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"I HOPE IT'S YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS THAT DIE" - US Representative Dana Rohrabacher

By US Army Reserves Colonel (Retired) Ann Wright

"I HOPE IT'S YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS THAT DIE" said US Representative Dana Rohrabacher to American citizens who questioned the Bush Administration’s unlawful extraordinary rendition policies.

Congressional hearings provide a deep insight into the inner spirit of our elected representatives-and sometimes, the insight is not pretty.

On April 17, we witnessed Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) unleash his unbridled anger onto members of the European Parliament’s committee on Human rights who were invited guests and witnesses in the House Foreign Affairs European subcommittee hearing. The European Parliamentary human rights committee had issued a report in January, 2007 sharply critical of the Bush administration’s extraordinary rendition program in which persons from all over the world were detained by either CIA or local police and then flown by CIA jet (torture taxi) to other countries where they were imprisoned (Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Libya, Djibouti, Morocco, Yemen. The report was equally critical of European governments for allowing the unlawful flights to take place.

From 2001 through 2005, the governments of fourteen countries in Europe allowed at least 1,245 CIA flights with illegally abducted terrorist suspects to be flown through their airspace or to land on their territory. Germany, Britain, Ireland and Portugal allowed the highest numbers of covert flights. As well as at least 1,245 flights operated by the CIA, there were an unspecified number of US military flights for the same purpose.

The European Parliament report differeniated between lawful extradition of criminal suspects for trial in another country and the unlawful abduction, sending to a third country usually noted for torture of prisoners and imprisoning for years without trial persons suspected of criminal terrorist acts.

The report acknowledged that terrorism is a threat to European countries as well as to the United States, but the European Parlimentary committee said that terrorist acts must be handled lawfully by both European countries and by the United States. The report said: "After 11 September 2001, the so-called 'war on terror' - in its excesses - has produced a serious and dangerous erosion of human rights and fundamental freedoms." The extraordinary rendidition program undercuts the exact liberties we are defending, the rule of law, the right for a fair and speedy trial, the right to know the evidence on which one is held and prosecuted.

Some who were kidnapped ended up in Guantanamo. Others were flown to prisons in other countries for interrogation and torture. Many of those who were subjected to extraordinary rendition are still in Guantanano. Many have been there for over 5 years. Over 400 of the 770 persons who have been imprisoned in Guantanamo over the 5 years it has been opened, have been released. Only 380 are left imprisoned in Guantanamo. Only 3 have been charged by the Military Commission and only one tried in Guantanamo. After five years of being held prisoner, Australian citizen David Hicks was convicted in March, 2007 of material support to terrorism and sentenced to only seven months further imprisonment which he is serving in Australia. The Bush administration has said it will try only 50-70 of the 380 remaining in Guantanamo. That means that of 770 who have been in Guantanamo, on 50-70 will be tried. The others eventually will be freed due to lack of evidence of a crime. Many will have spent five years or more in imprisonment.

According to virtually every prisoner that has been released, they were tortured while imprisoned in countries such as Syria, Uzbekistan, Egypt, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Some prisoners say they were tortured by police or interrogators. Some say they heard American voices in the background while they were tortured. None were charged with any crimes. None went to trial. They were abducted by CIA or local authorities at the request of the United States. The United States did not present evidence of criminal actions nor request extradition from the country where the person was detained. Nor did a central approving authority look at the rationale for spiriting a person to the control of a third country for interrogation. Persons were “rendered” many times on the say-so of junior CIA officials.

Back to the Congressional hearing. With eyes narrowed and mouth in a contorted grimace, Congressman Rohrabacker attacked the two British and one Italian members of the European Parliament who testified before the committee. Reminding one of Joe McCarty in tone and substance, Rohrabacker demeaned and degraded the report and chastised, belittled and berated the Parliamentarians. Remarkably, Rohrabacker said the most of the CIA private flights that landed in Europe were to transport CIA agents all over the world, not to move prisoners. Yet the logs of the 1245 flights have been tied by date and location to the movement of specific individual prisoners from one location to another.

Rohrabacher railed against anyone who questioned the right of the Bush administration to do whatever it wanted, legal or illegal, to prevent terrorist acts and said that by not supporting the Bush policies was consigning their country to the terrorists. In particular he said that any Americans who questioned the extraordinary rendition were un-American.

