh will defend Americans even more vociferously than Durbin will defend terrorists?"

The point, quite simply, is that the [i]behavior[/i] in question is what should be discussed.

To put it another way: Behavior that would provoke outspoken outrage if done [i]to[/i] our soldiers should provoke equal outrage if done [i]by[/i] our soldiers.

Many on the right, but not all, have sought to consistenly minimize the abuses committed by US troops. Hugh Hewitt is amongst the least honest of those apologists for such crimes. His tactics include:

1) Claiming that criticizing abuse is the same as hating/failing to support the troops;

2) Whine about the media covering the issue;

3) Engage in morally vacuous quibbles over semantics. "Sure it's cruel and degrading, but it's not like it's torture or anything."

#3 is a fundamentally dishonest tactic, for those using it would condemn in the harshest possible terms anyone using it to minimize abuses committed against US troops. It is unprincipled apologism.

Hewitt isn't defending Americans, and Durbin isn't defending terrorists. Durbin is defending American values by saying that we are above such things, while Hewitt is defending such practices by saying that we're not above them.

And of course what happened at Gitmo was state-sanctioned. Alberto "Torture Memo" Gonzales and other Bush administration lawyers practically provided the FAQ on how to commit depraved acts of cruelty while avoiding criminal liability. The "just a few bad apples" crock just won't cut it.


ed

Hmmm.

What nonsense. What I experienced a US Marine was far worse than most of that crap. At least that schmuck didn't get doused with tear gas while he was naked and covered with soap.

Color me extremely unimpressed.

SteveMG

Geek:
The topic on the table currently is not whether the practices at Guantanamo are right or wrong or legal or illegal, the issue at hand is whether Durbin's characterization of those tactics as being related to what the Nazis/Soviets/Khmer Rouge did has any merit.

The merits of the first question are separate from the merits of the second. By equating Guantanamo with Auschwitz et al., Durbin completely loses any moral standing whatsoever to comment on this issue. His general criticism of detainee treatment - even if legitimate - has lost any power, credibility, or authority.

All one simply has to do is say that his references were grossly inaccurate and irresponsible.

It seems to me that if one can't (or won't) make that call then, like Durbin, that person loses any standing to discuss this issue.

BTW, the comparison of the treatment of Americans is an excellent one. Although I do think that if Americans were killing civilians, cutting off heads, blowing up funerals and restaurants, not wearing identifiable uniforms or clothing and they were treated similarly to the prisoners at Guantanamo, the left would be excusing that treatment and excoriating the soldiers for their actions. Can you say Hotel Hanoi?

SMG


Human

When everybody gets upset about the daily violence in America then I'll believe we are making progress. As for the torture of my fellow Human down in Gitmo,I feel it is much worse than what the Nazis or Pol Pot did, no not on scale, which is a false argument for 2 wrongs do not make a right, but because it is done in my name and yours. The Ghouls Of Planet have called on Sen. Durbin to apoligize.
His response - "This administration should apologize to the American people for abandoning the Geneva Conventions and authorizing torture techniques that put our troops at risk and make Americans less secure," Durbin had said in a statement on Wednesday evening. Yeah I second that. And right after that Bush and his cabal should turn themselves in to the ICC. BTW I'am searching for sometype of sci-fi derogatory name for the DNC. Any ideas?

Human

China utalking to me? u talking to me? I don't see any other warmonger
Posted by Human on Jun 4, 2005 10:25am

So Rummy seems to say ala Deniro in Taxi Driver - SINGAPORE Jun 4, 2005 — China's military buildup, particularly its positioning of hundreds of missiles facing Taiwan, is a threat to Asian security, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Saturday. Rumsfeld rebuked China at a regional security conference here, saying it was pouring huge resources into its military and buying large amounts of sophisticated weapons despite facing no threat from any other country....
"Honey I think this driver is lost"
"Why you say that sweetie?"
"Aunt Tess said it would be a 15min. ride her place."
"Oh yeah, maybe we should say something?"
"I don't know, I wouldn't want to upset him, remember how he almost hit and then yelled at that old Chinese woman crossing the road?"
"Yeah that seemed pretty crazy."
"Oh my God! Look at the freaking meter."
"No way can we afford that." "Who has that kind of money?"
"Maybe we could put it on credit."
"What and pay for it with Juniors college fund? We are relying on him to pay for our retirement so we don't have to stay at That Halliburton Senior Complex."
"Yeah, maybe we should run for it?"
"I don't know the neighborhood seems kinda rough."
"Let’s do it!"
"OH MY GOD HE'S LOCKED US IN! LET US OUT! LET US OUT!"
With his hands remaining on the steering wheel, the drivers head turns a full 180 revealing a skull with a Cheshire grin.
"AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH"!!!!!!!! Jack and Jill scream.
The taxi quickly picked up speed. The last thing Jack and Jill see as the taxi hurtled forward was the looming Chin Chang Bang Fireworks factory.
2 days later at a White House Press Conference -
President Bush- Good morning ladies and Gentlemen.2 days ago we and our al lies were struck by the enemies of freedom. By the dilegent efforts of our hard working people at CCIA(Corporate Central Intell. Agency) we have incontravertbrae evidunce that the Terrorist Group Muerte por Facsistas was involved. This group has ties to the UnAmerikkkan Venicewayla Government of President Chavez. Questions?
Sir- How can we believe the intell. When there have been so many intell failures in the past.
Pres. Bush - 1st the good people at CCIA work hard. Its hard work whatever they do. 2nd The British have said so. We very much appreciate our Al-lies.
Sir - What info do the British have?
Pres. Bush - 1) Our Al-lies work hard. Very hard. We like what they do. We can not put our ass err assets at risk. Well I’m told to err arthorized to tell you that the info comes from Niger based intell. I can't name names because I have none. However the highly valuable source we call Yellow Cake. It’s a slam dunk. In the back- Hey Jeff glad to see you-here
Jeff - Glorious Leader what do you say to the people who are so blind as to doubt your veracity?
Pres.- Well Jeff, Although I did not play Veracity I did my part bringing school spirit and I did letter. It was hard work. I worked hard. Its not easy lifting them girls in the air. Also when cheering one time our team was on the field of battle and I almost got run over when our quarterback was knocked so hard out of bounds he crashed into me. I buy the grace of God escaped injury. I tried to help him up, but the girls beat me to it. I think he was pretty injured though. The trainers bagged him in ice and sent him home. Thanks for coming everybody.
A week later Airborne Troops from Ft. Braggort in the Federal District of Georgia sporting Chinese made Berets Dropped on the shores of Lake Maricaibo to secure the Oil terminals for the oppressed Venezuelan people.
When Aunt Tess woke up days after the blast she found herself being unloaded on a conveyor belt into the #3 Soylent Green Medical Center.
And junior? Well that’s another Chapter.

