In June of 2005, Sen. Richard Durbin made this statement on the Senate floor with regard to a recent FBI memo about treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay:
“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.”
Despite the fact that that was an entirely plausible description of how someone might perceive the memo were it read to them blind, Republicans, with their accomplice the media, went on the attack, accusing Durbin of having offended the whole of our military. Of course, he did no such thing, but that didn’t stop the press from magnifying the accusations until Durbin felt compelled to apologize for remarks that were thoroughly appropriate.
In today’s confirmation hearing for Attorney General nominee Michael Mukasey, Sen. Leahy asked Mukasey about the “Bybee memo” which defined torture so narrowly that anything short of crucifixion would not qualify. Mukasey unflinchingly denounced the memo with an allusion to the Holocaust. He said that the memo was…
“…worse than a sin, it’s a mistake.” And referencing photos of U.S. troops liberating Nazi concentration camps he said, “They didn’t do that so we could duplicate what we oppose.”
Either Durbin’s apology was an unnecessary gesture forced on him by partisan politicos and press, or Mukasey is a treasonous defiler of America’s forces fighting for freedom around the world.
Which is it, Media? Is it only Democrats who are subject to criticism for raising the atrocities of World War II? Are Republicans exempt from this linguistic scrutiny? I suppose we’ll be seeing Mukasey issuing a tearful apology in the next day or so.