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June 21, 2005

Durbin Edges Even Closer To a True Apology

First he was sorry that he was "misunderstood." Now he takes another step closer to confessing actual error on his own part:

WASHINGTON β€” Sen. Dick Durbin (search) went to the Senate floor late Tuesday to offer his apologies to anyone who may have been offended by his comparison of treatment of detainees at the U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to Nazis, Soviet gulags and Cambodia's Pol Pot.

"More than most people, a senator lives by his words ... occasionally words fail us, occasionally we will fail words," Durbin, D-Ill., said.

"I am sorry if anything I said caused any offense or pain to those who have such bitter memories of the Holocaust, the greatest moral tragedy of our time. Nothing, nothing should ever be said to demean or diminish that moral tragedy.

"I am also sorry if anything I said cast a negative light on our fine men and women in the military ... I never ever intended any disrespect for them. Some may believe that my remarks crossed the line to them I extend my heartfelt apology," Durbin said, choking on his words.

Durbin said in the course of his remarks on June 14, he raised "legitimate concerns" about U.S. policy toward prisoners and whether their treatment makes America safer.

Still not anything close to a retraction, or an apology for saying such things. He's confessing only to a poor choice of words which may have caused offense to some people. Not for the basic thrust of his screed.

A genuine apology would disavow the Nazi-Khmer Rouge-Soviet comparisons. A genuine apology would distinguish between those hellish regimes and our own. A genuine apology would actually confess true error, not just in clumsy phraseology (an error of happenstance). A genuine apology would confess that his words were intentionally grandstanding and slanderous, and that these words were deliberately chosen for effect, not blundered into by some sloppy draftsmanship.

Straight-talker John McCain was right there, however, to deem his semi-apology close enough for government work and thereby gain even more media-love:

"I don't want anything in my public career to detract from my love for this country, my respect for those who serve it and this great Senate. I offer my apologies to those who were offended," he said.

Immediately after his remarks, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said he thought Durbin made a "heartfelt statement" and he was satisfied with the apology.

"He did the right thing, the courageous thing and I think we can put the situation behind us," McCain said.

Thanks for letting us know, John. I found the apology insufficient and face-saving and very calculatedly blame-avoiding, but hey, if you say everything's jake, I guess that settles the issue.

Senator John McCain

The "maverick," "independent-thinking" Republican whose New York Times-friendly comments are always knee-jerkedly predictable.

Because real "independent-thinkers" always have perfectly-predictable thoughts.

Thanks for the heads-up to brak.


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posted by Ace at 06:56 PM

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