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The hell with our Constitution:
At a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Republican Chairman Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania said Congress should help to define the legal rights of the inmates at the prison, which the panel's top Democrat called "an international embarrassment."

Delaware Democratic Sen. Joseph Biden (news, bio, voting record) asked Deputy Associate Attorney General J. Michael Wiggins whether the Justice Department had "defined when there is the end of conflict."

"No, sir," Wiggins responded.

"If there is no definition as to when the conflict ends, that means forever, forever, forever these folks get held at Guantanamo Bay," Biden said.

"It's our position that, legally, they can be held in perpetuity," Wiggins said [...]

Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions (news, bio, voting record) of Alabama said: "This country is not systematically abusing prisoners. We have no policy to do so. And it's wrong to suggest that. And it puts our soldiers at risk who are in this battle because we sent them there."

Referring to detainees, Sessions added, "Some of them need to be executed."

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina joined Specter and others who said Congress needed to get involved to better define the process at Guantanamo.

"I think it would be tremendously helpful if the Congress and the administration came together with some general statutory language to help define what's going on at Guantanamo Bay, to better define what an enemy combatant is, to make sure that due process is affordable," Graham said.

Neanderthals like Sessions want to kill some of these detainees, fine -- set up a system of due process so that they can be given proper due process. If he wants to protect U.S. image abroad, then hold those responsible for torture accountable.

It's interesting that Lindsey Graham is siding against the administration on this issue. Remember, he is JAG -- a former military lawyer. He understand better than most the importance of protecting the military's image by having it do the Right Thing.

The Wingers are freakin' out about Durbin right now, trying to shut his efforts to speak the truth. But if they really wanted to protect the soldiers (six more who have been killed today), the way to do it is to stand for basic democratic principles and ideals.

Such as the one that dictators and tyrants use torture, democracies do not.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 10:10 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Well, that's why they're at GITMO... (none)
    ...and not at, say, Ft. Leavenworth, KS.  So we can do with these people whatever we want.  Heard it on Randi Rhodes.

    What did we do to deserve George W. Bush?

    by republicans are idiots on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 10:13:37 AM PDT

    •  That's the true shame of this policy (none)
      Not torture.  The true shame is that the Republicans have so little regard for our legal system, so little faith in our court system, that they are not willing to put the prisoners into it.  It disgusts me, because we happen to have the best legal system in the world. Sure, there are problems, inefficiencies, biases. But it's still the best system out there. And the Republicans should be proud of it.

      In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

      by Paul in Berkeley on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 10:34:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is, legally, true (none)
      The supreme court has said that the constitution does not apply outside United States territory.  And, since we are merely leasing Gitmo from the Cuban government (in theory, Castro has a difference of opinion here), therefore that's not United States territory.  So the constitution does not apply.

      The argument that we are not violation the Geneva Convention are weaker, but (since these people held are not soliders) might be kinda sorta correct.

      The fact that holding people without charge forever is immoral has nothing to do with either of these two things, though.

      •  human right conventions (none)
        There was a time when USA took a lot of pride in defending "human rights", which I put in quotes to stress that this is a concept.  This concept, and international treates that we signed, ratified and proudly promoted, say that HUMANS should not be tortured etc.

        The concept that Administration, and even some Democrats, are promoting is that human rights are not applicable to all humans.

      •  No, they didn't.... (none)
        That was the government's case - that US law didn't apply to Gitmo but the Supreme Court called it for what it was - Despotism.

        Bush continues to ignore their ruling.  (Hamdi vs Rumsfeld was the case - look it up)

        The Geneva Conventions are very clear and, yes, we are violating them, too.

        "the fools, the fools, they've left us our Fenian Dead" (Padraig Pearse - Gay Revolutionary)

        by padraig pearse on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 03:18:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Lindsey Graham is pretty smart (none)
    Not too long ago, after some other sane statements on his part, especially with regard to Iraq and the prison scandals, I read his statement from the Clinton impeachment trial, and it's clear he knew that they had a pretty empty bag of goods.
    •  Let's not forget - its not just Graham... (none)
      Specter, Hagel, Warner, McCain and a few other Republican Senators have spoken out against this anti-constitution policy at GITMO.

      If you remember during the Gonzales hearings most Republicans would not speak or would speak about unrelated things when talking about Gonzales.

      Only Hatch, Sessions, Cornyn, Coburn, Inhofe and a few others spoke out in support of Gonzales and the administrations policy of interrogation and detention.

      •  GOP wants exit strategy on Gitmo (none)
        interesting that the GOP wants out.  i was listening to ABC & Fox radio yesterday & actually didn't realize it b/c they were talking about gettting out of Gitmo & the problems it causing.

        The GOP is realizing it's a losing battle, a PR nightmare & the wingnuts in the party wearing the Support Gitmo/Iraq/Social Security "reform" cheerleading outfits are going to get hung when the moderate/sane Goopers pull the rug from under them.

        They were even critical of the Patriot Act (ABC) b/c "it made us look bad".  Hey, whatever the reason, happy to see it gone.

