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Hanoi Jane - TheSequel

June 27, 2005


"Hanoi Jane" Fonda          Democrat Senator Dick Durbin

Democrat Senator Dick Durbin's obscene comparison of interrogation methods at Guantanamo Bay to the murderous brutality of history's greatest butchers have angered millions of patriotic Americans. It was inevitable that his words would be compared to the treasonous remarks of "Hanoi Jane" Fonda in the 1970's when she accused US servicemen of being "traitors" and "war criminals" for fighting against the Communist North Vietnamese.


Fonda, defending her actions, made this statement: "It's my fondest wish, that some day, every American will get down on their knees and pray to God that some day they will have the opportunity to live in a Communist society." Durbin's statements were worse.  

On June 14, 2005, on the floor of the US Senate, Durbin (the second highest-ranking Democrat Senator) spoke these contemptible words: "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." (The entire text of his tirade can be found in the article, "Breaking the Durbin Code" - see LINK below.)

Liberals love to play the "say hateful things and then deny you said them" game, and Slimy Durbin is a master of the game. But he can't run away from his words this time. I offer you the following well-documented chronology of the events following Durbin's sick statements of June 14.

Three things must be noted before we proceed. First, the report he read from was never published as an official statement by the FBI. It was a single uncorroborated report by a single FBI agent regarding his observations (which Durbin described as "torture"). One of the "tortures" was playing rap music loudly. I confess that I would have to agree with the Senator on that one. Another was interrogating a prisoner in a hot room. I live in South Florida, just over a hundred miles from Cuba. While the temperatures in this region are uncomfortable for half the year, I doubt that the millions of retirees flocking here would agree with Durbin that they constitute "torture".

I must also note, that although Durbin pretends to be speaking to his fellow Senators ("Mr. President" and "my colleagues"), he was in fact speaking to an almost empty room after his "colleagues" had fled for the day. This subterfuge allows Senators to claim that they said certain things to their "colleagues" when in fact no one was there except clerks and a few other Senators intent on the same deception. In this case, Durbin knew his outrageous remarks would anger Senators on both sides of the aisle, so he made them after they left. But it would still allow him to brag to his far-left fringe lunatic friends that he was "tough on war" on the floor of the Senate.

Finally, six million Jews died in Nazi concentration camps. 25 to 30 million Soviets died in the gulag. And one-third of the Cambodian population - over two million people - died in Pol Pot's killing fields. Not one prisoner has died in our base in Cuba. As Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mark Steyn so eloquently put it, "Durbin's comparison is deranged, and deeply insulting not just to the U.S. military but to the millions of relatives of those dead Russians, Jews and Cambodians, who, unlike Durbin, know what real atrocities are."

On June 15, 2005, there were many calls for Durbin to apologize. Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, a Democrat, said: "I think it's a disgrace to say that any man or woman in the military would act like that." To their shame, not one senior Democrat official denounced Durbin's offensive words, although Durbin is one of the highest-ranking Democrats, and thus can be deemed to have spoken for the leadership.

Ironically, in 2002 Democrats hounded Senator Majority Leader Trent Lott from his leadership position for an innocent remark that he made, not on the floor of the Senate, but at a private party on the occasion of Senator Strom Thurmond's 100th birthday. Lott commented that the country would have been better off if Thurmond had been elected in 1948. Democrats immediately screamed that Lott's private remarks were "racist" simply because early in his long and distinguished career, Thurmond had (like many in the Congress) endorsed segregation. Interestingly, Thurmond was a Democrat at the time. He later renounced those policies and became a Republican. But today, Democrat Senator Robert Byrd, once a leading member of the KKK and now one of the highest-ranking Democrats, has never renounced his hateful beliefs.

Afraid to face the press, Durbin, spoke through his press secretary, stating that he had no intention of apologizing. That same day he placed this outrageous statement on his website: "This administration should apologise to the American people for abandoning the Geneva Conventions and authorising torture techniques..." These remarks were gleefully repeated over and over again on the website of that great defender of worldwide terrorism, Al Jazeerah.

On June 16, 2005, Al Jazeera's lead was "US senator stands by Nazi remark." The article began, "A US senator has refused to apologise for comparing the actions of US soldiers at Guantanamo Bay to those of Nazis, while others have decried or defended the mandate and method used to hold prisoners there."

Up to this point, the Whitehouse had stayed out of the controversy. When it became clear that Durbin had no intention of apologizing for his huge insult to our military, Whitehouse spokesman Scott McClellan had this to say: "Our men and women in uniform go out of their way to treat detainees humanely, and they go out of their way to uphold the values and the laws that we hold so dear in this country. 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."

On June 17, 2005, feeling the heat from both Americans of all political persuasions, Durbin posted this on his official website (see LINK below): "I have learned from my statement that historical parallels can be misused and misunderstood. I sincerely regret if what I said caused anyone to misunderstand my true feelings..." His staff called this an apology, but I don't think anyone reading these words would agree.