Citing historic examples of other countries kidnapping persons, Rohrabacker said Israel had every right to kidnap Nazi official Adolph Eichmann from Argentina, bring him to Israel and execute him. Rohrabacher conveniently forgot to mention that the Israeli government did put Eichmann on trial, a trial which none of those who have been extraordinarily rendered have had. Rohrabacher then attacked and belittled the European Community for outlawing the death penalty saying that “You in the European community won’t stand up to evil people, you won’t execute them. Eichmann deserved to be executed, just like these terrorists must be executed.”

Rohrabacher never once mentioned due process, the rule of law, right to a trial for anyone picked up in the extraordinary rendition program. Merely because persons were “rendered” and imprisoned by the US meant to Rohrbacker they were guilty.

Rohrabacher said if European countries did not cooperate with the United States and go along with whatever the Bush administration wanted, they were condemning their countrymen to death by not using extralegal methods to imprison terrorist suspects. When citizens attending the hearing, including members of Codepink Women for Peace and Veterans for Peace, heard Rohrabacher’s statement, they collectively groaned. Then, much to the shock and disbelief of everyone in the hearing room, Rorhbacker said to those who had expressed displeasure at his statements: "I hope it’s your family members that die when terrorists strike."

At that point, I had had enough of Rohrabacher. I stood up and said "I did not serve 29 years in the US military and 16 years in the US diplomatic corps to see demise of the rule of law and violation of our own laws. Rohrback’s statements are outrageous. No wonder the world hates us!"

Chairman Delahunt gaveled for me to stop speaking and I was escorted by the police out of the committee room. I was not arrested.

Remarkably, I do agree with one thing Rohrabacker said. "They hate us."

Rohrabacker finished his sentence with "They hate us because they hate our way of life." Unfortunately, many people do hate us, but it’s not for our way of life.

Its for exactly the talk and actions that Rohrabacker and the Bush administration represent: illegal and unlawful actions, an arrogant attitude that America is always right and everyone else is wrong, that the world’s resources are for the exclusive use of the United States and we have the right to invade and occupy any country.”

Until we change the manner in which Presidential administrations and the Congress operate and the way we approach our membership in the community of nations, the world will continue to question what America stands for.

About the Author: Ann Wright retired as a Colonel after serving 13 years on active duty and 16 years in the US Army Reserves. After 16 years in the US diplomatic corps, she resigned in March, 2003 in opposition to the war on Iraq. She had been assigned in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone, Micronesia and Mongolia. She helped reopen the US Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan in December, 2001.

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How very heinous. Rohrabacker should be impeached. He does NOT represent the feelings of the decent people of California. There is, in that state, a huge Impeachment Movement, and a huge 9-11 Truth Movement. The hatefulness and malevelent agenda of Rohrabacker is surpassed only by his misguided assertions about others "wanting our lifestyle". If he REALLY cared about protecting us against "terrorism", he would call for a REAL, INDEPENDENT investigation of 9-11. This dreadful tactic of denegrating and destroying anyone who disagrees with this criminal administration is unconscienable. Justice, decency, rule of law, and human rights must prevail. Yes, and TRUTH.

Personally, I wish Dana's parents had aborted him or his father had used a condom when banging his mother; he certainly has no relative moral value to America.

Strong words from me to Mr. Rohrabacker? You get what you give, Dana baby.

How did he get (re)elected in the first place?

Once again the rethuglican talking point of a liberal east and west coast that isn't in line with thier views is exposed as false. You can't get any more lefty than coastal CA. I crew up in Long Beach and it always amazes me the Dana gets elected there. It must be liberals not voting that condemns us to this puke. Shame on them. We deserve this guy. We've earned the hate of terrorists for the type of people we elect. Representative is a two way street. All these impeach him woulda/shouldas posts aren't printed in Al Javerza.

I am stunned by this account. Is there context missing? I just don't want to believe it!

The propogranda of fear AGAIN clearly shows here that it is based in hate and paranoia, and it produces more hate and paranoia. Children respond this way -- if you hate me, then I hate you - not loving adults. Has Rohrabacker ever traveled outside of this country? Has he shared ideas, love, life with people outside of this country? Does he realize that there ARE BEAUTIFUL AND LOVING PEOPLE outside of this country?!

“You in the European community won’t stand up to evil people, you won’t execute them. Eichmann deserved to be executed, just like these terrorists must be executed.” Hmmm... I can only imagine what my friends in Hungary would say about this kind of statement that spews a false superiority and a complete ignorance of the way "Europeans" (an interesting broad stroke) "think" about "evil people".

But it is even more creepy for someone in Rohrabacker's position to say to a fellow American who disagrees with him that he wishes their families will die. PLEASE, someone get this guy in therapy ASAP!!!!!

