Via FDL, the New Haven Independent has this:
"Student Kevin Miner, who said he'd voted for Lieberman twice in 2000, said one question had been eating him up for a long time: "I want to know what the moral reasoning is from a man who went from being a freedom rider to a torture apologist. I want to know what happened."
The crowd — dozens of students joined by a lot of faculty and staff — applauded the question.
"I'm not a torture apologist," said Lieberman, citing "outrage" at absence of due process for detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Then he went on to explain why he was one of only 12 Democratic senators to support a recent detainee bill. The bill prohibits some of the worst abuses of detainees, but many Democrats say it gives the president too much room to decide which other interrogation techniques are permissible and allow inhumane treatment of suspects.
Echoing Republican arguments, Lieberman told the student: "We're at war. It's hard for a lot of people to understand this, because it's a different kind of war." The people we are capturing are "enemy combatants," and in many countries are given fewer rights than prisoners of war. "We are now giving them more rights than prisoners of war get in most countries of war."
"I know it's fasionable to say what you're saying," Lieberman told the student. But "these are people who people working for us suspect of wanting to kill us. All of us! Any one of us! And it doesn't mean that they aren't human beings ... But they don't deserve the same rights that citizens of the United States do." The comment garnered a smattering of applause."
It's bad enough to go on about how we're fighting a new kind of war, etc., as though his listeners weren't aware of the nature of terrorism, and as though that, all by itself, explains why we don't have to provide basic legal protection to prisoners. It's worse to say that "it's hard for people to understand this". It's not that hard to understand at all, actually; and the idea that people who disagree with Lieberman just can't wrap their tiny little brains around this not particularly complicated idea is a pretty self-serving way to explain away his critics. But what really got me was the idea that his questioner said what he did because it is "fashionable" (or 'fasionable', as the article has it.)
Yep: the only reason I can think of for objecting to a bill that allows for torture, strips away habeas rights, and allows the President and the Secretary of Defense to define all of us as enemy combatants and lock us up indefinitely is that it's fashionable to do so. I mean: all the cool kidz belong to the ACLU, except for the really cool ones, who belong to Human Rights Watch and the Center for Constitutional Rights; and I, sheep-like, have simply been following along in their wake. (It's my metaphor, and if I want my sheep to be swimming, I get to make them swim.)
I mean: what other possible explanation could there be?