SteveMG

Human:
Let me get this right: You're saying that the murder of 7+ million by the Nazis, 20+ million by the Soviets and 2 million by the Khmer Rouge is less terrible than the mistreatment of one (okay, let's say 20) living prisoners at Guantanamo?

Because the latter was done by the US in your name?

20 abused terrorist prisoners is worse than 30 millions murdered/dead innocent ones?

And you call yourself "human"?

SMG

Patrick R. Sullivan

According to a story in the Washington Times, at Gitmo:

"The military is spending about $2.8 million to construct a psychiatric ward for mentally ill detainees....

"The psychiatric facility is needed because about 4 percent of the detainees are on psychotropic medications for illnesses ranging from schizophrenia to manic depression, said Navy Capt. Steve Edmonson, the head doctor for detainees."

The story opened with this tale:

-------------quote-------------
...after a guard discovered a dangerously sharp object hidden in the empty cell of a detainee, a violent confrontation ensued, illustrating military officials' contention that criticisms from human rights groups only tell part of the story.

According to two Army prison guards... the prisoner was temporarily in another part of the prison for a bath when the jagged, rectangular piece of metal, three to four inches long was found and removed.

....an altercation then followed in which the detainee tried to gouge out one of the guards' eyes.

After first allowing the detainee to return from his shower to the cell, a five-man team of guards then began a carefully choreographed "cell extraction" to move him to another cell, where he would not be able to do further damage.

"He was extremely aggressive from the moment we went in," said the 28-year-old guard, whose job it was to "push the detainee back" as another guard quickly handcuffed the prisoner.

Before the cuffs could go on though, things went wrong and the detainee forced his hands up under the first guard's plexiglass face mask and began digging for the eyeball.

"He tried to insert one finger into my eye socket, then he transitioned into a fishhook maneuver," the guard said. "He got his finger into my mouth and was trying to rip my cheek off." After another moment, the detainee's hands were forced down and into the cuffs.
----------endquote----------

These guys had to be chained to their seats, use portable toilets, and be fed by guards on the plane over from Afghanistan. That's how dangerous (loony) they are. Had Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot had to deal with people like this, Durbin thinks they would have put them in over-air-conditioned rooms?

Jim Rockford

What are the conclusions that we can draw from this?

1. Dick Durbin and the Democratic Party (which has not disavowed his statements) really do believe the American Military is made up of Nazi and Pol Pot genocidal torturerers? Evidence? They believe that turning up or down air conditioning and playing rap music non-stop for hardened Al Qaeda murderers is torture.

This is doubtless news to office workers and roofers (who work in extreme temperatures, my office is colder than Hades, roofing is hotter than hell). Doubtless news to teenagers listening to their fave rappers day in and out.

2. Durbin and Dems are HOSTILE to protecting America and saving American lives. They would rather have a moral vanity of feeling good about their image than save lives. But what can you expect from people who fundamentally hate America and what it stands for (freedom, liberty, justice, equality)? It's not like a single Democrat outside of Lieberman (targeted by the Kos Kidz for primary defeat) dislikes Flag burning or protested Jihadi Muslims burning and stomping the Flag in NYC recently. Meanwhile they consider Al Qaeda terrorists in Gitmo the "real" Muslims and worry about offending them. No such worries about Piss Christ or Dung Madonna (which are put in museums and celebrated).

3. At no point have Dems offered anything constructive, other than letting terrorists go (ala Biden) and apologizing to bin Laden (Pelosi, Kucinich, Durbin).

4. From this we can conclude that the Democratic Party is hostile to the values of patriotism, defending America, and the lives of those terrorists would kill. That Ward Churchill far from being a fringe crank pretty well represents the mainstream feelings of most of the Party apparatus (as distinct probably from most rank and file Democrats).

This is a disaster. Bush derangement echoing Clinton derangement, tinfoil hat fantasies instead of rational criticism of what Bush is doing. Essentially the entire Democratic Party went AWOL on fundamental issues of National Security, patriotism, and American values. Equating RAP MUSIC and women getting close to people (admittedly, if it's Roseanne Barr that's a problem) as torture. Worrying about hard core Al Qaeda killers including a putative 9/11 hijacker with ties to Mohammed Atta and Khalid Sheik Mohammed (remember those guys, the 9/11 lead hijacker and architect respectively)?

Most Americans feel that Sessions is right, we need to start shooting these guys not apologizing like Leahy or Biden or Durbin want. Democrats fundamentally want to trade American lives for not offending or holding any terrorists anywhere, therefore the only conclusion that we can make is that Dems don't think American lives or the country is worth defending.

Postscript: the EU court held that the UK can use hooding, stress positions, air conditioning, sleep deprivation in questioning IRA terrorists. So what we do at Gitmo is not out of line, considering that the folks involved help MURDER 3,000 Americans (agreed that most Dems felt they were "little Eichmans" and deserved it). How shameful.

ed

Hmmm.

1. @ Human
"for 2 wrongs do not make a right"

Really? Prove it. Otherwise it's as valid as saying "three lefts make a right". i.e. utterly pointless.

2. "When Aunt Tess woke up days after the blast she found herself being unloaded on a conveyor belt into the #3 Soylent Green Medical Center."

What the hell are you talking about?

Is there some part of this entire debate that I somehow missed?

Les Nessman

This whole Gitmo thing has the rest of the world thinking we torture prisoners.

Why do they think that we torture prisoners? It's not because it is true.