  •  Sound familiar? (none)
    Hm. People rounded up as enemies of the state, with no charge, interred, and then executed? Sounds like history to me.
  •  Can we get to the bottom of this crap? (4.00)
    Do you think we'll ever get an explanation of how trying to define a policy for detention of these so-called unlawful combatants "puts our soldiers at risk?"

    From what I saw last week, questioning things of this nature may be putting our troops' commanders at risk, but the troops themselves?

    Don't magnetized ribbons on your SUVs immunize them against this, anyway?

    And since when did the GOP become so concerned about issues of self-esteem for at-risk young adults, anyway?

    •  It's simple (4.00)
      There are a million different ways that talking about this sort of thing can put troops at risk.

      For example, somewhere out in Arab-land there is a happy, peaceful youth minding his own business, when he stumbles across a copy of the Congressional Record and reads Sen. Durbin's remarks.  He is so outraged by what is being done to his brothers in Gitmo that he finds a gun and sets out to kill some American troops.

      Or, perhaps, somewhere in Iraq our troops are engaged in a pitched battle for control of a hill.  A brave young soldier aims his rifle, but his mind wanders to thoughts of the torture at Gitmo and whether he is truly doing the right thing by fighting for America.  A tear mists up in his eye, causing him to miss his target.  (Credit goes to a Redstate commenter for inspiring this scenario.)

      So, as you can clearly see, the only patriotic thing to do is shut up and pretend that America never does anything wrong.  Anything else, and you're hurting the troops.

      •  The reason why it puts our troops.. (4.00)
        at risk is because if we ever get into a war with a country like China or Russia where there may be high levels of US prisoners they will say that our soldiers are enemy combatants.

        The reason given as to why the Taliban soldiers should not be given Geneva Conventions protections is because they (according to the administration) had demonstrated through their actions that they had no desire to follow the Geneva Conventions and thus should be denied coverage.

        Therefore, all another country has to do is take the Bybee/Gonzales memo and say that the US does not follow the Geneva Conventions as evidenced by their conflict with Iraq and Afghanistan therefore we will not give them Geneva protections.

        Then when we hear stories about our female troops having foreign objects shoved up their rectum, being interrogated in the shower by male interrogators, being sexually humiliated, being left in their cell nude, short shackled for days and having their vagina grabbed as a "control" technique then Americans will realize how it can affect them.

        If we show no respect for the laws of war neither will China in a conflict with Taiwan, neither will Russia in a conflict with Chechnia, neither will Israel or Palestine or even Iran in a conflict.

        This administration has given everyone a license to torture!

        •  It's Horrifying To Watch (none)
          this scum crawl back down the evolutionary ladder, led by Monkeyboy et alia.

          It's like seeing moral and intellectual as well as biological, de-volution, right before your eyes.

          The blowback of this will be tremendous.

          You can't always tell the truth because you don't always know the truth - but you can ALWAYS be honest.

          by mattman on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 10:58:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Democracies don't use torture, (none)
    but we're no longer a democracy, we're a mediaocracy. And guess who controls the media?

    we're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression

    by Lepanto on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 10:17:21 AM PDT

  •  Sessions is talking stupid (none)

    Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions (news, bio, voting record) of Alabama said: "This country is not systematically abusing prisoners. We have no policy to do so. And it's wrong to suggest that. And it puts our soldiers at risk who are in this battle because we sent them there."

    Torturing people puts our soldiers at risk because it pours fuel on the fire that terrorists use to fan the flames of hate.


    Sessions is too blinded by the right to see the truth (yeah, I know, it's obvious).

    If we want a strong America, we will stand against the immoral torture of anyone anywhere anytime by anybody.

    Now grow up Sen. Sessions.

    •  Systematic (4.00)
      So, it's okay to torture people as long as you're kind of random about it? He's right, we don't necessarily have a policy condoning torture--we've just decided we don't have a policy condemning it either.
  •  Perpetual War (4.00)
    This just makes me ill. "It's our position that, legally, they can be held in perpetuity," Wiggins said [...]"

    Held forever, without charges or trial. How can this be legal and our constitution still mean anything?

    Bush is not fighting a war on terror. He is fighting a war using terror. Our own fears are causing us to abandon things the founders of this country considered sacred, and worth dying for. But not us. Let's split hairs on what constitutes torture, lets argue about who is a "legal" combatant, lets define the "all men" endowed by their creator with rights to exclude people of a different color.


  •  way to go, bush (none)
    great job on placing our country on the world stage as a shining beacon of freedom and democracy.  not.
  •  Club Gitmo (none)
    Meanwhile, wingnuts are referring to it as  Club Gitmo, saying we're too soft on the detainees.  There's even a t-shirt that's selling fairly well.  When in doubt, reframe reality.  

    I've also seen posts on other boards advocating that we kill 'em all to save the expense of detention.  

    •  Really!? (none)
      Are they criticizing Bush for being "soft on terr'ists"?

