May 11, 2004
Taguba testified this morning, and it was really just unbelievable, I did not anticipate in the least that anybody would be brazen enough to say something like this:
SEN. INHOFE: First of all, I regret I wasn’t here on Friday. I was unable to be here. But maybe it’s better that I wasn’t because as I watch this outrage that everyone seems to have about the treatment of these prisoners I have to say and I’m probably not the only one up at this table that is more outraged by the outrage than we are by the treatment.
The idea that these prisoners, they’re not there for traffic violations. If they’re in cell block 1A or 1B, these prisoners, they’re murderers, they’re terrorists, they’re insurgents, and many of them probably have American blood probably on their hands and here we’re so concerned about the treatment of those individuals.
The entire morning was just crazy though, and it is clear that at least a faction of the Republicans has gone into full offensive.
If Inhofe is going to cross that line even on this, let me give him a taste of what his kind of rhetoric would sound like coming the other way, and this goes for DeLay and the rest as well:
“Inhofe is pro-torture.”
“Inhofe hates the troops, because he sees fit to scapegoat them for abuses that may well have been ordered from above.”
“By being pro-torture, he supports the undermining of our troops, which these pictures, and not the criticism of these pictures has done to an unimaginable degree.”
I am not saying any of those things, only trying to demonstrate the logic and despicability of Inhofe’s remarks. I will say, however, that as far as undermining our troops and the mission in Iraq goes, nobody in the Arab world hears our criticism and says, “man, those pictures are bad now that I hear the Democrats talk about them.” In fact, our criticism and demand for Rumsfeld’s dismissal is first and foremost about distancing ourselves, our country, and yes, our troops from association with these horrible acts and images. Inhofe seems to be sending a message that our country and our troops are aligned with this, and only the outrage is outrageous. Excellent message.
This is a sad day for our government.
...Ignoring a Red Cross report that said that up to 90 per cent of the prisoners held at Abu Ghraib prison had been rounded up by mistake, Mr. Inhofe suggested that no one should feel sorry for detainees who had been photographed in humiliating and degrading positions. (G&M)
Update 2: Inhofe testimony begins here.