The reason the world has this misimpression of us is because the Lefties, Durbin, Durbin's Defenders, etc..keep lying and distorting stories about us.

How is that not treasonous?

ToweringBarbarian

If Mr. Durbin truly considers turning on an air conditioner to be torture then I wonder if Bill Frist might have a word with a few of the janitors around the Senate? It might be educational for him if he and his staffers were to find themselves without air conditioning for the rest of the summer. After all, we wouldn't want them to feel tortured, right? ^_~

Slartibartfast
And your point is what? Everyone who disagrees with Durbin's analogy approves of torture? Ridiculous.

Tom, when you hit the strawman, you're supposed to hold back on the follow-through. Otherwise you wind up falling on your face. IOW, I certainly didn't say anything resembling that.

Slartibartfast
If I said your defense of Durbin sounded like Muezenberg's propaganda wouldn't my analogy be so silly as to make my criticism bankrupt?

I'm not defending Durbin. Please see above comments regarding strawmen and follow-through.

Slartibartfast
I cannot believe some of the posts here. Slart, Geek, etc., you are either with us or you are with the terrorists. (creepydude, I'm not bothering to ask you, because you've already made your position clear.) There is no nuance to be had here. Whose side are you on -- our side or their side?

Wow, there are really only two choices? If so, I'd probably lean toward neither. I'm definitely not with the terrorists, and I'm looking rather askance at the "side" that thinks that prisoner abuse is something we want to be involved in. My not wanting to associate with the prisoner-abusers is in no way to be taken as an endorsement (or indeed, support of any kind for, or even slacking of opposition against the terrorists.

Cecil Turner

"I'm looking rather askance at the "side" that thinks that prisoner abuse is something we want to be involved in."

How about the "side" that suggests 8 substantiated incidents of prisoner abuse "all of which were relatively minor in their physical nature," isn't particularly worrisome?

Beto Ochoa

"The reason the world has this misimpression of us is because the Lefties, Durbin, Durbin's Defenders, etc..keep lying and distorting stories about us."

Bingo, 21, Gin, Royal Flush! We have a winner.
People never know what to think until they're told what to think. Humans that formulate opinions outside groupspeak are rare as hens teeth. It is especially so amongst educated (indoctrinated) cultists that long for a dictatorship of communist intelligentsia. The role of provocateurs like Durbin are well received amongst their ranks. He fattens himself on the same teat that Ward Churchill fattens himself on. To our great embarrassment, this is an industry that well rewards its minions. I would say this to Dick Durbin, “You are an unfortunate by-product of our socio-political system. You are the exact opposite of egalitarianism and justice. If this were 1863 you would be a slave owner north of the Mason-Dixon and beat your chattel when they displeased you yet, print invectives of those citizens who resided below it and did not own such. It is to our collective misfortune that citizens of your ilk are elevated to a position where you are able to inflict your inexorable vituperation on us all, even those who promote you. That those promoters are too obtuse to recognize the detriment you are to the collective is no excuse for their behavior. Your moral compass is defective and you relish in your pathetic bent. You are one of those who when your family is in a fight would only throw stones from the rear ranks not caring who gets hit. You foster a cult of mental disorder wherein any absurd and bigoted belief that supports its agenda must be tolerated, promoted by force and revered as doctrine by its fanatical partisans. Any and all means will be employed to achieve its despotic and tyrannical objectives, even the embracing of an enemy sworn to destroy it’s own existence and the sacrifice of unborn infants.

SaveFarris

"I hate Illinois Nazis."

Beto Ochoa

I agree Cecil. The military is being held to a standard that is impossible to achieve. In any situation where humans of differing cultures interact there will be conflict. If we treated these prisoners as well as our average prison population in state prisons (esp those in blue counties) there would be nearly fifty dead since Gitmo opened. Our civilian police kill more than that annually in apprehension. The stats are highest in democrat dominant counties and cities by a wide margin. Lest we forget, there is still unresolved a matter of seven dozen people, mostly children, tortured and burned to death by federal agents in Waco,Tx. Agents of the Clinton administration who attacked with tanks after torturing the inhabitants night and day for a month. Not a peep of recrimination from the democrat governor in office and party members like me who spoke out were told to "Shut Up!" "Don't raise a stink over a few loonies!" Then the lot were painted as radicals and pedophiles by the Reno Justice(cough) Department. Democrats have trampled our rights more than any other group and we would be well served to never forget what tourture and murder they inflict on dissenters.

dsquared

Good God. Actual apologists for torture. Tom, you must be pleased.

If your son came in the door one day and told you "Dad, Grandpa just set fire to the neighbours' summerhouse, it looks like Hiroshima out there!", would your reaction be to give him a two hour lecture on the disanalogies between nuclear destruction and a small domestic fire?

Slartibartfast

Just to make things clear: ideologically, dsquared, gt and I have practically nothing else in common. Other than species and (perhaps) gender.

Whether these reports are all about something that happened a couple of years ago is, to me, not all that relevant. What is relevant is: what's been done to make sure it doesn't happen again, and why isn't this getting a little more of a quality treatment than glib dismissal? If this simply boils down to a PR war, I think we're losing that war quite badly.

Jamie

Free advice to Durbin and those who have no problem with his phrasing: Carefully consider your goal. Is your goal to change the treatment of prisoners at Gitmo, or to close the prison, presumably putting the enemy combatants therein somewhere else just as secure? (I'll give you the benefit of the doubt on that.)(The many Cubans who do not enjoy air conditioning, whether too cold or not cold enough, might be willing to buy the newly-surplus units, if they have money or goods to barter.) If so, the comparison you used is not only off-point but inimical to that goal. First, that particular form of loaded hyperbole draws the attention of people who might otherwise not notice this tempest in this teapot; second, those same people, who might have been convinceable if you'd shown more sense of proportion in your statement, discount what you say because of the way you said it, because any fool can see that cranking up the A/C is not what we would expect from Stalin, Hitler's guards, or Pol Pot.

If, on the other hand, the goal is simply to slam Bush again, you still fail with this tactic, for the same reason plus insult-fatigue. The people who started out hating Bush, for whatever reason, will still hate him, but you're not converting others to your cause. And some who just dislike him are going to realize that he's not as bad as all that if you insist on continually drawing tortured (pun sorta intended) lines between him and unquestionably, unapologetically evil people.