Thank you for the video. I recommend watching most of it if you can, for there are more sections that are appalling.

The exact quote is: "Well I hope it's your families, I hope it's your families that suffer the consequences."

He is referring to the consequences of letting 50 prisoners go that are terrorists and go plant bombs and blow up people "from the West" because "they hate our way of life". I again state that this man needs therapy!

I did some research and found that his wife is expecting triplets this month and that he was an Eagle Scout, and resides in Huntington Beach, CA where he enjoys surfing. He represents some of the richest people in our country as his district includes Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Seal Beach, Santa Catalina Island, Midway City, Sunset Beach, Surfside, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills, Palos Verdes Estates and Rolling Hills Estates as well as portions of Long Beach, Westminster, Santa Ana and San Pedro, and Newport Beach. ( I have lived, worked, and attended school in several of the above cities and I was not taught to hate like this. I am appalled!

I am so thankful that codepink was there and that they expressed the horror that everyone was thinking when they heard Rohrabacher's obvious disregard for human life. Thank you for being an example to the representatives there from other countries, who need to know that there are Americans who despise this way of thinking. How can such an openly hateful man as this be in leadership?

This MUST make the news somehow!

But it is even more creepy for someone in Rohrabacker's position to say to a fellow American who disagrees with him that he wishes their families will die. PLEASE, someone get this guy in therapy ASAP!!!!!

Dana wouldn't go to therapy....too much of a 'man.'

Rohrabacker said to this to "members of the European Parliament’s committee on Human rights" - who were guests. horrifying as it was to read. I did a fairly thorough search of major news media in US & Europe & found *no* coverage of this story; did find the story carried on
and a google search produced equality idiotic comments from Rohrabacher regarding the "falsehoods" of climate change studies recently released by the UN....

Thank you, Ann Wright, for having the dignity, professionalism & composure to make a meaningful comment to this vitriol.

Karen Murphy

If this did occur in an official U.S. Congress hearing ("House Foreign Affairs European subcommittee hearing") then there will eventually be a record of it entered into the COngressional Record. At that time (or some time before) the Congressman will attempt to request "Unanimous Consent to Amend the Record" (or equivelent) and will try to whitewash his BS.


This filth must stand for all time as a marker against this ugly example of disgusting Rethuglicanism. IF THERE IS VIDEO, GET IT OUT THERE! PUT IT ON YOUTUBE. PUSH THIS.

It would be a very good example if we could simply DESTROY THE POLITICAL CAREER OF THIS UGLY RETHUGLICAN with this one statement. It would quiet these monsters a tiny bit.

Sure, it would make it hard to figure out which ones are nuts and sickos like him, but then we could take the easy approach and just get rid of each and every one of them.


Portland, OR
(can't remember my log-in info)

What an ignorant, criminal, duplicitious, treasonous, soulless son of a bitch.

Please share the above piece with as many people as you possibly can. America needs to know exactly what these criminals who pretend to serve us are saying. Rohrabacher's words are beyond unbelievable.

Unvarnished Reality.

Abominable statements at approx 2'03".

Thanks to Ann for the account and thanks to all the people who believe in the rule of law for being there at the hearing.

In reviewing the video, I found that the quote provided above is not accurate. His actual statement was bad enough, so please don't be innaccurate in quoting that evil scumbag Rohrabacker... His supporters will be able to say you didn't quote him accurately, and try to convince others to discount all your write and say.

Rohrabacker clearly said "I hope its your family that suffers the consequences", not "I hope your family members that die when terrorists strike."

I agree. To paraphrase and substitute "that DIE" in place of "that suffer the consequences" appears to inflate and sensationalize something that actually does not need any amending at all.

To have Rohrabacker wish, by inference, death, maiming, suffering and any other horrific trauma is worse when couched in a generalized "suffer the consequences."

Misrepresenting the quote is too "FoxNews-like" for me. Paraphrasing 'what we're sure he really meant' is the domain of reich-wing pundits and O'Reilly red-facers. Please be accurate and let Rohrabacker's own damning stupidity speak for itself.

That said, Colonel Ann Wright, you both humble me as an American and make me proud that you're representative of the best of what America has to offer, even when the truth is forcefully led out of earshot...for now.

Thank you so very, very much ma'am.

