Guantanamo, Diego Garcia, habeus corpus, torture policies and other human rights abuses

The US has entirely withdrawn from its’ observer status on the UN Human Rights Council, amounting to an abandonment of human rights defenders and victims, according to Human Rights Watch.  The Heritage Foundation has been encouraging this for years, including this article ‘UN Resolution on Human Rights Council Does Not Deserve US Support’ (3/06):


“The time is right for the United Stated to pursue a two-track strategy on human rights. Disengaging from the U.N.’s human rights apparatus, not matter how flawed it is, would weaken U.S. influence. But it may be that the U.N. is unable to hold its members accountable for their human rights abuses. For that reason, the U.S. should establish an independent human rights body outside of the U.N., drawing in other nations that are dedicated to promoting basic human rights and freedoms. This new institution could promote basic human rights when the U.N. falls short and hold the U.N.’s human rights body to account. As the Eliasson proposal proves, the U.N. is too heavily influenced by the human rights abusers to serve as the sole authority on human rights.”


I can imagine the founding members of this august institution: the United States, Israel, Saudi Arabia, China, Egypt, North Korea, Iran, Syria, Myanmar, Zimbabwe, Cuba, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Eritrea and Sudan


The forgotten kid of Guantánamo – Salon 5/27/08

A teenager captured in Afghanistan and shipped to the U.S. prison remained unknown to the world for five years. Now he’s being tried as an adult.


Children in US Custody Held Without Due Process – Human Rights Watch 5/21/08


What the Supreme Court’s Habeas Decision Means – Alternet 6/13/08


Report details dissent on Guantanamo tactics – NYTimes 5/21/08

EXCERPT: “In 2002, as evidence of prisoner mistreatment at Guantánamo Bay began to mount, Federal Bureau of Investigation agents at the base created a “war crimes file” to document accusations against American military personnel, but were eventually ordered to close down the file, a Justice Department report revealed Tuesday.”


Guantanamo Admiral: Detainees ‘pretty much’ live in a frat house – Raw Story 5/21/08


Charges dropped against alleged ’20th hijacker’ of 9/11/01 – after 6 years in Guantanamo – via MParent 5/12/08


Military judge rules against key Guantanamo figure – Reuters/Yahoo 5/10/08

Because he calls torture torture

EXCERPT: “A U.S. military judge has disqualified a Pentagon general who has been a key figure in Guantanamo war crimes tribunals from playing any role in the first case headed for trial, The New York Times reported on Saturday.  Navy Capt. Keith Allred ruled that Brig. Gen. Thomas Hartmann of the Air Force Reserve was too closely allied with the prosecution. Hartmann, a senior Pentagon official in the Office of Military Commissions which runs the war crimes system, was ordered to have no further role in the first prosecution slated for trial this month, the Times reported.”


US accused of holding terror suspects on prison ships – Guardian, UK 6/2/08

EXCERPT: “According to research carried out by Reprieve, the US may have used as many as 17 ships as “floating prisons” since 2001. Detainees are interrogated aboard the vessels and then rendered to other, often undisclosed, locations, it is claimed. Ships that are understood to have held prisoners include the USS Bataan and USS Peleliu. A further 15 ships are suspected of having operated around the British territory of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, which has been used as a military base by the UK and the Americans.”
“Reprieve will raise particular concerns over the activities of the USS Ashland and the time it spent off Somalia in early 2007 conducting maritime security operations in an effort to capture al-Qaida terrorists. At this time many people were abducted by Somali, Kenyan and Ethiopian forces in a systematic operation involving regular interrogations by individuals believed to be members of the FBI and CIA. Ultimately more than 100 individuals were “disappeared” to prisons in locations including Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Guantánamo Bay.”


‘Justice’ Official: Rumsfeld Personally Approved of Brutal Interrogations – Scoop, New Zealand 6/14/08

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