Zorn's got a great column today on what Durbin should have said.
This is the best part:
The America I believe in is better than the America on display in our overseas prisons. The America I believe in inspires rather than disgusts the international community.
If anything I said caused you to believe that I was equating American soldiers with Nazis or equating American leaders with Adolf Hitler or Pol Pot, then you are an idiot.
I said nothing of the kind.
I said that our mistreatment of wartime prisoners is of the sort you'd expect to see in a brutal, totalitarian dictatorship, not in a nation that has long congratulated itself on its exceptionally high standards of liberty and law.
And yes, that's what commentators and operatives and even our news media blindly parroted: "Durbin compared American soldiers to Nazis"
The Senator didn't say that!
But the right-wing machine rallied around the support the troops mantra, and Durbin apologized.
Well, do you support the troops if they torture?
And American troops have tortured.
A few of them are serving time for torturing in Abu Ghraib.
I don't support them.
Because if you don't condemn those American soliders who have tortured -- as Senator Durbin wisely did -- you are besmirching the 99.99% of our soldiers who are as digusted as Senator Durbin is by torture.
And if you let the Bush Administration off the hook for their tolerance of torture, then you are also besmirching the good name of this nation.
That's the real deal.