Thursday, June 16, 2005

Dick Durbin and Fred Phelps - Lunacy's "A" Team

Matthew 7:21-24 (New Living Translation)

True Disciples

21 “Not all people who sound religious are really godly. They may refer to me as “Lord,”but they still won't enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The decisive issue is whether they obey my Father in heaven. 22On judgment day many will tell me, “Lord, Lord, we prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.” 23But I will reply, “I never knew you. Go away; the things you did were unauthorized.”

I thought it might have been one of those “full moon” things, but then I checked a universal calendar and found out that wasn’t the case. Maybe there was just something in the air. Whatever it was it afflicted Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois and the “reverend” Fred Phelps in a mighty way. If I were to diagnose the malady I would have to say that it was either foot in mouth disease of head up rectum syndrome.

The good senator took the lead in this mess when he did a bit of pontificating in the well of the senate, believing, I surmise, that what he said would never make it into the public arena. That assumption was every bit as foolish as his remarks:

“When you read some of the graphic descriptions of what has occurred here [at Guantanamo Bay]--I almost hesitate to put them in the [Congressional] Record, and yet they have to be added to this debate. Let me read to you what one FBI agent saw. And I quote from his report”:

“On a couple of occasions, I entered interview rooms to find a detainee chained hand and foot in a fetal position to the floor, with no chair, food or water. Most times they urinated or defecated on themselves, and had been left there for 18-24 hours or more. On one occasion, the air conditioning had been turned down so far and the temperature was so cold in the room, that the barefooted detainee was shaking with cold. . . . On another occasion, the [air conditioner] had been turned off, making the temperature in the unventilated room well over 100 degrees. The detainee was almost unconscious on the floor, with a pile of hair next to him. He had apparently been literally pulling his hair out throughout the night. On another occasion, not only was the temperature unbearably hot, but extremely loud rap music was being played in the room, and had been since the day before, with the detainee chained hand and foot in the fetal position on the tile floor.”

“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. Sadly, that is not the case. This was the action of Americans in the treatment of their prisoners.”

I’m somewhat at a loss here. I don’t like to see anyone in a bad way, not even my enemies. But, come on Senator, this doesn’t rise to the level of Auschwitz. We’re at war here. I remember the first time I heard a hundred and twenty two millimeter rocket coming my way forty years ago and realizing that someone out there meant me ill. One of the first urges I had before I pulled myself together was to relieve myself. And, I’ve worked in conditions a lot worse than a hundred degrees or in a room where the air conditioner was set so low that I had to round up a firewood detail to warm the place up. About the only thing I saw here that was remotely like torture was the rap music. I think if I had to bear that all night I’d crawl up in a fetal position too.

Now, according to his bio, Durbin is a man of the people. His resume would make even Mother Theresa green with envy. Upon reading it the only thing I could see next for the good senator from Illinois was sainthood.

But bios are one thing and the real world is another. I think that his constituents, many of whom have sons and daughters serving in harm’s way, aren’t very appreciative of his loose tongue. Barring impeachment, which is very, very unlikely, though, they (and consequently the rest of us) are stuck with this lunatic till 2008.

But, after reading a post from “Feeble Knees,” I find that’s not nearly as bad as the word coming from the offices of “reverend” Fred Phelps. Durbin’s malady was mild compared to this fruitcake’s. This wolf in sheep’s clothing has really gone over the edge now. He’s apparently decided to picket the funeral of Corporal Carrie French, who died serving freedom’s cause in Iraq, telling the media and anyone who would listen that the Almighty was wreaking his vengeance on the French family and the U.S.military for wrongs the government of the United States inflicted on him:

(BOISE - AP) -
“The Kansas preacher who tried to erect an anti-gay monument in a Boise city park says he's coming to Idaho this week to picket the funeral of a fallen soldier.”

“Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, says God killed Idaho National Guard Corporal Carrie French with an improvised explosive device. Phelps says God is retaliating against America for a bombing of his church six years ago.”

“French was a 19-year-old Caldwell High School graduate and varsity cheerleader. She was killed June 5 in Iraq's northern city of Kirkuk by an improvised explosive device.
French served as an ammunition specialist with the 116th Brigade Combat Team's 145th Support Battalion.”

“Phelps says there is no reason he is targeting French specifically. He says his church will protest any public funeral of soldiers killed in Iraq.”

“Caldwell Police Chief Bob Sobba said he can't bar Phelps from going to the public funeral. It's scheduled for Wednesday afternoon at the Albertson College of Idaho.”

Now doesn’t that put the lid on the jar? Do these two lunatics have the same press secretary? Did they hatch this all up on a conference call? I’m only left to wonder how far Senator Durbin would have gone if he hadn’t been prevented by political niceties.

One of these knuckleheads, a politician, merely insulted the U.S, military and, by extension, their families. The other, a counterfeit man of the cloth, wished them all dead.

I’m stunned, absolutely stunned, by what I’ve read and heard. I can only conclude that these two are, in my book, lunacy’s “A” Team.


Scott-O-Rama said...

Thank you for having the wisdom to see that "Reverend" Phelps is a complete looney!

Jason said...

What Scott said. But to compare a raving lunatic like Phelps to a senator who testified against torture is pretty intellectually dishonest to say the least. I have to wonder if you were against Phelps when it was just the funerals of gays that he would protest.

Allan said...

The right reverend Phelps has been batty for some time, perhaps his entire adult life. Does he have an audience beyond the lunatic fringe?

On the other hand, Durbin insulted not only those in uniform today, but certainly every holocaust victim as well as every victim of the gulags and Pol Pot. It's John Kerry and the winter soldier lies rerun.

This is right in line with your post about McNamara and Carter Phil. Be careful you are not heading to a dark place.

Carson Day said...

The reason used here to justify the torture of gitmo inmates wouldn't pass a first quarter logic course. If Durbin's quotation of what went on at Gitmo is accurate, then that place has far less credibility than I first suspected.

You can call it lunacy if you want to, but name-calling hardly amounts to any kind of sound reasoning. And the disparity of quoting (or rather paraphrasing badly) the Bible, and then sanctioning torture, seems closer to lunacy than anything you quote Durbin as saying.

Nowhere does the Bible sanction the torturing of prisoners in wartime or peace. Capital criminals -- following due process of law -- may be killed, but never tortured. The executions allowed in Scripture carry the intention of removing the wicked from the earth swiftly, without dragging on the affair.