Sometimes you have an opportunity to study a lie. The Right’s current smear-lie about Senator Durbin is an example. (Also here and here). We can look at what he said, and we can look at what the Right is SAYING he said, and compare them. What they are saying he said is a lie. Washington Times, Gitmo called death camp
The hysteria and historical illiteracy, not to mention irrational moral equivalency, continued on the floor of the Senate yesterday as Dick Durbin equated American military personnel at Gitmo to Nazis, Stalinist thugs, and the genocidal Pol Pot…
and Boston Herald,
The second highest ranking Democrat in the Senate has compared American servicemen and women to Nazis on the floor of that body.
But it is more than just a lie, it is a strategic lie. It is a lie designed to trick Americans into believing something that is strategically convenient to the Right. This lie is being used to reinforce an ongoing strategic narrative that Democrats “hate America” and “hate the military.”
Let me illustrate by looking back at another strategic lie. Do you remember the lie that Clinton had once written that he “loathed the military?” You have to follow the Right to understand how extensively that lie was circulated. Read just the first few of 26,700 summaries of websites with the words “Clinton,” “loath” and “military” that a Google search turns up. (Summaries are exactly as they appear)
Clinton and his crew, however, are the exact opposite. They do not care a fig about their country and they loath the military.
President Clinton’s plan to murder our U. S military which he statecl “I loath” is doing well.
Bill Clinton, the man who wrote, “I loath the military.” is successfully “murdering” our soldiers through his defense cuts. He really hates this country.
The next one, from Heritage, isn’t about that story, but look how it uses the same words and reinforces the narrative:
… are loath to challenge, and make promises he eventually failed to keep. … It is bad enough that President Clinton is letting US military power atrophy
The next one actually has the truth:
People think Clinton said he “loathed the military.” He didn’t. … “fine people that include Bill Clinton” and “fine people who loath the military” do not …
But then the trashing continues…
Clinton to Withdraw Claim of Armed Military Service, May 27, 1996 … lives while wearing the uniform of the American military you once professed to “loath. …
… we military mostly think that you feel the same way about us that Bill Clinton did. You loath us.” I will point out that the military downsizing that …
True conservatives understood what Bill “I loath the military” Clinton was doing. He was trying to destroy the character, morale and integrity of the US …
This is from those who found no problem with Bill Clinton’s “I did not have … or his lies under oath, or his statement that he did “loath the military. …
Come To Loathe the Military,’ a phrase taken from a letter that 23-year-old … Clinton had used that expression in a letter to the head of the ROTC in the …
There is a moral pit and Clinton and his media supporters are wallowing … traditional values, especially patriotism, and loath the military. It …
Nothing, but a Clinton era “perfumed prince” as Colonel Hackworth would call them. … The Left has no problem demeaning the military and siding with our …
Do you have any idea how many military personel Clinton put out of work? … Clinton screwed the military up so bad that I saw tons of people leave…just …
Reading these gives you just a hint of how widely this was circulated, and the kind of vitriol that is used by the Right.
This is what is happening now with the story about Senator Durbin. It is important to see the role that the “mainstream” players on the Right – Heritage, Fox, Limbaugh, Washington Times, Murdoch’s papers, etc. – are playing in this effort to advance the narrative.
And, finally, remember that all of this is done in defense of the use of torture.
Update – In response to something in the comments, here are Durbin’s words: “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,…”
Here is what Scaife’s NewsMax used as a headline: “Sen. Durbin: Gitmo GIs Behaved Like ‘Nazis'”, and then in IDENTICAL words to every single other right-wing outlet, “Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin compared U.S. troops to Hitler’s concentration camp guards…”
Update – More on Gitmo.
Update – David Neiwert