      "The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation." - Pierre Trudeau

      by fishhead on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 10:31:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They don't believe the reports of abuses (none)
        The cant I've seen is that the abuses aren't happening. Rather, the detainees are being mollycoddled with special food (e.g., no pork!), spiritual facilities (e.g., keeping the Koran out of the toilet), and a/c (even when cranked to extreme and detainee naked).  
    •  Clueless (none)
      Showing the incredible command of facts required from Republicans, committee member Steve Chabot opined:
      "I think if we kept them at the old Workhouse in Cincinnati, they would make allegations that they are being mistreated," Chabot said of the detainees. "These people have been trained to make false allegations that they have been mistreated. It's in their training manual. I don't put a lot of stock in the allegations that are made about mistreatment."

      The Workhouse was infamous, a county lockup dating back to the Civil War days that was still in use (with minimal updating) through the 1980s. Gitmo, by comparison, is much more humane.
      Chabot was around and should remember. These guys hardly seem to miss any opportunity these days to show off their ignorance.
    •  "Der Fuehrer schenkt den Juden (none)
      eine Stadt" ["The Führer Gives the Jews a City"] was the name of the Goebbels-inspired documentary about what a soft life Nazi Germany was giving privileged Jews at Theresienstadt.
  •  Captured on the battlefields (4.00)
    I'm sure I read that the men in Gitmo were "captured on the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq" from one of the defenders of the administration policies. Well, if they were captured on a battlefield, they're prisoners of war. I don't see how they can be anything else.


    •  clarify (none)
      What I mean is that they have to be treated under the Geneva Conventions as prisoners of war.


      •  Well said, both ways (none)
        You are absolutely right. Just because these people don't wear a uniform or fight for an organized nation, doesn't mean we should treat them differently.  We should always be trying to set an example!

        In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

        by Paul in Berkeley on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 10:37:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Captured on the Battlefield is Fucking Crap! (none)
      Only if you extend the logic of the global war on terror©® to say that the battlefield is omnipresent.

      Is there any real evidence of where each detainee was captured? At least one British detainee was transferred directly from a Taliban jail. Other detainees were arrested in Africa or Pakistan.

      To err is human. The president has never erred

      by ewan husarmee on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 10:40:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's all Durbin, all the time today. (none)
    I think I'll dub it "Durbinfest", or "Durbinpalooza".

    Dear Rush, you're damn right Durbin is speaking for the Democrats!  America should be held to a higher standard.  

    My thanks to the good Senator from Illinois!

    •  And WHAT is with (none)
      asshats always demanding an apology?

      Sheesh, he just said it Tuesday night.  You think he suddenly changed his mind and should APOLOGIZE?  Ok.  

      I'm sorry you're too fucking stupid to get it.

    •  Durbin (none)
      He was right, and I'm glad someone finally spoke out forcefully, but it would have been better had he dropped the references to the Nazis and Pol Pot.  It just gives the Limpaugh's of the world the opening they can run through.

      Democrats must confront the cultural populism of the wedge issues with genuine economic populism. Thomas Frank.

      by Paleo on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 10:25:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Durbin (none)
      should be reasserting his statements with heat and fervour (if he isn't already).

      The Repubs have been excellent teachers on this point - you win by being assertive, repetitive, and then upping the ante even further.

      "The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation." - Pierre Trudeau

      by fishhead on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 10:32:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If we wanted to execute these people (none)
    it should have been done on the battlefield. Once we take them into custody, whatever Bush claims, they are covered by the Geneva Convention. Gitmo is holding these people illegally. The whole mess disgusts me. And Sessions should go crawl back under his rock! This is what passes for patriotism? Oh please- without the rule of law what kind of nation can we claim to be?

    The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all- John F Kennedy

    by vcmvo2 on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 10:23:08 AM PDT

  •  "Some of them need to be executed." (none)

    I can't believe I'm reading this.

    Why not just build a gas chamber at Gitmo?

    People are really going off the deep end.

    I read on Lethal Thought wingnut blog...a poster called the detainees "Islamic dogs." Isn't that how Saddam referred to the Kuwaitis?

    But only he's a tyrant...


    We need to rise up. Fast.

    Fight terrorists wherever they be found/Well why you not bombin Tim McVeigh's hometown?? - Michael Franti

    by missreporter on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 10:23:26 AM PDT

    •  Jeff Sessions (none)
      Jeff Sessions is known for making outrageous comments.  He once called the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and National Association for Advancement for Colored People (NAACP) "un-American" and "communist inspired," and said they "force civil rights down the throats of people."  Sessions said of the Ku Klux Klan, "I used to think they're OK," until he found out some of them were "pot smokers."

      In 1986, Ronald Reagan nominated Sessions for a federal judgeship.  A Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee, knowing some of his previous outrageous comments, rejected the nomination.  (Arlen Specter voted against his nomination.)

      I posted this comment in another diary.

    •  Yep (none)
      Wasn't he the same guy who was saying that the torture at Abu Gharib was just dandy?

      "The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation." - Pierre Trudeau

      by fishhead on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 10:33:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not just Gitmo (none)
    They are making the same argument about Padilla.  That he can legally be held forever.

