Thursday, June 16, 2005

The Usual Suspects

The Usual Suspects are in a frenzy over a statement by Illinois senator Dick Durban. The Senator said:
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.
Whether Durban is correct, or a little over the top, I can't say. I know that when I saw the photos from Abu Grahib, the worst of them made me think of the Nazis.

Note that anything that the Nazis might have done is not the same as the worst that the Nazis did. I don't know if anything that bad happened at our prison at Cuba, but abuses seem to have occurred everywhere the Bush administration set up a prison camp. It is notable that Durbin did not say anything in the quote above about our troops since, as he pointed out on the floor of the Senate today, he doesn't even know if the actions he describes were performed by members of the military (it could have been done by intelligence personnel or private contractors). However, Hugh Hewitt disagrees:
The Democratic Party's #2 in the Senate is anti-military, because to speak slander about the military -- even a specific subset of the military -- is to be anti-military. The left's #1 blogger is supporting the slander. Is it ok yet to assert that the left is anti-military, even if some, like Kos, have served in uniform? Objectively speaking, it is anti-military to equate soldiers, sailors, arimen and Marines as Nazis, Stalinists, and Khmer Rouge, right? It is anti-military to hand huge propaganda wins to our enemies, isn't it?

Hewitt is hysterical as usual. Durbin is being critical of the Bush administration here, not the military. Hewitt would have it so that nobody can criticize the war effort. He wanted Congress to bully Newsweek into servility after they retracted the phony Koran-flushing story.

The problem for the Hewitt crowd is that they helped sell the country on the colossal blunder of invading Iraq. At almost every turn, they have been proven wrong -- no usable WMD, the war continuing long after the carrier landing stunt, the administration's shabby treatment of the people who got it right, etc. The only response they have is to try to demonize the critics.

I don't know anything about Sen. Durbin. For all I know he is as much a partisan hack as Hewitt who would be defending the government's actions at Guantanamo if a Democrat was responsible. Hewitt and his crowd might succeed in discrediting the Illinois Democrat but they can't cover up the manifest failings of the Bush administration's handling of the terror war.


Glen Dean said...

So you are defending Durbin. You got to be kidding me.

Anonymous said...

Listen guy,
I dont know if you know this but this is war. We have to do whatever the hell we can to get those mentally deficient enemies of the state to give us information. I dont know what your problem is but you are pathetically stupid. You might think that war is supposed to be peaches and cream and that we are not supposed to do anything to those poor innocent people, which they are not, well you are wrong. But, you know what I think, i think you are very stupid for going against you own country like this. This war will not just bring peace between us and the countries of Islam, but it will also save this generation and many generations to come from freaks like the Al-Queda and terroist organizations like this. A new era of evil is present and this is the era of unconventional warfare. Because people across the world are getting smarter realizing that they cant have a full frontal war with our powerful nation. So they will fund terroist organizations like the Al-Queda to pick us apart peace by peace. Why do you think the Roman Empire fell? Because the same thing was happening to them, except that they were getting raided by huge gangs. And yes, the Al-Queda is pretty fuckin huge. We cant let this happen to us, and that is why we are at war. That is why we are treating the ENEMY, not our own like the Nazis did, but the ENEMY, like shit. Dont ever compare our military to the Nazis. This is peaches and cream compared to what other countries would do. So shut the fuck up and get into the 21st century which is an era of secrecy, terroism, and just plain out fear. Dont say shit when you dont know wat the fuck is goin on!.
Thank you,