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Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement

Bump and Update: Sean Hannity will be dissing Senator Durbin tonight. Call Senator Durbin and tell him you're with him, and you want him to continue to hold this Administration's feet to the fire. (202) 224-2152. Web Contact Form.

Bump and Update: 6/16: The White House is now attacking Senator Durbin. [Link via AmericaBlog.]

Update: Billmon.

Update: Markos at Daily Kos:

What is beyond belief is that the type of torture more at home under tyrants and dictators is being seen in camps flying the United States flag. If McClellan and Bush want to defend torture, that's their right. But it's not the America I believe in.

**************
Original Post 6/15

Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) is being attacked by right-wing talk radio and the White House for making this floor statement on Guantanamo yesterday (pdf). Kudos to Durbin for calling it like it is.

What Durbin said they find upsetting:

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.

What he read was from an FBI Agent's report:

When you read some of the graphic descriptions of what has occurred here -- I almost hesitate to put them in the 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.

Durbin isn't merely complaining. He's calling upon President Bush to apply the Geneva Conventions to detainees. And calling for Congress to step in if Bush refuses:

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 decisionmaker. 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.

Senator Durbin responds to the attack on the White House (no link yet):

June 15, 2005
STATEMENT BY SENATOR DICK DURBIN

“No one, including the White House, can deny that the statement I read on the Senate floor was made by an FBI agent describing the torture of a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay. That torture was reprehensible and totally inconsistent with the values we hold dear in America. This Administration should apologize to the American people for abandoning the Geneva Conventions and authorizing torture techniques that put our troops at risk and make Americans less secure.”

“And I remind the White House the Guantanamo Bay scandal has reached such a level of national embarrassment that Senators from both parties are calling for the closure of that facility.”

Update: Atrios adds,

...this kind of treatment, as a matter of policy, is something which is to be expected of modern enlightened Democracies, and not fascist and Stalinist authoritarian regimes....Glad they're finally being honest about their true intentions for this country:

Update: America Blog says "Senator Durbin deserves the Nobel Prize for what he said." And,

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 F** YOU.

Markos at Daily Kos weighs in as well on the latest demonic smear attack?

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.

[Comments now closed, new thread on Sen. Durbin's remarks is here. Please keep your comments relevant to Senator Durbin's remarks. Other comments belong on an open thread.]

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  • Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#1)
    by Darryl Pearce on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:04 PM EST
    Perhaps our representatives and senators who have been held POWs would like to compare their experiences? What do the POW/MIA flag-wavers have to say about Guantanamo?

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:04 PM EST
    Chris Matthews o MSGOP just said all the prisoners in terrorist jails should be executed even if they weren't terrorists because and especially if the weren't before they were imprisoned they probably are now and we should kill them I find that very offensive and a reporter from the NYPOST said we have to be tough or otherwise Al Queda will think we are wimps.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#3)
    by roger on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:05 PM EST
    Ouch! Truth hurts, huh?

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#4)
    by nolo on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:05 PM EST
    Go Durbin. Keep saying it. He's giving them the truth, and it feels like hell-- but hell's what these mofos who have hijacked my country have been condoning all along. We are Americans, and we can do better than this.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#5)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:05 PM EST
    Ok, I'll say it: Why does the FBI hate America? [/wingnut]

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#6)
    by Dadler on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:05 PM EST
    Load, I would assume Matthews was being bleekly satirical. His point, I hope, is our idioctic policies could easily be turning those who previously WEREN'T terrorists into terrorists. And he's calling for their execution as the punchline, taking the Bush administaration illogic to its next illogical step. Again, I say I hope because I didn't see the show. He could be deadpan serious about it, but I doubt it.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#7)
    by ppjakajim on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:05 PM EST
    et al - Durbin could have the report and condemned the activies without saying:
    "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."
    Pol Pot killed millions of its own people. The Soviets killed millions of its own people. The Nazis killed millions of its own people as well as Jews and other minorites. His comments are beyond the pale of rational political debate. His false, over the top, comments are demeaning to himself, the Senate, our military and his fellow citizens. He should be censored by the Senate. He should then apologize to the country and resign.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#8)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:05 PM EST
    His comments are beyond the pale of rational political debate.
    PPJ, if you wingnuts, don't want to be compared to Hitler or Stalin, STOP TORTURING PEOPLE! It's that simple . . .

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#9)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:05 PM EST
    His false, over the top, comments are demeaning to himself, the Senate, our military and his fellow citizens. Which false comments, PPJ? Please enlighten us.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#10)
    by ppjakajim on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:05 PM EST
    clay_m - I am tempted to point out that it would be impossible to enlighten you, but I won't do that. No, I won't. I'll just point out again my comments about Durbin's use of Nazis, Soviets, Pol Pot, etc, BTW - I tried to send him an email, but the site is down. Looks like he has created a firestorm of condemnation. I hope it destroys his political career. He really doesn't need to be in the Senate. et al - Everynow and then I start to look for ways to support the Demos, because I really am not in love with the Repubs on a variety of issues. Healthcare, gay rights, education, etc. But then along comes sometthing like this and I remember why I quit the Demos in '68. And why I really quit after voting for Carter. (Fool me twice, etc.) And there are millions and millions and millions just like me.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#11)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:05 PM EST
    PPJ, Are you just upset that he spoke out and started calling things for what they are?? It's not that often that a Nazi(oops, sorry I mean a member of the GOP) comes out and defies the ideaology of the rest of the idiots from the right wing. I say we congratulate Durbin for his bravery and applaud him for his morals. Too bad it will be the mission in life, like you want it, for other repubs to burn him now. Just my .02

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#12)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:05 PM EST
    "clay_m - I am tempted to point out that it would be impossible to enlighten you, but I won't do that. No, I won't." ??? You really have to go there Jim? I thought maybe you would show a little more maturity than to start with mediocre attacks. I mean it wasn't even that good, your telling me a creative mind couldn't come up with something better than that. It's a shame you won't admit your a repub. I mean you sure sound like one!! You say you don't agree with the repubs view on gay rights? Maybe you're just taking some agression out on other people because you have to put with a daily dose yourself. It must be hard being a gay repub, huh?

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#13)
    by Darryl Pearce on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:06 PM EST
    And there are millions and millions and millions just like me. ...now who's exaggerating? ;-P There's the "middle-of-the-road" voters and there's "the base." The esconced powerbaters in government successfully blame either democrats or republicans, either liberals or conservatives, to maintain their chode-like grip. Their goal is to bully their toadies into supporting whatever it is their doing and disillusion the rest of us rabble so we don't participate. This government within the past few years has killed scores of prisoners...barely registered a blip on the scale of human beings killed in outlaw detention--as you pointed out PPJ-- but measured on the same scale. Are we just haggling over the price of our souls now?

