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(conservative) quote of the day

I've thought that Durbin's comments comparing the abuses at Gitmo to a Russian Gulag or other extreme facist states did serve to give his opponents an easy counter-attack, ignoring his main points. So in that sense, I thought they were politically a mis-step, but as to what they actually said, I agree with conservative writer Andrew Sullivan:

"I've now read and re-read Senator Dick Durbin's comments on interrogation techniques at Guantanamo Bay. They are completely, perfectly respectable. The rank hysteria being perpetrated by some on the right is what is shameful. Hugh Hewitt should answer one single question: does he doubt the FBI interrogator who witnessed the appalling treatment of some detainees at Guantanamo? Here's the 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.'

Is Hewitt arguing that the interrogator was lying? Does he believe that the kind of tactics used against this prisoner are worthy of the United States? Does he believe that this happened without authorization? If he were told this story and informed that it occurred in, say, Serbia under Milosevic, would he be surprised?

Hewitt should then answer the same question about the 5 detainees which the U.S. government itself has acknowledged were tortured to death by U.S. interrogators, and the scores of others who died in detention during or after "interrogation". Does he deny that this happened? Does he honestly believe that removing the legal restrictions on cruel and inhumane treatment of detainees by our current president had nothing to do with this? Maybe he needs a little refresher on the extraordinary range and scale of the record of abuse that is still accumulating.

I'm just amazed that some can view what has happened and their first instinct is to attack those who have criticized it, rather than those who have perpetrated it. It is this administration that has brought indelible shame on America, and it's people like Dick Durbin who prove that some can actually stand up against this stain on American honor and call it what it is. Good for him. Thank God for him."
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