After I read this, I wrote a letter to the editor of the paper here - the OC Register (I live in same county as Rohrabacher a.k.a. Warbacker) and then I faxed a letter of complaint to every member of the House Ethics Committee. I sent an email out on a couple of listserves urging others to do the same. Anyone who knows this man knows what a monster he is. This is not the first outrageous thing he has said/done and will not be the last, unless we boot him out. My current goal is to make this man resign in shame. He is a deplorable human being.

Actually. That's a misquote. He says, "But, here's the other shoe dropping, we are at war and we've got to make sure that we do not let go fifty terrorists who will go out and plant a bomb in London and kill twenty-thousand people in order to protect that one person who we arrested accidently because his name was the same. That's the type of unfortunate consequence ... Well I hope it's your families, I hope it's your families that suffer the consequences." It's essentially the same thing, except that the quote is wrong. You can watch at at C-Span at the following link at rtsp:// His quote starts at about 1:51:00. The truth should be our priority. Don't you think?

It does no good for the author to build a straw-man quote for the rest of us to trip over. Liberals call conservatives "liars" for this same kind of stuff.

Sticking to Rohrabacher's accurate quote works equally well without dragging the reader into the realm of "truthiness":

"Well I hope it's your families, I hope it's your families that suffer the consequences."

Personally, I'd rather be killed by a terrorist than murdered by my government.

When all else fails, anarchy prevails


To have Rohrabacker wish, by inference, death, maiming, suffering and any other horrific trauma is worse when couched in a generalized "suffer the consequences."

He's talking about 'them' "hating our way of life." It's not ABOUT hating our way of life; it's about our involvement in affairs that are none of our concern.

Rohrabacker is a jack-booted, goose-stepping asshole. He IS the face - the very personification - of those who are the most unAmerican. 'We'll just take 1, 5, 10 and do whatever to save ....'

I've seen him speak in different mediums. His thinking is so rigid, it's a wonder it doesn't break within his own head.

As for the inference of "I hope your families suffer the consequences" - whether it is oblique or direct, the logical conclusion is the same.


Unfortunately, Dana Rohrabacker is my Congressman. He is very often an embaressment to me, but this time he is an embaressment to most Americans. I worked very hard for an excellent, intelligent gentleman who ran against Rohrabacker. No one has been able to defeat him, but Jim Brandt came the closest. Rohrabacker is in one of those safe districts where they vote for any Conservative Republican, even if they are a crook. I would love to see this man impeached along with this whole administration! Everytime they leave the country I worry how they are going to damage our relationship with the rest of the civilized world. My Representative is not a very intelligent person and he really has shown this to the whole world. He also doesn't believe in Global Warming being a major problem. He blindly follows whatever this administration says.

Unlike the office of President, there is no Constitutional authority for Congress to "impeach" their own members. They can be thrown out for criminal misconduct.

It is really all for the better that unpopular political positions are not something that the rest of Congress can take action on to dismiss their own members... i am sure many Dems would have joined most Republicans in getting rid of Barbara Lee when she was the lone vote against granting George W. Bush authority to do whatever he damned pleased shortly after Sept 11 had they the chance to do so.

I do think this should be publicized to the fullest extent possible.
We must get this on youtube -- I am surprised i have not heard about it there yet.

If we can't this clown out of Congress, we can use it to show the rest of America what we are dealing with from the Republicans. Rohrabacher could become the greatest fundraising tool for the Democratic Party since Jessie Helms.

Good to see you here. There are blogs to which we can take this.


"I did not serve 29 years in the US military and 16 years in the US diplomatic corps to see demise of the rule of law and violation of our own laws."

What Ann said.

A vet from Baltimore

At least one member of congress in California has a spine.

His constituents must be so proud! He is a waste of a humsn being.

Dana, with his putative spine, should take it with him when he enlists. Or maybe not: I'm not convinced Dana's brain is even attached to his so-called spine.

Fred in Baltimore.

...that kool-aid drenched comments like "God Bless Dana" almost always spring from "Anonymous" commenters? What - lack the courage of your convictions? Or is that actually you, Dana, trying to pat yourself on the back?

Regardless of political stripe, the sight of a U.S. Congressman wishing harm on American citizens who dare to disagree with this Administration's policy of kidnapping, illegal detention, and torture is simply sickening. If this is what passes for "spine" among the Conservative faithful, you can call me "spineless" any day!


Too bad it's growing out the top of his head. . .

Yes, his spine is bent from supporting where his head is stuck. Good news, though...his proctologist reports that they found his head.

What you're referring to is "slime".

The days are numbered for morons like you and your friend Dana to have any place of importance among civilization.