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#14)
    by ppjakajim on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:06 PM EST
    DP - I think there are many more like me than there are like you. If not, the country is in for a very hard go. No, we are not haggling over anything. Reasonable political debate is the lubricant of our system. Outrageous claims and comparsions do nothing but harden positions. Undoubtedly that was Durbin's intent, because he must be an intelligent man. I say we are not because, by not condemning in strong and public terms actions, such horrible actions as this, the Left has nothing remaining to haggle with. Its soul belongs to that most horrible thing, unbridled ambition and a desire to rule at all costs. Durbin was speaking of Gitmo. I have seen no torture reports from Gitmo. Hard and harsh actions, yes. But torture? No. Catch a clue. Embarassing people by making them listen to hated music, invading their personal space, making them sit/stand in one position is not nice. Torture? No. Very cold rooms, very warm rooms? Not nice, but not torture. Remember, we want information from these people. They wren't picked up robbing a QuickiMart, and they weren'y accused of belonging to the Knights of Columbus. The Left's problem, is that it hates Bush and will do whatever possible to cause problems for Bush. If that means dissing the country and giving the terrorists reason to believe they can win through US politics, that is what will be done. This is a good explanation.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#15)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:06 PM EST
    Very proud of Durbin this morning. And I think there are millions and millions and millions like me in this great country.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#16)
    by Darryl Pearce on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:06 PM EST
    ...and giving the terrorists reason to believe they can win through US politics, that is what will be done. We must have a weak and meek system of government then. PPJ..., I love my country but this administration has painted us into a corner (to use a cliché phrase) and said, "Everything's going according to plan!" Thank God we're not as bad as Hussein (as evidenced by the fact that he could keep his insurgents under control but we seem to fail at it for years on end). But there's no exit strategy and no victory condition... no definition of what it means to have the job done. If we want to "win" we, the people, as a country, are going to have to say what it takes. According to cowboy David Kelley, "Never start a fight…most of ‘em will find you easy enough, But when it starts you finish it, without bein’ unduly rough."

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#17)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:06 PM EST
    The far left's historical ignorance is astonishing. Why can't a criticism be made without resorting to comparisons to Pol Pot(millions dead), Hitler/Stalin(tens of millions) or anyone else? The answer is they are just not bright enough to issue a critique on its own legs. 500 guys shooting at americans on Gitmo is equivalent to above? They simply can't be educated when such comparisons are received as the height of wisdom.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#18)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:06 PM EST
    "They wren't picked up robbing a QuickiMart, and they weren'y accused of belonging to the Knights of Columbus." Exactly what were they picked up for? Shouldn't the detainees and the American public have a right to know exactly what crimes the detainees are accused of? PPJ aka Jim, I don't know how you define torture, but to me, being chained hand and foot to the floor with no food or water for day(s) is torture. It is on the basis of this type of treatment, which has been documented by our very own FBI, that Senator Durbin has rightly drawn comparisons of the actions of history's most oppressive regimes and the actions of those in charge at Guantanamo. This type of treatment of war prisoners historically has not been viewed as worthy of Americans and it is shameful and dangerous to us as a country to silently accept it now. I'm proud that Senator Durbin is my senator. He is one of the few who has the courage and the foresight to understand that such actions as those undertaken at Guantanamo can only damage our country's image and serve as recruitment material for our enemies.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#19)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:06 PM EST
    Ed/PPJ/any other soul-less mental midgets out there, You disgust me! How about instead of endlessly trying to justify the actions of this administration and turning a blind eye to the mounting instances of abuse, you take a look at the big picture. Durbin's statement is right on target. Damn right he says, "you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime". You've said these regimes have killed millions of it own people and how dare he draw a comparison. Well they didn't do it over-night. This comparison is accurate and what Durbin is trying to point out, now follow me here , is that our beloved USA is heading down that path with disgracful actions like those taking place in Gitmo, abu-ghraib...

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#20)
    by kdog on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:06 PM EST
    Who would you prefer we compare ourselves to, Canada? You wingers have a guilty conscience. I don't think Durbin is saying we are as bad as Stalinist Russia or Nazi Germany, just that these are the only points of reference. Hopefully, the true patriots among us prevent it from ever getting that bad.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#21)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:06 PM EST
    How wrong you are-intent of death camps was just that-DEATH, in the MILLIONS. Admit to historical ignorance/read some books. Interrogating killers to determine what intelligence information they have and detaining them to ensure no more deaths is not even close. How many hundreds/thousands/millions have died at Gitmo. None, that is not what place is for. Should we release killers/enemy combatants to kill again? I guess yes under your shrunken moral compass.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#22)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:06 PM EST
    PPJ and Ed - Is there a magic number in terms of the quantity of people tortured and/or killed, less than which you consider it acceptable behavior? What is that number? Does a regime need to reach the millions in deaths for its actions to be considered morally repugnant or deserving of condemnation? Would you prefer that Durbin compare us to Castro or various other Central and South American regimes that 'only' killed in the thousands because that would put the thing in a more accurate historical light? Also, I'm sorry, but where exactly does Durbin state that we're now even with Hitler on the overall evil scale? He named a bunch of repulsive, recognizable historical examplars of one particular thing this nation is now doing. Stalin = monster. Engaging in the sorts of things that we found reprehensible about Stalin = one step closer to becoming a monster ourselves. End of story. The point of his rhetorical flourish was as straightforward as he said: If you didn't know it was US doing this, you wouldn't believe it. Or would you? Who would you have thought he was talking about? The Swedes? Can't we hold ourselves to a higher standard?

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#26)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:06 PM EST
    Cool, my posts are finally being added to this forum to include my remarks from 0653 and 0701 this morning. Tankerboy is right on the money when he said, "all this misdirection by the right wing is partisan silliness designed to stain the reputation of a fine public servant to protect their own failed policies." This echoes what I've said in previous posts. Durbin took a side against the right wing because it was and is a conflict of his own morals. Now the wingers are going to try and slam him for standing up for what is right?? Shame on them! I have a friend whose a repub and it's like I told him, not all repubs are bad. Durbin just reinforced it. Every now and then you come across someone that's willing to face whatever opposition he has to and stand up for what is right. Congrats Durbin!

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#23)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:07 PM EST
    I have a novel idea. What say our Govt choses to not release the truly dangourous individuals that it is holding around the world, in our name and for our safty, and that they release detailed information on why they are dangerous and why they must be held.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#24)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:07 PM EST
    Here's a quiz: A man is being held prisoner in a room. He is chained hand and foot in a fetal position to the floor, with no chair, food or water. He has no choice but to urinate and defecate on himself, and has been left there for 24 hours or more. The room temparature alternates from being made so cold that the barefooted detainee shakes with chills or heated making the temperature in the unventilated room well over 100 degrees. Not only is the temperature unbearably hot or cold, but extremely loud music is being played in the room, and has been since the day before, with the detainee chained hand and foot in the fetal position on the tile floor. This regime most likely responsible for this treatment is: A. Stalinist Russia B. Nazi Germany C. Pol Pot's Cambodia D. Other Now, if you think more people would choose either A, B, or C over D, then you agree with Sen. Durbin. Further, you must acknowledge that all this misdirection by the right wing is partisan silliness designed to stain the reputation of a fine public servant to protect their own failed policies.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#25)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:07 PM EST
    Posted by BooBear at June 16, 2005 09:34 AM "I have a novel idea. What say our Govt choses to not release the truly dangourous individuals that it is holding around the world, in our name and for our safty, and that they release detailed information on why they are dangerous and why they must be held." Because that would require the right wing to explain their actions. And that is something that they've never been able to accurately do. Repubs take responsibility for their actions??? Ha,ha. That's a good one!

