Sunday, June 05, 2005

You Say Absurd, I Say Ironic

WILLIAM F. SCHULZ, Executive Director of Amnesty International, has a word to describe Pres. Bush's charge that AI is "absurd" to call Guantanamo and other U.S. detention centers in the war on terror "the gulag of our time." That word is "ironic."

If Amnesty's reports are so "absurd," Schulz asked, "why did the administration repeatedly cite our findings about Saddam Hussein before the Iraq war? Why does it welcome our criticisms of Cuba, China and North Korea? And why does it cite our research in its own annual human rights reports?

"No amount of spin can erase the myriad human rights abuses committed by United States officials in the 'war on terror.' The United States cannot simultaneously claim that it 'promotes freedom around the world' while detaining tens of thousands at Guantánamo Bay, Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan and in Iraq and other locations without charge or trial and allowing those civilian and military officials responsible for orchestrating a systematic policy of torture to escape accountability.

"Instead of attacking us, President Bush should insist upon a truly thorough, independent investigation of those who tried to circumvent global prohibitions on torture, and he should open all detention centers to scrutiny by independent human rights groups. Only then will the world be able to judge whether it is Amnesty International or the president whose perspective deserves to be called 'absurd.'"
Hat tip to Shakespeare's Sister.

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