The Senator's "explanation" of his idiocy has become one of the "most emailed" stories from the al Jazeera website. It is doubtful that it was being emailed to Sen. Durbin's Illinois constitutents.
The Senator should read up on providing "aid and comfort to the enemy."
Update: A previous awardee, Senator Voinovich, has been shedding tears at the thought of a UN with John Bolton as the US ambassador. I suggest that if there's anything worth getting that worked up over, it might be over the damage to this country's image being currently wrought by some of his fellow senators, such as Senator Durbin. Senator Sessions gets it:
What is happening that's so wrong and so upsetting to me is that we've got senators and congressmen and other people suggesting that we have wholesale violation of human rights at these prisoners, and it's not so. Two hundred of these 500 prisoners have cases pending in federal court, they've had multiple hearings to determine whether or not they should be kept there, they're being treated humanely, and it's wrong for us to send the message around the world from our own members of Congress that they are being abused on a regular basis. It just makes it tougher for our soldiers who are trying to win the hearts and minds of the people in Iraq and around the world and to convince the people there that we're trying to do right. (source)
Update2: Emails to my Senators:
Dear Senator _______:
Please take some action of behalf of the people of North Carolina to either censure Sen. Durbin of Illinois or engage in some other appropriate measure to try to correct the damage being done by his speech comparing the treatment of the detainees in US hands to that of "Nazis," the Soviet gulag or Pol Pot's regime.
I am greatly concerned that the ramifications of Sen Durbin's speech include adding to the hostile environment faced by all service members. As a retired Navy reserve officer who served in three wars and in several overseas assignments, I can tell you that my experience is that these allegations will be repeated back to Americans serving abroad and will be used as justification for terrorist actions that may be taken against our service people serving abroad.
While all Americans are entitled to free speech, it has long been recognized that certain members of our society have certain responsibilities that place limits on their rights to free expression.
Thus, military officers are forbidden to express "contemptuous words" against members of Congress under Art 88 of the UCMJ in order to preserve good order and discipline.
Surely Senators have or should recognize a similar duty to refrain from making comments that will certainly result in increased risk to the brave men and women who have chosen to serve their country in the military services. That Senator Durbin's comments and his "non apology" explanation have become one of the "most emailed" stories from al Jazeera's website ( and I hazard a guess that the emails are not going to his Illinois constituents) points out that Sen. Durbin's words are having an effect far beyond Illinois or the rest of the US.
Further, it's not that I don't appreciate his concern that the US treat its prisoners properly. It is that I think his manner of expressing that concern is completely out of line and very dangerous and damaging to this country.
Update3: Iowahawk discovers a pattern.
Update4: The Wall Street Journal's Brett Stephens gets the "gulag" treatment I am concerned our troops receiving from a German "diplomat" as recounted here.