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June 17, 2005

My Letter to Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois

Hello,

My name is Jeff ****** and I live in Salt Lake City, Utah. Contrary to the norms of my fellow Utah citizens, I am not a Republican. Far from it - I oppose, strongly, much of the Republican agenda and I vote for Democrats frequently in local elections. In presidential elections, my votes vary. I did not vote for George Bush in 2000, nor did I vote for his father.

However, last year, I considered John Kerry to be the sorriest of nearly any possible candidate. He refused to take meaningful positions on any issues, obviously fearing the loss of votes. However, his record speaks for itself and I would never have considered helping to put someone like that into office. In fact, for the first time in my life, I contributed monetary donations to political parties and candidates (President Bush's campaign, and to the Republican party as a whole).

Because of this, I've found myself the target of what seems to be a never ending onslaught of Republican "junk mail" soliciting more donations. Every time I receive one of these, I become more and more annoyed. They're not only a direct detriment to my own personal enjoyment, but they fill up the landfills so very unnecessarily (which is a significant pet-peeve of my environmentalist heart). My thoughts after having received all of this mail have been that I'd never, ever, contribute to a campaign or a party again.

But now my thoughts have changed. The next time I receive one of these mailers from the Republican party, I'm going to answer it with a check. And on that day, I'm going to seek out options for sending a check with a similar amount to whatever organization is in place to oppose Senator Durbin's re-election. Obviously I cannot vote in Illinois, but as he is a United States senator, and I am a United States citizen, I consider it to be as much my duty as it is the duty of the citizens of Illinois to remove this man from office.

In my view, he should immediately apologize for his comments about America regarding Guantanamo Bay this week. The apology should contain not only a complete retraction of his previous statements, but should also be bolstered with statements which are contrary to those he made. He should not merely acknowledge his mistake, she should explicitely detail for the American public, and the world, why his statements were inaccurate. NO CITIZEN OF ANY OTHER COUNTRY SHOULD BE ABLE TO POINT TO SENATOR DURBIN'S PREVIOUS COMMENTS AS ANY KIND OF CORROBORATION FOR THEIR OWN SUSPICIONS ABOUT ALLEGED AMERICAN MISTREATMENT OF PRISONERS. Comparing the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay to the treatment of prisoners under Nazi regimes and in the Soviet gulags is beneath contempt, and a sickeningly undeserved slight to America and to Americans. Senator Durbin's comments were reprehensible.

My purpose in writing this is only one: to allow Senator Durbin a glimpse into the effects his statements have. President Bush did not get re-elected last year without the support of people like me. Senator Durbin should know what effect his rhetoric has on America's population.

Sincerely, Jeff ******

Posted by Jeff at June 17, 2005 11:59 PM

Comments

"ALLEGED AMERICAN MISTREATMENT OF PRISONERS" -

these aren't allegations, they're statements of facts.

"Comparing the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay to the treatment of prisoners under Nazi regimes and in the Soviet gulags is beneath contempt" -

the comparisons may offend you, or threaten whatever apple pie view you have of the United States of America, but the comparisons are valid. Violence, threats of violence, humiliation, verbal abuse, desecration of objects/artifacts held to be sacred by the prisoners, denial of access to independent legal representation, denial of access to information pertaining to the reasons for their detention, denial of access to media, refusal of visiting rights....

Looks just like the Nazi concentration camps to me.

Posted by: kenny at June 20, 2005 06:31 AM


Oh, yes...exactly the same.

Posted by: Jeff at June 20, 2005 07:54 AM


Yup.

Posted by: kenny at June 20, 2005 09:45 AM


Thanks to Dick Durbin for apologizing...he's spared me the necessity of writing those checks!

Posted by: Jeff at June 26, 2005 05:00 AM


Greetings All;

I am not as forgiving as Jeff, for a mere apology is not enough. Turbin Durbin needs to read the want ads. I will contributr to anyone opposing this inept traitor.

Alvin Maldonado
Debary Florida

Posted by: alvin maldonado at April 30, 2006 07:54 AM


As the first comment said, you have a very rosy picture of the United States government and what it has done. I for one am very objective when I view things and I try to read through the bias of different people in the stories and reports they write. However, there are books out now that you can get from your local Border's store where the stories of some guantanamo prisoners are detailed. Here is one briefly summarized: Keep in mind that this prisoner is most likely an innocent doctor with a family who lives in Iran as he claims to be. That being said, he describes the torture they put him through. He said that when he was arrested and taken to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, american soldiers dressed in civilian clothes started beating him and kicking his head brutally, the whole time saying things about his wife and sisters. Later, when he was taken to Guantanamo, he describes torture methods such as sleep deprivation, where they'd put a blaring noise in his ears or throw cold water on him or simply kick him everytime he closed his eyes. They didn't let him sleep for around a month and a half. They also made him stand for more than a week straight. everytime his legs gave way,they'd beat him till he got up. they'd throw him in a dark room for days at a time and then they'd suddenly burst inside, hold him down and shine extremely bright light into his eyes. These are only some of the torture methods they've done to him. I could list many more but I think you get the point. In fact, this was one of the prisoners in the Abu Grahib prison scandal. The fact that a democracy that claims to be a righteous nation allows these kinds of things to take place is atrocious. This man had a daughter and two boys whom he hasn't seen in years. In the end, we're all human beings and Guantanamo Bay is one of the most terrible things that has happened.

Posted by: Nithin at July 2, 2008 09:53 PM


@Nithin: Eager to believe that story, are ya?

Posted by: Jeff at July 3, 2008 07:43 AM


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