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#27)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:07 PM EST
    Ed, PPJ, I'm interested in your answer to Tankerboy's quiz. I answered A. Go figure.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#28)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:07 PM EST
    I apologize for my ignorance, for some reason I had thought Durbin was a republican. He's just a damn good guy overall then.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#29)
    by ppjakajim on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:07 PM EST
    DP writes:
    But when it starts you finish it, without bein’ unduly rough."
    That's pure BS. If someone starts a fight, kick'em so hard into next week that they'll never think about doing it again.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#30)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:07 PM EST
    DP - I think there are many more like me than there are like you. If not, the country is in for a very hard go.
    I think all the minus 50% preznit opinion polls would disagree with you. And if there weren't so many wingnut propaganda trash radio shows, I bet the number would be even lower for ole george.. The wingnuts are just redirecting the simple minded repub followers by making yet another issue out of a dems comments. Durbin this week, it was Dean last week, and the week before that. They redirect and try to generate controversy instead of talking about their own problems. Only problem is their problems make them our countries problems...

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#31)
    by ppjakajim on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:07 PM EST
    FJK - They are being held as unlawful combatants and members of terrorist organizations. And your next question is? kdog writes:
    "I don't think Durbin is saying we are as bad as Stalinist Russia or Nazi Germany, just that these are the only points of reference."
    Uh, glad to see you picked up Kos' talking point so quick. But it won't work. Here is what Durbin said. "
    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.
    Mal - Your question assumes that I agree with your contention. I don't. BooBear - Boo! Hope I didn't frighten you too much. BTW - Your need to ask assine questions doesn't match up with my desire to answer..... It does trigger an intense desire to say...No, ain't gonna go there. Rex writes:
    I have a friend whose a repub and it's like I told him, not all repubs are bad.
    Gee Rex, I am just so happy to know that you think so. I was just so concerned that you might think otherwise. Gosh and golly, am I ever relieved. Disclaimer - I'm not a Repub. But you Lefties are making it hard not to be.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#32)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:07 PM EST
    Easy answer-when we are placing millions of people in camps for no reason other than speaking out against the US or being of a particular ethnicity, we have reached the Gulag/Death Camp stage. When we detain or imprison 500 folks trying to kill us, we aren't in the same ballpark. If historical ignorance was not rampant here, it wouldn't even need to be explained. Knocking Bush by empowering Jihadists-you have no shame. In regard to the query re our pow's, there aren't any in this war. Ours are killed out of hand(forgot about the head sawing-what a surprise).

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#33)
    by kdog on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:07 PM EST
    Jim..I don't read Kos and I don't do talking points, that was my interpretation of the comments. Heck, when I read of some of things going on, I am shocked that my govt. could be so anti-human rights. It wasn't long ago we were a beacon of human rights. 5 years of GDub can do a lot of damage.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#34)
    by Darryl Pearce on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:07 PM EST
    That's pure BS. If someone starts a fight, kick'em so hard into next week that they'll never think about doing it again. We've got to part company there, Jim. "An eye for an eye," was written as a limitation against overblown vengeance. Another old tribal caution is "never kill in the same family twice."

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#35)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:07 PM EST
    I got this comment by e-mail, and thought it worth sharing:
    Ah, the smell of ions in the morning. There's nothing like a morning cup o' joe with a dancing insurgent dangling from the roof of a detainment cell and electrodes smartly attached to the more sensitive parts of the human anatomy. A little hip-hop music just to set the tone and then, crank on the generator and watch those sparks dance. The insurgents dance pretty good as well. Crank the amperage up and then crank the amperage down and before you know it, insurgents have learned how to dance in time to the music. Torture, it has a nice ring to it don't you think? Gives one an almost inquisitional sense of well being. Intelligence? Why, we can get the detainees to produce just about any kind of intelligence that command needs. Besides, what is the big deal? The detainees aren't anyone special. There's no one calling us up and asking if possibly we have their loved one in detention. Their not exactly on anyone's A list. These are the dregs and who cares? Right? Why should anyone care what happens to the detainees? George Bush has decided for them. George Bush has decided that these folk are just in a sort of no-man torture land and that should be good enough for everybody. Right? Isn't that good enough for everybody? Out of sight then, out of mind...right? Sure, that works. If the world can't see the detainees being tortured and held illegally then, it isn't torture. Simple as that. sincerely, LM Quanset Hut, Cuba


    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#36)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:07 PM EST
    PPJ, The only thing I find asinine in this thread is your comments. TAKE Tankerboy's quiz! It speaks directly to the intent of Durbin's statement. I have more questions, and I hope you can find the desire to respond. Do you think the FBI report that Durbin read into the record reflects poorly on the US's image? Do you think that Durbin's comments were driven by a desire to embarass Bush & Co., or to address actions that in the eyes of many appear to be indefensable and are damaging our image as a nation? If the later, are these actions indefensable because the Bush Administration refuses to provide any evidence relating to why these individuals must be held and interrogated, or because it is never acceptable to torture, humiliate, mentally and phisically break another human being?

