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January 19, 2006

The Latest Human Rights Abuser

Remember Human Rights?  Little thing in the 80's and 90's we all though was cool. So passť these days, like Members Only jackets. But there are still these little retro organizations that track world behaviors, and every now and then they issue their findings.

The Human Rights Watch published their annual report of, you guessed it, human rights offenders.  Yeah, you've got your habitual offenders, your North Korea, Burma, your Uzbekistan, that crazy Turkmenistan, China in Tibet, wild ol' Congo and where the hell is Chechnya. This year they do add a couple of newbies to the list: Welcome the US and Britain.

Britain got off easy, with a mention that it was outsourcing it's torture by sending candidates off to other governments who are good at it.  The US however is on a big keep it home movement when it comes to developing our skills here. Cheney in particular wanting to remove the CIA from already weak and footnoted legislation restricting torture. No outsourcing for us, we're losing too many jobs overseas as it is - gotta build up the national talent. 

From the report:

What is new this year is that for the first time it has become clear that the use of torture and inhumane treatment is not simply the unintentional by-product of these kinds of policy decisions. It is not simply a matter of neglect or command failure. Rather, the use of torture and inhumane treatment was the Bush administration's policy.

Chill out dudes!  It's a feel good about yourself administration after all. The big present that W brought to the US was the ability to do things we thought used to be bad, and recognize how good they are for us, how they promote the administrative status quo. Feel good about going to war, feel good about elected officials supplementing their income through lobbyist donations, happy about spying on your citizens, gleefully torturing anyone who don't look like us.  That's cool, we're fine. Where's the Tivo remote Martha?

Fucking sheep.

  And the new winners in the war for human rights?   
  • India was noted as a force for good for suspending most military aid to neighboring Nepal and for playing a "constructive role in opposing" the Nepalese king's seizure of absolute power last year.
  • The Association of Southeast Asian Nations won praise for forcing Burma to give up its chairmanship this year because of its poor human rights record.

Those guys do live to a higher standard after all.


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