The latest moronic Right-Wing smear attack - on torture
The latest moronic Right-Wing smear attack
Wed Jun 15th, 2005 at 23:58:26 PDT
TalkLeft first alerted us to the latest cause célèbre of the Right Wing Media Borg -- the effort to defend torture at all costs. And caught in the crosshairs is Sen. Durbin, who had the unmitigated gall to call it like it is:
When you read some of the graphic descriptions of what has occurred here [at Guantanamo Bay]--I almost hesitate to put them in the [Congressional] Record, and yet they have to be added to this debate. Let me read to you what one FBI agent saw. And I quote from his report:
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.
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.
To the pea brains on the Right, incapable of reading the English language in its most basic, unuanced form, they claim Durbin is calling our troops Nazis. The Wingnutosphere is making that claim. Rush is making that claim. Hannity is making that claim. Drudge is making that claim. Look to Fox News to jump on the bandwagon tomorrow.
Of course, what Durbin is saying is that such torture -- undisputed, by the way, and read from an FBI report -- is more at home in a place like Soviet Russia or Nazi Germany than in a modern Democracy.
And that's the truth. Plain and simple.
Remember when torture was bad? And getting rid of it was good? President Bush, Oct. 8 2003:
"Iraq is free of rape rooms and torture chambers."
Scott McClellan, Dec. 10, 2003:
"There was an announcement by the Iraqi Governing Council earlier this week about the tribunal that they have set up to hold accountable members of the former regime who were responsible for three decades of brutality and atrocities. ... We know about the mass graves and the rape rooms and the torture chambers of Saddam Hussein's regime. ... We welcome their decision to move forward on a tribunal to hold people accountable for those atrocities."
President Bush, Jan. 12, 2004:
"One thing is for certain: There won't be any more mass graves and torture rooms and rape rooms."
And let's not forget, "torture" was used as a rationale for this war -- as in, we'll invade and end the torture.
Of course, none of that has happened. The torture that was so bad under Saddam, is equally bad under U.S. command. And Dick Durbin had the balls to say it so on the Senate floor.
And these cowards -- these people who will neither serve the cause they claim is so vital, nor urge others to serve it -- now rush to defend behavior that is indefensible?
I am tired of the phony bravery of these people, their cowardice shines through like a beacon. They condone abusing those in our custody but refuse to serve this country in combat, as they wish others would do.
But the larger point is this: America is supposed to have higher standards than the Nazis or Stalin, not embrace them or use them as a defense. There is no reason that we should have a gulag in the sun or be accused of torture. We should have jailed and tried these people legally. Not acted like the people we're supposed to be fighting.
One day, Americans will be subjected to this and then what will these people say "it's unfair"? Well, we tossed away our conscience and morals to achieve this end, and the result will be grim. But they won't be the ones paying it. They will be hiding behind their keyboards like the cowards they are, whining, lying and rejoicing in the suffering of others and wishing to see evem more brutality, but only from a safe distance.
Apparently, the Republicans who dominate the party today, on the radio, online, and in the halls of Congress, think that the only good American is a Stalinist, a Nazi, a fascist, or any other brand of totalitarian thug who beats the crap out of innocents because he can, because we're Amurrikans, God damn it, and if we want to throw you in jail for an eternity, with no lawyer and no charges, and torture you until your head explodes and you go absolutely insane, that's our right because, well, because FUCK YOU.
That's the thinking and the mantra of today's brand of Republicans who run the party and run the right-wing noise machine. The law is irrelevant, the norms of humanity are irrelevant. With God on our side - well, the Baptist fundamentalist God on our side, thank you - they can do no wrong.
If you consider torture legal and acceptable (even if innocent people are tortured), then Dear Leader's main post-hoc justification of the Iraq invasion it itself illegal, because Saddam Hussein would have been doing something that was legal (in your eyes - for he was only torturing "his enemies"). So, if you have a problem with torture being highlighted and publicized, then maybe it's time for you to become Saddam Hussein's lawyer. That is a more appropriate role for those who seek to condone, ignore, minimize or support torture.
And more people will chime in.
Really, what is the Right trying to accomplish here? Inflict so much pain on Durbin that others will think twice before they levy legitimate criticisms of the war? Are they so hell-bent on their political correctness that any criticisms of the war effort is considered treasonous?
Last time I checked, the American people were giving up on Bush's folly. Last time I checked, most people still think torture is wrong, worthy of condemnation. Last time I checked, the War Pundits, War Politicians, War Preachers, and 101st Fighting Keyboarders still refused to personally sacrifice for the war effort. Last time I checked, that sad lot still refused to call their own supporters to sacrifice for the war effort.
At a time when REAL support for the troops means providing them with the equipment and manpower necessary to fight the war effectively, they agitate for neither.
Instead, they try to shut down a US senator reading from an FBI report. From Bush's FBI. Because the truth hurts. So we must supress it. And we'll do it by shedding crocodile tears for the troops. Because who gives a shit about them, so long as our heroic, do-no-wrong President looks good on the evening news.
Well, I stand with Durbin. Proudly. Because opposing torture is the Right Thing, despite violating the wingnut manual of political correct speech. And the rest of the Senate Democratic caucus better be standing with him as well.
You are either for torture, or against it. Let the chips fall where they may.