Thursday, May 3, 2007

As PZ might say, they're contemptible ghouls

Last week there was a hearing concerning the Bush administration's use of extraordinary rendition. You know, where people were kidnapped, flown to foreign countries and tortured based on mere suspicion of terrorist activities. Well, apparently if you have a problem with that, Representative Dana Rohrabacher thinks that you're un-American and hopes your family dies in terrorist attacks.
With eyes narrowed and mouth in a contorted grimace, Congressman Rohrabacker [sic] attacked the two British and one Italian members of the European Parliament who testified before the committee. Reminding one of Joe McCarty [sic] in tone and substance, Rohrabacker [sic] demeaned and degraded the report and chastised, belittled and berated the Parliamentarians. Remarkably, Rohrabacker [sic] said the most of the CIA private flights that landed in Europe were to transport CIA agents all over the world, not to move prisoners. Yet the logs of the 1245 flights have been tied by date and location to the movement of specific individual prisoners from one location to another.

Rohrabacher railed against anyone who questioned the right of the Bush administration to do whatever it wanted, legal or illegal, to prevent terrorist acts and said that by not supporting the Bush policies was consigning their country to the terrorists. In particular he said that any Americans who questioned the extraordinary rendition were un-American.

Citing historic examples of other countries kidnapping persons, Rohrabacker said Israel had every right to kidnap Nazi official Adolph Eichmann from Argentina, bring him to Israel and execute him. Rohrabacher conveniently forgot to mention that the Israeli government did put Eichmann on trial, a trial which none of those who have been extraordinarily rendered have had. Rohrabacher then attacked and belittled the European Community for outlawing the death penalty saying that "You in the European community won't stand up to evil people, you won't execute them. Eichmann deserved to be executed, just like these terrorists must be executed."

Rohrabacher never once mentioned due process, the rule of law, right to a trial for anyone picked up in the extraordinary rendition program. Merely because persons were "rendered" and imprisoned by the US meant to Rohrbacker they were guilty.


Rohrabacher said if European countries did not cooperate with the United States and go along with whatever the Bush administration wanted, they were condemning their countrymen to death by not using extralegal methods to imprison terrorist suspects. When citizens attending the hearing, including members of Codepink Women for Peace and Veterans for Peace, heard Rohrabacher's statement, they collectively groaned. Then, much to the shock and disbelief of everyone in the hearing room, Rorhbacker said to those who had expressed displeasure at his statements: "I hope it's your family members that die when terrorists strike."

Col. Wright is mistaken; his actual words were "Well, I hope it's your families, I hope it's your families that suffer the consequences." But the tone is the same. Video and transcript of part of the hearing via Think Progress.

Let's just file this together with Giuliani's infamous "vote for a Republican OR DIE!" statement. How much more blatant can they get?

Some more of Rohrabacher's ghastly tirade:
One person — if we let, if in order to protect the rights of one or two people, or five people or ten people, who are mistakenly abducted because their names were the same or because they went to a mosque that they didn't know this thing was going on in the back room, if 10 of those people suffer those consequences, but in order for us to take 90 other people off the street who are intent and involved in plans that would slaughter tens of thousands of our citizens, I'm afraid that's the price we pay in a real world.

Stephen Colbert explains what Rohrabacher meant:
That's a good point. We pay the price of having to torture innocent people. It feels terrible. So why are they complaining? Congressman Rohrabacher's real point is tonight's Word: "Better Safe Than Sorry."


And I'm sure, as a patriot, he'd have no problem if he were accidentally scooped up by masked men and taken to a secret facility to be tortured. He'd put his money where his mouth is. ["Inside Burlap Sack"] And folks, the CIA doesn't need to do that with the congressman because 'Rohrabacher' doesn't sound like a terrorist. ["Except The Part About Kidnapping Innocent People"]

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