I disagree with Hugh Hewitt about the propaganda value to Islamofascists. He says the story will be repeated in secret meeting places all over the Middle East - "Even their leaders admit they're as bad as Nazis!" But that's not the value of Durbin's hysteria to the enemy. The enemy knows, beyond a doubt, that barring accident or gross irregularity (that will not go unpunished, if that matters), they'll not only live through American captivity but will probably emerge better fed, in better health, and more relaxed than when they went in. (Captivity is hard on the human spirit, but it's part of the risk they take on by jinin' up with al Qaeda.) The value of Durbin's comments to the enemy is that it makes the American left an ally. al Qaeda doesn't have to create a fifth column; the fifth column is undergoing spontaneous generation. It might be lukewarm, but if it has the effect of weakening the resolve of the next president, whoever s/he is, to see this thing through, then that mission will have been accomplished.

So, left-side commenters: is that what you want? To cut out now, or at any rate before the job is done? Or is the secret goal in your hearts to have Bush finish this thing out successfully, so as not to drop millions of decent Middle Eastern residents back into the dry dust whence they came, but with maximum negative PR so as to give Hillary the opportunity to announce that thanks to her unswerving commitment, Our Troops Are Coming Home?

Al

"Good God. Actual apologists for torture. Tom, you must be pleased."

Oh my God, an apologist for Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot. Tom, you must be so pleased.

Cecil Turner

"What is relevant is: what's been done to make sure it doesn't happen again, and why isn't this getting a little more of a quality treatment than glib dismissal?"

600 prisoners, 3 years, 8 substantiated incidents. The worst one Durbin could find is two years old, and relatively minor. Whatever they're doing, it seems to be working. As far as "glib dismissal" goes, a flag-officer investigation and appropriate disciplinary action seems an adequate response. If you can think of some policy that'll magically drive the abuse number down to zero, I'm sure SouthCom would love to hear about it.

"If this simply boils down to a PR war, I think we're losing that war quite badly."

No kidding. Could part of the problem be repeatedly rehashing old abuse stories? And is it really too much to ask that US Senators not figure prominently in enemy propaganda in wartime?

Beto Ochoa

These types of treatment seem to be sub-par for the course in our history of dealing with terrorists, dissenters and whistleblowers. Why is it being complained about now? The only differing factor is who the leaders are presently. If you think the politicians painting the complainants as anti-american or out of step is a new phenomena your memory is a short one. We, along with most of the european nations have routinely used unsavory methods to interrogate enemies of the state for decades. The methods used at Guantanamo pale in comparison as do the consequences if we fail to extract the intelligence these detainees possess. What is truly amazing is the militarys ability to change and conform to outside demands. People worried that the combatants incarcerated now will be held indefinitely is inhumane should remember the conflict is not resolved.

TallDave

Well, there goes that meme about Dems being better informed.

"A Pew Research Centre poll, taken over the weekend, indicated most Americans agree that reports of abuse at Guantanamo are isolated incidents, and 39% think the news media is paying too much attention to the issue.

The poll found a sharp partisan divide on the issue - Democrats believing the abuses to be systemic and Republicans saying they were isolated incidents."

Creech

I didn't vote for Bush either time. However, use of the new "N" word is not appropriate and Durbin should be as ashamed as Santorum. Political rhetoric is out of control and reasonable people have to tone it down if any discussion is to take place. People shouting epithets at each other can't listen or respond persuasively. Many don't understand the concepts of moral equivalency. One prison guard brutalizing a prisoner is not the same as Hitler decreeing a final solution to the Jewish "problem." Most everyone agrees WWII was a "good war" yet documented atrocities by U.S. soldiers occurred. Does that make the Allies as bad as the Axis? Of course not. Even if the atrocities were condoned or winked at by senior officers, it was not FDR's policy to shoot surrendering German soldiers or
rape French nuns.
Long term, what do we do with the Gitmo prisoners?
At the end of WWII or the Civil War, the POWs were sent home and generally stayed out of trouble. Will the Talibans and Al Quedas? These fanatics will just go back to their terrorist jihads even if Bin Laden and other current terrorist leaders have been eliminated. So is Gitmo a life sentence? What is the appropriate sentence for these prisoners?
By the way, what ever happened to Truth Serum or was that just a fictional Hollywood prop? No torture, just stick a needle in the arm and the subject can't stop from truthfully answering questions. Maybe some of the billions earmarked for Iraq should be diverted to research on a real truth serum.

TallDave

Durbin's comments are not much better than enemy propaganda. They trivialize the real torture and mass murder, and the end message to foreign viewers is "USA = Nazis."

Here's what real torture looks like: maiming, dripping acid, saws, hooks, knives, missing limbs...

http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/092559.php

TallDave

Geek and creepy, Gitmo detainees are not POWs, they are terrorists, unlwaful combatants whose mission is to kill American *civilians*, thousands or millions if possible.

And we know how Saddam treated prisoners, see link above. If the worst he'd done was chain them to a chair and turn up the AC, they'd probably have fallen all over themselves thanking him for his mercy.

Geek, Esq.

Durbin's point has been grossly distorted by the usual suspects on the right.

His point was simple:

Look at that FBI agent's report, and ask yourself whether those actions are more compatible with the values of the United States of America, or places like Fidel Castro's Cuba and the Soviet Union.

If the answer is the former, why do you hate America? ;)


The Chicago/police comparison is misplaced. The Chicago PD/DoC did not have the WH and top Pentagon and other Bush administration lawyers drafting memos advising them how to avoid prosecution while abusing prisoners.

It is also worth noting that the Pentagon exported the abuses at Gitmo to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Of course, great beacons of moral judgment that they are, they refuse to torture people in house, instead choosing to outsource that practice.

TallDave

If your son came in the door one day and told you "Dad, Grandpa just set fire to the neighbours' summerhouse, it looks like Hiroshima out there!", would your reaction be to give him a two hour lecture on the disanalogies between nuclear destruction and a small domestic fire?

