Thursday, June 16, 2005

People who say stupid things, part 3
Scott McClellan:
The White House said a senator's comparison of American interrogators at the detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to Nazis, Soviet gulags and Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot was reprehensible and a disservice to those serving in the military.

Here is what Sen. Dick Durbin (D - IL) said after reading an FBI agent's report describing treatment of detainees 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."

This is the official response from the White House.
"I think the senator's remarks are reprehensible. It's a real disservice to our men and women in uniform who adhere to high standards and uphold our values and our laws."

Reprehensible words are needed to describe reprehensible actions. As Atrios has been pointing out all day, apparently the position of the White House is that any listener hearing a description of the Guantanamo Bay abuses would never mistake them for anything but American actions. There is some quality in the torture committed by free men and women that makes is different that the torture committed by despots.

By the way, I do not blame our men and women in uniform for these actions; I blame their superiors, the ones who never get their hands dirty. I blame the higher officers and the policy makers in the Pentagon, the Justice Department, and the White House. They have corrupted our honest soldiers and no words are reprehensible enough to describe what I think about them.

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