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Thread: Amnesty's Report: US mostly responsible for global rollback in human rights

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    Mad Professor Senior Member Hurin_Rules's Avatar
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    Default Amnesty's Report: US mostly responsible for global rollback in human rights

    Not that its a surprise to anyone, but Amnesty has just pointed out the gap between Bush's rhetoric and the reality:

    Amnesty slams U.S. on human rights
    Wednesday, May 25, 2005 Posted: 6:42 AM EDT (1042 GMT)

    LONDON, May 25 (Reuters) -- Four years after the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington, human rights are in retreat worldwide and the United States bears most responsibility, rights watchdog Amnesty International said on Wednesday.

    From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe the picture is bleak. Governments are increasingly rolling back the rule of law, taking their cue from the U.S.-led war on terror, it said.

    "The USA as the unrivalled political, military and economic hyper-power sets the tone for governmental behavior worldwide," Secretary General Irene Khan said in the foreword to Amnesty International's 2005 annual report.

    "When the most powerful country in the world thumbs its nose at the rule of law and human rights, it grants a licence to others to commit abuse with impunity," she said.

    London-based Amnesty cited the pictures last year of abuse of detainees at Iraq's U.S.-run Abu Ghraib prison, which it said were never adequately investigated, and the detention without trial of "enemy combatants" at the U.S. naval base in Cuba.

    "The detention facility at Guantanamo Bay has become the gulag of our times, entrenching the practice of arbitrary and indefinite detention in violation of international law," Khan said.

    She also noted Washington's attempts to circumvent its own ban on the use of torture.

    "The U.S. government has gone to great lengths to restrict the application of the Geneva Convention and to 're-define' torture," she said, citing the secret detention of suspects and the practice of handing some over to countries where torture was not outlawed.

    U.S. President George W. Bush often said his country was founded on and dedicated to the cause of human dignity -- but there was a gulf between rhetoric and reality, Amnesty found.

    "During his first term in office, the USA proved to be far from the global human rights champion it proclaimed itself to be," the report said, citing Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay.
    'Blurred distinction'

    But the United States was by no means the sole or even the worst offender as murder, mayhem and abuse of women and children spread to the four corners of the globe, Amnesty said.

    "The human rights abuses in Iraq and Afghanistan were far from being the only negative repercussions of the response to the terrible events of Sept. 11, 2001.

    "Since that day, the framework of international human rights standards has been attacked and undermined by both governments and armed groups," Amnesty said.

    The increasingly blurred distinction between the war on terror and the war on drugs prompted governments across Latin America to use troops to tackle crimes traditionally handled by police, the report said.

    In Asia too, the war on terror was blamed for increasing state repression, adding to the woes of societies already worn down by poverty, discrimination against minorities, a string of low-intensity conflicts and politicization of aid, it added.

    Africa too remained riven by regional wars and political repression, and the abject failure of the international community to take concerted action to end the slaughter in Sudan's vast Darfur region was a cause of shame.

    Khan also condemned the United Nations Commission on Human Rights for failing to stand up for those supposedly in its care.

    "The U.N. Commission of Human Rights has become a forum for horse-trading on human rights," she said. "Last year the Commission dropped Iraq from scrutiny, could not agree on action on Chechnya, Nepal or Zimbabwe and was silent on Guantanamo Bay."
    http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/europe...eut/index.html
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    Default Re: Amnesty's Report: US mostly responsible for global rollback in human rights

    "The detention facility at Guantanamo Bay has become the gulag of our times, entrenching the practice of arbitrary and indefinite detention in violation of international law," Khan said.
    ^And there's where she loses all credibility. If she knew anything at all about what a gulag was and how it operated she wouldnt invoke such a word. What an idiot, or maybe just a propagandist.

    I understand that she has a strong opinion, but to compare guantanamo to a gulag shows that she really has no idea what shes talking about.

    AI has made its political stance well known. Add that to this fiery rhetoric and the basic point of her words which was "Its all the US's fault even though they have no actual control over other government's actions" - and you find yourself with a clear agenda.

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    Dyslexic agnostic insomniac Senior Member Goofball's Avatar
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    Default Re: Amnesty's Report: US mostly responsible for global rollback in human rights

    Quote Originally Posted by PanzerJager
    ^And there's where she loses all credibility. If she knew anything at all about what a gulag was and how it operated she wouldnt invoke such a word. What an idiot, or maybe just a propagandist.
    Not so. Although Gitmo might not rival a traditional gulag in terms of actual prisoner abuse (although given the weight of anecdotal evidence of same, even that point could be argued), it certainly resembles a gulag in one major respect: people are locked up without evidence or charges against them for an indefinite period of time at the pleasure of the government.

