Thursday, May 13, 2004

Ladies & Gentlemen, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) 

Much of the blogosphere is busy condemning Sen. Inhofe for his nasty remarks yesterday. If you missed this the first time, here's what's gotten people so worked up (from Reuters):
As others condemned the reported abuse of Iraqi prisoners, U.S. Sen. James Inhofe on Tuesday expressed outrage at the worldwide outrage over the treatment by American soldiers of those he called "terrorists" and "murderers."
"I'm probably not the only one up at this table that is more outraged by the outrage than we are by the treatment," the Oklahoma Republican said at a U.S. Senate hearing probing the scandal.

"These prisoners, you know they're not there for traffic violations," Inhofe said. "If they're in cellblock 1-A or 1-B, these prisoners, they're murderers, they're terrorists, they're insurgents. Many of them probably have American blood on their hands and here we're so concerned about the treatment of those individuals."

Coalition military intelligence officers estimated that about 70 percent to 90 percent of the thousands of prisoners detained in Iraq had been "arrested by mistake," according to a report by Red Cross given to the Bush administration last year and leaked this week.

The report also said the mistreatment of prisoners apparently tolerated by U.S. and other coalition forces in Iraq involved widespread abuse that was "in some cases tantamount to torture."

In heated remarks at odds with others on the Senate committee who took aim at the U.S. military's handling of prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad, Inhofe said that American sympathies should lie with U.S. troops.

"I am also outraged that we have so many humanitarian do-gooders right now crawling all over these prisons looking for human rights violations, while our troops, our heroes are fighting and dying," he said.

Here are some other choice facts about the junior Senator from my home state:

* After the 1995 Murrah Center Bombing, when asked on "Crossfire" how many federal workers had died, he said the answer was unclear because "we don't know how many were playing hooky." (The New Republic 1/20/03)

* He sued his own brother.(CQ)

* He lied (on official forms, I believe) about his college graduation date, claiming to have finished school 14 years earlier than he actually did. (CQ)

* His Senate staffers downloaded so much porn on their office computers in June 1999 that his office network crashed (Boston Globe 6/24/1999)

I'll be adding more to this list soon. In the meantime, Atrios is promoting an anti-Inhofe petition. If this sort of thing makes you feel good, by all means go sign it. But it won't have nearly the effect that contributing a little money to a strategically-important House or Senate campaign will.

UPDATE: Some Oklahoma bloggers are sounding the drumbeat...

UPDATE: Welcome, new visitors! If you enjoyed this partisan red meat, you can find more here, here, here and here. Enjoy.

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