Pay No Attention To The Men Behind The Microphones

Do not pay attention to what the right-wingers are calling Sen. Durbin. They (Hannity, Rush, Drudge) claim he has called out troops Nazi’s. As usual, this is the right pulling comments so out of context that they make no sense. Durbin, (pdf) in a floor statement,was reading from a memo supplied by the FBI and then made some comments. If the brain trust on the right really listened to what our Senator said, they should feel ill instead of self-righteous.

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.

How about these folks pay attention to the fact that what he was saying is that there is severe mistreatment of detainees goingon at Gitmo? How about they see that, even though, these folks down there may have hate towards our country, they are still humans? How about they stop defending and start paying attention? They should listen to what the Senator has to say:

“The President could declare the United States will apply the Geneva Conventions to the war on terrorism. He could declare, as he should, that the United States will not, under any circumstances, subject any detainee to torture, or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment. The administration could give all detainees a meaningful opportunity to challenge their detention before a neutral decision maker. Such a change of course would dramatically improve our image and it would make us safer. I hope this administration will choose that course. If they do not, Congress must step in.”

What really irks me about this whole situation is the fact that people from both sides of the aisle are calling for reforms, if not closure, of Gitmo, and yet, you have these ass-clowns on the right wing airwave who take any criticism of our dear leader as an attack on the very fibers that this country stands for. I wish they would open their eyes and realize that disagreementand opposition to, instead of blind loyalty, are the very fibers that our country is built on. Going all the way back to Hamilton and Jefferson.

If we are to become, again, the beacon of hope to the world, then we must realize that smearing those who criticized the leadership is not what we are about. We are about: holding our leader accountable, with respect; we are about challenging authority; and, we are about showing dignityto those who are opposed to us and showing the world that we respect our enemies as human beings eventhough they despise us…we are better than that.

(Cheers to Daily Kos for alerting me to this and Talk Left for the scoop.)


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