Friday, June 17, 2005

Durbin's pal and prisoner abuse

(Welcome visitors from Betsy's Page, Captain's Quarters, Michelle Malkin, Ombusmax and The Mudville Gazette. Please consider writing a letter to your editor expressing your thoughts and feelings about Senator Durbin's abominations. Thanks, John)

Illinois Democrat Senator Richard Durbin compared American servicemen and women serving at Guantanamo to Hitler's Nazis, Stalin's gulag thugs, and Pol Pot's murderers.

But I could find no criticism by Durbin of his pal, political ally and Cook Country's Democrat Sheriff, Michael F. Sheahan, who's run the notorious Cook County Jail since 1990. I used Google and Yahoo search engines. The Senator's office didn't return a phone call inquiry about Sheahan and prisoner abuse at the jail.

During the 15 years Sheahan’s run Cook County Jail, there have been numerous reports by rights groups, attorneys, and a grand jury documenting systematic prisoner abuse there, including rapes and beatings by guards.

Legal action by Chicago University's Law School's public-service law firm, The MacArthur Justice Center, led to a grand jury finding that a failure by Sheahan’s office to investigate prisoner beatings constituted “obstruction of justice.” The MacArthur site details other actions its brought against Sheahan and other responsible officials.

In a Chicago Tribune op-ed, MacArthur attorney Jean Maclean Snyder gave readers this graphic example of prisoner abuse at Cook County Jail:

(a) squad of 40 guards took over a maximum-security division of the jail in 1999 for the sole purpose of beating and terrorizing the prisoners. A jail investigator determined that the guards' misconduct was covered up by Cook County medical personnel, who filed false reports and refused or delayed treatment to the prisoners, and by the Cook County inspector general, who refused to cooperate with the investigation.

Snyder want on to describe a meeting with a prisoner who'd been beaten:

the whites of his eyes were nearly obscured by the red from blood vessels that had ruptured during the beating, and deep lacerations were held together by staples that had been applied to his scalp.

Chicago newspapers have reported and spoken out against the abuses in Cook County Jail.

Now they and the rest of the national media who've given voice to Senator Durbin's attack on the military need to ask him about his pal, Sheriff Sheahan, and Cook County Jail.


Anonymous said...

Do they ever mention that this "rendition" problem is based on a law passed during ... the Clinton administration?

Barry said...


Looks like you've been linked by Michelle Malkin. Great post buddy!

NCPrivateer said...

Two hundred years ago civilized nations dealt with pirates, those who were at war with all countries. When caught they were hung. One might question whether our generosity now encourages modern pirates whom we call terrorists.

It is proper that we debate what should be done in response. See, which includes the anecdote of General Pershing's response to Islamic terrorism, burying the bodies of executed Moros in pigskins.

J Bowen said...

Dick Durbin will criticize Chicago politics the minute they elect a Republican.

IOW, never.

But maybe we can reach a compromise that will please Durbin and his crowd. Instead of loud rap and Christina Aguilera, maybe we ought to make the Gitmo goons listen to recorded speeches by Dems like Durbin, Kerry, Byrd, Ted Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi et al.

Anonymous said...

Senator Durbin is condemning the abusive actions of some at Gitmo, and the secretive setting which allowed that behavior. You are using a false argument when you suggest that Senator Durbin is comparing all servicemen, and women at Gitmo.

Your's is the emotional, populist appeal. The Senator's statements needs to carefully considered on their factual basis.

Do you have any evidence which contradicts that such conditions existed at Gitmo?

Are you endorsing such conditions if they did?

If so, simply come out and state it! Just say, hey, I'm for some payback, let's treat these folk real bad - and I don't even care if they're guilty or not.

Why couch it in false patriotism?

Anonymous said...

To the last anonymous post, yes, I completely condone extreme temperatures, the playing of loud rap music, several other interogation techiniques being used at Gitmo and elsewhere. Why should life be made comfortable for terrorists who have been captured? Why should we not make efforts to find out what they know? When you try to equate any type of interrogation with torture, and try to equate Gitmo with the gulags and concentration camps, it becomes easier to see your true beliefs.

Analyze Durbin's statements for their factual content? I hope what he described at Gitmo is taking place. I hope every terrorist in custody is interrogated in such a manner.

Anonymous said...

Even if EACH and EVERY gitmo allegation is absolutely true, SO WHAT!?! You're right; American prisoners often get treated worse than the (proven)nutty islamo-fascists who want to kill us all. (Ask, say, Castro if he respects the religion of his prisoners at the REAL gulags nearby in Cuba.)
Oh, yeah. Ann Coulter has a great column about all this that can be read at '' or ''.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post, JWM. Congrats on all the attention brought by links from the 'big boys'.

BTW, here's a satellite image of the Cook County Jail facility, courtesy Google Maps.

Jason said...

The senator doth protest too much, methinks.

Anonymous said...

I think the liberal wackos have a point to some extent, and normal people might listen to them if they simply argued that we should do better to make all actions by the USA beyond reproach. Instead of making that simple argument, however, they resort to absolute craziness by playing the "Nazi" card. That neither represents a valid argument nor a respectable manner of operating.

Anonymous said...

Thomas Jefferson said something to this effect..... obeying the law is NOT the MOST important thing. For if the law is overthrown....then what? Therefore, the MOST important thing is to make sure the law continues.

Do whatever is necessary to get the information from these animals. Then kill 'em. To turn them loose on the world again is stupid. They must die. The only way to get rid of a cancer is to kill it.

Anonymous said...

I object to the treatment of terrorists in Gitmo. It is far too lenient considering their crimes. I object to the fact that they are breathing and moving and able to receive such treatment. It was politically guided foolishness to do any more than a cursory interrogation in the field and then summary execution. These animals deserve no less. Who should be guarding them are the politicians who directed their capture. If they are released alive, it should be in the neighborhoods of the families of those who demand their release.

Anonymous said...

Didja hear?
Durbin tearfully "apologized".(2006 must've been darkly looming...) You know, the kind where you say "I'm sorry if someone took my comments the wrong way." has the video.

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