Is the US now the biggest violator of human rights in the world

In its yearly
report on human rights violations abroad, prepared by the US State Department and
delivered to Congress annually, failed to mention that the majority of the
violations in the report were as a direct result of US actions or
US training.

The report
carefully omits
US support for and involvement in the very
practices it criticizes. 

The reports cover
internationally recognized individual, civil, political, and worker rights, as
set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


“There are
clear and troubling gaps in this report,” the US-based group Human Rights
First said in a press statement. “As in years past, the
US government has rightly identified and
criticized countries for their repression of human-rights activists, but this
in many instances only serves to highlight how US government policies fail to
follow through on this commitment in practice.” 

For instance, the
State Department’s assessment of human rights in
Pakistan cites an Amnesty International (AI)
report that, in the words of the State Department, “documented the Pakistani
government's abuses against hundreds of its citizens and foreign
nationals.”

The State Department report continued: “AI reported that as the practice
of enforced disappearance spread, people were arrested and held incommunicado
in secret locations with their detention officially denied. They were at risk
of torture and unlawful transfer to third countries. The Amnesty report noted
that the ‘practice of offering rewards running to thousands of dollars for
unidentified terror suspects facilitated illegal detention and enforced
disappearance.’”

But the State
Department left out that the
United States was behind those rewards and at least
some of the detentions. The very next sentence in the cited Amnesty
International report reads: “Many individuals were arrested by Pakistani authorities
or captured by local people and handed over to
US law enforcement or intelligence personnel
in exchange for a reward.” 

The State
Department says that in 2006, human-rights violations in
Indonesia included unlawful killings by security
forces, as well as torture, harsh prison conditions and arbitrary detentions.
But the Department does not note that, to the chagrin of human-rights groups,
the US State Department has lifted restrictions on selling arms to
Indonesia. Neither does it note that the United States is training Indonesian military and
police forces.

In its report on Afghanistan, the State Department cites Human Rights
Watch’s implications of “security forces” in the arbitrary detention
and abuse of detainees. But it does not mention that the bulk of Human Rights
Watch’s documentation of detainee abuse in
Afghanistan focuses on US military conduct, of the hundreds of detainees still held in Afghanistan by U.S. military and
intelligence agencies.
.

Reports on Poland, Romania, Germany and Italy contain no
references to investigations into secret
U.S. detention
facilities or the illegal
U.S. abduction and
transfer of terror suspects to third countries that use torture. 

The report on Iraq, for instance,
contains harsh words for the government, decrying “overcrowding and lack
of judicial oversight” in Iraqi prisons and detention centers, incidents
of “arbitrary arrest and detention” and “instances of torture
and other abuses by government agents and by illegal armed groups.”

Not mentioned at all: The U.S. itself holds about 14,000 detainees in Iraq. Although some U.S. officials
acknowledge that many of these detainees are probably innocent, most have never
had any meaningful opportunity to challenge their detention. Meanwhile,
credible allegations of detainee abuse persist.


There is however one intriguing inclusion in the introduction:

“We recognize that we are writing this report at a time when our own
record, and actions we have taken to respond to the terrorist attacks against
us, have been questioned,”

it goes on to insist that “U.S.
laws, policies and practices governing the detention, treatment and trial of
terrorist suspects have evolved considerably over the last five years.”
 

Those
unprecedented sentences survived because Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
fought for them — and won, beating back opposition that came mainly from Vice
President Dick Cheney's office.

China, a perennial
target, declared that “the
United States has lorded it
over other countries by condemning other countries' human rights practices
while ignoring its own problems.”  

Other foreign commentators also complained about U.S. hypocrisy.
After
Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib,
Haditha and other highly publicized human rights controversies, they wondered,
where does the
U.S. get off casting
stones at others?

 

 

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About IanPJ

Ian Parker-Joseph, former Leader of the Libertarian Party UK, who currently heads PDPS Internet Hosting and the Personal Deed Poll Services company, has been an IT industry professional for over 20 years, providing Business Consulting, Programme and Project Management, specialising in the recovery of Projects that have failed in a process driven world. Ian’s experience is not limited to the UK, and he has successfully delivered projects in the Middle East, Africa, US, Russia, Poland, France and Germany. Working within different cultures, Ian has occupied high profile roles within multi-nationals such as Nortel and Cable & Wireless. These experiences have given Ian an excellent insight into world events, and the way that they can shape our own national future. His extensive overseas experiences have made him all too aware of how the UK interacts with its near neighbours, its place in the Commonwealth, and how our nation fits into the wider world. He is determined to rebuild many of the friendships and commercial relationships with other nations that have been sadly neglected over the years, and would like to see greater energy and food security in these countries, for the benefit of all. Ian is a vocal advocate of small government, individual freedom, low taxation and a minimum of regulation. Ian believes deeply and passionately in freedom and independence in all areas of life, and is now bringing his professional experiences to bear in the world of politics.
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