Monday, June 27, 2005

The Little Apology That Wasn't

Sorry that I have taken so long to comment on the apology of Dick Durbin, but since we seem to be in apology season, an analysis of this failed apology seems to be in order.

I have put on my tin foil hat and channeled a few of Senator Durbins thoughts so that we might take a look at the thought process that produced such a poor effort. It took a while for the thought transmissions to reach me; (there was a lot of sun spot activity and static over Dick Cheney's and Hillary's remarks) but they finally made it through.

The following statement was released by U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin's office June 21, 2005 (Comments in Yellow from Senator R.D. to S. via tin foil thought transfer....)

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) made the following statement on the floor of the United States Senate:"More than most people, a Senator lives by his words, words are the coin of the realm in our profession. Occasionally words will fail us and occasionally we will fail words." "On June 14, I took the floor of the Senate to speak about genuine heartfelt concerns about the treatment of prisoners and detainees at Guantanamo and other places. I raised legitimate concerns that others have raised, including Secretary of State Colin Powell, about the policies of this administration and whether they truly do serve our needs to make America safer and more secure, whether, in fact, some of the policies might, in fact, endanger our troops, or in some ways disparage the image of America around the world." Here I restate and reaffirm the insult…I don’t preface my remarks by saying, I made a grievous error by saying this, or some such…just, here’s what I said, AGAIN, and guess what, COLIN POWELL agrees with me! Here is the evidence AGAIN that I am right"
"During the course of that presentation, I read an e-mail from the federal bureau of investigation that was discovered to exist last August, and has now been produced as part of the Freedom of Information Act. After reading the horrible details in that memo, which characterized the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo, I then, on my own, my own words, made some characterizations about that memo. I made reference to the Nazis, to the Soviets and other repressive regimes." (Perfectly understandable considering my HORROR at our treatment of murderers or wannabe murderers) "Mr. President, I have come to understand that was a very poor choice of words. After I got loads of publicity for this crappy stunt at the expense of the guys who keep me safe at night I people whined and complained until I just had to make an appearance and say something so here I am, timed to get even more media coverage I tried to make this very clear last Friday that I understood to those analogies to the Nazis, soviets and others were poorly chosen. What I really meant was the Chinese during the Rape of Nan king, the British starvation of the Irish during the Great Potato Famine, and Milosevic’s ethnic cleansing scheme I issued a release which I thought made my intentions and my inner-most feeling as clear as I possibly could.""Let me read to you what I said. 'I have learned from my statement that historical parallels can be misused and misunderstood. I sincerely regret if what I said causes anybody to misunderstand my true feelings. Yes, I really do hope that everyone understand exactly how I feel, but can’t pin it on me because of this very cleverly worded excuse for an apology that most of you obtuse red-staters will be too thick to understand. Our soldiers around the world and their families at home deserve our respect, admiration and total support.'" And I am going to pay lip service to that right now!" Mr. President, it is very clear that even though I thought I had said something that clarified the situation, to many people it was still unclear. I'm sorry if 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. Nothing, nothing should ever be said to demean or diminish that moral tragedy." Unfortunately, my Mom never actually taught me to apologize. The way it really should be said is: “What I said was absolutely appalling and I apologize from the bottom of my heart. I truly have no adequate explanation for my poor choice of words and I know that I have deeply offended many people. I am truly sorry. I will endeavor to make amends, however inadequate, by making a large donation to the Holocaust Museum in DC and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (or some other suitable Charity). I ask all those I have offended to forgive my error.” I recognize that when I say something like I am sorry “if anything I said caused offense….what I am doing is placing part of the blame on the hearer, i.e., it really shouldn’t have bothered them, but if it did…" I'm also sorry if anything I said in any way cast a negative light on our fine men and women in the military. I went to Iraq just a few months ago with Senator Harry Reid and a bipartisan Senate delegation. When you look in the eyes of the soldiers you see your son and daughter. I see a political tool. They are the best. I never, ever intended any disrespect for them.""Some may believe that my remarks crossed line. To them, I extend my heartfelt apologies." What? SOME MAY BELIEVE? This is another way of saying, “I don’t believe that I did anything wrong, but I’m sorry if you misunderstand me…., thereby putting the responsibility on the hearer. What a pusillanimous worm!" Sorry, Shauna's thoughts coming through here...too much anger, must slap self across face! There, that's better. There's usually a quote from Abraham Lincoln that you can turn to in moments like this. Yeah he's always good when you need to pull your ashes out of the fire! Maybe this is the right one. Lincoln said, 'If the end brings me out right, what is said against me won't amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, 10,000 angels swearing I was right wouldn't make any difference.'" Here again I am proving how very intelligent I am by using the words of an icon of American character to identify myself with. What I’m saying is that I’m really not wrong and I will be proved right in the end. This apology is just an exercise I have to go through and I really don’t mean it at all." In the end, I don't want anything that I may have said detract from the love for my country, my respect for those who bravely risk their lives each day for our security, and this Senate which I am so honored to serve as a member. I offer my apology for those offended by my words. No matter how odious I find them and their sentiments! I promise to speak out on the issues that I think are important to the people of Illinois and to the nation."
Shauna coming through again...

Please, Dick, don't.


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