2008/07/26

Hypocrisy

President Bush made a speech July 24th where he spoke of human rights and how certain nations don't respect those rights.

"Over the past seven years, we've spoken out against human rights abuses by tyrannical regimes like those in Iran, Sudan, and Syria and Zimbabwe," Bush said.
"We've spoken candidly about human rights with nations with whom we've got good relations, such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia and China."

All of which may be true (I'm not really aware of speeches concerning the last three countries but, parsing those words carefully, they might have been talks that occurred behind closed doors), but these talks fade into utter meaninglessness compared to the permitted torture methods authorized by the 2002 memo just unearthed by an ACLU Freedom Of Information Act lawsuit:

...authorizes the CIA to use specific interrogation methods, including waterboarding. The memo states that interrogation methods that cause severe mental pain do not amount to torture under U.S. law unless they cause "harm lasting months or even years after the acts were inflicted upon the prisoners."

Which is basically a get-out-of-jail-free card. After all, if one has to wait "years" to see if the mental pain suffered by the tortured person is still there, then authorities have plenty of time to devise a way to see to it that they never spend a single day in jail, regardless of how guilty they are.

To "speak out" against human rights abuses by Sudan or Syria while allowing one's own personnel to torture to their heart's content is the absolute height of hypocrisy and double standards. I'm not aware that Egypt or Saudi Arabia's human rights record has improved, but if they essentially flipped the US the bird, well, I wouldn't blame them one bit.

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