More on Durbin

MORE ON DURBIN….Andrew Sullivan is exactly correct in his explanation of why right wing frothing about Dick Durbin’s comments is wrongheaded:

If Durbin had said, as Amnesty unfortunately did, that Gitmo was another Gulag, I’d be dismayed and critical, as I was with Amnesty….But Durbin said something subtler. Now I know subtlety is not something that plays well on talk radio. But in this case, it matters. Durbin focused on one very credible account of inhumane treatment and abuse of detainees (see below) and asked an important question:

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.

So go ahead: answer his implied question. If you had been told that prisoners had been found in this state in one of Saddam’s or Stalin’s jails, would you have believed it? Of course, you would.

That’s right. You would. The “outrage” over this incident is obviously manufactured and deserves to be treated with scorn.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation