Larry Elder

So Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., finally apologized. Now where is the apology from Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y.?

 Durbin, on the Senate floor June 14, 2005, attacked the Bush administration for its alleged mistreatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. After reading from an FBI report purporting to describe mistreatment of prisoners, Durbin said, "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."

 Durbin at first refused to apologize, blaming the criticism on the "right wing." Two days after his remarks, again on the Senate floor, Durbin "clarified" his earlier words: "Now, sadly, we have a situation here where some in the right-wing media have said that I have been insulting men and women in uniform. Nothing could be further from truth."

 But the criticism continued. Democratic Chicago Mayor Richard Daley said, "I think it is a disgrace. He is a good friend of mine, but I think it is a disgrace to say that any man or woman in the military acts like that."

 Durbin finally apologized. "After reading the horrible details in that memo which characterized the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo," said Durbin, "I then, on my own -- my own words -- made some characterizations about that memo . . . I have come to understand that was a very poor choice of words. . . . I'm sorry if [emphasis added] anything that I said caused any offense or pain to those who have such bitter memories of the Holocaust, the greatest moral tragedy of our time. . . . I'm also sorry if [emphasis added] anything I said in any way cast a negative light on our fine men and women in the military."

 This brings us to Rep. Rangel.

 Only eight days before Durbin's remarks, Rangel, on New York City's WWRL radio, attacked Bush for the "fraudulent" case for his War in Iraq: "It's the biggest fraud ever committed on the people of this country. This is just as bad as six million Jews being killed [emphasis added]. The whole world knew it and they were quiet about it, because it wasn't their ox that was being gored." When the host asked Rangel to clarify, the congressman said, "I am saying that people's silence when they know terrible things are happening is the same thing as the Holocaust, where everyone would have me believe that no one knew those Jews were killed over there."


Larry Elder

Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit www.LarryElder.com.


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