Michael Mukasey, in his testimony today, compared torture to the Holocaust:
The Bybee memo is “worse than a sin, it’s a mistake,” Mukasey said. He referenced the photographs taken by U.S. troops who liberated the Nazi concentration camps in 1945 to document the “barbarism” the U.S. opposed. “They didn’t do that so we could duplicate what we oppose.” Beyond legal restrictions barring torture clearly, torture is “antithetical to what this country stands for.”
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.
So let’s take a trip down memory lane and see the response to Sen. Durbin’s rather benign (and accurate remarks).
Hey, DICK, Here’s What Death Camps Look Like
NOT SAFE FOR WORK. Contains pictures of real death camps, probably of the type that Dick Durbin would engage in a little apologia over, as they’re not American and one was even conducted by “peasant reformers” just interested in redistributing a little land.
Hot Video of DICK: Watch this filthy little twat make his accusations.
Okay, I’ve read Durbin’s non-apology, and it’s nowhere near enough. In the first place, the Distinguished Senator does not apologize for what he said, but only apologized if others misunderstood what he said. This, essentially, says that given the chance, Durbin would say it again, if only the rest of us were smart enough to understand what he truly meant.
Censure remains the only appropriate response to Durbin’s nonsense. As we have been shown on a number of instances, the Muslim world is watching us very closely, and there are people who are looking for any excuse to throw gasoline on the fire of anti-U.S. sentiment abroad. If clerics can use a story about flushing a Koran down a toilet to spark riots that kill 15, how many people can be signed up to Al-Qaeda when a disingenuous cleric waves this silly quote of Durbin’s in front of their face and says, “One of their own Senators, a very important one, even, compared their administration to the Nazis and the Stalinists, and he refuses to take it back. How can you doubt that our cause is just?”
Durbin’s inflammatory remarks have hurt the image of this country and our armed forces abroad and at home.
I called Senator Dick Durbin’s office this morning at (202) 224-2152 and, after being on hold for a while, laid out the reasons why I think Durbin should resign from the Senate. His staffer told me that as of this morning, he is standing by his statement comparing American soldiers to the Nazis, the Communists and the Khmer Rouge. There was one caveat, however: the staffer told me that Durbin never actually said “American soldiers,” and that there are also contract interrogators at Guantanamo Bay. I asked whether Durbin was trying to claim that everything bad about Gitmo was the fault of civilians, and the army has nothing to do with it. She backtracked quickly and denied that this was Durbin’s theory–it would, of course, be an absurd claim since the military runs Guantanamo Bay and sets the policies there. Her evasion shows, though, how deeply dishonest Durbin’s position is.
Conservatives (and, one trusts, many liberals) have been appalled by Sen. Durbin’s comparison last Tuesday, on the Senate floor, between “what Americans had done to prisoners in their control” at Guantanamo and what was done by Nazis, Soviets, and Pol Pot. Conservatives (and, one trusts, many liberals) have also been appalled by Sen. Durbin’s non-apology last Friday: “I have learned from my statement that historical parallels can be misused and misunderstood.” In other words, Sen. Durbin apparently still believes there could be a proper use and understanding of an “historical parallel” between American soldiers and Nazis.
DURBIN’S REMARKS should not be allowed to be edited away with an apology. The American electorate does not believe the conditions at Guantanamo are “torture.” They do not agree that the criminal conduct of Abu Ghraib is illustrative of the American military. They do not worry that we are being overly inclusive about the population at Gitmo. They do not believe that any part of what America been about since September 11 is in any way connected with the Nazis, the Stalinists, or Pol Pot.
They are disgusted over this slander of the military, and they deserve a vote on whether Senator Durbin’s argument deserves anything except complete and quick condemnation by responsible members of both parties intent on supporting the war, the military, and the country’s defense.
Dick Durbin hasn’t been misunderstood, as his Friday web statement claims. He isn’t the victim of a right-wing media, as his Friday interview argues. Dick Durbin has been perfectly understood. All of his words have been read and listened to, in their original context and in his original delivery.
Durbin stands with the Michael Moore left, the Howard Dean attack-America-first caucus, and the international chorus that assigns the responsibility for the jihadists to American overreach in the world.
And those are just a few. I haven’t the desire to check out the swirling vortex of stupid that will be Michelle Malkin’s archives.
A few quick things:
1.) In light of the recent blogstorm over Graeme Frost, it is instructive to go back and look at the reaction to Durbin. This behavior the past week from the right regarding Frost is nothing new. It is their tried and true methodology.
2.) How will they respond to Bush’s nominee saying what is roughly the same damned thing as Dick Durbin? Will they demand his nomination be shot down? Will they slander him, call him a twat and a dumbass and tell him to go fuck himself? Will they break out the epsom salts and begin the necessary gymnastics to pretend this statement by Mukasey is somehow substantively different? Or will they ignore it completely, just like they completely ignored the murder of Win Shwe, who was tortured to death in Myanmar last week (and we couldn’t really say anything, because we have no credibility on the subject of torture anymore)?
3.) The Durbin affair, on the heels of Schiavo and Abu Ghraib and the excuses for torture and the other lies was the beginning of the real break for me with the current swine who dominate the current GOP. In fact, this post on Durbin was one of my last at Red State (if not the last, although I think there might have been one or two more). I am glad I got out of that cult.