Sunday, June 19, 2005

Durbin, Redux

Here’s the facts about what Senator Durbin said. I put my comments in blue, lest they be confused with his.

Senator Durbin’s Original comments on the floor on 2 February (also known as Groundhog Day)

“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 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 (Okay, now rap music IS torture), 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 (No, they would have been bleeding, burned, poisoned, cut, beaten, electrocuted…). Sadly, that is not the case. This was the action of Americans in the treatment of their (don’t you mean Our) prisoners.”

And his statement one hundred and thirty-five days later…from his webpage.


Friday, June 17, 2005

“More than 1700 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq and our country’s standing in the world community has been badly damaged by the prison abuses at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. My statement in the Senate was critical of the policies of this Administration which add to the risk our soldiers face.” (Your statement was critical of the appointment of Alberto Gonzalez. Your ill-conceived parallel of the US soldier with the Nazi, Commie, and Khmer Rouge did so much more to put us at risk in world opinion than the treatment at GITMO and Abu Gharib. Iraqis consider our prisons here to be like vacation spas. Clean water, 3 meals a day, shoes, no work, air conditioned, heated, free medical care, etc.)

“I will continue to speak out when I disagree with this Administration.” (So this was an attack on the administration. Otherwise known as political grandstanding.

“I have learned from my statement that historical parallels can be misused and misunderstood. I sincerely regret if what I said caused anyone to misunderstand my true feelings: our soldiers around the world and their families at home deserve our respect, admiration and total support.” (Sorry if you were too stupid to understand the nuances, I wasn’t calling them (you) (us) Nazis, I was simply saying that the way they (you) (we) treated prisoners was like Nazis. You(we) (those) people don’t understand the difference between the historical parallel and what is really being said.)

Support the troops? Indeed. Some examples of his support.

00055 16-Mar S.Con.Res. 18 On the Amendment S.Amdt. 149 Rejected Akaka Amdt. No. 149; To increase veterans medical care by $2.8 billion in 2006. (To his credit, He would later vote for a bill increasing VA medical care by $416 million)

00050 15-Mar S.Con.Res. 18 On the Amendment S.Amdt. 147 Rejected Stabenow Amdt. No. 147; To protect the American people from terrorist attacks by providing the necessary resources to our firefighters, police, EMS workers and other first-responders by restoring $1,626 billion in cuts to first-responder programs.

00013 01-Mar S. 256 On the Amendment S.Amdt. 16 Rejected Durbin Amdt. No. 16, As Modified.; To protect servicemembers and veterans from means testing in bankruptcy, to disallow certain claims by lenders charging usurious interest rates to servicemembers, and to allow servicemembers to exempt property based on the law of the State of their premilitary residence.

And, to see where Dick’s real agenda lies,

H Joint Res 114: To authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against Iraq.

Vote to adopt a joint resolution to authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against Iraq. Senator Richard J. 'Dick' Durbin voted NO.

Senator Durbin’s comments came from his speech on the nomination of Alberto Gonzalez to serve as the Attorney General. In his speech, he criticizes lawyers: “And with the skill that only lawyers can bring, Mr. Gonzales, Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee and others found the loopholes, invented the weasel words and covered the whole process with winks and nods. “ Um, Senator Durbin, Aren’t you a lawyer?

Professional Experience:
Attorney, 1973-1982
Legal counsel, Illinois Senate Judiciary Committee, 1972-1982
Legal counsel, Illinois Lieutenant Governor, 1969-1973.

Senator Durbin then goes on to compare Abu Gharaib and Gitmo to the interment of Japanese US citizens during WWII. (Wait a minute, slicky-boy. Those were American Citizens, and they rounded up all of the Japanese citizens on the Left West coast. Did we start rounding up every Arab in America on Sept 12?)

Sheesh. I’m going to go do laundry. Arguing with his remarks is to mental exercise as a foot race with FDR is to marathons.


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