That day the phones in Durbin's Washington and Illinois offices wouldn't stop ringing. Durbin decided to appear on the very liberal Spike O'Dell program on WGN Radio in Chicago, where he could count on softball questions and a supportive reception. During the program he claimed that Colin Powell supported his position, although he couldn't provide any evidence of his ridiculous claim. O'Dell asked him, "No regrets on the comments you made?" Durbin replied, "No, I don't, and I'll tell you why. I went to the floor and read a memo from the FBI." He neglected to discuss his comparison of US troops to Nazis and Soviet thugs. (I guess he forgot.)

On June 19, 20005, one of the leading newspapers in Durbin's home state, the Chicago Sun-Times, published a crushing article by Mark Steyn titled, "Durbin Slanders His Own Country." (See LINK below.) In the article, Steyn opined, "This isn't a Republican versus Democrat thing; it's about senior Democrats who are so over-invested in their hatred of a passing administration that they've signed on to the nuttiest slurs of the lunatic fringe...He should at least be made a little uncomfortable over what he's done - in a time of war, make an inflammatory libel against his country's military that has no value whatsoever except to America's enemies. Shame on him, and shame on those fellow senators and Democrats who by their refusal to condemn him endorse his slander."

On June 19, 2005, Senator John McCain was interviewed on Larry King Live, partly regarding Durbin's shameful comments. A CNN article (see LINK below) described the exchange this way: "McCain said Sen. Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, should apologize for comparing the actions of American interrogators at Guantanamo to Nazis, Soviet gulags and Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot. 'I don't know if censure would be in order, but an apology, because it does a great disservice to the men and women who suffered in the gulags and in Pol Pot's killing fields,' McCain said."

On June 23, 2002, in an article titled, "US Senator Regrets Nazi Remark," Al Jazeera quoted Durbin as saying, "Some may believe that my remarks crossed the line. To them I extend my heartfelt apologies." Another non-apology apology. Durbin made it clear in his remarks that he was not one of those who believed he had crossed the line. He didn't say that what he said was wrong. He said that if some people think he was wrong, he is sorry about that.

By the way, regarding Al Jazeera, this terrorist-supporting website has been very supportive of Durbin. Initially, they published his every utterance in article after article. Then, when the tide of public opinion turned against him, they deleted all links to his ridiculous statements. Today, if you go to http://english.aljazeera.net/HomePage and type "Durbin" in their search field, the only article that will come up is the one mentioned above, his supposed "apology." (A week ago a dozen articles came up when "Durbin" was entered in the search field.) All links to his previous refusals to apologize have mysteriously disappeared. The only way I was able to get a link to the other Al Jazeera article quoted here was by the "back door" (I entered "Guantanamo" instead of "Durbin" in the search field, and found an article they forgot to delete).

I have published on our website this week as our "Email of the Week" an impassioned and articulate piece written by Army Staff Sergeant Stephen Pointer as an open letter to our US Senators. Please make it a point to read his entire letter. I include the last two paragraphs of that letter below to conclude this article.

"We men and women who serve in the armed forces are NOT the jackbooted tyrants that some people seem hell-bent to depict us as. We are many things, but we are not evil. Implications to the opposite effect serve only to undermine and demoralize us as we try with all our hearts to carry out our missions to make the world a better place. If Senator Durbin or any other lawmaker would like to see evidence of, or hear testimony about what we really do, then I suggest a trip to Kosovo. Ask the people here what they think of America and our soldiers. You might be surprised.

"In conclusion I would like to remind you that many of the men and women currently running the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay come from the California Army National Guard. They are upstanding and honorable citizens of the state of California, and the United States of America. They are members of the greatest force for peace, or war, that the world has ever seen. I personally know many of them, and they are absolutely not as Senator Durbin portrays them. Senators, I beg of you, stand up for them. Do not allow these reprehensible statements by one of your colleagues to go by the board without censure. He must be called to task on this."

One might excuse Jan Fonda by saying she was just a misguided celebrity. Durbin has no such excuse. As a Senator he has the information available to him that demonstrates that his statements are garbage. Durbin has violated his oath as a Senator, which requires him to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Has himself become a domestic enemy who seeks to demoralize lower American support for our troops. And he is providing aid and comfort to our foreign enemies. He should be censured by his colleagues in the Senate.


Breaking the Durbin Code


Durbin Slanders His Own Country


Al Jazeera: US senator stands by Nazi remark


Whitehouse Comments


Dick Durbin's official website


Senator John McCain's Remarks on Larry King Live


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Copyright ©2005 Tom Barrett

Dr. Tom Barrett is a pastor, teacher, author, conference keynote speaker, professor, certified executive coach, and marketplace minister. His teaching and coaching have blessed both church and business leaders. He has been ordained for over 40 years, and has pastored in seven churches over that time. Today he “pastors pastors” as he oversees ordained and licensed ministers in Florida for his ministerial fellowship.

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