Concerto for blunt instrument

An irregular heartbeat from d.o. to you. Not like a daily kos, more like a sometime sloth. Fast relief from the symptoms of blogarrhea and predicated on the understanding that the world is not a stage for our actions, rather it is a living organism upon which we depend for our existence.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

State Department "human rights" report hyped by war criminals

State Department "human rights" report hyped by war criminals
by Daniel Shays

Like a capo for the SS, Barry Lowenkron, Assistant Secretary of State (for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, no less) tried today to defend the Bush regime from its sorry record of torture and violations of international law. Both Lowenkron and his superior, Condoleezza Rice presently are making the rounds among the corporate media touting their Orwellian "Human Rights" report. Of course, the State Department report fails to address the growing evidence of U.S. human rights abuse in Afghanistan, Iraq, at Guantánamo and through so-called extraordinary rendition. Even though the report states: "The United States and other free nations have a duty to defend human rights and help spread democracy’s blessings", it obviously fails to note its own dereliction of duty. Such laundering of fact doesn’t hold up in the real world.

In response to the State Department's lies of omission, Amnesty International (AI) repeated that "the United States is believed to have transferred, 'rendered' or disappeared over a hundred detainees in the 'war on terror' to countries that the [State Department] report cites for torture or ill-treatment of detainees. Some detainees are believed to be held in a labyrinth of secret prisons around the globe run by the United States government in consent with regimes that have questionable human rights records". This condemnation comes on the heels of AI’s recent report titled "Beyond Abu Ghraib: detention and torture in Iraq", slamming the Bush regime for violations of prisoners rights. That report states: "International human rights law contains safeguards to protect the fundamental rights of people held in detention -- including the right not be subjected to torture or ill-treatment. Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) stipulates: 'No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of punishment' Further rights of detainees are guaranteed in Article 9 of the ICCPR according to which no one should be subjected to arbitrary detention. In addition every detainee must have access to a court empowered to rule without delay on the lawfulness of their detention and order their release if the detention is unlawful."

The United States Senate ratified the ICCPR in 1992, with a number of reservations that it does not form part of the domestic law of the nation; something difficult to understand given that Article IV of the U.S. Constitution states: "This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and ALL TREATIES made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding."

Also, in February AI renewed its call for the closing of the Guantánamo detention center where reports of torture and human rights abuses by U.S. personnel continue to surface. And in February 2004, the International Committee of the Red Cross issued a report that described serious violations of international humanitarian law committed by forces in Iraq.

Ironically, the Chinese government, targeted by the U.S. State Department report, said the report is "an act that fully exposes [Bush regime] hypocrisy and double standards" on human rights issues. Regarding internal U.S. human rights abuses, the Chinese noted that African-Americans are given heavier jail sentences, are arrested more frequently and are more likely to be targeted for hate crimes than whites. They said the country's blacks and other minorities have much lower living standards and incomes and often face job discrimination. Furthermore, they said African-Americans were more likely to face the death penalty for serious crimes. The Chinese response also said Muslims have been targeted for arrests and detention within the U.S. All of which is a matter of public record and quite valid.

This writer can’t find Condy Rice or Barry Lowenkron’s names among the list of the indicted over at the The Bush Crimes Commission; be that as it may, their fronting for the regime's crimes puts them right in the dock with their fellow cronies; just as sure as functionaries of the Nazi regime met their fate during the Nuremberg Tribunals. Let the trials begin.

Connect the dots


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