    That certainly resembles a gulag.
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    A very, very Senior Member Adrian II's Avatar
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    Default Re: Amnesty's Report: US mostly responsible for global rollback in human rights

    Quote Originally Posted by PanzerJager
    If she knew anything at all about what a gulag was and how it operated she wouldnt invoke such a word.
    I think you're right. The use of the word is disgraceful and shows no sense of porportion. Just like currencies, words can suffer inflation due to forgery, and Amnesty's print shop is clearly working overtime here.

    However, Irene Khan makes a point that should be addressed. A nation like the United States that is always full of talk about the use, indeed the essence of good role models in sports, the arts, science, religion and politics, should certainly worry over this:

    'The USA as the unrivalled political, military and economic hyper-power sets the tone for governmental behavior worldwide. When the most powerful country in the world thumbs its nose at the rule of law and human rights, it grants a licence to others to commit abuse with impunity.'
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    The very model of a modern Moderator Xiahou's Avatar
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    Default Re: Amnesty's Report: US mostly responsible for global rollback in human rights

    Quote Originally Posted by PanzerJager
    AI has made its political stance well known. Add that to this fiery rhetoric and the basic point of her words which was "Its all the US's fault even though they have no actual control over other government's actions" - and you find yourself with a clear agenda.
    Yep, typical 'everything in the world is the fault of the US' mentality.

    Darfur? Because of Guantonamo.
    Uzbekistan? Because of Abu Ghraib. And so on....
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    Scandinavian and loving it Member Lazul's Avatar
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    Default Re: Amnesty's Report: US mostly responsible for global rollback in human rights

    yeah I agree with Goof' here, Gitmo sure does feel like a gulag.

    And I agree with Amnesty here.
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    Default Re: Amnesty's Report: US mostly responsible for global rollback in human rights

    Quote Originally Posted by PanzerJager
    ^And there's where she loses all credibility. If she knew anything at all about what a gulag was and how it operated she wouldnt invoke such a word. What an idiot, or maybe just a propagandist.
    So, by saying that the war on terror is a crusade, Dubya loses all credibility?

    In any case, "we blame the US" is a hilariously forward statement to make.

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    probably bored Member BDC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Amnesty's Report: US mostly responsible for global rollback in human rights

    Quote Originally Posted by NeonGod
    So, by saying that the war on terror is a crusade, Dubya loses all credibility?

    In any case, "we blame the US" is a hilariously forward statement to make.
    Well it's true to a point. If the USA said "we're gonna take down any country with human rights abuses, starting alphabetically" by the time you got to Uzebkistan they would be staggeringly well behaved.

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    A very, very Senior Member Adrian II's Avatar
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    Default Re: Amnesty's Report: US mostly responsible for global rollback in human rights

    Quote Originally Posted by BDC
    Well it's true to a point. If the USA said "we're gonna take down any country with human rights abuses, starting alphabetically" by the time you got to Uzebkistan they would be staggeringly well behaved.
    They would remain stuck in the letter 'C'. Guess why?
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    Feeding the Peanut Gallery Senior Member Redleg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Amnesty's Report: US mostly responsible for global rollback in human rights

    The same countries that were abusing human rights before 9/11 are still abusing human rights. THe only power that has changed is the Taliban and Saddam's Regime - they got removed by force - and the human rights abuses of both countries just have a different government in charge of them. Of course the United States is violating some human rights of some individuals - we have the death pently, and now we are fighting a war against a nebulous enemy - who has no problem committing several forms of criminal and horrendous acts.

    No other government has had drastic change - and this report only states a politicial opinion of Amensity International. An organization that was condemning the United States for Human Rights abuses before 9/11. So one must take with a grain of salt anything coming out of this organization, and since the United States is the biggest kid on the block - its easier to point to us then to actually condemn and hold responsible the leaders and countries that commit human rights violations.

    I
    O well, seems like 'some' people decide to ruin a perfectly valid threat. Nice going guys... doc bean

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    Master of the Horse Senior Member Pindar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Amnesty's Report: US mostly responsible for global rollback in human rights

    "The detention facility at Guantanamo Bay has become the gulag of our times, entrenching the practice of arbitrary and indefinite detention in violation of international law," Khan said.
    If I recall correctly, some 40 million were imprisoned in the Gulags over the span of their use. In the largest gulag alone some 3 million are thought to have died. Gitmo has 500 prisoners most of which were taken on the field of battle. hmmm.

