On the evening of June 14th, 2005, on the floor of the United States Senate, Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) was referring to an FBI report he had read on conditions at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility. Senator Durbin lamented the hardships of some cells detainees, such as having to hear loud rap music and suffering cold room temperatures. Senator Durbin, describing interrogators at the Pentagon’s Guantanamo Bay Facility, said “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.”
In one swift instant the American military in service at Guantanamo were turned into the likes of the greatest monsters of the 20th Century. Everyone was outraged, with the exception of the Democrats, Aljazeera and Senator Durbin. Each time an apology was demanded, Senator Durbin stood by his remarks, flagrantly rereading them to the Senate. He even turned the tables saying that it was President Bush who owed an apology.
The Washington Times 18 June 2005: Mr. Durbin, in the process of being rebuked by Senate Armed Services Chairman John W. Warner, Virginia Republican, for “insulting” American troops, appeared on the Senate floor Thursday. Rather than apologize, he reread his Nazi-Soviet gulag-Pol Pot remarks and explained that he was only referring to interrogation techniques described in a letter by an FBI agent. He blamed the flap on the “right-wing media.”
The Bush Administration is detaining about 520 potential terrorists at Guantanamo Bay. The Soviets murdered many millions of people at the Gulags. The Nazis exterminated 6 million Jews and others during the Holocaust. The Pol Pot regime flagrantly practiced human genocide. How in God’s name, could anyone see a comparison between our current government’s protective actions to that of the regimes of unparalleled cruelty and barbarism? The only weapon that could possibly be left in the arsenal of Senator Durbin is to call President Bush the epitome of Idi Amin.
It is outrageous that voters of Illinois would send this mean man to Washington to be a cohort of our enemies during wartime. It is outrageous also that the citizens of Nevada would send Senator Harry Reid, who came to the defense of the beleaguered Senator, describing him as a long time friend and blaming the “noise machine of the far right” for Durbin’s troubles. Yes, – it’s that “far right noise machine” once again that is the root of all evil, defending the honor of military men and women who selflessly stand in harm’s way to protect this nation.