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#37)
    by Richard Aubrey on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:07 PM EST
    Boo. To answer a couple of questions: Durbin is, like you, attempting to embarrass the US and hinder it in the WOT. Bush is the target, no matter what happens as a result of your jihad. You moved the goalposts. Torture is unacceptable. Embarrass? Humiliate? What, exactly, is "break"? Do you find it unacceptable that the detainees should tell us anything we can use? Never mind. We know the answer to that. You need to move the "torture" goalposts, too. Make sure it includes being subject to bad pop music, so the unwary, of whom there are not as many as you could wish, conflate it with being skinned alive or beheaded with a dull knife, as your heroes do without a harsh word from you. Also, since I don't like to plagiarize, and the phrasing is so good when he does it, see Lileks on the Gitmo-as-recruiting-tool. It isn't, as you know. Oh, hell. Lileks says you would have us believe there's a guy in Araby who is watching Al Jazeera and hits "mute" when the quarter-hour anti-Jew rant comes on, doesn't let his kids watch the beheadings, and is planning on going to work in the morning. He hears that the Gitmo detainees are forced to listen to people asking questions or something and he decides instead of showing up at the office to leave a bomb in a pre-school lobby. Doesn't happen. You know it. I know it. You ought to know that pretty much everybody knows it.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#38)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:07 PM EST
    PPJ - Thank you for the response. I'm not sure with what contention of mine you claim to disagree. If it's the underlying assumption implicit in my first question, that the quantity of bad acts shouldn't be a determinant of whether one is acting reprehensibly, then OK. I'll take it that you believe it's alright to hold a few hundred people in limbo for the rest of their lives while torturing them and never formally bringing a single charge against them, so long as it's not a million people. Or that police brutality is alright so long as it's on a small scale and specifically targeted only against suspects of the worst crimes. If it's my contention that the plain meaning of Durbin's statement is that our nation is now apparently engaging in one of the same sorry types of acts that came to characterize the leadership of Stalin and Hitler, all I can say is read it again. It's not an analogy, it's a point of reference. By the way, since you're not a Republican, I'm not a "lefty". So what? Ed - Spare us the chastising. "Empowering jihadists"? OK, I admit it, we're all secret America-haters who despise Bush so much we want terrorists to kill millions and ruin our nation, even though that will make it a lot tougher for me to get a good hazelnut latte. We're not at all concerned that the only empowerment occurring is through the swelling global hatred of America stemming from our recent international behavior. And stop with the intellectual insults about historical ignorance. Do you really think anyone here, or Dick Durbin, thinks there's a perfect analogy between Guantanamo and Auschwitz? Besides, if you're on the side of learning from history, how you could support the Bush administration on anything related to Iraq I'll never know. You're completely missing Durbin's point by nitpicking how many people Pol Pot killed and who they were. The point is the United States has been holding hundreds of people on nothing more than suspicion of being terrorists, without convicting anyone of the same, without charging them, without allowing any of them any contact with the outside world, or an attorney, or to any knowledge of what they're suspected of doing. And now we find out we've been urinating on them through air vents and pummeling them in dark interrogation rooms for four years. And still, no charges, no convictions, and today a deputy Att'y General says with a straight face to the Senate Judiciary Committee that the Administration's opinion is that, because there's no timeline on the "war" on terror, they don't ever have to let any of these detainees go or bring them to trial so long as they think terror is alive and well somewhere on our vast planet. If you don't see the hypocrisy in a nation which holds itself out as a paragon of freedom and fairness to the rest of the world acting this way, then I guess the war to protect America has already been lost.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#39)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:07 PM EST
    Rich, Thanks for addressing 1 out of three questions. (PPJ how about you?) I can’t speak for Durbin, but you’re wrong about me. I am already embarrassed for my nation that this is allowed to go on in my name. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for kicking some azz and taking names, but the taking names part is where there seems to be an issue. Names, places, times, actions, these and many other details are what’s missing from the record, and were they present I might be able to feel righteous about our little summer camp in Cuba. Goalpost? I’m not playing football, I’m asking questions. By break I mean, place someone under enough physical and mental strain that they will tell you anything you want. This speaks to Detainees telling us something we can use. Can we use it? I don’t know the answer to that. Maybe our Govt is going to tell us about all the wonderful Intel they are gaining in these sessions. That would sure put my mind at ease. And yes, clearly my heroes are folks who skin people alive and behead people. PS-You don’t strike me as the sharpest pencil in the box, so I just wanted to make sure you understand that the last sentence above is sarcasm. I think beheadings are icky.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#40)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:08 PM EST
    C.A. Very proud of Durbin this morning. And I think there are millions and millions and millions like me in this great country. Well I for one hopes he keeps saying stuff like this. That only helps the right win more elections. Anyone (that has a brain and loves this country) realizes that comparing Gitmo to Hitler, Satlin & Pol Pot is WAAAAAAY over the line. NOT EVEN FREAKIN CLOSE! It's cracks like this & that bloated Kennedy saying Abu Graib (that routinely tortured/killed people ...chopped off limbs & chopped out tongues...etc...etc) was now under new managment. Any true American would cringe over statements like this...and millions & millions of us are! Yeah...keep talking big Dick...we here in Illinois are listening.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#41)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:08 PM EST
    sorry that the reality that you are empowering the enemy bothers you-the truth bothering you is your problem. the same with historical ignorance-the truth hurts. what you propose is treating terrorists the same as or better than POW's that follow the rules of war ie. rewarding terrorism for engaging in prohibited tactics. If that is not of assistance to the enemy, what is? Durbin knew what he was saying-to him, like most here, scoring political points against Bush is the highest priority.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#42)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:08 PM EST
    if these people are the brutal terrorist you claim them to be then why not charge them?

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#43)
    by Jlvngstn on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:08 PM EST
    The detainees were removed from the conflict in Afghanistan where I believe we are no longer engaged in "war". Ergo, we are obligated to release them or try them for their alleged war crimes. Whilst we maintain forces in Afghanistan for peacekeeping and security reasons, we are not actively engaged in war. We are not allowed to detain Germans, Koreans, Japanese etc, where we have military bases and circumvention of the geneva convention is the nucleus of the argument. Relative to Iraq the prison is Abu Gharib and I have seen no public outcry from any democratic leader in favor of releasing those incarcerated in that facility. You can continue to make the argument that "they are bad people" and I for one cannot argue for or against that statement. What I can and will argue is the lack of basic human rights we are affording those prisoners post-conflict. The argument "you are with us or against us" is being utilized improperly by the right in this situation. Being that one of the most basic tenets of freedom is the right to a fair trial, the right is against the grain of American values, hence they are not with "us" and must truly hate their government at worst and at best hate their government's standards of law and decency.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#44)
    by ppjakajim on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:08 PM EST
    kdog - Then you agree with me that Durbin's comments are out of line and over the top? DP - Proportional response was utilized by the US during Vietnam. It is a strategy that allows the enemy to do his very best(worst) against us, and prevents us from using our overwhelmning superior forces/power. There is a word for that. "Stupid." War is brutish, ugly, immoral and kills living things. The best way to avoid it is for the other side to understand that if they start something we will come in first, second and third. Mal - I doubt there is anything that we would agree on when it comes to national defense. As for what Dick Durbin believes, or meant, I direct you to what he said. I would prefer`a world in which people would just let each other alone. But, that world doesn't exist. And, unfortunately, there are people in this world who want us to exist under their rule. So, like it or not, we are at war. Afghanistan 2002 was just a single battle. Iraq is just a single battle. There will be more. BooBear - What don't you understand about NO? I mean I understand you have a problem with logic, but simple English? Maybe our Govt is going to tell us about all the wonderful Intel they are gaining in these sessions. That would sure put my mind at ease. And no, that isn't going to happen, because if they did, the intel would be useless. Re-read my comment about your logic ability. I think beheadings are icky. BTW - You like questions, let me ask you one. Have you ever actually seen someone bleeding and screaming? Do you understand that war is not a game? That politics should be kept out of it? Let me answer for you. No, no and no.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#45)
    by ppjakajim on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:08 PM EST
    Hmmm, just discovered that if you copy something in Preview because you must re-sign in, you lose stuff. So here is the corrected contents: kdog - Then you agree with me that Durbin's comments are out of line and over the top? DP - Proportional response was utilized by the US during Vietnam. It is a strategy that allows the enemy to do his very best(worst) against us, and prevents us from using our overwhelmning superior forces/power. There is a word for that. "Stupid." War is brutish, ugly, immoral and kills living things. The best way to avoid it is for the other side to understand that if they start something we will come in first, second and third. Mal - I doubt there is anything that we would agree on when it comes to national defense. As for what Dick Durbin believes, or meant, I direct you to what he said. I would prefer`a world in which people would just let each other alone. But, that world doesn't exist. And, unfortunately, there are people in this world who want us to exist under their rule. So, like it or not, we are at war. Afghanistan 2002 was just a single battle. Iraq is just a single battle. There will be more. BooBear - What don't you understand about NO? I mean I understand you have a problem with logic, but simple English?
    Maybe our Govt is going to tell us about all the wonderful Intel they are gaining in these sessions. That would sure put my mind at ease.
    And no, that isn't going to happen, because if they did, the intel would be useless. Re-read my comment about your logic ability.
    I think beheadings are icky.
    BTW - You like questions, let me ask you one. Have you ever actually seen someone bleeding and screaming? Do you understand that war is not a game? That politics should be kept out of it? Let me answer for you. No, no and no.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#46)
    by Darryl Pearce on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:08 PM EST
    Proportional response was utilized by the US during Vietnam. It is a strategy that allows the enemy to do his very best(worst) against us, and prevents us from using our overwhelmning superior forces/power. There is a word for that. "Stupid." I think that Rumsfeld, Bush, Cheney and the rest of the neocon possé are stupid for not controlling the situation in Iraq with the United States' superior armed forces. Not for the first time, I do agree with you, PPJ.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#47)
    by ppjakajim on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:08 PM EST
    DP - I felt the earth move. ;-) Problem is, what would have happened if we had completely flattened Baghdad?

