Saturday, June 18, 2005

The Honorable Senator Durbin - No Need to Explain Senator - You Did the Right Thing

I posted the following comment on Jim Leach's excellent Blog in relation to Senator Durbin's recent speech pertaining to the ongoing Gitmo prisoner abuse scandal.

See my comments here.

Senator Durbin's original statements need no qualifications. The "outrage" of the Bush administration's apologist for torture is truly distressing.

For the most part those who have protested Senator Durbin's recent remarks haven't addressed the reality of prisoner maltreatment. Instead they have focused on an analogy employed by Senator Durbin.

Reality isn't always comforting, but it is necessary to confront it, whether it cast a warm light or not.

Shouting down a leader with false rhetoric won't help this nation come to terms with the most important issues it faces.

One of the most persistent complaints from the general public leveled at Washington is that politicians play it safe at the expense of the national debate which must take place before any issues can be addressed.

Senator Durbin's remarks have been dissected, and taken out of context in a way intended to stifle that debate, and to intimidate any who might follow him.

Their reaction isn't borne out of misunderstanding. It is a deliberate act of group-think intimidation.

Hecklers one and all.

The reactions of these apologist of prisoner abuse constitutes a denial non-denial.

Create a big stink, and maybe everyone will forget what the original issue is all about. In the mainstream media this method works well - but in the blogosphere it's doesn't seem to work as well. The Internet possesses a memory, and we're all a Google search away.

Their mindset seems to be that "we" can do no wrong, and if "we" ever do wrong, that no one should ever say anything about it. The mindset seems poised to punish those who break the silence, in that if anyone does point out the mistakes that "we" have made, or are currently making, that "we" will go after "them" next.

See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.

Ironically this mindset seems to find an analogue in that of the petty bureaucrat, as well as the street thug - both protecting their turf. Odd that this mindset would be adopted by those who claim to be the enemies of mindless bureaucracy, and the moral decay leading to criminality.

The U.S. military is a fine, and professional organization, which for decades preceeding the current conflict strived to train its ranks on the proper treatment of prisoners of war - according to the rules of the Geneva Convention.

When prisoners of this war were classified as "detainees", and the Bush administration contested the strict applicability of the Geneva Convention in the treatment of the "detainees" a clear case of anomie resulted.

In an attempt to justify the ongoing actions of prisoner maltreatment the Bush adminstration simply redefined the definition of maltreatment.

See DOJ Torture Advice Memo.

In this setting, one in which the executive branch is officially sanctioning prisoner abuse, the culture of abuse quickly seeped its way downward reaching the ranks of the common soldier.

The vast majority of U.S. soldiers are ethical men, and women. They have conducted themselves properly oftentimes under extreme, and dangerous conditions. This nation owes them a debt we can never fully repay.

Senator Durbin was in no way casting doubt about the integrity of these brave men, and women.

However, allegations of prisoner abuse have been made, and criminal proceedings have been conducted. Already some soldiers have been convicted. The fact that prisoner abuse has taken place is not under contest here.

It is a disservice to the men and women in uniform that any question at all as to the proper treatment of prisoners of war should ever have arisen.

The rules of proper conduct towards prisoner's of war should have been followed as the military has historically instructed. No mixed messages should ever have come from the Administration polluting the chain of command with ambiguous messages of what was proper conduct.

The effect of the redefinition of prisonor abuse (an endorsement of torture) has been debilitating to our armed forces, to the morale at home, and to our objective of changing hearts and minds in the war against terror.

JAG officers should not have had to resign their commissions in protest that torture would be adopted as a tool of interrogation.

Guards should not have been encouraged to sexually abuse prisoners at the instruction of military intelligence.

Dogs should not have been used to attack prisoners.

Prisoners should not have been allowed to languish in their own excrement.

The Koran should not have been mistreated by prison guards.

The list of abuses is just too long to list here.

The Commander in Chief is ultimately where the buck stops, even if the moral courage to accept blame is utterly lacking under this current regime.

Senator Durbin is taking heat for being brave enough to tell it like it is. Mr. Durbin is not blaming the service personnel, instead he is shedding light on a bad policy promoted by those in the Bush Administration, a policy which unwisely corrupts our approach in handling prisoners of war.

Senator Durbin is doing his duty to condemn a policy which only breeds hatred for America around the world, and endangers the lives of Americans - both civilians, and those who protect this nation.