    Democrats must confront the cultural populism of the wedge issues with genuine economic populism. Thomas Frank.

    by Paleo on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 10:23:50 AM PDT

  •  They (BushCo) have really blurred the line (none)
    in regards to what/who is a terrorist. This is a big problem. Last night I was watching a cable news program and they said in the last month in Iraq they have rounded up 700 terrorist. WTF. How do we know who the real terrorist are over there and who are the people(over there) that are fighting because our soldiers have invaded some peoples homes, workplace? What about Iraqi's that are in the wrong place at the wrong time? What about the people that have been reported by their neighbors as terrorist? What about the people who don't know the good guys from the bad guys and they put up a fight with the wrong guy? What about the people who want to get arrested just because it will make them feel safer? I find it hard to believe that they rounded up 700 terrorist in one month in Iraq and those terrorist are equal to OBL or "Terrorist" that are coming into Iraq from Syria or Iran. I put myself in their (Iraqi's) position. If I am innocent and in my home or workplace and strangers (American's, Iraqi's, whomever) try to break in or come knocking...I can't even imagine what I would do. How do any of them know the good guys from the bad. This is a nightmare for anyone. 700 Terrorist? Bullshit...The line is so Blurred...1 word..Vietnam...Where are they going to put them all. This is a no win for everyone, especially the innocent Iraqi's.  

    *Can we please have a party when Bolton goes Down?*

    by Chamonix on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 10:24:02 AM PDT

    •  To the propaganda of Nazi Germany and Vichy (none)
      France, the French Resistance was made up of "terrorists."
      •  It was really shocking hearing it on (none)
        the TV...I was thinking they caught 700 terrorist. Boy oh boy, the American people are gonna love hearing that. Without them knowing it's not true, Bush will put our any Propaganda that may help his numbers. All I kept thinking was what a bunch of BS Propaganda this it.

        *Can we please have a party when Bolton goes Down?*

        by Chamonix on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 03:58:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Forever (none)

    "If there is no definition as to when the conflict ends, that means forever, forever, forever these folks get held at Guantanamo Bay," Biden said.

    The notion of the war lasting forever is inherent in the War On Terra as the Bushies have been pushing it. About time someone said it out loud!

    Be afraid. Be very afraid.

    by ebie on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 10:25:07 AM PDT

  •  The crux of the biscuit (4.00)
    Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions (news, bio, voting record) of Alabama said: "This country is not systematically abusing prisoners. We have no policy to do so. And it's wrong to suggest that. And it puts our soldiers at risk who are in this battle because we sent them there."

    Excuse me. Violating someones right to not be incarcerated indefinitely without due process IS abuse...of civil and human rights. I don't care how much lemon chicken you shove down my throat, if I am in a cell without a process to dispute it, I am being abused. And if you are merely paying local leaders to come up with a quota of "enemy combattants", it is systematic abuse.

    If it is your policy to hold me indefinitely, as the Dep. AG said it is, your policy is to abuse me as a detainee. You abuse my humanity and you abuse your own notion of freedom.

    It is wrong to suggest that holding someone who may only be guilty of being sold to you as a captive without due process isn't abuse.

    I don't know how plainly it needs to be put. The allegations of torture are not the only abuse. The detention without recourse is the primary abuse; the one without which no other abuse would occur. And that is not an alleged abuse; it is freely admitted by the captors.

    I hope this comes stumbling out of a good senator's mouth soon.

    -Saint Waldo

  •  Jackson and Gitmo (none)
    Isn't there a a lesson to be learned in looking at the Michael Jackson trial and Gitmo?

    Everybody KNEW that MJ was guilty, but through the proper judicial process, he was acquitted (FYI:I am no Jackson fan).

    All the wingers KNOW all the Gitmo prisoners are guilty, but are afraid that through the legal process that would protect their own asses from false conviction, maybe some heathens would be freed.

    There's a reason the Framers included due process.

    Sorry if anyone else has already said this....

  •  asdf. (none)
    "Referring to detainees, Sessions added, "Some of them need to be executed.""


    I swear I'm gonna move away from here. How barbaric.

    "The billboards shade the flags they wave. . ." -Bright Eyes

    by indiemcemopants on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 10:27:03 AM PDT

  •  Make no mistake... (none)
    this country executes ONE PRISONER...just ONE...with NO DUE PROCESS...the United States of America will be besmirched FOREVER.

    All of us and all of our future generations will be stained FOREVER.

    That this idea was even broached is such an abomination it is literally incomprehensible.

    We are in the hands of true demons.

    May God and our children forgive us.

    Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. - Mark Twain

    by Liberal AND Proud on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 10:27:20 AM PDT

  •  What do we stand for? (none)
    Are we a country of laws based on the Constitution or are we supporters of the Office of the President of the United States?

    Who can hold the President and his cabinet accountable for defying the Constitution. The Congress? If they fail to act, who can hold them accountable? The Press? If the Press is compliant, then what?

    I'm not one calling for Revolution or anything like that. There's no use shedding new blood to protest the old, but damn. What can one do?

    I could call my Congressman, Anne Northup, but what can she do? She's beholded to the Republican Party, not her district it would seem.

    Who has an answer? I'd like to know what the fuck can be done about this?

