Who's Abusing Whom? In a letter to the American Medical Association, Dr. William Winkenwerder, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, wrote (Subscription Only)
“To the best of our knowledge, no investigation has produced credible evidence of any military physician participation in detainee abuse”
While in the Iraq of old
Pictures of dead Iraqis, with their necks slashed, their eyes gouged out and their genitals blackened, fill a bookshelf. Jail cells, with dried blood on the floor and rusted shackles bolted to the walls, line the corridors. And the screams of what could be imprisoned men in an underground detention center echo through air shafts and sewer pipes.
And in Nazi Germany
The doors of each cattle car were violently thrown open by Nazi SS soldiers carrying machine guns. "Raus, raus!" ("Out, out!") they screamed at the frightened and bewildered Jews, who hurried out the doors under a rain of cudgel blows and past the snapping, barking jaws of the camp’s German Shepherds. The air was thick with the deafening and confusing sound of orders being screamed, dogs barking, and the stench of burning flesh and hair that spewed from the &smokestacks of the camp’s 5 crematoria 24 hours a day. Families were separated immediately, with the males forming one line and the females forming another. Most victims were unaware that this was the last time that they would see their loved ones alive, unaware of their lost opportunity to say last good-byes.
But I suspect that Sen Durbin knows all of this. Neither the Nazi's, Saddam, Stalin, nor Pol Pot were in the buisness of restricting their detaining of prisioners to those found on the battlefield, rising in arms against the country they were protecting.
They took whole families and executed them or put them in forced labor camps where hardship, exposure and lack of nutrition would kill them.
And they killed by the millions.
Meanwhile, at Guantanimo Bay, no people have died. They were not civilians. There are not numbered in the millions. And they live in air conditioning.
Someone ask a survivor of a Nazi death camp if they had air conditioning, or even a blanket in winter. Ask if they were issued Bibles.
Sen Durbin's accusations are absurd and I suspect he knows it.
I'd be looking for him to be issuing "clarifications" of his statements soon.
But the clarifications are much less sensational than the accusations and will not get the same coverage nor create the same buzz.
And while Sen Durbin may have felt that he needed more buzz then, say, fellow Illinois Senator Barack Obama who goes about his business with quiet dignity, ultimately Sen Durbin is contributing to the destruction of his party. Along with Howard Deam, Edward Kennedy, Al Gore, John Kerry and Barbara Boxer to name but a few.
And Senator Durbin will never be the man Senator Obama is.
No matter what he does.
Update: Democrats for the most part are remaining silent when interrogated about Sen Durbin's remarks. However, Sen. Jay Rockefeller did offer a cautious rebuke
"I don't think, however, that I would go quite as far as he would because, for example, I don't think we need to close down Guantanamo Bay"
I wonder if the distancing from Durbin will get more prevelent as the furor grows, especially by potential candidates in 2008 and those seeking election in 2006.
More later (maybe... it being a Friday and all)