Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA
Jim and Ron, the contents have certainly been covered and discussed. According to Durbin, an FBI memo dixcussed five instances of prisoner abuse..in one, a prisoner was chained to his bed for over 24 hours (this prisoner, btw, did indeed provide valuable information. In another the air conditioning was set too high, in another the air conditioning was off with the temperatures around 100 degrees ( a normal day here in florida) and in another loud rap music was playing in the other room. I don't think, Jim, these rival beatings, electric shock or near-drowning practices. Do these qualify as torture tactics? Well, you will have to judge for yourself. What have other investigations uncovered? According to the pentagon...
The Pentagon reports that since Sept. 11, 2001, more than 70,000 detainees have been captured in Afghanistan and Iraq. The vast majority have been released but approximately 520 prisoners remain at Gitmo, identified as terrorist trainers, bomb makers, terrorist financiers, Usama bin Laden's body-guards and would-be suicide bombers. Numerous investigations have not identified any significant abuse there.
Naturally, pro-Durbin voices will say what would you expect from the Pentagon.
Ron, you give the impression that the public relations ramifications of it are minor compared to the contents. I would beg to differ that point also. In the first place, I would say that the "torture" definition of the acts is unfounded. Second, to put out a public statement that Americans are torturing prisoners which gets picked up by Aljezeera and broadcast to the Muslim world I consider extremely important. I'm sure I don't need to point out the damage it does, not only to our image in Muslim eyes, but also to the safety of our soldiers and the recruitment pluses it gives to terrorists, using it to brand Americans in the worst possible way. Is it worth it? Obviously it is to Durbin because the opportunity to attack the administration is much more pleasurable to him than the damage his words can cause the US and our soldiers in the rest of the world. If you say print it and let the chips fall where they may then your chips are not in Tikrit wondering where the next suicide bomber will hit.
"There are lies and there are damn lies," American Legion National Commander Thomas P. Cadmus said. "Senator Durbin knows better and owes every man and woman in the United States Armed Forces an apology for his totally inaccurate remarks comparing our sons and daughters to crimes of Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, and Pol Pot."
"Senator Durbin's remarks could very well make him the 'Hanoi Jane' of this conflict," Cadmus added. "Many veterans believe Jane Fonda's remarks gave aid and comfort to the enemy. It sure provided them with plenty of propaganda fodder. I am totally outraged by his hideous slight of those he should be honoring for their selfless devotion to this nation. Especially egregious is the fact that his remarks not only insulted U.S. servicemembers but all the innocent victims of Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot. I take great exception to this irresponsible comparison of my comrades in arms to thugs that killed millions of helpless, noncombatants."
Noah states that it was just a poor choice of words, saying "Americans" instead of the Bush administration, which he really meant. Well, tell that to the Muslims reading his exact words.
Durbin's remarks were overzealous, inaccurate and totally irresponsible, provoked solely by his desire to attack the adminstration and gain political points, regardless of the damage.