al Qaeda, Bill of Rights, Bush administration, CIA, Department of Justice, drones, due process, extrajudicial killings, Gitmo, human rights, hypocrisy, indefinite detention, look forward not back, Obama administration, Pakistan, Poland, Taliban, torture investigation, treaties, war on terror
From the Department of Blatant Hypocrisy, Do As I Say, Not As I Do Division:
“The Obama administration is expressing alarm over reports that thousands of political separatists and captured Taliban insurgents have disappeared into the hands of Pakistan’s police and security forces, and that some may have been tortured or killed.
The concern is over a steady stream of accounts from human rights groups that Pakistan’s security services have rounded up thousands of people over the past decade, mainly in Baluchistan, a vast and restive province far from the fight with the Taliban, and are holding them incommunicado without charges.”
Welcome to the Hotel Gitmo. You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.
“Separately, the report also described concerns that the Pakistani military had killed unarmed members of the Taliban, rather than put them on trial.
…Two months ago, the United States took the unusual step of refusing to train or equip about a half-dozen Pakistani Army units that are believed to have killed unarmed prisoners and civilians during recent offensives against the Taliban. The most recent State Department report contains some of the administration’s most pointed language about accusations of such so-called extrajudicial killings.”
“From the moment he stepped foot inside the White House, Obama set about expanding and escalating a covert CIA program of “targeted killings” inside Pakistan, using Predator and Reaper drones armed with Hellfire missiles..that had been started by the Bush administration in 2004.
On 23 January 2009, just three days after being sworn in, Obama ordered his first set of air strikes inside Pakistan; one is said to have killed four Arab fighters linked to al-Qaida but the other hit the house of a pro-government tribal leader, killing him and four members of his family, including a five-year-old child.
…During his first nine months in office he authorised as many aerial attacks in Pakistan as George W Bush did in his final three years in the job…According to the New America Foundation thinktank in Washington DC, the number of US drone strikes in Pakistan more than doubled in 2010, to 115. That is an astonishing rate of around one bombing every three days inside a country with which the US is not at war.”
And then there’s this from the Obstruction of Justice Department, Look Forward Division:
“The U.S. Department of Justice has rejected a request from prosecutors in Warsaw for assistance in the investigation into the alleged CIA prisons in Poland, where captives claim they were tortured. On 18 March, the Prosecutor’s Office of Appeal in Warsaw filed a motion for legal assistance from the US Department of Justice into the probe…[T]he US informed prosecutors that the motion had been rejected on the basis of the international Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters and that the U.S. authorities consider the matter “to be closed”.
So far, the U.S. Justice Department has failed to comply with its treaty obligations to supply information requested by prosecutors in Spain, Germany, Italy, and Poland who are probing allegations of kidnapping, false arrest, assault, and torture by persons believed to be CIA agents in connection with extraordinary rendition operations.”
This has, by far, been my biggest disappointment with the current administration. Legislative policies are one thing-legislation can be amended, superseded, or repealed. But by continuing, and in some cases expanding upon, the Bush administration “war on terror” tactics, and pursuing this “look forward, not back” lunacy, it has now become the accepted and established policy of two successive administrations—one Republican and one Democratic–that the United States of America now condones actions (indefinite detention without charges, denial of due process) that were once upon a time (pre-9/11) considered a violation of our Bill of Rights.
It also lets other countries that enter into treaties with us know that we will abide by the conditions of those treaties only so far as it is convenient and politically expedient for us to do so, and denies us any credibility on the world stage when it comes to the condemnation of other country’s human rights violations.
In short, we prove to the world that America is a nation of preachers and not practicers.