June 17 2005
DICK DURBIN'S TORTUROUS ANALOGY: Consider the following
sat on our knees for an hour. Then they began slapping us on
the back of our necks, real hard, and then they started pouring
hot wax down our back.'"
If this described
something that had happened at Gitmo, Dick Durbin would have decried
it as a despicable form of torture that "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."
Since this didn't happen at Gitmo, however, but is instead a description
of a fraternity
hazing incident, an analogy comparing Delta House with Auschwitz
would look rather silly - just as Durbin looked on Tuesday.
is that Democrats want to conduct a debate about torture without
defining exactly what torture is. Republicans haven't exactly
defined torture in detail either, but they've benefitted from
the feeling among the public that torture is like pornography:
"I'll know it when I see it." Keeping suspected terrorists
awake by playing Christina Aguilera songs or by turning up or
down the air conditioning simply doesn't pass that test.
trying to conduct a reasonable debate over what is or isn't torture,
however, Democrats like Durbin are overrun by partisanship and
a desire to humiliate this administration. The result is a massive
rhetorical overreach like the one on Tuesday which defies historical
fact, slanders the U.S. military, and leaves the impression that
Democrats are instinctively more interested in protecting the
rights of suspected terrorists than they are about protecting
is not revered as one of the brightest bulbs in the United States
Senate, but he does have a reputation as being one of the most
partisan. Steve Neal, a liberal columnist for the Chicago
Sun-Times, once wrote that Durbin's "mind is unburdened
by original thought" and that "he seems to be more guided
by the polls than anything resembling a political philosophy."
me to an ironic thought: we might actually be better off fighting
the War on Terror with a Democrat as president. I say this because
if a Democrat occupied the White House under the same exact circumstances
we find ourselves in today, the narrative on detainee rights (driven
by a Republican Congress, of course) would almost certainly be
that we are being too soft on suspected terrorists at
Gitmo. We're serving them lemon fish! Handling their
Korans with white rubber gloves! Blasting their prayers over the
loudspeakers five times a day! Outrageous!
-rate partisans like Durbin would be taking to the floor of the
Senate to defend our treatment of prisoners at Gitmo, not condemn
it - though unfortunately not out of any special love for or deep
belief in the good character of our troops.
of giving the enemy a propaganda coup by comparing American treatment
of prisoners with some of the most murderous regimes in history,
Durbin's partisanship would have him striking a much more patriotic
he did in 1998 when defending the Clinton administration's decision
to bomb Iraq:
call on those who question the motives of the president and
his national security advisors to join with the rest of America
in presenting a united front to our enemies abroad.”
What a shame
that to Dick Durbin the idea of presenting a united front to our
enemies abroad only applies when a Democrat is in the Oval Office.
- T. Bevan 9:30 am Link
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