Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Durbin Apologizes

Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois offered his version of an apology today for the remarks he made on the Senate floor last Tuesday. Here's how the Associated Press reported Durbin's remarks today:
WASHINGTON - Under fire from Republicans and some fellow Democrats, Sen. Dick Durbin apologized Tuesday for comparing American interrogators at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp to Nazis and other historically infamous figures.
This is what Durbin actually said last Tuesday:
"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,"
Here's how the folks at a couple of my favorite blogs reacted to the news of Durbin's apology: Dr. Rusty Shackelford of The Jawa Report believes that Durbin's apology is sincere:
Durbin has apologized...I accept the apology at face value. Now let us see him try and undo all the damage that has been done.
While Captain Ed of Captain's Quarters takes a harder line:
Your remarks did cross the line, Senator. Why can't you just admit that, without qualification? This is yet another halfway dodge in putting the onus onto those whom you offended instead of taking responsibility for your own actions and comments.
Rusty, I respect your opinion, but I'm with the Captain on this one. Durbin's words were a bonanza for the propagandists at al-Jazeera and other choice places. There's no telling how many American lives Durbin's mouth will end. The only Durbin apology that I'll accept, and that grudgingly, is the same one that Nixon offered after Watergate: resignation.

The following transcript of Durbin's remarks is from The Political Teen, who also has the video.
Some may believe my remarks crossed the line. To them I extend my heartfelt apologies.
Yes, he did cross the line, and no, this is not an apology.
There’s usually a quote by Abraham Lincoln that you can turn to in moments like this. Maybe this is the right one. Lincoln said “If the end brings me out right what is set against me won’t amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong ten thousand angels swearing I was right won’t make any difference.”
That's nice, Durbin, but which is it? Do you think you came out right or came out wrong?
In the end I don’t want anything in my public career to detract from my love of this country, my respect for those who serve it, and this great Senate.
He really means that he doesn't want anything to detract from his chances for re-election.
I offer my apologies for those who were offended by my words, I promise you that I will continue to speak out on the issues I think are important to the people of Illinois and to the Nation.
Translation: "I'm sorry if anyone was offended when I called our soldiers Nazis, Soviet gulag guards, and Pol Pot torturers. I'll do the same thing tomorrow if I see any political advantage to it."
Mr. President I yield to the floor.
Mr. Senator, you need to yield your seat. You are unfit to represent Americans.

Via Captain's Quarters, The Jawa Report, The Political Teen.