Is Durbin’s “Apology” Enough?

A few days ago I contacted Senator Ken Salazar’s office to get a statement on Senator Dick Durbin’s outrageous remarks. This morning I received the following message in my inbox:

Thank you for contacting me regarding your concerns about comments attributed to Senator Durbin.

I know Senator Durbin, and I know that he has only the deepest respect for our troops and their families. He did not — and would not — intend to criticize our troops.

Nonetheless, to his credit, Senator Durbin recognized that he chose his words poorly and that he offended many people — like yourself — in using the words that he did. As a result, on June 21, Senator Durbin publicly apologized for his remarks on the floor of the United States Senate. Immediately after he apologized, Senator McCain commended Senator Durbin for his apology.

Below is part of the speech Senator Durbin gave in the Senate:

“Mr. President, it is very clear that even though I had said something that clarified the situation, to many people it was still unclear. I’m sorry if anything that I said caused any offense or pain to those who have such bitter memories of the Holocaust., the greatest moral tragedy of our time. Nothing, nothing should ever be said to demean or diminish that moral tragedy. I’m also sorry if anything I said in anyway cast a negative light on our fine men and women in the military. I went to Iraq just a few months ago with Senator Harry Reid and a bipartisan delegation. The President was part of it. When you look at the eyes of the soldiers you see your son and daughter. They are the best. I never, ever intended any disrespect for them. Some may believe my remarks crossed the line. To them, I extend my heartfelt apologies.”

Thanks again for contacting me.

Sorry – but that type of apology isn’t good enough for my wife when I’ve done her wrong (“I’m sorry, dear, if I said anything that might have offended you”), and it sure isn’t good enough for a United States Senator whose outlandish statement has become a propaganda tool for our enemy and have put our servicemen and women at greater risk.

When you add in Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s recent remarks, and plenty of Congressional Republicans are more than justified in lashing back at the Democrat leadership’s “guerrila warfare against our troops.” Good for the GOP – show that backbone! There’s a way to address the Guantanamo issue evenhandedly, and the Democrats’ approach is most definitely not it.


  1. says

    “There’s a way to address the Guantanamo issue evenhandedly, and the Democrats’ approach is most definitely not it.”

    Whats the evenhanded way? Or are you just complaining without offering solutions?

  2. says

    It’s so obvious – I feel chagrin having to explain it. The way to address it evenhandedly can be understood in two ways:
    1) Not comparing known activity of prisoner treatment in Guantanamo to heinous torture, as some in the media and the Democratic Party leadership have been prone to do.
    2) If there are specific instances of prisoner abuse, they should be handled (as they currently are) within the confines of the military justice system.

    Addressing it evenhandedly requires having knowledge of specific facts and specific cases. This whole hullabaloo has arisen from one eyewitness report that may or may not be true – and even if it is true is a) only one case and b) doesn’t rise to the level of torture.

    But we need to stand up and call out those who are just looking to promote a “Blame America first – Bush is evil” agenda, regardless of the known facts.

    Since I’m so gracious as to respond to your picayune questions, perhaps you could respond to one of mine: what were you implying by your comment on a previous post about Saddam Hussein’s compliment of Ronald Reagan? And when were you ever REALLY a Republican… more than just in registration?

  3. says

    Campaigning for Reagan in 2nd grade doesn’t count? I was a Republican until I realized that we do have some responsibility to our fellow citizens, something I realized in the mid-90’s. I didn’t realize there was a test I had to pass to have been a Republican.

  4. says

    And I was implying that Saddam Hussein really liked Reagan, and obviously pines for the good old days when Republicans facilitated his genocide. Read into it what you will 😉

  5. says

    Also, I assume you’re saying the FBI agent who reported the tortuous conditions is lying? If he’s not lying, is there anything wrong with Durbin’s statement?

  6. says

    Even if the FBI agent isn’t lying, Durbin’s statement reflects the height of historical ignorance and moral idiocy. Do you think the Nazis or Stalinists charged and tried military guards who mistreated prisoners? Unless you have drunk the Kool-Aid and believe there is some sort of massive conspiracy going on.

    And what about being a Republican means you don’t care for your fellow citizens?

  7. says

    It’s hard to argue with your perceptions of others’ motives. I don’t happen to look for caring, compassion, and concern as important traits from elected officials. Sure, you want people to act according to good motives if possible, but the outcomes of policies are more important in judging political behavior. Someone can say nice things about a certain class of people all he wants, and maybe he even really cares about them, but if the policies he promotes don’t actually promote their best interests and justice, so what?

    Good example: some people are naive enough to believe that one political party cares more about the environment than the other does. Absurd, and impossible to prove. Do you think some political leaders actually want dirty air, dirty water, etc.? Of course not. The question is what’s the best way to respect and protect our natural resources in balance with the interests of innovation, economic prosperity, community values, and personal property rights? Let’s have a reasoned debate and be open about what’s based in science and what’s based on religious dogma (i.e., New Age pantheism)?

    As other examples, redistribution of wealth and glorification of victimhood especially don’t strike me as compassionate or prudent policies/philosophies.

  8. says

    I was (and am) pro-Clinton-style-welfare-reform (a hand-up vs hand-out) and don’t see any value in victimhood but recognize that diminishing it is just as harmful as rewarding it.


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