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#48)
    by desertswine on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:08 PM EST
    Jeez, Bush compared to the Nazis? That's new, huh?

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#49)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:08 PM EST
    This is a great list: In the Future, Everyone Will be Hitler for 15 Minutes [reprint of article deleted. Comments and links only please.]

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#50)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:08 PM EST
    Durbin = BIG. BRASS. BALLS. I hope this guy runs for prez in '08. By comparison, Kerry was hung like a stud field mouse.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#51)
    by roy on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:08 PM EST
    Although I think the phrasing was sleazy, Durbin actually backed up his grumbling with concrete facts from a reliable source. Makes it easy for us to decide for ourselves just how Nazi-like conditions in Gitmo are. (IMHO, not very Nazi-like) So in practical terms it's better than most of the politicking I hear.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#52)
    by Dadler on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:08 PM EST
    Roy, Okay, forget Nazi, how about Nutsy?

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#53)
    by Richard Aubrey on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:08 PM EST
    Boo. As to your motivations, we have only your word. On the other hand, you could differentiate what you want us to do from what the Baathists want us to do. As you know, torture is not happening at Gitmo. Or, if it is, it's because you redefined it, which nobody is required to accept. I don't think you're serious when you say you want the admin to tell us what we've learned from the detainees. Or, perhaps you are. It depends on how much you want to help the other side. Now, if you insist you're not interested in helping the other side, you can tell us how having the admin go public with what they've learned won't help the other side. Jump right in. As I mentioned earlier, you guys lie about Gitmo and insist the admin act as if the lies were truth. Won't work. When you think about it, there's no reason it should. I got a kick about some clown above claiming we're "nitpicking" about how many people Pol Pot killed. It shows pretty clearly that the number of deaths isn't an item. It's whether they're useful, and, clearly Pol Pot's victims aren't useful. In fact, Durbin shouldn't have mentioned him. If Pot ever took off his pants, we'd see lefty lipstick all over his skinny ass, and you'd rather we not recall that. But, as a wit said, more people died at Chappaquiddick than at Gitmo.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#54)
    by Sailor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:08 PM EST
    While the usual suspects are drinking teh kool-aid it should be pointed out that Durbin DID NOT compare americans to nazis, et al. He said the techniques employed were the same. Attacks with dogs, torture, coerced confessions, no trials, lawyers not able to meet w/ clients except to plead them guilty. They were told the truth and only think it's hell.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#55)
    by Darryl Pearce on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:08 PM EST
    We didn't need to flatten Baghdad. We knew the actual military conflict with Iraq would be short: three weeks. (Could have been two but Bush failed at diplomacy and lost the northern approach through Turkey.) The lack of martial law as the occupation began, the looting of administration buildings, hospitals, schools, museums and the occasional ammunition dump exacerbated an already agitated populace and lengthened the transition to Iraqi control (and now Kurdistan is creating friction in the north, easter Turkey and western Iran). This chaos applies not only to Iraq but to the haphazard application of penitentiary detention of "unlawful combatants" in the self-admittedly outside-the-law Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#56)
    by Al on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:08 PM EST
    Well, Sen. Durbin must have done something right if PPJ is frothing at the mouth and spewing even more inanities than usual. Of course he assumes that all prisoners in Guantanamo are guilty of conspiring to destroy the World Trade Center because that's the party line (there's a Stalinist concept). He cannot understand that none of those people have actually been proven guilty of anything. And he cannot allow himself to think that everyone has the same right to a fair trial because that goes directly against the orders he's getting from the voices in his head and if he allowed himself to think that, why, his brain would explode. Meanwhile, Iraq has descended into a totally out-of-control civil war, Iraqi civilians and American soldiers are dying by the dozens daily, Afghanistan is a lawless no-man's-land infiltrated by the Taliban, and Osama is nowhere to be found, while the American military wages its private little war against a couple of hundred captives on a Caribbean island chained to the floor.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#57)
    by Darryl Pearce on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:08 PM EST
    more people died at Chappaquiddick than at Gitmo
    Oh, how cute. They're waving Ted Kennedy's wet shirt. When they're really pissed, they'll start waving this bloody shirt to support everything they say and do... from building schools to chaining people to the floor and putting glowsticks in prisoners' bowels...

