Delahunt’s disgrace

Here is the exchange between Rep. William Delahunt (D, Mass.) and Cheney chief of staff David Addington at the House committee hearing broadcast live on C-SPAN on Thursday as accurately recounted by CNN:

Delahunt asked repeatedly whether the topic of waterboarding, a controversial interrogation technique that simulates drowning, ever came up.

Addington replied that he could not discuss that because “al Qaeda may watch C-SPAN.”

“Right,” Delahunt responded. “Well, I’m sure they are watching, and I’m glad they finally have the chance to see you, Mr. Addington.”

“Yeah, I’m sure you’re pleased,” Addington shot back.

“Given your penchant for being unobtrusive,” Delahunt said of Addington’s ability to stay behind the scenes.

In this exchange, Delahunt identifies himself with a vicious enemy of the United States, implicitly acknowledges the danger they pose to officials such as Addington and professes his satisfaction that he has helped set the enemy’s sights on Addington. Delahunt is both a fool and a reprobate. He does not understand that his good will toward al Qaeda means nothing to them, and his encouragement of their mission is simply vile.

As FOX News reports, Delahunt claimed that “under no circumstances” was he implying during the hearing that al Qaeda may target Addington. “That’s absurd. That was not my intent,” he told FOX News. “And I’m sure Mr. Addington knows that was not my intent.” Addington, however, knows no such thing. He knows that Delahunt was freely expressing his hatred of the Bush administration in a manner that was both disgusting and disgraceful.

Delahunt is unfamiliar with the decorum that calls for a man under these circumstances to stand by his words or apologize for them. He says he was just trying to express his happiness to see Addington. Delahunt said he recalls saying “I,” not “they,” during the testimony, though he did not.

That Delahunt cannot defend what he said is indicative of the disgrace he has caused himself, the House of Representatives and his constitutents in the Tenth District of Massachusetts. What is to be done? In “Damn us and all our party if we let this go,” the directors of Redstate call for Delahunt’s censure:

If you do not call your Congressman today and demand the House of Representatives, at the very *least*, censure Congressman Delahunt, well damn us all. We have no right to carry on our fight.

The number is 202-224-3121 and Congressman Delahunt’s email address is william.delahunt@mail.house.gov. [Congressman Delahunt can be reached at 202-225-3111 and by fax at 202-225-5658.]

And some intrepid reporter should ask Mr. Obama what he thinks of this. After all, Mr. Delahunt was one of Mr. Obama’s early supporters and is now an Obama superdelegate. Of course, you can ask Barack Obama yourself at (866) 675-2008.

When you call your Congressman, you should make sure he knows an apology from Mr. Delahunt will not suffice. Delahunt clearly is lying about and denying his statement. “I’m sorry” would just be more of the same.

Whether or not “I’m sorry” would suffice, it is the least that is called for, together with an acknowledgement by Delahunt of the offense he committed. As for the rest, the gentlemen of Redstate have it right.

JOHN adds: Here is the video of the exchange. Delahunt’s malice and viciousness are obvious to anyone who watches it.

There is a bit of a backstory here that may not have been reported. Rep. Delahunt is a member of the House Judiciary Committee, but not of the subcommittee that was holding the hearing. As such, Delahunt was not entitled to participate in the hearing, but could do so only with the unanimous consent of the members present. Delahunt was so eager to cross-examine Addington and Yoo and demonstrate his hostility to the Bush administration that he showed up and asked to question the witnesses. The subcommittee’s chairman, Jerrold Nadler, asked for such consent, but Republican Steve King of Iowa refused. Delahunt stuck around, and when King left the room, another member ceded his time to Delahunt so that Delahunt could go after the witnesses. Chairman Nadler agreed, since Rep. King “didn’t care enough to stay.” Delahunt proceeded, and the above exchange ensued. The entire hearing was conducted in an atmosphere of poisonous partisanship, and Delahunt’s suggestion that in the controversial exchange he was merely trying to be cordial toward Addington is laughable.

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