Wednesday, June 22, 2005

I am appalled.

Dick Durbin has been forced to apologize for his floor statement last week in which he did the following:

1) Read this text from a memo written by an FBI agent at Guantanamo:
"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."

2)And made this comment:
"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."

For this, Durbin has to apologize? For highlighting the obvious, if painful, point that the FBI description read without context could very well be a paragraph straight out of the Gulag Archipelago, Durbin has to apologize? For pointing out the harsh and painful truth that American soldiers and agents are abusing and torturing prisoners at Guantanamo and elsewhere Durbin has to apologize? I think not.

The fact that Durbin has to apologize for this speaks volumes about the utter moral vacuity of the modern Republican Party. Their single-minded devotion to the political destruction of Democrats has, apparently, obliterated their ability (or desire, if ever there were any) to discriminate between right and wrong, good and evil. At some point, I believe, political concerns should be secondary to concerns about the moral fibre of our nation. If this country's governing party and attendant leadership is willing to ignore, apologize for, or otherwise fail to address officially-sanctioned activities that are clearly contrary to every single value codified in our Constitution and held dear by our citizens in lieu of attacking a political rival, then are a Nation in very deep trouble.