If Grandpa locked the doors with the neighbors inside and giggled while they screamed, would you tell your son playing with matches was just as bad?

TallDave

Geek,

So you don't think that detainees who are withholding information that could potentially save thousands of American lives should be subjected to even the slightest discomfort?

American values don't extend to politely baring our throats for the murderer's knife.

Beto Ochoa

Grandpa in that instance was named Wes Clark. Democrat.

Jos Bleau

Ahem.

This is McCain's chance to shine. If he were to stand up and say on the Senate floor something like "Mr. Durbin, I know a thing or two about being tortured, and this ain't it. Shame on you" he would go a long way towards gaining the Republican nomination.

If he wants to run as an independent he'll say something else, or nothing at all.

Watch McCain closely in the next few days - especially on Sunday morning.

Geek, Esq.

Do you think that the tactics used at Abu Ghraib were beneficial overall to the United States?

TallDave

What "tactics" used at Abu Ghraib? That was one shift of bad people having some illegal fun, not a policy.

Al

Here is what I keep coming back to: the #2 Democrat in the Senate compared our military to that of Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot.

When Trent Lott made an offensive comment, he was forced to step down from his leadership position. Why not the same for Dick Durbin? Do we just laugh this off - oh, just a little overheated rhetoric, he he, ho ho? Or do we hold him responsible for such an offensive remark?

Every day that the Republicans kept Trnet Lott as leader was a day they condones facile racism. And every day that the Democrats keep Dick Durbin in power is a day they condone his anti-US military hate speech.

Beto Ochoa

Invoking Abu Ghraib should equivocate with Nazi in the Godwin sense. The people who perpetrated those acts were sexual deviants but that small detail is left out of the condemnation. Perhaps because it hits too close to home for the critics?

TexasToast

Beto

I think you have hit a new low. You actually call a Godwin violation in the same post in which you imply that persons who decry Abu G are "sexual deviants"?

Are the reasonable folks on the right going to let this one go by?

Geek, Esq.

Do people really think that what happened at Gitmo and what happened at Abu Ghraib were causally unrelated?

Oy.

Beto Ochoa

The abusers at AbuG were sexual sadists. That was their motivation. Why isn't that fact illuminated. The word "perhaps" not in your vocabulary?

creepy dude

You just called our troops sexual sadists!

SaveFarris

Geek, that's really the krux of the argument:
What happened at Gitmo?
What happened at AbuGharib?

Do you subscribe to the Durbin view that both were Nazi/Gulag/PolPot Terror Holes directed from on high by BushCoHalliburton? Or do you subscribe to reality where you see by and large the MPs bending over backwards to accomodate our would-be-jihadists and receiving severe disciplinary action when they don't.

Geek, Esq.

Folks who think this is all just a few isolated incidents ought to read up a bit more:

http://www.qando.net/details.aspx?Entry=1850
http://www.qando.net/details.aspx?Entry=830

Beto Ochoa

A handful, yes. But it doesn't go clear to the top like the Clinton administration

Geek, Esq.

SF:

The Bush administration made it clear that respecting the human rights of enemy prisoners should be a very low priority, and tacitly (if not explicitly) expressed approval for such abuse.

The administration's top question in regards to the treatment of enemy prisoners was "How much really nasty and cruel stuff can we do without going to jail?" The people at Abu Ghraib and Gitmo were acting according to the values and principles set forth by the administration.

Beto Ochoa

And you would have dealt with the terrorists exactly how Mr. Geek? Why don't you take one into your home and rehabilitate him?

creepy dude

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Halliburton Co. unit will build a new $30 million detention facility and security fence at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where the United States is holding about 520 foreign terrorism suspects, the Defense Department announced on Thursday.

Cecil Turner

"The Bush administration made it clear that respecting the human rights of enemy prisoners should be a very low priority, and tacitly (if not explicitly) expressed approval for such abuse."

Adm Church apparently disagrees. Here's the policy sum-up:

We found, without exception, that the DoD officials and senior military commanders responsible for the formulation of interrogation policy evidenced the intent to treat detainees humanely . . . it is clear that none of the pictured abuses at Abu Ghraib bear any resemblance to approved policies at any level, in any theater . . . our conclusion is consistent with the findings of the Independent Panel . . . “[n]o approved procedures called for or allowed the kinds of abuse that in fact occurred. There is no evidence of a policy of abuse promulgated by senior officials or military authorities.” [emphasis added]
Here's the view from the interrogators' perspective:
According to our investigation, interrogators clearly understood that abusive practices and techniques - such as physical assault, sexual humiliation, terrorizing detainees with unmuzzled dogs, or threats of torture or death - were at all times prohibited, regardless of whether the interrogators were aware of the latest policy memorandum promulgated by higher headquarters. . . . Significantly, nothing in our investigation of interrogation and detention operations in Afghanistan or Iraq suggested that the chaotic and abusive environment that existed at the Abu Ghraib prison in the fall of 2003 was repeated elsewhere. [emphasis added]

Patrick R. Sullivan

"Good God. Actual apologists for torture. Tom, you must be pleased."

I wonder how pleased he is to have readers who don't understand that the perfect is the enemy of the good. Nor tell the difference between a molehill and a mountain

Geek, Esq.

To begin with, a healthy degree of skepticism is always warranted for such internal reviews. The incentive to whitewash is extraordinary.

The report noted that there was an absence of standards governing interrogation and treatment of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan. In particular, there was nothing more than a mere recitation of boilerplate language implemented to guard against detainee abuse.

In other words, the administration which was obsessed with the issue of torture and which had discussed the legal fine points of abuse at length never bothered to implement meaningful safeguards against such abuse.

If the issue of prisoner abuse was of such concern to them, why the lack of guidance to the troops? Answer: Plausible deniability.

Cecil Turner

"The report noted that there was an absence of standards governing interrogation and treatment of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan."

Yep. And leadership failures that led to actual abuse--and even a few deaths. Several of the perpetrators are doing hard time. Several other cases are ongoing. Contrast that to the relative nothing at Gitmo, and it's fairly obvious that the criticism is misplaced (and, dare I say, politically motivated?).