    How many Ukranians did it take to get justice? How many Americans marching on Washington, clogging its streets with rage and hope for Democracy will it take?

    Anybody? Beuhler?


  •  Sessions want to kill 'em? I say let him try. (none)
    Put Sessions and the rest of the heroic Republicans in an arena with Saddam and the prisoners, all armed with small daggers and let them have at it. Talk about win-win: either way we'll be rid of a few sons of bitches. Surely Sessions and his fellow inmates wouldn't object: I mean, they put their trust in Jeus, right? Would he let them down?

    Maybe we oughta find out.

  •  The FEAR lives in those republicans (none)
    to an extent that it never lived in me.  Even when the 2nd plane was crashing on 9-11 on CNN, My thoughts were "they will use this...they will manipulate America with this, this is the fear monger's dream".  Well..maybe not that defined, but I knew that this was  adividing line.  After this, people would either recover and we would give these criminals trials...or people would not, and there would be blood.  Now we see the blood, see the madness of "leaders" who either never recovered from 9-11 or cynically choose to use those who never recovered, to destroy EVERYTHING THAT MAKES US AMERICA.  If they "hate our freedom", what sense is there in choosging to become less free.  If torture and the oubliette are reasons for regime change in Iraq, why not in Amerika?


    by TheGryphon on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 10:28:17 AM PDT

    •  Fear and hate (none)
      It's what drives them, and what makes them puppets.

      It's far better to uphold the Constitution and burn the flag than it is to hold up the flag and burn the Constitution.

      by beemer on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 10:34:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I was visiting the States at the time (none)
      and my thought was, "Get me back to Canada!"  Mainly for the reasons you outlined.  I just assumed Bush was going to use it as an excuse to declare a state of emergency or something.

      "The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation." - Pierre Trudeau

      by fishhead on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 10:36:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I saw the Biden-Wiggins exchange (none)
    on CBC last night.  The exchange continued:

    WIGGINS:  It's our position that they can be held in perpetuity.
    BIDEN:  In perpetuity.  That means forever, right?

    Yep!  Until they die or are judicially extrajudicially murdered.  Wiggins, btw, looked mighty uncomfortable during all this.  

    The admin's Gitmo strategy is unravelling faster than a cheap sweater.

    "The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation." - Pierre Trudeau

    by fishhead on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 10:29:09 AM PDT

  •  This is what we're up against (3.66)
    A friend and coworker, whom I'll call wingnut (for soon to be obvious reasons), hit me today with an IM about Durbin.  Read the conversation and you'll see the mindset we face here in Amurka:

    Transcript for 16 Jun 2005, started at 12:36:03

    [12:36:04] wingnut    hahahha   Al Jazera loves Durbin.. maybe he should run there
    [12:36:24] beemer    I love how the fundies hate on a guy reading an FBI report
    [12:36:39] wingnut    oh BS.. hes a friken traitor w/ comments like that
    [12:36:45] beemer    who, the FBI agent?
    [12:36:49] wingnut    Durbin
    [12:37:03] beemer    why?  because he doesn't think torture is acceptable?
    [12:37:06] beemer    what a bastard
    [12:37:29] wingnut    torture my a**   lets just give them all flowers and tie-die shrts... that all the dems want to do
    [12:37:35] wingnut    they gonna give this country away
    [12:37:35] beemer    bullshit
    [12:37:38] beemer    and you know it
    [12:37:56] wingnut    sorry.. Durbin, Dean.. good party
    [12:38:04] beemer    you're just an apologist for a bunch of thugs committing war crimes
    [12:38:15] beemer    you know it
    [12:38:15] wingnut    sorry.. we not commiting warcrimes
    [12:38:19] beemer    and you wont' back away form it
    [12:38:26] beemer    which makes it even more amazing
    [12:38:26] wingnut    I support my country unlike thise losers
    [12:38:35] beemer    No, you support your party
    [12:38:38] beemer    not your country
    [12:38:48] beemer    party over country, it's the neocon way
    [12:38:57] wingnut    cuz my party represents what this country once was when it was a great country
    [12:39:00] beemer    you're so full of hate that it amazes me
    [12:40:02] wingnut    hate ?  me and the republicans.. have you listend to 1/2 your parties comments.. they the socialist hate machine
    [12:40:10] wingnut    they hate everything this country is founded on
    [12:41:08] beemer    You don't know a thing about what this country is founded on; you have some crazy kind of pseudoreligious view of America that was invented in some neoPharisee's feverish imagination, and are filling in the gaps with Rush Limbaugh soundbites
    [12:41:33] beemer    read a history book not written by a cult leader , and you might realize your misconceptions
    [12:41:35] wingnut    sorry.. was on Hanity & Colmes
    [12:41:38] beemer    LOL
    [12:41:38] wingnut    I have
    [12:42:02] wingnut    I just glad your party represented by these losers.. yous will never see another preidency :)
    [12:42:16] beemer    we'll see
    [12:42:28] beemer    the last one was a squeaker
    [12:42:41] wingnut    lol
    [12:42:42] wingnut    yeah ok
    [12:42:47] wingnut    one of the widest margins
    [12:42:51] beemer    51-48
    [12:43:00] beemer    you keep smokin'
    [12:43:32] beemer    and with the way the Ohio Coingate scandal is going, I wouldn't count on that state going red again
    [12:44:26] beemer    What, exactly, was wrong with Durbin's statement?  Was it factually inaccurate?
    [12:44:40] wingnut    comparing us to Hitler and death camps
    [12:44:44] wingnut    hes atraitor
    [12:44:47] beemer    be specific
    [12:44:59] wingnut    i'll send u the articles
    [12:45:01] beemer    no
    [12:45:05] beemer    you send me the TRANSCRIPT
    [12:45:09] wingnut    i know.. hate to read the truth
    [12:45:10] wingnut    :)
    [12:45:13] beemer    bullshit
    [12:51:52] beemer    This is the treatment that is OK to you:
    [12:51:53] beemer    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.
    [12:52:04] beemer    These are not the words of Durbin
    [12:52:15] beemer    These are from the FBI report that Durbin read out to the Senate
    [12:52:41] beemer    and unless you're saying that the FBI was lying about it, the behavior is the outrage, not the airing of it
    [12:52:54] beemer    if this is cool with you, then you're sick
    [12:52:59] wingnut    sure is
    [12:53:02] beemer    thanks for playing
    [12:53:07] wingnut    compared ot what they would do to our childeren
    [12:53:16] wingnut    sorry, war is kill or be killsed
    [12:53:18] wingnut    killed
    [12:54:10] beemer    this isn't war.  This is torture.  There are people in Gitmo that were handed over by other Afghanis for bounties.  They hadn't been examined for credible charges.  
    [12:54:40] wingnut    ok, so lets wait till they take another plane
    [12:54:43] wingnut    let em all go
    [12:54:59] beemer    in your opinion, they're all guilty
    [12:55:12] wingnut    then yous wil lbe screaming "why didnt bush do anything about it to prevent it"
    [12:55:18] beemer    no charges, no investigations, no trials, no lawyers, no due process
    [12:55:22] beemer    how is that NOT a gulag?
    [12:55:29] wingnut    theyre not citizins and not entitled to due process
    [12:55:32] beemer    bullshit
    [12:55:41] wingnut    but hell, yous wana give every american right away like theyr worhtless
    [12:55:43] beemer    all men are created equal
    [12:55:59] wingnut    go over to their country.. see how many rights you'll get
    [12:56:10] wingnut    actually nevermind.. w/ your stance, theyd welcome ya w/ open arms
    [12:56:42] beemer    no, actually, you are the one who has declared non-American citizens as subhuman
    [12:56:53] beemer    they don't have certain inalienable rights
    [12:56:55] wingnut    as NON-Americans.. NOT sub human
    [12:57:11] wingnut    there IS a difference
    [12:57:30] beemer    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal
    [12:57:37] wingnut    nice try
    [12:57:39] beemer    no
    [12:57:46] beemer    it is what it is
    [12:58:04] beemer    if not all men, then you're wiping your ass with the Constitution
    [12:58:07] beemer    but that's not surprising
    [12:58:38] beemer    you worship the current administration like a cultist, and scream "traitor" about those people who hold the law above the cult
    [12:59:46] beemer    so, what part of Durbin's speech do you take exception to?
    [13:02:12] beemer    I can't hear you
    [13:05:46] beemer    you're supporting a dictator, and you like it

    Transcript for 16 Jun 2005 12:36:03 ended.

    It's far better to uphold the Constitution and burn the flag than it is to hold up the flag and burn the Constitution.

    by beemer on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 10:32:55 AM PDT

    •  Revealing (none)
      You have far more patience than I would have.  I'd be just, like, "okay, you're crazy - goodbye!"

      "The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation." - Pierre Trudeau

      by fishhead on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 11:17:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wow (none)
      You're a better man than I am, beemer.  I would have programmed a "FUCK YOU" keyboard macro and held it down.

      It's astonishing how even if the wingnuts have zero compassion or interest in human rights, they can't see how dangerous it is for us to set such a horrific precedent.  How hard do these morons think it will be to recruit people into the armed forces after some country or group torures a group of innocent Americans and then publishes a video showing it and saying that it's in retaliation for what we've done?  Or maybe it really will be something far worse, like a suitcase nuke in a container ship in NY harbor.

      Of course, if that happens we'll no doubt hear the wingers claim that it wasn't the torture policy that should be blamed, but the lefties for publicizing it.

      As Mike Malloy (Air America) says, "Have I told you lately how much I DESPISE these people???"

  •  It is astounding to me that people can't see (none)
    the irony of the US fighting "to defend freedom" while at the same time spitting in the face of our constitution.  These are senators!! for heaven's sake.  Why aren't their law school alma maters disowning them?  Maybe someone should publish a list of our senators and the law schools they came from.

    Not as long as the sun sinks into the west And that's going to be a pretty serious test.....of time -Joan Baez

    by fishhawk on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 10:37:21 AM PDT

  •  Idiocy (none)
    Limbaugh today was blabbering about how overcrowded the federal prison system is and how Gitmo terrorists would happily start a recruitment drive once they entered the general prison population.