Spine, maybe; brain, no.

You are a sick human being...

Quit sucking the Congressman's ass and open your eyes. That's about the most spineLESS comment made by a Member of Congress in quite a while.

Well, we can be pretty sure that HIS family members won't be dying. He's more than happy to send YOUR family to their deaths, though...

dana rorhbacker must have had joe mccarthys brain implanted in him. he thinks like him ,sounds like him, and he looks like him. at the very least he must be related to him. hes a good candidate for censure, for the statements he made to the senate committee investigating rendition of prisoners. keep in mind the nazi were experts at fear tactics and torture.

I'm thinking Herr Rohrabacker got hit in the head a few too many times by his surfboard.

I listed to the commitee proceedings and not only did he say the above, he also said something to effect that "I'D RATHER HAVE A FEW INNOCENT PEOPLE IN JAIL THAN HAVE 5 MILLION AMERICANS KILLED (in a terrorist attack)" This was in a response to the Europeans stating that the sweeping arrests by American authorities and slow progress to judicial process would keep many innocent jailed without due process.

I hope the Europeans recognized his rhetoric for what it reveals in his heart and the GOP in general: a revival of the Nazi regime.

yes, yes, calling someone a "Nazi" has been reduced in this country to a joke (thank you, desensitization), but the Republicans are quite literally acting the same way as the Nazi party of 1934 did.
It's time we started calling them what they are---FASCISTS. in the literal sense, they are fascists.

Here's what Kurt Vonnegut said about fascists in "Slapstick":
"Fascists are inferior people who believe it when somebody tells them they're superior, then they want everyone else to die"

Usually these guys speak in code so to hear it in plain english is refreshing. Certainly no hiding behind those remarks. Sad to see a 'representitve' like this clown in a position of influence.
Thinks have got to change ...and soon

He said in the 9/11 attacks "50 to 100,000" people were to die? But "we managed to evacuate those buildings, and do the job that was necessary at the moment"??!! Did I miss something? I've never heard that they evacuated 50 to 100,000 people from NY or DC (hello?? SURPRISE ATTACK), and I never heard that 50 to 100,000 people dying was the plan. Not only is he representative of almost everything wrong with the Republicans, he's also evidently getting extra-powerful koolaid from the neocons...

that get swept up by coalition forces on some paid "tip" by locals with a grudge and sent away incommunicado with no contact to thier family or lawyer and certainly no right to see any of the evidence against them.

People actually voted for this guy? What is wrong with them? Yes, countries around the world are questioning America precisely for what it has turned into--a repressive, fear-mongering regime that bleats about freedom while practicing immorality and oppression. Thankfully its citizens still remember what America stands for, and with people like Colonel Wright and many others like her I have no doubt it'll recover... eventually. Six years might not be enough to cure the harm that six years under this administration has wrought.

And a big thanks to you, Colonel, for standing up to these cowards. On O'Reilly's show and now with Rohrabacher, you show these people (and I use the term loosely) their own ugly reflections through your reason and conscience. I can't applaud that enough.

Rohrabacher is the definition of tool. He has for what?...20 years been in office, and I have no idea how the Democrats in that district can't put up a salable oppositon candidate.

Dear Col. Wright. Thank you for your many years of service to your country, and thank you for your bravery to stand up to this neo-con cabal that's hell-bent on destroying our freedoms and our young people in the name of a principle. Thank you again for standing up to the likes of Rep. Rohrabacker. His statements were hurtful, highly inappropriate and shows his true colors. I hope his statements come back to haunt him in a horrible way. Thank you again Col. Wright.

Rohrbacher is a fascist pig who's bought the whole terrorist will get you threat hook line and sinker, and uses it at every turn to try and strip us of our freedoms. He should be ashamed to call himself a representative of the people, and he is certainly no defender of the constitution.

Remember it was Rohrabacher who was an enthusiastic supporter of the mudjahadeen in Afghanistan in the 80s. We armed the most anti-western of Afghans and Arab volunteers.

Many of the Afghans among them became the Taliban, the Arabs among them became the core of al Qaeda. It’s where bin Laden put together his first ‘mailing list.’

Rohrabacher was right there cheering them on.

i pray to jebus that ALL republicans die a slow, lingering and painful (but all natural) death. maybe cancer from all of the pollutants they spew. they should either be neutered or completely lose their right to vote. i would suggest lobotomies, but they seem to already have had those. if only these assholes had been aborted. Abortion IS good for some things, imagine if Hitler's mom had one. we can all dream....

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