    This is stupid on stilts.


    Quote Originally Posted by AdrianII

    However, Irene Khan makes a point that should be addressed. A nation like the United States that is always full of talk about the use, indeed the essence of good role models in sports, the arts, science, religion and politics, should certainly worry over this:

    'The USA as the unrivalled political, military and economic hyper-power sets the tone for governmental behavior worldwide. When the most powerful country in the world thumbs its nose at the rule of law and human rights, it grants a licence to others to commit abuse with impunity.'
    One can argue that violations have occurred. These should be pointed out and offenders should be prosecuted. Extending that to a policy of atrocities is flawed and irresponsible.

    "We are lovers of beauty without extravagance and of learning without loss of vigor." -Thucydides

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    probably bored Member BDC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Amnesty's Report: US mostly responsible for global rollback in human rights

    Quote Originally Posted by AdrianII
    They would remain stuck in the letter 'C'. Guess why?
    California! I knew it. That pit of...



    Back on topic, I think it was referring to countries finding that they can get away with 'terrorists' disappearing now, whereas before they would have been taken to task about why the opposition party had suddenly all been taken away in trucks and never come back.

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    Master of the Horse Senior Member Pindar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Amnesty's Report: US mostly responsible for global rollback in human rights

    Quote Originally Posted by AdrianII
    They would remain stuck in the letter 'C'. Guess why?
    Damn Canadians!

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    RIP Tosa, my trolling end now Senior Member Devastatin Dave's Avatar
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    Default Re: Amnesty's Report: US mostly responsible for global rollback in human rights

    Quote Originally Posted by Pindar

    This is stupid on stilts.

    Love that line!!! Good post.

    LOL, AI has as much credibility as Libya being on the Human Rights Commission for the UN.
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    A very, very Senior Member Adrian II's Avatar
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    Default Re: Amnesty's Report: US mostly responsible for global rollback in human rights

    Quote Originally Posted by Pindar
    One can argue that violations have occurred. These should be pointed out and offenders should be prosecuted. Extending that to a policy of atrocities is flawed and irresponsible.
    One can argue that rights and rules of due process have been suspended by the highest authorities, practices changed for the worse, and some execrable examples set in the course of an illegal war. But I will read the report before commenting on its contents.
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    Feeding the Peanut Gallery Senior Member Redleg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Amnesty's Report: US mostly responsible for global rollback in human rights

    Quote Originally Posted by AdrianII
    One can argue that rights and rules of due process have been suspended by the highest authorities, practices changed for the worse, and some execrable examples set in the course of an illegal war. But I will read the report before commenting on its contents.
    The arguement is flawed when one resorts to labeling something illegal which is not. Show me where the war in Afganstan is illegal - which is where the GITMO detainee's primarily come from - with a few expections. Show me where the War with Iraq is illegal - because frankly we have had this discussion and you have yet to show where the conflict has been ruled illegal by any legimate judicial body. Just a label thrown about by those who oppose the action is all the term really is.
    O well, seems like 'some' people decide to ruin a perfectly valid threat. Nice going guys... doc bean

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    Mad Professor Senior Member Hurin_Rules's Avatar
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    Default Re: Amnesty's Report: US mostly responsible for global rollback in human rights

    Quote Originally Posted by Pindar
    If I recall correctly, some 40 million were imprisoned in the Gulags over the span of their use. In the largest gulag alone some 3 million are thought to have died. Gitmo has 500 prisoners most of which were taken on the field of battle. hmmm.
    I'm sure there were gulags with less than 500 prisoners.

    Calling it a Gulag may be a bit much. But arbitrary detention at the whim of the government is still arbitrary detention at the whim of the government, however you want to slice it.

    One can argue that violations have occurred. These should be pointed out and offenders should be prosecuted. Extending that to a policy of atrocities is flawed and irresponsible.
    Then you've just advocating prosecuting Bush himself, because the policies currently being carried out at Guantanamo go all the way to the White House, via Rumsfeld and Gonzales.
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    A very, very Senior Member Adrian II's Avatar
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    Default Re: Amnesty's Report: US mostly responsible for global rollback in human rights

    Quote Originally Posted by Redleg
    Show me where the War with Iraq is illegal (..)
    I don't believe this! I chased you all the way down resolution 1441 and you didn't have a Redleg to stand on.