"If the issue of prisoner abuse was of such concern to them, why the lack of guidance to the troops? Answer: Plausible deniability."

Or perhaps they didn't foresee the need, believing the standing orders for strict Geneva compliance would be sufficient. (And they should have: especially when dealing with a relatively small military specialty like interrogators--the troops involved tend to carry their experiences from one place to another, and procedures migrate--as Church observed in a few incidents.) There were also apparently a few instances where folks "made up their own," or local commands modified procedures--especially early on in Afghanistan. However, that doesn't appear to've been the main cause of abuse:

While the abuses leading to the Bagram deaths consisted of violent assaults, rather than any authorized techniques, the CJTF-180 Commander modified or eliminated these five tactics as a precaution, out of a general concern for detainee treatment.
There are plenty of things to criticize, but the relatively mild interrogation procedures at Gitmo really aren't at or near the top of the list.

Slartibartfast

What's your top-ten list look like, Cecil?

Cecil Turner

"What's your top-ten list look like, Cecil?"

Dunno, depends on scope--but there's lots of things ahead of Gitmo abuse. For purely prisoner abuse issues, there were fatalities in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Abu Ghraib had two distinct sets of criminal activity: Graner, et al, and the MI guys (who were directly responsible for at least one fatality). Both were serious leadership failures, and while both leaders were punished, strict accountability should have led to courts martial for both (IMHO). The failures in the Bagram cases are less clear, but obviously another serious breakdown occurred.

The legal issues surrounding detainees (and especially the Bybee memo) were a PR catastrophe. They should have held a single mass tribunal publicly at the beginning, and made the logical determination with appropriate military review (that detainees did not qualify for POW status). And somebody with a brain needs to proofread the legal memos before they're signed off.

Finally, we need to get our own PR machine in gear. There are proper reasons for providing terrorists with less-than-optimal detention treatment. Government spokesmen ought to be hammering away at enemy law of war violations (targeting innocents, atrocities, beheadings, etc.). It's not like there's any moral equivalency . . . but from the news, you'd think we were the bad guys. It amazes me how badly they're kicking our butts at propaganda.

Slartibartfast

I think those are all great ideas, Cecil. Certainly Gitmo and Abu Ghraib have different sorts of problems; Gitmo's is (among other things) that they kept people prisoner for three years before finally commencing tribunals to disposition their cases. See, I've got no problem at all with keeping people prisoner at least until the end of the war (if it ever does end) provided their case has been properly reviewed. However, people have wound up at Gitmo without actually having been involved in any sort of hostile activities against our country, and that's not acceptable.

Prisoner abuse, too, is unacceptable. I've written much less than I need to on this, here.

Cecil Turner

"However, people have wound up at Gitmo without actually having been involved in any sort of hostile activities against our country, and that's not acceptable."

I can't support you on that one. The reports of released prisoners who've rejoined the enemy suggests the prisoner reviews are too lenient, rather than being too strict. It's also worth remembering that the reason an innocent might be detained is a direct result of Al Qaeda and Taliban failing to comply with the laws of war (specifically, the "fixed sign" requirement). Rewarding them for flouting Geneva (by providing a hearing not granted to a POW) sets particularly poor precedent, and is likely to encourage similar violations in future conflicts.

washerdreyer

So the fact that prisoner reviews have made mistakes in one direction (also, you're ignoring the possibility that Gitmo radicalized people who were innocent when captured) means that it can't possibly make mistakes in the other direction? Doesn't it mean the opposite?

dsquared

In the UK, we occasionally see interviews with the "Tipton Boys"; some Pakistani lads from a dull Midlands town called Tipton who were attending a wedding and got caught up and sent to Guantanamo Bay. They were bloody taxi drivers. They tell stories of being asked questions like "How would you get hold of a rocket-propelled grenadein Tipton?". It's insane. They also corroborate all the stories about torture.

In related news, I've seen operations that I consider to be "perfect" and operations that I consider to be "good", and neither of them included people tied up in their own excrement.

TM

If your son came in the door one day and told you "Dad, Grandpa just set fire to the neighbours' summerhouse, it looks like Hiroshima out there!"...

Wow, I have come up with some wild analogies in my time, but this is a classic.

Let's see - is the fire at the neighbor's summerhouse something that has been in the news pretty regularly for the last two years?

Probably not...

Well then - if Durbin was the first prominent person to mention Gitmo (or even the first like, this week), maybe I would agree that the focus should be on his basic message and not his rhetorical flamboyance.

But he is not breaking news here. Just for example - last weekend the NY Tmes Magazine cleverly hid on its cover a feature story about torture and the American Way.

Well, this is similar to the ground we covered with Newsweek and Gitmo, where Newsweek's defenders insisted that since Newsweek was thematically correct (Koran abuse had ocurred), their inability to get the facts straight was irrelevant.

Now, the message seems to be that since torture is bad, anything Durbin says to criticize it is fine. I disagree.

(Hmm, I still owe Slart a crushing quote... Developing slow...)

TM

OK, the Slart File. Let's recap:

[From TM] - And your point is what? Everyone who disagrees with Durbin's analogy approves of torture? Ridiculous.

Tom, when you hit the strawman, you're supposed to hold back on the follow-through. Otherwise you wind up falling on your face. IOW, I certainly didn't say anything resembling that.

OK, I picked out a few things from Slartibartfast resembling the notion that folks who disapprove of the manner of Durbin's presentation are somehow pro-torture:

Does anyone think that it's a good idea to suppress this kind of bringing-to-attention? 11:05 AM

...and of course it's much more important to focus on an apparent Godwin violation than actual, documented prisoner abuse. Well, I know which of those things is going to bring more shame on me. 12:44 PM

Durbin's not all that smart, but if you actually read what he said, he didn't liken our soldiers to Nazis. Or maybe he did, and I missed it. A quote would be nice. Maybe Durbin's dead wrong on this, though, and such reports are indicative of what we believe is appropriate treatment. 1:16 PM

Speaks so many volumes that his stupidity has somehow completely negated prisoner abuse? Interesting. So, if I've read this correctly, how he made this particular point is much more crucial than the point he's making? 1:56 PM

The 1:16 comment is closest to the mark (and it is darn close - "Maybe Durbin's dead wrong on this, though, and such reports are indicative of what we believe is appropriate treatment" sure seems to mean that the folks who think Durbin is wrong are not appalled by torture, or at least, view it as not outside of the American tradition.)

