Saturday, May 20, 2006

UN says, stop torturing

I remember the good old days -- say, the Clinton Administration -- when the United States was an advocate for human rights and urged other countries to improve their human rights records, to ban torture, etc.

Well, this is George W. Bush's America now. And in the New America, the United Nations criticizes the United States for running torture camps. Specifically, the UN Committee Against Torture called on the US to close down its terrorist prison at Guantanamo, to ban "controversial interrogation techniques" (things that you and I would call "torture" if used on us or our loved ones), and to quit sending detainees to countries that are known to torture prisoners.

The de facto Administration said the UN report was unfair, contained errors, and that they didn't give the US Government enough opportunity to respond. Ah, the classic complaint of torture regimes all over the world -- "we are just misunderstood, and besides you made mistakes".

I don't care if the UN report facts are 90% false. ANY incident of torture carried out by agents of the Federal Government with the official blessing of the President and his agents is simply unacceptable. Isn't the United States supposed to be a special country, an example of freedom and democracy that others can admire and aspire to? So how on earth is any hint of torture and indefinite detention without trial (not to mention the domestic spying) remotely compatible with the vision of a free people advocated by the Founding Fathers and promoted and supported by most Presidents and other people for the past 230 years? For that matter, mister holier-than-thou Bush, how can torture be reconciled with the teachings of Christ?

Torture is wrong. Bush has defiled the United States.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in Europe and here we got to know much earlier than in the US itself that in several prison very bad torture took place and still does. The Abu Graihd prison came out into the open, but the worst pictures are still not shown to the American public. The Pentagon forbids newspapers to print them off. The text belonging to it also shows that the lower graded soldiers who were the guards there had no choice, they were told to follow the same sort of terrible torture that Miller, the head of interrogation in Guantanamo Bay had taught them to do. He was invited to come for some time to Iraq by Mr. Rumsfeld who is in fact the responsible person for all these sorts of tortures. Mr. Bush also knew about it, but Rumsfeld was the inventor with Major Miller of Quantanamo Bay.
But now we are talking only about war prisons, which keep people emprisoned without having the right to get a normal trial as should have been done.
In some prisons, I hope not in all of the US prisons, there is also lots of torture going on. A BBC crew filmed there about a year ago with a hidden camera some terrible humiliation and torture practices. Also men lying naked on the floor and being kicked into their ribs and beaten at their heads. Using sticks to beat them and a waterhose to let them slither over the tiles so they could not get up.
That happens in America itself and probably still does. American prisons are known in the Western countries to be the worst amongst Western prisons. Of course, in poor 3rd World prisons many more horrible situations happen there, but America considers itself to be a democratic, decent country. But they are at the top of the list of Amnesty about their treatment of their own prisoners. Many people pushed into the same cell and other ones who are on death row for years and years are in open cages, no privacy at all! That does not happen anywhere else in the Western world and that is why most countries want to get their people, who committed a crime in the States, to come back to their homeland to get a more decent way of locking them up. America still has lots to learn and is now still at the level of 3rd world countries, which is a real shame that is being hidden from the majority of American people themselves.
America has to learn to respect human rights much more, now they are telling others what they do themselves even more.

6:48 PM  
Blogger Don Q Blogger said...

American prisons are a whole different topic. Yes, they're bad. And the fact that over the past 20 years, many have become for-profit operations has created a financial incentive to keep people in prison longer -- a disturbing development.

9:37 PM  
Blogger elendil said...

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and a few other NGOs, have designated June Torture Awareness Month. I've created a blogroll you can join if you're interested. You can find it here. The idea is that everyone is linked to from the blogroll, and in exchange, you discuss torture (as you already do), and link to the Torture Awareness site to help support the NGOs.

There's a lot of bloggers concerned about human rights abuse in the War on Terror. If we coordinate, we can show our support and help Amnesty and HRW make Torture Awareness Month a success!

1:44 AM  
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2:42 PM  

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