Keys: The Village of Jerome, Springfield, Central, Illinois, Local, State, Political, Politics, Commentary, Blog, Satire, Senator Richard Durbin, Torture, NAZI, Political Correctness, Controversy, Iraq War, Prisoner Maltreatment

Thursday, June 16, 2005

They'd Be Just Round The Corner Now Boys!

Image hosted by
Image: Bush As Rod Serling in The Twilight Zone

I am watching CSPAN 2 right now. Rep. Walter Jones R-North Carolina (of Freedom Fries fame) is at the podium. He's requesting the president announce a plan that will begin drawing down the number of troops in Iraq by October of 2006. I guess even the Bible Belt is beginning to grow weary of the never ending nature of the American occupation of Iraq.

Of course the Bush Administration is still suggesting that somewhere around the corner (see it up there?), that things will get better - if we just wait it out a little bit longer.

CNN reports that White House press secretary Scott McClellan, responded by stating that the bipartisan resolution requesting a troop draw down would send the wrong message to the world at a time when the insurgency against U.S. troops and Iraqi forces is in "a desperate mode."

Incredibly, the administration sees the problem as one of spin control, again from CNN:

McClellan said Bush realizes Americans are concerned about Iraq, "and that's why he's going to sharpen his focus, spending more time talking about the progress that's being made on the ground."

Yes, a few awkward speeches by President Bush will set things straight - this stuff is right out of the Twilight Zone.

About The Image:

The Image used in this post, while an original creation of JeromeProphet, heavily relies upon the work of others. Others whom I don't credit. I used an existing image from the Internet (uncredited, and probably copyrighted) for the background, and combined it with photograph of President Bush (uncredited, and probably copyrighted). I edited a color photograph of President Bush, and then placed it over Rod Serling's face to create this collage.
Illinois, Local, State, Political, Politics, Commentary, Blog, Satire, Graphic Art, President Bush, Twilight Zone, Spin, Iraq War

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Last Night's Storm Aftermath in Jerome, Illinois

Image hosted by
Photo: A Jerome, Illinois Public Utility Truck Filled With Downed Tree Branches

Last night's storm took its toll upon the Village of Jerome's tree population as the photographs in this post show. The Jerome Streets Department trucks are full, and will surely be in use for several days hauling off downed trees, and limbs.

Power was interupted for a half hour, and cable service was lost for an hour last night. I haven't heard of any reports of major property damage in the village, but some areas south of town were hit harder.

There are maybe a dozen, or so, smaller limbs scattered in our front yard, but our neighbor has a huge clean up on his hands dealing with a tree-sized limb that nearly brought down his garage.

Image hosted by
Photo: Jerome, Illinois Street Department Truck, and Police Cruiser - June, 2005

Keys: The Village of Jerome, Springfield, Central, Illinois, Local, State, Political, Politics, Commentary, Blog, Satire, Storm, Winds, Trees, Service Trucks, Police Car, Branch Pickup, Without Electricity, Photos

Monday, June 13, 2005

Storm Tonight

Photo: Raindrops Frozen By StrobeFlash During A June 2005 Storm - Jerome, IL

A fairly intense storm came busting through the Village of Jerome, Illinois (and surrounding communities) early this evening. Our yard is littered with branches, but we were lucky. One of our neighbors had a huge branch torn off a very tall tree in his backyard. The branch nearly crushed his garage - missing it by inches. I took some video, and several good pics.

About the Photo: This photograph isn't particularly impressive, but I liked the raindrops frozen in flight - so I'm posting it.
Keys: The Village of Jerome, Springfield, Central, Illinois, Local, State, Political, Politics, Commentary, Blog, Satire, Rain Storm, Heavy Winds, Water Drops, Photography, Garage, Stop Motion Photography, Digital Photography

Sunday, June 12, 2005

I just liked the sound of it.

Main Entry: proph·et

1 : one who utters divinely inspired revelations;
2 : one gifted with more than ordinary spiritual and moral insight; especially : an inspired poet
3 : one who foretells future events :
4 : an effective or leading spokesman for a cause, doctrine, or group


Keys: The Village of Jerome, Springfield, Central, Illinois, Local, State, Political, Politics, Commentary, Blog, Satire, Humor, Definition of Prophet, Explanation of name for blog

email jp






Wired News: Top Stories