On June 21 the Minneapolis Star Tribune editorially endorsed Senator Dick Durbin’s condemnation of the American detention operation at Guantanamo Bay: “Durbin’s message/U.S. must end prisoner abuse.” According to the Star Tribune, the United States is guilty of “outrageous violations of international law and human rights” at Guantanamo. According to the Star Tribune, the American military has created a “hellhole” at Guantanamo. As is the custom at the Star Tribune, the editorial was long on invective and short on facts.
Minnesota native Lt. Peter Hegseth begged to differ with the Star Tribune editorial. He wrote a letter to the editor the day after the Star Tribune’s editorial appeared. We posted his letter here. Lt. Hegseth’s disagreement with the editorial was based on his service at Guantanamo. Disputing the Star Tribune’s vile rhetoric, Lt. Hegseth adduced first-hand observation and experience to support his position. Although the editorial had wildly attributed criminal misconduct to Lt. Hegseth and his colleagues, Lt. Hegseth disagreed agreeably with the editorial.
The Star Tribune published nine letters responding to its editorial. Unfortunately, it never did find room for Lt. Hegseth’s letter to the editor. The contrast between the Star Tribune’s bullying ignorance and Lt. Hegseth’s knowledge and civility is striking. It might have been instructive for the Star Tribune’s readers. Perhaps that’s why the Star Tribune declined to publish Lt. Hegseth’s letter.
Noting the post with Lt. Hegseth’s letter, our friend and Star Tribune columnist Katherine Kersten sought out Lt. Hegseth. As John noted last night, Kersten followed up with a telephone interview of Lt. Hegseth for her column today: “A guardsman’s view of Guantanamo.”
After quoting Lt. Hegseth on the uses to which Durbin’s condemnation of Guantanamo has been put, Kerten comments:
In the end, some of the shrillest critics of American defense policy are probably not especially interested in Guantanamo as such, but see it as a convenient opportunity to criticize an institution of which they are deeply suspicious — the American military — and to cast doubt on the morality of America’s war on terror.
Kersten’s not naming any names, but the critics of America’s military don’t get any shriller than the author of the Star Tribune editorial that tactfully remains unmentioned in this excellent column.
Rep. John Kline of Minnesota’s Second Congressional District is also our friend. John was elected to Congress after a long and distinguished career in the Marine Corps. He takes issues concerning the honor of the American military personally and seriously. The Star Tribune has opened its editorial page to John today for his brief response to the Star Tribune editoral: “Gitmo patriots deserve our respect.”