Thursday, January 19, 2006

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH's annual report, released today, sharply criticized the United States for abdicating its responsibility to be a human rights leader, by deliberately choosing to violate international standards for the treatment of prisoners during wartime. In making this choice, the Bush administration has "undercut broader American interests."

"In the course of 2005, it became indisputable that U.S. mistreatment of detainees reflected not a failure of training, discipline or oversight, but a deliberate policy choice," the rights group said in a sweeping critique in its annual report. "The problem could not be reduced to a few bad apples at the bottom of the barrel."

The group said the United States' detainee practices, along with the accusations that torture has possibly taken place at secret camps, had, together with what it said was a tendency of some Europeans to put business ahead of rights concerns, produced a "global leadership void" in defending human rights.

The patented White House response that the United States does more to advance human rights than any other country, and that other countries do far worse things than we do, and that HRW should focus on those countries, doesn't wash.

...the report takes the United States to task because of its predominant role and its history of championing human rights abroad. "Any discussion of detainee abuse in 2005 must begin with the United States, not because it is the worst violator but because it is the most influential." ... [Emphasis mine.]

In other words, if a country wants to be known as the world leader in support for human rights and freedom, it can't go around sending prisoners to be boiled alive in Uzbekistan or waterboarded in Eastern Europe.

1 comment:

Van said...

Ever wonder why the mainstream press doesn't report this stuff?

Maybe it's because networks like NBC are owned by companies like GE.

We have been sold out.