June 16, 2005

Dick Equates U.S. Military with Nazis, Pol Pot

Our terrorist prison at Guantanamo Bay has remained in the news for months over mostly-unsubstantiated allegations of human rights abuses in a military prison built for enemy combatants in the War on Terror. Allegations include incidents of prisoner “abuse” during interrogations that sound more like fraternity hazing or a bachelor party depending on the specific charge, and the mistreatment of a book.

Instead of working up a proposal to save Social Security, or coming up with a version of an energy bill they'll support, or developing some sort medical-liability reform to save doctors from the malpractice lawyer lobby, or extending tax relief, Democrats have instead focused like a laser on a wind-borne drop of whiz that may have touched a book before an inmate flushed it down the toilet.

When I read it in WSJ Opinion Journal's June 16 Best of the Web, I was dismayed—but not surprised—to see that Senator Dick Durbin, a Democrat (big shocker, I know), had joined the hysterical Amnesty International-led chorus.

Durbin topped Amnesty International shrill “gulag” rhetoric by comparing the actions of America's all-volunteer professional military to that of the Nazis and Pol Pot, forcefully implying that the American military has no concern for human decency, and was perhaps genocidal.

Durbin's bile can be viewed in the Congressional Record courtesy of the SF gate (PDF).

Durbin referenced a report from one FBI agent who had visited Guantanamo Bay:

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.

Detainees—terrorists—were shackled to the floor? Without a chair, a snack, a bottle of Evian? The rooms weren't kept precisely at a comfortable 72 degrees?

Temperatures throughout the Middle East routinely reaching 110 degrees during the day. At the moment I'm writing this it is 111 degrees in Mecca at 4:00 PM local time, a temperature it is expected to reach every day for the rest of June.

Forgive me if I am unimpressed if al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists are subjected to temperatures a little cooler—or a lot cooler—than those they would experience if they were left free to plot murder in the name of the Religion of Peace.

It might also come as a surprise to Senator Durbin that quite a few Americans listen to “extremely loud rap music” around the clock. Those of us who live in apartment complexes call them “neighbors.” Providing Abdullah with some thumping bass and crude lyrics might be an uncomfortable slice of Americana, but it isn't torture, or anything remotely approaching it.

Interrogation of terrorists who would like nothing more than to kill every man, woman, and child in the world (even you, dhimmi Durbin) who isn't enamored with Islam isn't pretty, nor should it be.

But making terrorists physically or psychologically uncomfortable is a far cry from the killing fields of Pol Pot where people were summarily executed for the most arcane of reasons. Nor is it similar to the Nazi concentration camps that gassed or starved people to death because they weren't “pure,” and conducted the random torture in the name of “medical experiments.”

All of these regimes, whether Stalin's Hitler's or Pol Pot's, Were murderous and totalitarian. Americans are neither of these things.

Perennially indignant shriekers on the political left have long maintained that making the terrorists interred at Guantanamo Bay anything less than completely comfortable during interrogation is “torture,” even though not one single charge of anything approaching torture has ever been substantiated. Leftists also continually whine about treating the terrorists according to the standards of the Geneva Conventions, despite the fact that illegal combatants such as the terrorists interred at Gitmo are specifically exempted from the convention and they fact that the terrorists were never signatories.

All of the coverage on the left about Guantanamo is designed with one purpose in mind; to attack President Bush by carelessly and maliciously slandering the U.S. Military for feeding, housing, and educating terrorists to standards far higher than they ever would have obtained in their own countries while running around free murdering women and children.

Dhimmi Durbin doesn't see it that way. He prattles on:

It is not too late. I hope we will learn from history. I hope we will change course. The President could declare that the United States will apply the Geneva Conventions to the war on terrorism. He could declare, as he should, that the United States will not, under any circumstance, subject any detainee to torture, or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment. The administration could give all detainees a meaningful opportunity to challenge their detention before a neutral decisionmaker.

Such a change of course would dramatically improve our image and it would make us safer.

We have learned from history, Mr. Durbin.

We learned that standing ideally by allowed Islamic terrorism to flourish under the administrations of Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Clinton. We learned that standing ideal or dropping a few bombs on camels and aspirin factories every few years does nothing to restrain those who would see our nation turned to ash. It emboldened them.

You confuse image with substance Senator Durbin, and our reward for this fatal miscalculation has been ten thousand casualties on attacks against American targets dating back three decades, with September 11th, 2001 the direct and devastating result of people like you who were and are unwilling to take the escalating threat of Islamic terrorism seriously.

Instead, you worry about terrorists suffering “degrading treatment” as if the issue of their self-esteem is even a worthwhile subject for serious discussion.

Your speech is an attempt to score political points, but instead puts the lives of every American at risk as you pander to the extreme left of the Democratic Party.

These are serious times, Senator Durbin. It is too bad you are such an unserious man worried more about trying to score cheap political points and get your name in the papers.

What a Durbin.

Update(s): Durbin won't back down, as reported by his favorite news network. Good. The only thing better than an idiot liberal is a vocal idiot liberal. I'll go ahead and pencil in that Senate seat as an "R" after '08.

The White House responds. I guess we can sew up the military vote for the next few election cycles.

Another Dick (actually his name is Markos, but it's close enough) has now said that torture conditions under US troops as as bad as they were under Saddam Hussein.

The Jawa Report is all over this, showing dim-bulbs like Kos what Saddam's turture was really like. (WARNING: graphic images).

I've always know that the relativism embraced by the left was morally bankrupt. Outbursts of incredible stupidity such as these just go to prove it.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at June 16, 2005 04:03 PM