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#58)
    by The Heretik on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:08 PM EST
    Quite a bit more on this, McLellan exchange, full Durbin statement in HTML and more at Greetings from the Gulag: Guantanamo, the Black Hole McLellan approaches McCarthy in tone and attitude.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#59)
    by jimcee on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:08 PM EST
    To Whom It May Concern: I took your quiz and chose answer D., other. Why? Because the first three choices would have either killed these people right off the bat or would have put them into slave labor camps and would have slowly starved them as they worked them to death. FJK, If to you that is torture then sir you are a wimp of the first order and I am glad that I don't have to depend on a weakling such as you for our defence. Perhaps the social services are more in your line. As far as PPJ, IMHO he is pretty close to the mark on Durbin's rhetoric and because he has come under such harsh ad hominem attacks he must be hitting a lefty nerve. Words DO mean something and the Left has wrung the last drops of credibility from its cause because of the severeness of its hyperbole. The logical blindness of the compulsive Bush-haters is stunning in both the Democracts and the fringe left. I was a Lefty and voted for J.Carter, twice. I was afraid that Reagan would lead us all to the apoclypse but I had an epiphany and voted for him the second go-round. Voted GHWBush the next time but refused to vote for a president in '92 because I disliked both sides. In other words the Dems left me because they became the party of pessimism although BClinton moved them screaming and kicking to the center. I voted for Dole. There is a pattern here and it is the leftward move of the Dem base that has brought the party to the point of political anarchy and less viability. PPJ is correct, I don't like Republican dogma much but I dislike the Dem dogma even more. I am the centrist libritarian he describes and yes we are legion.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#60)
    by ppjakajim on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:08 PM EST
    Al, baby. Sweetheart. Here is a concept for you. These folks have been picked up doing battle with US forces. That kinda negates the need for trials. I mean, as dense as you seem to be, you do understand that shooting at US forces is considered to be a really, really big, NO NO! Now, are some of the prisoners there because their enemies back home lied about them? Perhaps. But that's what happens in war, Allie. Innocent people get hosed over. What you need to figure out is if you are concerned about Americans, or Moslems from the ME whose neighbiors may have humped them. Your call. Don't let me influence you. Life is full of choices. jimcee - The drinks are on me. But at least I only voted for Carter, once. ;-) DP - No, we didn't. But when you allow survival of both terrorists and internal critics, both wanting to destroy the administration, on the whole it would have been better to flatten Baghdad. On the other hand... Sailor writes: Sailor, you are up to the usual Leftie trick of re-writing history. Unfortunately, it won't work. This is what Durbin said. Notice the lack of comparsions, techniques, etc. Like Popeye, he said what he said, and he is what he is. An embarassment to himself, the Senate and the country.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#61)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:08 PM EST
    Courage has nothing to do with Durbin’s statement, politics does. It is all about his ambitions. He’s looking for publicity to support a run for President. On February 2, 2005, Durbin read this same FBI agent’s report into the record, during the Gonzales hearings. Nobody noticed. Now he’s back again, reading the same statement, but adding the words “Nazis” and “gulags” and “Pol Pot” to make sure he gets noticed. If you really think he gives a whit about the detainees, ask yourself why he waited more than four months to bring it up again.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#62)
    by roy on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:08 PM EST
    These folks have been picked up doing battle with US forces. That kinda negates the need for trials.
    PPJ's on to something, we could save a lot of trouble domestically by only trying the innocent.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#63)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:08 PM EST
    Senator Durbin simply told an uncomfortable truth about the result of horribly misguided U.S. policies. The Bush administration's detention policies contradict values central to our own Bill of Rights. These policies have laid the ground for abuse and murder of detainees -- some guilty, some innocent, but none given a right to due process for determining guilt or innocence. These policies have eroded our international image, fostered animosity against our nation and its citizens, and heightened the danger to our soldiers and civilians should they ever be captured or kidnapped on foreign soil. Moreover, any intelligence gained through torture or abuse is unlikely to be reliable and unlikely to save American lives. If the U.S. had simply followed the Geneva Conventions for the last three-and-a-half years, we wouldn't be contending with this growing mess. I support Durbin in asserting that it's high-time to place detainees from the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq under the Geneva Conventions. Durbin has shown great leadership and decency in speaking out frequently on this issue. I'm proud to have him as a Senator from my state.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#64)
    by Al on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:08 PM EST
    PPJ, if the Guantanamo captives had been captured doing battle with US forces they would be prisoners of war. Your own government denies that they are. Moreover, in the same breath you allow that they might have been falsely accused by their enemies. You can't have it both ways: Either they were caught while fighting, or they were captured based on dodgy accusations. The fact is, you know as much as I do about the circumstances in which these people were captured, i.e. absolutely nothing. You justify the torture because, well, that's what you have to do. You can't even justify it on the pragmatic grounds that it gets results, because it doesn't! I repeat: The American forces are universally hated in Iraq, the Iraqi "army" is a joke, if not a valuable source of intelligence for the insurgency, lethal bombings occur on a daily basis, Afghanistan is totally out of control, the Taliban are back, and bin Laden and Mullah Omar are nowhere to be found. For all of which American taxpayers are paying through the nose. So much for the useful intelligence obtained by forcing Guantanamo prisoners to sit in their own feces. Not only are the people responsible for Guantanamo, from Rumsfeld on down, immoral creeps, they are incompetent immoral creeps.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#65)
    by DawesFred60 on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:08 PM EST
    As a person who has been imprisoned(jailed for 4 hrs ) for nothing but talking back to the cops, we should send all the people from guantanamo to state prisons all over this non nation, that would be a form of justice and point out what this nation really is, murderous, within one year, 50 percent would be killed the other 50 percent would be running the prisons, what fun that would be to watch, in the land of freedom. hey..bush, where is bin laden?

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#66)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:09 PM EST
    Al [Sorry TL - there was no way to link that]. Today, the Sunni's agreed to a compromise on being included in writing the new Constitution - 15 new members plus 10 observers on the committee - equal to number of Kurds. The Sunni's a few days ago organized a unified front to take part in the political process, and opened offices in Baghdad. Your full scale civil war may be down to the foreign jihadists Here is a very long article: Step by Step

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#67)
    by ppjakajim on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:09 PM EST
    Al writes:
    "PPJ, if the Guantanamo captives had been captured doing battle with US forces they would be prisoners of war."
    Wrong again, Al baby. Read Articles 4 and 5 of the GC. What they are, are unlawful combatants. And folks such as this have historically been hanged. Guard to terrorists. "Hey dude, wanna have your personal space invaded or be hung? Oh, so its personal space invasion today, eh?" (Sigh...) BTW - Let me guess. You're Canadian, right?

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#68)
    by ppjakajim on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:09 PM EST
    roy - You should be capable of understanding this. Warfare is not part of the US criminal justice system. For that we have police, judges, FBI, lawyers...

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#69)
    by Jlvngstn on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:09 PM EST
    War in Afghanistan is over. These people were captured in Afghanistan. If they are terrorists, try them. If they are war criminals, turn them over to the care of the International Court of Justice. As an aside, Iraq war had nothing to do with terror. We were disarming him in accordance with the UN resolutions he was flaunting, at least that is what Bush told us.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#70)
    by Jlvngstn on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:09 PM EST
    Jim, perhaps you should read it again: What is a POW according to Article 4. 2. Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfil the following conditions:

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#71)
    by Jlvngstn on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:09 PM EST
    That of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates; (b) That of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance; (c) That of carrying arms openly; (d) That of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#72)
    by Richard Aubrey on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:09 PM EST
    It appears that one of the worst things the Nazis did was not let their captives see lawyers. Bill Quick has one picture of the real thing. Think Durbin has anything like that on hand from Gitmo? I have mentioned in other posts the difficulties of, say, military training, or football practice and so forth. I don't do this to convince you that what happens at Gitmo isn't torture. You already know that. You lie. The point is to show that pretty much everybody in the country has had such experiences as I've had, or knows somebody who has, and thus knows that what happens at Gitmo is chump change. Not torture. I'm not trying to convince you that what happens at Gitmo isn't torture. You know that already. I'm trying to convince you that everybody else knows it, too, and your lies are transparent.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#73)
    by Jlvngstn on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:09 PM EST
    Is stacking nude bodies on top of one another considered torture? How about making men masturbate each other? How about sicking dogs on them? See this is what was photographed at Abu Gharib, so there is evidence. All of which was not apparently in the logs at Abu Gharib. So when you say there is no torture, why should I believe you? The stories coming from those released are indicative of inhumane treatment which can be categorized as torture. If this were americans suffering the abuse there would be cries of complete destruction of the enemy.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#74)
    by Richard Aubrey on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:09 PM EST
    JL. We were talking about Gitmo. And, no, those weren't torture, unless the perps were working under a Republican administration. You just don't get it. Everybody knows better. You're fooling NObody. Did you look at the pic on Bill Quick's site? Go ahead. The problem you don't see is that this is what people think of, correctly, as torture. What you call torture, compared with this (which people know as torture) is chump change. They've suffered worse in basic training or football practice, or working on the highways in Houston in the summer, or fraternity hazing. So cold you shake? Try the Z in Korea in the winter. Or Ranger Week at Benning in September. Wet, no sleep, little food, and I had the shakes on a beautiful fall morning. "Shakes", is not shivering. It's a much larger amplitude of movement that almost looks like a seizure. During WW II during the European winter, anybody who got a bottle of whiskey or something would give it to the medics because, absent a place to get warm, a couple of belts was the only way to stop the shakes. So, try selling some guy shivering in the AC to a normal person who knows a normal amount. Or how about a school bus stop in Minnesota in January when the bus is late? I'm trying to make the point that you don't have a prayer of convincing normal people. Now, nobody actually needs a picture like this, but I use it to make the point you are apparently unable to grasp. Not only is real torture nothing like what Durbin's talking about, everybody knows it because the facts are available to everybody. When you tell lies to each other, and agree with each other as if the lies are true, you apparently get in the habit of thinking people believe you. You don't even believe each other. You mistake the agreement to pretend to agree for real agreement, and then extend that to normal people. They, too, will believe. After all, everybody you talk to does. Not true. The Abu Ghraib story was one shift, and the perps are in various parts of the military justice system, and were being investigated before y'all found it a fabulous opportunity. Everybody knows that, too. You know it, but you think others can be fooled. Not happ'n', son. Not aytall.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#75)
    by Jlvngstn on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:09 PM EST
    RA: So do you believe that had the allegations at Abu Gharib surfaced without pictures that you would have BELIEVED ANY OF IT? Of course not. I believe the stories from those that were released, and I believe that they are and were being tortured. I believe that logged or not, there are bending of the rules on a regular basis. I also believe that the war in AFghanistan in OVER, and these POW's or whatever you want to classify them as, deserve basic human rights such as a right to a fair trial, be it her or in the ICJ. If these were americans your self-righteous indignation would be oozing out of your pores. Pontificating about the standards of conduct of those that choose to err on the side of human rights does not make you eloquent, educated or more patriotic. It defines and illustrates your disdain for common decency.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#76)
    by Jlvngstn on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:09 PM EST
    P.S. Repeating allegations and the talking points of Rush et al, does not make you right, it makes you a dittohead, which is basically defined as one incapable of independent thought or ideas.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#77)
    by Richard Aubrey on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:09 PM EST
    JL. You're free to believe the detainees's stories. Take my advice. Don't waste your time trying to get anybody else to believe them. I would have believed AG stuff if I'd heard about the courts-martial, which, as you know, resulted from investigations which started months before you and your Baathist buds got the gift of a lifetime. You're free to believe the war in Afghanistan is over. But in the real world...what is it that's happening. Ran into an acquaintance yesterday. Her son's team in Afghanistan just had a KIA. Something's happening. I am aware that claiming the war is over means you can claim something different need be done with the guys at Gitmo. But that's a lie. Your point didn't change since the war was over, whenever that was. It's an excuse. An obvious one. Actually, if this stuff had been happening to Americans, it would be an improvement over what's happened to them at the hands of our enemies over the last half-century. Who was the last opponent who treated our guys with some humanity? I'll give you a hint. They made an exception for Jews. Just keep in mind, real people think of torture as the kind of thing you can see on Bill Quick's site--and others--and all your whining isn't going to change an entirely reasonable and factual view.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#78)
    by ppjakajim on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:09 PM EST
    JL writes:
    d) That of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.
    I am LOL. RA zapped you, and your grasping at straws is funny. Heck, you make my point. And the war in Afghanistan, as RA noted, is NOT over.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#79)
    by Jlvngstn on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:09 PM EST
    Rich, I heard from someone that in Afghanistan bad people are there. I also heard that the US had 20,000 homicides last year. Seems to me there is a hell of a lot more killing going on in this country than in Afghanistan. Riddle me this batman. Is the war over in Afghanistan? Security forces to render assistance to the existing administration is not considered an act of war. Riddle me this. Would you consider the detention facility an overt violation of human rights were they americans being held by Afghanis? My mother, a devout religious sort, always said, "do unto others as you would have them do unto you". Being that I am an atheist I do not look to the bible for moral counsel, however, that seems to me to be the most enlightening thing in the entire book.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#80)
    by Jlvngstn on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:09 PM EST
    Jim, perhaps reading is difficult for you today. Posted Tuesday, May. 06, 2003 The U.S. has ended "major combat activity" in Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld announced last week, adding "we clearly have moved from major combat activity to a period of stability and stabilization and reconstruction activities." But "stability" is a relative term, and the accompanying announcement that the U.S. would like to withdraw its forces by the end of summer next year may have been received with a measure of anxiety by Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#81)
    by Jlvngstn on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:09 PM EST
    Rummy is the Secretary of Defense, NO????

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#82)
    by Richard Aubrey on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:09 PM EST
    JL. You are not as slippery as you like to think. The quotes you mention have to do with the practical aspect of managing the Afghanistan situation. But your original post about the war being over had to do with the legal issue, not what the fighting looked like. BUS---TID. You want to take a break and start over later?

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#83)
    by Jlvngstn on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:09 PM EST
    Original post had to do with both. The war is over. Second, if they were "unlawful combatants" give them a trial, I am all for life without parole sentences for those convicted. The legal issues are quite clear, either they are war criminals, terrorists or none of the above. Such fear you have of the right to a fair trial. That my friend is cowardice.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#84)
    by Richard Aubrey on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:09 PM EST
    JL. The war is over because you say it is? And your authority is..../ You want to claim the war is over because it would be poltically useful. I can see you sitting still for life sentences for war criminals. Is it possible, in your universe, for an enemy of the US to actually commit a war crime? After all, if past conflicts are any guide, civilians they kill will all be collaborators or members of the puppet government and thus legitimate targets. Saw that in Central America. I have no fear of trials. The detainees ought to, though. For a lot of them, their current situation is a a whole lot better than anything that could conceivably result from a trial. Your buddy Rattner--communist party type--isn't going to allow that any trial that convicts any enemy of the US is fair, nor any sentence legit. This is same song, different verse. You guys are predictable. You call for a trial, with the complaints about the trial no doubt already printed up and bound--or the cyber equivalent.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#85)
    by Jlvngstn on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:09 PM EST
    RA: Perhaps when Rummy said it you had your ears off, but I am certain you can read the above quote from 2003 by the Secretary of Defense. Perhaps you should read what Rummy said and reframe your argument. Relative to whether or not I think that an enemy can commit war crimes, I do believe that they have done so regularly historically speaking. But so have we. Your fear of trying these prisoners is that some where, some how, an international court is going to hold americans liable and accountable for their actions and I believe that is the root of your cowardice. Charge them and try them or let them go. Pretty simple actually.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#86)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:09 PM EST
    JL, congrats for taking it to the numbskulls PPJ and RA. These two love to throw around lame little invectives and jabs at people and then scream bloody murder when it is done to them. But what they really hate is when you have a valid, cogent arguement that their atrophied brains can't refute. Typical small man syndrome. I bet they were jealous of the bullies in elementary school when not trying to suck up to them to prevent another beating for their milk money. Jimcee, can you endure being chained hand and foot for 24 hours to a chair while urinating and defecating on yourself and still say that it is just a grade A wimp that thinks this is torture? Probably not, but if you can then I am sure there are plenty of folks in your town who are into BD\SM(and most likely Republicans) who would oblige you. PPJ, RA, Jimcee, and all the other wingers on this thread would not hesitate to employ these "interrogation" methods on any of their fellow U.S. citizens if they deemed it appropriate. Durbin's comments are nuanced and the goons I mentioned earlier couldn't define "nuance" even if it clubbed them over the head. But PPJ et al. would have you think that to dissent and to speak the truth is not acceptable when you criticize the U.S. Nothing could be further from the truth, but truth is terribly relative to ol'PPGoon and his buddies.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#87)
    by Richard Aubrey on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:09 PM EST
    JL. Since Gitmo and the trials going on there are not international, there is no international analog or equivalent. Your point fails. Considering that places like Syria and Libya have been on the UN Human Rights committee, the idea of international law does not thrill me. Careful which international law you cherrypick. Your Baathist buds, and the Taliban have some rules you might not like. But once you claim international law ought to have some kind of influence, you'll be busier than you've ever been in your life trying to explain why this one--but not that one--applies, while last month it was that one, not this one. Sherm. What you speak of, even if it happened and, less likely, still happens, is not torture. It's icky, eeewwy and nobody would want to go through it. But normal people, including you, know it's not torture. The difference is that normal people have no particular political reason to pretend it is. Anybody had the stomach to look at Bill Quick's site? You drooled for months over Abu Ghraib, surely you can take a quick squint at the real thing....

