For 5 months 'I stayed in the box'
By James H. Warner
June 29, 2005
As a Marine Corps officer, I spent five years and five months in a prisoner of war camp in North Vietnam. I believe this gives me a benchmark against which to measure the treatment which Sen. Richard Durbin, Illinois Democrat, complained of at the Camp of Detention for Islamo-fascists at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The senator's argument is silly. If he believes what he has said his judgment is so poor that his countrymen, assuming, of course, that he considers us his countrymen, have no reason not to dismiss him as a witless boob. On the other hand, if he does not believe what he said, the other members of the Senate may wish to consider censure. [...]
The argument that detainees at Guantanamo are being treated badly is specious and silly. In the eyes of normal Americans, Democrats believe this argument because, as Jeanne Kirkpatrick said 20 years ago, they "always blame America first." This contributes to the increasing suspicion, in red states, a problem that Democrats are aware of and are trying to counter, that Democrats cannot be trusted with our national security. Only the Democrats can change this perception, most recently articulated by White House adviser Karl Rove. The ball is in their court and I am certain there are steps that they can take to change this perception, but making silly arguments about imaginary bad treatment of enemy detainees is not a move in the right direction.
Mr Warner gives examples of his treatment at the hands of the North Vietnamese and compares it to the prisoners at GTMO. Read the whole thing.
I really must say that I was as deeply impressed by Sen. Durbin's emotional apology as I was by the circus act a few weeks ago when Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio), had a zoloft moment.
Too bad that Sen. Durbin didn't actually apologize for 'what' he said. I imagine that, right now, he wishes that he had.