Durbin’s words

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

“What­ever your pol­i­tics or your views on the Iraq war, the ad­mis­sion by Sen. Dick Durbin [Illi­nois Demo­crat] that as a mem­ber of the Se­nate Intelligence Com­mit­tee he knew that Amer­ica was duped into a war, but re­mained silent be­cause he was sworn to se­crecy, was a stun­ner,” Den­nis Byrne writes in the Chicago Tri­bune.

“ ‘At the time of this de­bate,’ he re­cently said on the Se­nate floor, ‘I was a mem­ber of the Se­nate Intelligence Com­mit­tee. And I would read the head­lines in the pa­per in the morn­ing and watch the television news­casts and shake my head. [. . .]

“ ‘The in­for­ma­tion we had in the Intelligence Com­mit­tee was not the same in­for­ma­tion be­ing given to the Amer­i­can peo­ple. I couldn’t be­lieve it. [. . .] So in my frus­tra­tion, I sat on the floor of the Se­nate and lis­tened to this heated de­bate about in­vad­ing Iraq, think­ing the Amer­i­can peo­ple are be­ing mis­led, they are not be­ing told the truth.’

“As many in his home state know, the idea that Durbin could keep his mouth shut about any­thing is a stun­ner in it­self. He has been known to shoot it off fre­quently and dis­as­trously. Wit­ness the time he made the in­flam­ma­tory and false com­par­i­son of the U.S. mil­i­tary’s treat­ment of Guan­tanamo Bay de­tainees to the mil­lions mur­dered by the Nazis, Soviet Gu­lags and Cam­bo­dia’s Pol Pot,” said Mr. Byrne, a Chicago area writer and con­sul­tant.

“So, what are we to think now? That Durbin will­ingly let thou­sands of Amer­i­cans and un­counted thou­sands of Iraqis die when he knew the truth? Is he bring­ing it up now be­cause he is seek­ing ab­so­lu­tion? Was it just bravado, a child­like ‘I know what you don’t know’ mo­ment? Was it a slip of the tongue; did he mis­s­peak? Was it just a rou­tine at­tempt to again make Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials look like liars, but he failed to think through the im­pli­ca­tions and con­se­quences of what he was say­ing? Did it even oc­cur to him that he was im­pli­cat­ing ev­ery mem­ber of the Intelligence Com­mit­tee for hid­ing the truth from the pub­lic?”

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