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#88)
    by Jlvngstn on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:09 PM EST
    RA: The conflict is over, stop classfiying them in purgatory. I am not afraid of international law, it seems that you are and rightfully so. Your leaders may be breaking the law regarding engagement of war for regime change. RA, when you get up to 8th grade debate, drop me a line. Your inability to parse coherent and logical arguments relative to this subject is alarming. I still see you are trying to understand Rummys statement, perhaps you should email Rush and find out how to respond.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#89)
    by Richard Aubrey on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:09 PM EST
    JL. Did Rumsfeld say that the war was legally over? Since your original point dealt with the legal status of the detainees, the legal status of the fighting in Afghanistan is the key. You like international law? Suppose your local pol who supports abortion rights gets arrested in a country where it's illegal? You're going to have a hard time figuring out whose side you're on. Since lefties have it as a matter of True Belief that all countries are equal except for the US which is vile, ditto their legal systems, you're going to have to hop to start claiming US law is more humane and ought to apply.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#90)
    by Jlvngstn on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:10 PM EST
    Rummy said that the major conflict was over and withdrawal would happen over the next 2 years. So which is it? Is it over or is it partly over? WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 2003 -- The war against terrorism is "largely over" in Afghanistan, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said during a Pentagon news conference today. Sounds to me like rummy and karzai believe the war ended in 2003 and we are now providing security support. The ICJ is set up for war crimes and genocide, please don't try to slip in your tired abortion arguments.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#91)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:10 PM EST
    all this argument and not one of these mainstream leftists will question the ignorance of Durbin's comments. that's the real shame here. not only ignorance, but pride in the ignorance.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#92)
    by Richard Aubrey on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:10 PM EST
    JL. The ICJ is set up as you describe, but genocide is a slippery concept. Under the treaty we did not ratify, allowing an identifiable ethnic group to disappear--even by assimilation--is genocide. So if the Pequot Indians of eastern CT had not discovered casinos, the whole five of them would have assimilated and we'd be guilty of genocide. However, there is no reason to expect that the lefties would want to protect US citizens they didn't like from other international venues. Say, if a congresscritter voted against an environmental wackjob treaty and some green government discovered he was traveling in Belgium, he could be arrested under one or another law (see the hate-speech laws, for example) that the US would never make. No accountability. So, no, I don't think the lefties would stick with the ICJ, nor do I think they'd be interested in a fair trial if the defendant were a US soldier. And what Rumsfeld says about the Afghanistan situation is meaningless to your point until the admin says there is now, legally, no war. In that case, we may send all the bastards back. Let the Afghan government deal with them. Or maybe we could keep a couple of hundred and execute them for war crimes after the trials you keep talking about. But, since this is a new type of conflict, insisting that it be run as inconveniently as possible for us by using laws that are designed for other situations is nonsense. We're making this stuff up as we go, since there was nothing to guide us when it started. There is another new item. You will have heard that Ceci Connolly lieda about those murdered while in US custody. She said it was about a hundred. Turns out to be about three with another couple of dozen still being investigated. Twenty some of them were killed by terrorist mortars at Abu Ghraib. But, this being the twenty-first century, her ass got fact-checked and Fox corrected her nonsense the next day. Mara Liasson is getting more air time and Ceci less--zero as far as I can see. Lies don't get it the way they used to and some folks haven't figured that out.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#93)
    by Richard Aubrey on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:10 PM EST
    Oh, yeah. To make it clear that you have no interest in the detainees as people, but only as tools, see the latest reports on the Cook County jail where much worse happens at the hands of the state, in Durbin's state, to no complaint from you all. The Cook County jail doesn't help make an anti-Bush case, so those poor bastards can rot for all that you lefties care. Does it hurt Bush? If so, it's important. Are there others being hurt but not in a way that would damage Bush. Screw the useless bozos.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#94)
    by Al on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:10 PM EST
    jchfleetguy:
    Today, the Sunni's agreed to a compromise on being included in writing the new Constitution - 15 new members plus 10 observers on the committee - equal to number of Kurds. The Sunni's a few days ago organized a unified front to take part in the political process, and opened offices in Baghdad. Your full scale civil war may be down to the foreign jihadists.
    I'm sorry, only you and Rumsfeld believe that business about the insurgency being down to a few "foreign jihadists". Besides, I have news for you: In Iraq, Americans are also foreign. And universally hated. Nobody believes that the violence in Iraq is even going to subside slightly because some office is opened, or because the Sunnis are being offered "observer" status. Sunni leaders have already pointed out that they don't accept being "observers" in their own country. PPJ:
    What they are, are unlawful combatants. And folks such as this have historically been hanged. Guard to terrorists. "Hey dude, wanna have your personal space invaded or be hung? Oh, so its personal space invasion today, eh?" (Sigh...)
    Historically? "Unlawful combatants" is a term invented by the Bush administration. That last bit, is that your attempt at humor? Are you trying to say that the prisoners in Guantanamo should consider themselves lucky to be tortured, because they should be hanged? They're terrorists now? Do you know of any acts of terror these people are actually charged with? As far as I know, they haven't even been charged with traffic violations. That's why they're in Guantanamo, so no justice system in the world can access them. And yes, PPJ, as you know I am Canadian. What's that got to do with anything?

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#95)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:10 PM EST
    unlawful combatants a term invented by Bush. so when the Geneva Convention mentions folks fighting without insignia being outside its protections, that means nothing? you also continue the same lame argument that these combatants need to be "charged" with something as though they were purse snatchers. As far as being Canadian goes, it is your naive and historically challenged mind that is the problem, not your nationality.

    Re: Sen. Durbin's Guantanamo Statement (none / 0) (#96)
    by Richard Aubrey on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:10 PM EST
    Al. Christopher Hitchens has a piece on how Americans are generally liked. So do many soldiers who blog, as well as some I talked to. The point is not that you don't know you are wrong. You know you lie. You just don't get it that there are other sources of information than you, including people who've been there or are there. Many years ago, I happened to be leaving Canada on a weekend evening. Due to the vagaries of AM radio at dusk, I started picking up the Cross Country Call-In show, or whatever you call it, on a station I had set for my home. The subject was the US' picking up the Achille Lauro highjackers by forcing their EgyptAir jet down at a NATO base. Ninety percent of the callers thought it was a crime. Most started out by saying they weren't condoning the murder of Leon Klinghoffer, the wheelchair-bound tourist. Then they would condone it. I had respected Canadians up to that point. I've been really cautious about that impulse since, which is too bad. My father's division was in the Canadian Corps during WW II for a while and he has always said they were good. Shame.