The 12:44 comment is pretty helpful, too - the suggestion that Slart will worry about torture even if others do not also makes my point.

Geez, this is how we treat our friends...

Well, have a great weekend, folks.

Slartibartfast
The 12:44 comment is pretty helpful, too - the suggestion that Slart will worry about torture even if others do not also makes my point.

Tom, I've got less than zero ownership of sole concern. Please, I'm actually irrelevant to this discussion. I have no regard for what you, or anyone else on this thread, thinks about me personally.

Cecil Turner

"So the fact that prisoner reviews have made mistakes in one direction . . ."

Actually, the vast majority of reviews appear to be correct. However, this is not the standard criminal case where "it's better to let ten guilty men go free . . . " Belligerent states have an absolute right under the laws of war to detain enemy combatants for the duration (without trial, due process, or any other trappings of civil procedure). Further, hiding combatants among civilians is a war crime. Imagine for an instant that all Germans in WWII threw away their uniforms and claimed to be civilians when captured. Would you then try each individual soldier and let the ones you had insufficient evidence for go free? The obvious down side (other than losing the war) is that it rewards combatants for failing to distinguish themselves from civilians, resulting in more civilian casualties (avoiding which is the main of Geneva). Again, a mass public tribunal would be a good idea--but individual court proceedings are neither required nor desired.

"In the UK, we occasionally see interviews with the "Tipton Boys";"

It's inevitable that some innocents were detained--however, many who claim to be innocent were not (including at least ten in the WaPo article). I'd note the last four Britons released were refused passports:

Four Britons released from the US detention centre at Guantanamo Bay last month have been refused British passports under an obscure law not used in almost 30 years, a lawyer representing two of them said . . . "I'm writing to inform you that on the basis of the information which has come to light during your detention by the United States, the Home Secretary considered there are strong grounds for believing that, on leaving the UK, you would take part in activities against the UK or allied targets," the letter said.

Greg

Dear Learned SUBVERT:

Your particular brand of IDIOCY is just the type of response reserved for people not capable, nor deserving of any power, attention or understanding. YOUR, WILD ASS ASSERTIONS made many years later in the safe confines of YOUR liberal cowardice GIVE AMMUNITION TO THE PROPOGANDISTS, WHO, HAVING BEEN SCHOOLED IN TREASON THROUGH THE VIETNAM ERA BY OTHER LIBERAL, REPROBATE, COWARDS, DOES GREAT HARM TO OUR COUNTRY and our efforts to export freedom and democracy throughout tyrannical states!

YOU, are just another, in a long and pathetic line of weak minded parasites that hide from the truth, practice treason with great GUSTO and ENABLE THE ENEMIES OF FREEDOM to wage war on what is right, just and necessary.

YOU SIR, are the enemy!!!

Your constant accolades to enable, reward and support terrorists and communist/socialist/liberal parasites only underscores your greater desecration of the individual. Your views reflect the weak, shallow and misguided ramblings of a spoiled generation that time and time again wants to destroy the individual for a collective equal existance. EQUAL PARTS MISERY, ENVY and APATHY! WHAT RUBBISH! If YOU, like most socialist failures, have made poor choices in life and have a life that is not up to your personal satisfaction, YOU BLAME IT ON OTHERS and seek to STEAL from them their success and the rewards for good decision making and personal sacrifice that they have rightfully earned.

PARASITES deserve the life that they have...JUST LIKE YOU ! If you punish achievement and success while rewarding failure by your views or actions....YOU ARE A PARASITE ENABLER!

Like all parasites you depend on the host for what you cannot accomplish due to limited and lacking I.Q.and the typical inbred socialist gene that so many of your leftist EUROTRASH bretheren prominantly display in their personal lives. YOUR lack of knowledge in how the world works, your lack of belief in the individual and the "HATRED OF FREEDOM" which is proven daily by your "NANNY STATE" socialist, utopian, stupor only fuels your own demise. PERHAPS you have not noticed a trend...the elections over the last several years all over the world with the single exception of SPAIN, a truly cowardly country, have proven that most people revile communist leanings, JUST ASK "NEW" EUROPE! Ask them what it really feels like to live under socialism like in the UKRAINE, or CUBA which is the perfect example of socialism taken to its logical conclusion.

Since you IGNORANT, LEFTIST PARASITES are incapable of learning from HISTORY as demonstrated daily by your mentally challenged ILK on the news and within HOLLYWOOD, it should, I guess, come as no surprise that most elite media outlets as well as your's is now actually starting to emulate the NAZI propoganda movies that portrayed "JEWS" as rats and mice. However, this time it is the conservative or a figurehead of conservatism that YOU propogandists seek to smear along with all INDIVIDUALISTS through your BULLY PULPIT where you can malign with impunity anyone who differs from your belief system, which BY THE WAY, IS THE MAJORITY OF THE POPULACE...PERHAPS YOU DID NOT SEE THE NATIONAL MAP BY PARTY AFTER THE 2004 ELECTION here in the U.S.A......ITS A RED MAP, IT'S NOT BLUE OR OR IN YOUR CASE, YELLOW!

As a result, I am hoping that even more of the populace see's YOU VILLANOUS REPROBATE TRAITORS to personal freedom and liberty in a wider conspiratorial manner as personified by your self propogating daily BILGE, CONGRATULATIONS, you, as always hit the mark DEAD ON!

You may pretend all you wish, that "WE THE PEOPLE" are far too dumb to understand your NUANCED PROPOGANDA (that's commie for deceit) for what it is.

Really, I know that LIBERAL PARASITES don’t like to work but that is REALLY taking it way too far.

THE BLOOD IS ON YOUR DIRTY HANDS. Once again the LEFTIST LIARS are at it again.

