Ex-POW Paul Galanti's letter to Sen. Durbin


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280PLUS
June 21, 2005, 09:02 AM
Forwarded to me...
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Senator Durbin,



As one who was held in a North Vietnamese Prison for nearly seven years and whose definition of torture and bad treatment is somewhat at variance with yours, I deplore your senseless comments about alleged "barbaric treatment" at our terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo.



Your remarks comparing Guantanamo to the regimes of Stalin, Hitler and Pol Pot are outrageous. I tried to think of why a rational human being could make such an outlandish statement but I keep coming up short. I thought I'd seen it all when Howard Dean performed his infamous scream in Iowa but your diatribe yesterday eclipsed Dean's moment of Hannibal Lecter lunacy. And your moment of pique will be infinitely more damaging to members of our Armed Forces serving in harm's way.



I noted, when searching for your contact information, that the first item Google came up with was al Jazeera's joy at your comments. You, sir, for having aided and abetted the enemy in time of war, have been relegated in my mind to the status of Jane Fonda and your colleague, John Kerry as contemptible traitors.



I hope not too many of our valiant members of the Armed Forces have to suffer for your stupid comments. Shame on you.



This is copied to the Chicago Tribune's Letters Editor. It is blindcopied to my family members from Illinois and to several military blog groups to which I subscribe.



Sincerely,

Paul E. Galanti

Commander, U.S. Navy (Ret.)

21 Maxwell Road

Richmond, VA 23226

804359.6366 (h)

pgalanti@comcast.net http://www.nampows.org/pgbio.html

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foghornl
June 21, 2005, 10:50 AM
If you guys didn't have a reason to put Sen. Durbin in the political dumpster before, you certainly do now...

Can you say "tar and feathers" ? ? ?

Missourigunner
June 21, 2005, 05:49 PM
My big question is: How did Senator "Dumbkin" manage to deceive the Voters of Illinois and get elected? :cuss: :cuss: :cuss:

Standing Wolf
June 21, 2005, 07:12 PM
How did Senator "Dumbkin" manage to deceive the Voters of Illinois and get elected?

There's a special machine in Illinois that manufactures votes for representatives of the Democratic (sic) party.

RealGun
June 22, 2005, 12:36 PM
Re Gitmo being compared to infamous concentration camps, Senator Durbin made an emotion-filled apology on the floor of the Senate last evening. I guess he has a new appreciation for the PC police.

My concern would be that one can never speak frankly, implying that people don't want to know what you really think. They want you to play a role as they see it. Genuine dialogues must be in private with no recording devices around.

So it's okay to be really offensive in references to elected officials in revered offices, especially party opposition, but it's not okay to make rhetorical challenges to how prisoners are handled or whether they have any rights.

I swear, I think expressions of offense are far worse than any original statements. If the tyranny of the PC police prevails, we will never really confront tough issues head on. There are some things that cannot be approached on tiptoes. I liken it to Steve Jobs' "reality distortion field".

That said, I think it's incredible that Durbin would think his statements would be in any way appropriate. Really though, it's just part of the mean spirited, certainly prosecutorial style that has become standard Democrat stuff.

50 Freak
June 22, 2005, 01:06 PM
I'm actually glad Senator Dumass made his statement. Shows me.

America is still the land of the free and Dumass's can still make comments against the his government without worry that he will be sent to some prison.

I'd worry if Senator Dumass suddenly dissappear in the middle of the night. Not the country I'd want to live in.

Don Gwinn
June 22, 2005, 01:07 PM
Several points, in more or less random order:

1. Unless he does it ten times more, this has zero chance of hurting Durbin's re-election. He's in for life unless some large, unforeseen sea change sweeps him out. This is a tiny blip in his career which will be forgotten in a few weeks. Chicago's biggest business loves him, and that's still all it takes to be a Senator in Illinois.

2. I don't know that he actually apologized. I haven't found the text of his remarks yet, but I've been told he said something like "I apologize that my remarks were taken out of context, which caused some people to take offense." Basically this amounts to saying "I'm sorry that you're offended, but not that I said it."

3. His apology doesn't mean much after six days of saying he was completely in the right and that those criticizing him should be the ones to apologize.


4. Finally, as regards the "PC police," I don't see that one. In my mind, Political Correctness means a standard of correctness based not on factual evidence but on craven political considerations. Thus, if there were actual evidence that anything approaching Soviet, Chicom, Nazi or Khmer Rouge death camps or their torture techniques was actually happening at Gitmo, and he felt the need to pretend otherwise because of public pressure, that would be "PC."

In this case we have the opposite. He made a wild allegation that was not and IS NOT supported by the facts at hand, and it took public pressure to get him to come out and grudgingly apologize for it. Public pressure forcing someone to change his statement to conform to the facts is NOT PC.

For instance, if Ward Churchill says "The people at the WTC deserved what they got because they were little Eichmans willingly working to oppress Arabs," then public pressure brought to bear is not PC, because that statement is not factual or even decent. It was wrong to say it and it would be right to apologize.
If Ward Churchill says "The U.S. government has broken a whole bunch of treaties with American Indians and treated them horribly over the years," and public pressure causes him to apologize, THAT would be PC. There's plenty of evidence that the second statement is factual, so if it is rescinded because of public pressure, there must be a political rather than a factual reason why it is "incorrect."

It's an important distinction to make.

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