Back on June 17, 2005 I published Durbin's pal and prisinor abuse.
I'm reposting it today because presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama has quite rightly been outspoken in his denunciation of prisoner abuse by members of the American military.
But as far as I know, he's done very little about prisoner abuse in the Cook County Jail not far from his home.
The jail is notorious as one of the worst in America. It's been run for decades by members of the same Daley machine that Obama's a part of.
At the end of the post, I provide an update.
(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:
Snyder want on to describe a meeting with a prisoner who'd been beaten:
(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.
Chicago newspapers have reported and spoken out against the abuses in Cook County Jail.
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.
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.
Sheehan is no longer sheriff, but the jail is still run by members of the Daley machine.
The media has been shy, to say the least, about asking Sen. Obama about abuses in the jail so close to his home and run by his political supporters.
A group of attorneys in Chicago representing prisoners who they say have been tortured in the Cook County jail are fighting the Daley machine for disclosure and accountability. You can read more about it here, where you'll find 20 questions the attorneys have been pressing Daley and some of his aides to answer.
I'll report again on this story in a few days.