    Except any such terrorist would probably never enter the general population.

    Probably because any such terrorist would be held in an ultramax prison.

    The point is that they need to be charged and tried for whatever crime they allegedly committed.

    Limbaugh and his ilk think it's treason if you don't think unAmerican.

    by wny4clark on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 10:38:18 AM PDT

  •  We handed the nation... (none)
    to fascists...on a silver platter.

    Not a shot fired.

    We have NO ONE to blame but ourselves. ALL OF US.

    We are the protests? We are the people in the streets?

    We are lazy, compliant and uncaring as a nation...and we are thus accomplices in whatever happens.

    There are NO EXCUSES.

    A pox on all of us.

    Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. - Mark Twain

    by Liberal AND Proud on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 10:41:27 AM PDT

  •  It's our position that, legally... (none)
    that phrase is lawyer-talk for "I'm getting paid good money by my client to say something indefensible which nobody above the mental age of three could find persuasive, but it's my job to say stupid things so my client doesn't have to, so here goes, dear god I hope they don't call me on this BS...."

    The sleep of reason produces monsters. Francisco Goya

    by Dire Radiant on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 10:42:39 AM PDT

  •  FYI (none)
    Got this from IL Rapid Response:

    Please let Rapid Response know what actions you have taken regarding this issue:

    Please also forward this alert to our progressive


    Illinois' senior Senator, Dick Durbin, is coming under attack from the right-wing for taking a moral stand against torture. Conservatives are twisting his words, removing context and smearing him up and down the dial.

    The latest moronic Right-Wing smear attack
    by kos
    Wed Jun 15th, 2005 at 23:58:26 PDT


    Progressive values of honesty and true strength (among others) are at work here. Committing torture is like pouring fuel on the terrorists' fire -- it makes our country weaker by giving those who would harm us a rallying cry and making us look hypocritical (conservatives have said their goal was to remove Saddam Hussein, not take his place).


    Please submit letters to as many papers as you can.

    You may also wish to contact Sen Durbin to let him know your thoughts and ask what more you can do to help.

    Take a stand against torture, it is immoral.


    Senator Durbin has four offices. You may want to try the local offices first. If you are not in Illinois, the Washington office may be your best bet.

    Washington, DC
    332 Dirksen Senate Bldg.
    Washington, DC 20510
    (202) 224-2152
    (202) 228-0400 - fax

    230 South Dearborn St.
    Suite 3892
    Chicago, IL 60604
    (312) 353-4952
    (312) 353-0150 - fax

    525 South 8th St.
    Springfield, IL 62703
    (217 ) 492-4062
    (217) 492-4382 - fax

    701 N. Court St.
    Marion, IL 62959
    (618) 998-8812
    (618) 997-0176 - fax


    Full list of Illinois media:

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." -Voltaire

    by poemless on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 10:43:22 AM PDT

  •  Gosh, it's a big darn shame... (none)
    ...that when the Founders drafted the Consitution they didn't have the foresight to anticipate abuses of this kind and add some sort of prohibitions against them.  

    Oh, well.  They were only human, after all.  They couldn't think of everything...

    "Unk, the big trouble with dumb bastards is that they are too dumb to believe there is such a thing as being smart." -- Kurt Vonnegut, The Sirens of Titan

    by Roddy McCorley on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 10:46:44 AM PDT

  •  Laws of war (none)
    The 'Laws of War' were firmly established in the UN charter and the 4th Geneva convention and at Nuremberg, at the behast of the 'great powers', forced to do something about the 50 million corpses and countless shattered lives around the world.  The horror of the second world war was profound in at least trying to civilize the world, establishing that this was a legitimate goal.  

    Now we have leaders who know nothing of the horror of that or any other war(except maybe Rumsfeld, who's just fucking crazy), only of the glory.  They could care less about it's history, as they believe themselves to be the historical vanguard, creating the new world order.  Why should a few pieces of paper signed 30, 40, 50 years ago stand in the way of their noble cause?

    Well, we as a nation need to decide whether or not civilization is something that we will strive for only when it's not the least bit convenient for us and our 'leaders' or if it's a true American value , demanded at all times.  The lives of our servicemen depend on it.  The lives of many more Iraqis depend on it, as the lives of millions of vietnamese had in the past, and who knows how many millions elsewhere will in the future.  Unfortunately, based on the 2004 election, I fear I already know our decision.

    •  The Laws of War!! (none)
      That's a good one! HAHAHAHA!

      Where are they? Next in line to go in the shredder after the Geneva Conventions?

      When are we going to REALLY UNDERSTAND who and what we are dealing with here.

      Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. - Mark Twain

      by Liberal AND Proud on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 11:16:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, kind of my point (none)
        The administration doesn't respect any kind of moral or legal limit on their right to kill, torture and conquer in the name of whatever.  I don't expect them to in the future.  Americans need to decide if we're a civilized nation or a crusader state.  They had the chance in 2004, and went with the later.

        I don't have any solutions.

