View Full Version : Left Blasts America While Real Torture Continues

06-20-05, 11:12 AM
Left Blasts America While Real Torture Continues
By Bobby Eberle
June 20, 2005

America is at war, and liberal Democrats don't seem to know it. Perhaps they collectively had their televisions turned off on September 11, 2001 and did not witness the horror of nearly 3,000 Americans being killed by radical Muslim terrorists. Perhaps they would rather have America raise the white flag and surrender than do what it takes to win a war. More and more, it seems as if the Democrats care more about the feelings of the enemy than they do for the safety and security of America.

Time, and time again, those on the left have criticized America during its fight against terror, and at the same time they have ignored the successes that have resulted. Terrorist regimes have been toppled; top al Qaeda leaders have been captured or killed; and America has not suffered another domestic attack since 9-11. Much of the success has been possible from information gained through interrogation of terrorist prisoners. Prisoners don't offer this information willingly. It must be coerced. It will not happen over a meal of pizza and beer. However, when America does what it needs to do to get the information, the left screams "abuse" and hurts America's standing in the world.

Last week, on the floor of the U.S. Senate, the number two Democrat, Richard Durbin from Illinois, used part of his time during a debate on the energy bill to send a morale-crushing message to our troops. Durbin's comments also provided more fuel to foreign governments and media outlets that are looking for anything upon which to heap scorn on America.

In attacking the conduct of American troops with regard to prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Durbin said, quoting an FBI agent's e-mail account, "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."

Durbin added, "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 happened 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."

These comments not only demand a complete and sincere apology -- our troops deserve nothing less -- but also show a complete lack of understanding of the real terrors of the past or the ongoing torture that occurs today in remote corners of the world. Are those on the left wing so blind as to denounce America for so-called "torture" while terrorists continue to maim and kill around the globe? During the course of World War II, Hitler and Nazi Germany systematically murdered approximately six million Jews. These prisoners were not terrorists, committed no crimes, and posed no threat, yet they were tortured and killed without remorse. Millions of prisoners perished in the forced labor camps of the Soviet gulags through exhaustion, disease, and abuse. Pol Pot, who ruled Cambodia from 1975 to 1978 was responsible for close to two million deaths through mass executions, starvation, and slave labor.

To make a comparison between Hitler or Pol Pot and Gitmo, one should simply compare the number of prisoners murdered while under America's watch on the Cuban base. That number, of course, is zero. Zero murders compared to millions. Not only that, the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay are fed, given shelter, and allowed to practice their religion. Can the same be said for those in the Soviet gulags?

Senator Durbin's comments are a slap in the face of American service personnel who are tasked with the most important job of interrogation. The information obtained from these prisoners has lead to the break-up of terrorist plots and the apprehension of numerous terror operatives. And yet, Durbin and others on the left, compare American military tactics to those of the most hideous regimes of the twentieth century. Not only are these comparisons completely without merit, but the accusations play right into the hands of the terror leaders who are surely looking for incidents upon which to motivate their followers.

In criticizing Guantanamo Bay or Abu Ghraib, Durbin, and others who seem to prefer attacking American actions rather than supporting what needs to be done to win a terror war, must come to grips with what real torture is. In his statement on the Senate floor, Durbin said that in one incident "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." Shaking with cold? Is that torture? Another was forced to listen to loud rap music. Is that torture? Okay, he might have a point on that one. All kidding aside, the fact remains that real torture was carried out by terrible regimes and continues to occur, and America is not the offending nation.

This past weekend, U.S. Marines in Iraq discovered a torture center run by Iraqi insurgents that the New York Times describes as having "electric wires, a noose, handcuffs, a 574-page jihad manual -- and four beaten and shackled Iraqis." According to the Times, the Iraqis described being shocked and "flogged with a strip of rubber for more than two weeks." That, Senator Durbin, is real torture. It's not being a little too cold or listening to rap music. It's torture, and it's what Iraqis who are struggling to build a free society must face everyday.

America is fighting a crucial war for the ultimate stakes: our very survival. It is imperative that America, when fighting this war, conducts itself not simply to some world standard, but to the American standards of decency and compassion. When cold conditions and loud rap music are the worst America is throwing at terrorist killers, then I can surely hold my head up high. Senator Durbin should apologize immediately for his offensive comparisons and lack of judgment. He should also perhaps try spending a few weeks at Gitmo and a few in an Iraqi insurgent torture center. I'd be willing to bet that the distinguished senator from Illinois would soon become quite a fan of rap music.