TIME AND TIME AGAIN, IT IS YOU, THE PROPOGANDIST THAT HAS ENRAGED THE FLAMES OF HATRED WHILE, WE "TRUE" AMERICANS ARE TRYING TO HELP THOSE POOR PEOPLE OVER IN THE MIDDLE EAST TO GAIN THEIR FREEDOM AND TO SECURE AMERICA AT THE SAME TIME, THANKS FOR THE HELP!!!!

The greatest day in AMERICA will be when all LYING LEFTIST PROPOGANDISTS, LIKE YOU and the majority of SPOILED HOLLYWOOD VICTIMIZERS are taking the "DIRT NAP" once and for all. On that day, I will purchase a plane ticket to anywhere in the world where YOU vile LIARS desecrate the ground of decency and will cleanse YOU as YOU so richly deserve with my PISS!

Perhaps in the future, at some point you could be a little more convincing when you are VOMITING FORTH YOUR FOUL SMELLING LIBERAL FECES AT YOUR 24 HOUR-A-DAY BUFFET OF ILL TASTING TREASON AND SUBVERSION that you call NEWS & ENTERTAINMENT.

Josef Goebels would be proud of you and his legacy practiced and honed to such a fine point.

After all it’s the "SOCIALIST" in NATIONAL SOCIALIST PARTY (N.A.Z.I.) that you pretend does not apply to YOU. However, self deception falls fully in-line with your deception of the masses, so why should we be surprised!

The methods of the NAZI’s will live a long and fruitful life with your industry-wide conspiracy of deceit!

More and more of the people around the world like myself, are realizing your methods and means and are growing in strength and numbers everyday.

After school, our children are being taught, by their parents (imagine that), that the NEWS media and HOLLYWOOD is a conspiratorial blight on the body of TRUTH and that "Pundits", "Journalists" and "Actors" are the REAL ENEMY whose sphincters (mouths) were made for plugs and heads were made for bullets!

Please continue your twisting of facts, your propagandist ways are helping us to defeat YOU and your leftist ideology.

The American people and now many of a growing number from around the world, one by one and over a period of time are seeing the press and Hollywood for who they really are....ELITIST, LEFTIST’S WITH FEW EXCEPTIONS, WHO PLAN ON DOMINATION THROUGH DECEIT AND PROPOGANDA.

Your contempt for America and your ever increasing impotence in this country and more importantly around the world, is amusing and tremendously helpful in the change back to common sense and truth, which you thought abandoned long ago, based upon your belief that the battle for the minds of Americans was already won....I HAVE NEWS FOR YOU..."YOUR OVER".

I hope you lying leftist scum, get the painfully agonizing DEATHS that you so deserve for your twisting of facts, OUTRIGHT LIES and your UN-AMERICAN religion of hate, that you practice with tremendous passion. Framing the "NEWS" stories to reflect your personal views and political ideologies to affect a change that falls in line with your warped belief system is just the beginning from learned communists such as you.

"FROM EACH ACCORDING TO HIS ABILITY...TO EACH ACCORDING TO HIS NEED" your Uncle KARL would be proud.

Might I suggest a fitting demise for you, pancreatic cancer or better yet, starvation and dehydration...its very EUPHORIC I have heard, based upon countless stories in the press on that very subject, recently.

I know who you are, what you are and will never stop in my QUEST to destroy your LIBERALISM and YOUR reputation as JOURNALISTS and ENTERTAINERS based upon your own reporting, and I use that term loosely, in addition to the massive amount of raw sewage which only HOLLYWOOD and THE LEFTIST PRESS is capable of producing in those gargantuan quantities. Just think of it...We we would not have to drill in Alaska nor buy another drop of middle east oil if we could bottle the human waste that HOLLYWOOD and the LEFTIST PRESS so embodies in it's true believers and the works created by them, that are, as SHIT is to MUSHROOMS! The methane produced alone could power the globe, feed all of humanity, stop all wars and cleanse the air all in one swift MOVEMENT, if only you LIBERALS could climb onto the toilet and off of electronic and print media. Are you incapable of giving? Do you not care about all of the suffering from around the world, when deep down inside each of you LIBERALS is a MOVEMENT that could give new meaning to your existance and would also define your true nature at the same time. WHAT DO YOU THINK? ARE YOU CAPABLE OF GIVING YOUR TRUE GIFTS TO HUMANITY? GIVING IS ITS OWN REWARD!

Soon, the minds of the American people and people from around the world will once again be DISEASE free and devoid of LIBERAL indoctrination and propaganda.

The 60’s are OVER, COMMUNISM IS OVER and YOUR lying and getting away with it is OVER!

Once the last of you leftist, fifth column types have finally reached the PINNACLE of your foul existence as worm shit (irony, it does a liberal good), your depravity and diabolical intent will be known and reviled.

Future generations will know that your "LEFTIST LEGACY" is one of TREACHEROUS DECEIPT, PERSONAL FAILURISM AND HUMAN WEAKNESS INCARNATE and will be flushed down the pipes of history as the bile of humanity that it is and what a fitting end to the ENORMOUS MASS OF LIBERAL ASSHOLES THAT SPEWED THE UNCLEAN, UNJUST AND UNBELIEVABLY VAPID LIES OF THE LEFT from the wrong orifice.

Everytime I take a PISS, you can know that I salute YOU, "PROPOGANDIST"...and your destruction!

Sincerely, and with TREMENDOUS DISRESPECT,

Rugged "TRUE" AMERICAN INDIVIDUALIST and PROUD OF IT!

Michael

just read the first 20 comments or so, can't say I really can read the rest. But one misreading keeps happening over and over, so let me address it.

Durbin says, here's a report detailing treatment X. You might imagine that treatment X would go on in a nazi camp or some such.

the anti-Durbin's on here have been misreading this as, "Durbin says X=the total destruction of Hitler/Stalin/Pol Pot"

Which is of course a ridiculous thing, to say that the abuse of one man is equivalent to a genocide. No one is stupid enough to say that. (In fact, it is inexusably stupid to believe a senator would be stupid enough to say that and that so many people would be willing to defend it.)

There are two arguments which I have seen going on in this Durbin flap. One, the more prominent, is between people who can read and people who can't. The second, more interesting argument, are those who agree with Durbin that such abuse should be condemmed, and those who don't agree.

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Wilson/Plame