Thursday, February 08, 2007

More U.S. Leadership on Human Rights

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A military investigation has concluded that guards at Guantanamo who were overheard bragging about beating detainees actually did not do anything wrong. This conclusion was reached after interviewing the guards and other witnesses -- but not the alleged victims of the beatings. Not only that, but Marine Corps Sgt. Heather Cerveny, who reported the guards after she overheard them bragging about the beatings in a bar, is now being accused of filing a false statement.

Spencer Ackerman, who has written about the treatment of Gitmo detainees before, comments at TPMmuckraker.

And the United States has declined to sign a treaty that forbids governments to send prisoners to, or hold them in, secret detention centers. Almost 60 other countries did sign the treaty:

The signing capped a quarter-century of efforts by families of people who have vanished at the hands of governments.

"Our American friends were naturally invited to this ceremony; unfortunately, they weren't able to join us," French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy told reporters after 57 nations signed the treaty at his ministry in Paris.

"That won't prevent them from one day signing on in New York at U.N. headquarters _ and I hope they will."

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack declined comment except to say that the United States helped draft the treaty, but that the final text "did not meet our expectations."

Apparently the drafters of the treaty were unwilling to include an exemption for the United States.

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