Just got back from a whirlwind business trip to the great state of Michigan. It's been a full-bore, no time for rest week. Yesterday morning I was shaving and had the TV on and heard what Dick Durbin said about Gitmo.
"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."
Unbelievable. That's my Senator, the second senior Democrat in the Senate. He's comparing the treatment of terrorists in Gitmo to the death camps of the Nazis (6 million murdered), the Cambodian Killing Fields (1.5 million murdered) and the 25 million or so laborers worked to death in Stalin's Gulags.
Comparing the treatment of the 20th Hijacker and others to millions innocents murdered by evil regimes is so completely twisted and bizarre.
I think that Durbin is making the same mistake the Democrats made with Kerry - they are underestimating the military/veteran voting block. Illinois has many National Guardsmen and Reservists deployed (or just returned from deployment).
Where are the moderate Democrats on this? I haven't read about any reaction from Sen. Lieberman or Gov. Richardson or any others. No reaction from the former Presidential candidates (Dean, Kerry, Edwards, etc.) either.
So here is the first response I received from a veteran via Seamus.
June 15, 2005The Honorable Richard Durbin
United States Senate
332 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D. C. 20510Dear Senator Durbin,As a combat aviator veteran of Vietnam and retired Naval Officer, I must express in the strongest possible terms my disappointed in your condemnation and vilification of our military personnel serving in Guantanamo Bay. Your comments from the Senate floor, supposedly heard off the record, speak further to you and your party’s true disdain and dislike of our military heroes. Comments like yours tear the hearts out of our fighting hero’s just as surely as physical wounds received in combat. In my perspective, this is no different from those who yelled “baby killers” to our troops when we return home in the 60’s and 70’s.My anger, frustration and disappointment in you as an elected senator is your comparison of treatment received by the terrorist killers in detention in Gitmo to those innocent victims murdered by the Nazis during WWII. How dare you even mention the mass murders in Cambodia?Would you say these same comments, so vividly expressed recently on audiotape, to the likes of Jessica Lynch? To the Pearle family? To those families of the Jews murdered in Europe? That was bad treatment! I believe there are still a few elected officials in congress that could explain “bad” treatment to you.By the way, ask our tank commanders about air conditioning in their war fighting vehicles. Or our Marines & Soldiers in their hummers! Have you ever been enclosed in the confines of a war fighting ship? We treat those damn terrorists better than we treat our fighting heroes. What a stupid, uninformed and ridiculous statement.In the past I have given you the benefit of the doubt as a courtesy to a large and proud family of Illinois voters who has supported you and the democrats in the past.
I will pledge that efforts are underway to cancel any support to you and your party. We don't want any apology. As you know, they are only words.Sincerely,F. R. Koenig
Captain, USN Retired
[Edit: Removed Captain Koenig's address]
Phone - Washington: (202)224-2152
Phone - Chicago: (312)353-4952
Update: Uncle Jimbo wants to take Dick Durbin on a tour of the repressive regimes...
Update 2: I've been copied on about two dozen letters to Senator Durbin's office. And many have emailed about their conversations with Durbin's staff - one emailed that Durbin's staff believe that they are the ones that provided armor for troops in Iraq....keep it going.
Call the Springfield office of Senator Dick Durbin at (217 ) 492-4062 and ask for Suzanne Palmera. Talk to her about Durbin's Nazi comments. Feel free to post a synopsis in the Comments below.