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.'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.
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.
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.