Wednesday, June 01, 2005

More on Amnesty International

Yesterday I called for President Bush to apologize for calling allegations of American human rights violations contained in an Amnesty International human rights report “absurd” and for saying that the allegations contained in the report were made by “people who hate America.”

I stand by this position.

After reading the full transcript – several times – of the President’s press conference, I’m still convinced that he has failed to accept that even those who are critical of the United States governments’ detention of enemy combatants, the use (if not the authorization) of interrogation techniques that violate the UN Convention against Torture, and the numerous other allegations of human rights violations contained in the Amnesty Report are grounded in some reality and that those who made the allegations are entitled to that opinion as well as the right to express that opinion.

It is true that the Amnesty report fails to point out the positives – America has gone to war and has denied human rights protections (as Amnesty would define them) in an effort to liberate hundreds of thousands of individuals who, without US intervention, would continue to be living under two of the world’s most repressive regimes. The detention and interrogation of enemy combatants has, in all likelihood, saved countless lives. I could go on in explaining the report's failings; however, that is not the point.

If as the president claims “the United States is a country that promotes freedom around the world,” he must be willing to extend that freedom to those who are critical of his administration and of the United States. His comments were wrong and they should be retracted.


At 12:59 PM, Blogger AubreyJ said...

Sorry Joe but I still have to disagree with you on this one. Yet my hat is off to you my friend. At least you take the time to look at the issues and spend some time to think them out. Enjoy your Blog, “The Yellow Line” and keep up the good work…

At 1:39 PM, Blogger Joe Weedon said...

Alan and I expect people to disagree with us.... part of what makes this enjoyable.

Thanks for reading.

At 9:06 AM, Anonymous J.V. Adminton said...

Amnesty issued a statement noting that in the early weeks of the Iraq war, Rumsfeld at least three times cited Amnesty's account of human rights violations by Iraq's then-president, Saddam Hussein.

"Twenty years ago, Amnesty International was criticizing Saddam Hussein's human rights abuses at the same time Donald Rumsfeld was courting him," said William Schulz, executive director of Amnesty International USA, referring to Rumsfeld's December 1983 meeting in Baghdad with Saddam as a special presidential envoy.

"In 2003, Rumsfeld apparently trusted our credibility on violations by Iraq, but now that we are criticizing the U.S. he has lost his faith again," Schulz said.

At the least Amnesty is consistent. Bush and Rumsfeld, and indeed USA are not.

Democratic president of Haiti was recently ousted with their aid. Uzbekistan president who boils people alive, is their friend and CIA rendition site/torture provider. Known terrorists (MEK) and Posada Carriles are supported and financed by US government, blatantly breaking the Treaty against Financing and Supporting of Terrorism.


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