      •  The Laws of War were.... (none)
        in place before the Geneva Conventions. The Laws of War included specific prohibitions, however the Nazi lawyers created techniques that did not technically violate the "Laws of War".

        Techniques that the Nazi's used to get around the laws of war were forced nudity and forced shaving of the head of women and head and face of men. These techniques were particularly offensive to orthodox jews.

        After the Nazi's were defeated the Geneva Conventions were drafted in 1948 with broader language to cover any type of inhumane or torture technique imaginable.

        Gonzales of course fixed that problem by claiming that the Geneva Conventions don't apply.

  •  wow, all the hate talk from Republicans... (none)

    Between criticizing torture and pissing off the Repubs over this, and signing on as a cosponsor to Lautenberg's prescription equity and contraceptive availablity act, I'm beginning to think maybe I should be volunteering for Durbin's reelection campaign in 06.
  •  Give Durbin some support (none)

    Dean speaks out the truth. I like it
    Iraq is based on a 'pack of lies.' Telling the truth looks like the only remedy to it.

    by lawnorder on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 11:36:26 AM PDT

  •  I hate to say it (none)
    but biden still has a role in this party.

    LIEberman and zell do not.

  •  Bad, bad, bad... (none)
    Neanderthals like Sessions want to kill ...

    There was a diary yesterday that chastised the over-use of Neanderthal as having a negative connotation. I tend to agree. These type of Republicans are far too stupid a breed of Homo Sapien to have survived anywhere near the 250,000 years Neanderthals are said to have, longer than Homo Sapiens by the way. Indeed, it could be argued (with a straight face) that such Homo Republicus are simply an anti-evolutionary species of Human pushing us farther toward extinction.

  •  yeah i heard the sessions clip (none)
    about execution and yelled at the radio thats why there needs to be due process - fuckhead - talking execution in an offhand way like that really seals it for me that our nation is stepping towards totalitarianism a la 1930's germany or soviet union (or more like civil war spain maybe) and i dont know why nobody on the right sees it that way

    maybe thats how they prefer things....

    Seriously folks, discussing this on a blog, even one as popular as Daily Kos isn't going to make much of a difference.

    I just got off the phone with all 4 of Senator Durbin's offices and they are getting an avalance of calls from right wing wackos who are demanding that Durbin apologize.  

    We need to call our senators as well as Senator Reid's office and tell them we want to see the Senate Democrats support Senator Durbin!

    If Durbin were a Republican you would see lock step defense of what he said.  The fact that the Dems aren't saying shit is a problem!!!  We need to wake them up by giving them a call and demanding that we start to support our own.

    I just called my Senator as well as Senator Reid's office telling them I want to see a statement from the Senate Democrats supporting Durbin.  I think it's crucial that the statement be a carefully crafted statement but I think it's absolutely crucial that one be made.  We can't let Durbin be thrown to the wolves -- this is why our party is sucking!

    Please take a minute to call your Senator and tell them you support Durbin's comments or at least the point of his comments and then call Senator Reid and ask him what he's doing to show solidarity among Senate Democrats!

    Durbin has the moral high groung here folks we can't let him be bullied into an apology!  If he apologizes we lose.  If we stand together there's nowhere for the Right to go on this -- they are wrong and they know it.

  •  Deperados, you better come to your senses (none)
    Who on this site feels that America is actually being run like a democracy at this point in time? I don't.  From an outside of America point of view, this is all crazy. This administration is down right afraid of the new world order - and I don't mean the one that gwb thinks about. We don't want any more super powers competing for any resource that we have always enjoyed in plenty. Boo hoo.

    It's  too late to change all of that. Certain parts of capitalism and democracy have spread around the world. We have made a great effort at making this happen with policy, training and investments.  Many countries are becoming "westernized" by the global economy.  We have a great deal of investment in these other countries. Why is it that we need to pursue countries that do not really fall into line?  

    Yeah right oil. America's Methamphetamine.  We are so hopelessly hooked on the stuff that we never even tried to find adequate substitutes or processes that saved more of it for the future. Now it's a big freaking panic situation where we need to become crazed with destruction and lawlessness to attempt to get our way. How sad is that?

    Solutions will all have pretty heavy side effects. Maintaining control of oil fields is just too costly in human lives and cash. Increase in the price of crude due to demand will cause pump prices to really start going up, catching all of those SUV drivers off guard and that will piss people off. Maybe it's time though. We need alternatives, we need innovation, we need the next big thing to come out of America. Something that will be good for us and the entire world. How cool would that be?

    Our current administration has done us a tremendous disservice. They've tried to regain control of a world that is moving forward and competing for resources. They have the capital to buy these resources at market rates plus they have better good will intangibles than we do right now. We now have to come up with things that the world wants to buy. We need to play fair in today's global market. We can get back some leadership roles on many of the issues we earthlings share in common. We will have to wait until these idiot warmongers are finished with their big, bloody hissy fit.

    In the meanwhile, we can support everyone who stands up to the impromptu policies and practices of this administration and continue to speak out ourselves about these wrongs. This is really damage control for the rest of the world to see. I don't care what the current administration has to say about anything. America has to live with its neighbors on this planet. We better start soon.

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