Don't Be Such A Dick, Durbin

Warning: Screed mode ON. Read if you dare, flee if you must.

Some Democrats continue to wonder why they lost so badly in the last election. They can't understand how anyone could have voted for Bush or any Republican. Well, it was easy to do. When it came to defending this country against terrorism, the Republicans were the only adults in the room. Putting the political leaders of the Democrat party in charge of our nation's defense would have been as irresponsible as handing a 16-year-old the keys to his daddy's liquor cabinet and Ferrari.

Exhibit A: Senator Dick Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, the second-ranking member of his party's delegation to the Senate. Senator Durbin, like many of his Democrat colleagues, reminds me of nothing so much as a parrot, capable of learning a few words and phrases and repeating them ad nauseam without the slightest idea of what they actually MEAN: "Hitler," "Nazi," "gulag," "Pol Pot." They know that the words mean something really, really bad, but they aren't exactly sure what. On Tuesday night, Senator Durbin read the following into the record before a nearly-empty Senate chamber:

When you read some of the graphic descriptions of what has occurred here [at Guantanamo Bay]--I almost hesitate to put them in the[Congressional] 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."

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.

How dare you, Senator Durbin? How dare you compare conditions at Guantamo Bay with the Nazi death camps, the Soviet gulag or Pol Pot's killing fields? How many millions of people have died at Guantanamo Bay? How many total? ZERO. The very comparison shows a colossal ignorance of history. Lavrenti Beria and Reinhard Heydrich would look up at you from whatever circle of Hell they currently occupy, ask, "How many millions of prisoners have you killed?" and when you told them "Zero, but we made some of them VERY uncomfortable," they would laugh at you for the rank amateur that you are.

Senator Durbin needs to visit the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. and maybe make a road trip to Cambodia to visit the museum there that commemorates the two million people killed by Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge. He needs to look at the pictures from the liberation of the Nazi death camps by Americans at the end of World War II, he needs to re-read Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's works, and then he needs to ask himself the question: What do all of these have in common? The answer: In every case, the prisoners were systematically being starved to death. Starvation is the tool in every tyrant's toolbox. Contrast with the prisoners at Gitmo, who actually have GAINED weight while in captivity. They are probably better fed, better housed and receiving better medical care than they ever have in their lives. And then there's another question: How many people in Cuba, outside of Guantanamo Bay, even HAVE air conditioning at all? How many of our soldiers in Iraq? Damn few.

Finally, Senator Durbin needs to remember exactly who these prisoners are. One of them is the man who was believed to be the "20th hijacker" from 9/11, who was turned away by an alert Customs agent. The jihadis at Guantanamo Bay would slit Senator Durbin's throat as soon as look at him, and would ululate "Allahu akbar!' while they did it. Indeed, if not for the heroic actions of the passengers of Flight 93 on 9/11, jihadis just like those at Gitmo would have flown that plane into either the White House or the Capitol Building where Senator Durbin works. Frankly, on 9/11 and for about year thereafter, I would have had no problem if the guards at Gitmo had repeatedly Tasered the testicles of every jihadi there to get them to talk.

These prisoners are not legitimate prisoners of war covered by the Geneva Convention; they were in civilian clothes and as such could have been shot out of hand when they were captured. The fact that we didn't do that shows more loudly than Senator Durbin's windy speech that we most assuredly are not like the Nazis, the Soviets or the Khmer Rouge. And consider that many of them have been repatriated and of those, about a dozen have been recaptured, with others doubtlessly killed fighting against us. If anything, we have been too kind to them.

One last word for the Senator: Don't be such a Dick, Durbin.