    We're not going over all that again.
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    Master of the Horse Senior Member Pindar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Amnesty's Report: US mostly responsible for global rollback in human rights

    Quote Originally Posted by AdrianII
    One can argue that rights and rules of due process have been suspended by the highest authorities, practices changed for the worse, and some execrable examples set in the course of an illegal war. But I will read the report before commenting on its contents.

    Due process has been suspended? What are you referring to here? Are you suggesting there is no legal element? Are you suggesting there is no criteria or standard for those in Gitmo?

    The U.S. is not involved in any illegal wars. I thought this confusion had been dealt with. We can begin with the base notion of law again if required and then move forward, but I thought the other thread was fairly clear in ending this fiction.

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    Mad Professor Senior Member Hurin_Rules's Avatar
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    Default Re: Amnesty's Report: US mostly responsible for global rollback in human rights

    Pindar, even Redleg has admitted that manner of detention of some of the detainees (specifically, the Taleban and non-Al Qaeda) is in violation of the law (Geneva and Hague conventions, specifically).

    Fair and competent tribunals have not been held for the detainees at Guantanamo. Some of the detainees have been waiting for three years now. Are you saying that they have had due process?

    I never thought anyone could, with a straight face, characterize a thread that saw an extended and rancorous debate, in which very different opinions were expressed regarding the legality of the war in Iraq, as settling the matter in your favour. I stand corrected.
    Last edited by Hurin_Rules; 05-25-2005 at 21:50.
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    Master of the Horse Senior Member Pindar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Amnesty's Report: US mostly responsible for global rollback in human rights

    Quote Originally Posted by Hurin_Rules
    I'm sure there were gulags with less than 500 prisoners.

    Calling it a Gulag may be a bit much. But arbitrary detention at the whim of the government is still arbitrary detention at the whim of the government, however you want to slice it.
    I don't believe detention is arbitrary.



    One can argue that violations have occurred. These should be pointed out and offenders should be prosecuted. Extending that to a policy of atrocities is flawed and irresponsible.

    Then you've just advocating prosecuting Bush himself, because the policies currently being carried out at Guantanamo go all the way to the White House, via Rumsfeld and Gonzales.
    Gitmo policy itself is not a violation.

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    Master of the Horse Senior Member Pindar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Amnesty's Report: US mostly responsible for global rollback in human rights

    Quote Originally Posted by AdrianII
    I don't believe this! I chased you all the way down resolution 1441 and you didn't have a Redleg to stand on.
    The UN has no extra-territorial authority nor does it have any legal hold over the U.S.

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    Master of the Horse Senior Member Pindar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Amnesty's Report: US mostly responsible for global rollback in human rights

    Quote Originally Posted by Hurin_Rules
    Pindar, even Redleg has admitted that manner of detention of some of the detainees (specifically, the Taleban and non-Al Qaeda) is in violation of the law (Geneva and Hague conventions, specifically).

    Fair and competent tribunals have not been held for the detainees at Guantanamo. Some of the detainees have been waiting for three years now. Are you saying that they have had due process?
    I won't speak to Redleg's position.

    I think it may be that some detainees were violated or error occurred. This is a government action recall: that is distinct from the policy itself. I'm unaware of any legal proscription.

    Military tribunals were held in Afghanistan on the battlefield similar to what was done during WWII.

    I never thought anyone could, with a straight face, characterize a thread that saw an extended and rancorous debate, in which very different opinions were expressed regarding the legality of the war in Iraq, as settling the matter in your favour. I stand corrected.
    Charges of illegality are and were vacuous. Any understanding of U.S. law cannot support such a position. For your review: law is determinable by national authority and ameanable to the same: in this case, that authority would be the U.S. Senate. Contrary opinions on this matter are uninformed.

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    Feeding the Peanut Gallery Senior Member Redleg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Amnesty's Report: US mostly responsible for global rollback in human rights

    Quote Originally Posted by AdrianII
    I don't believe this! I chased you all the way down resolution 1441 and you didn't have a Redleg to stand on.

    We're not going over all that again.
    And you did not prove your point - nor did you accept my point.

    Resolution 1441 did not state what you said it stated. The resolution did not authorize the use of force - nor did it deny the use of force. In several aspects it refered to the other Resolutions which did authorize the use of force against Iraq.

    Like I said your arguement is flawed because you have decided to term the war illegal because of the way you understand the law. When the Hague convens (SP) to determine if the United States War with Iraq is illegal - then maybe I will accept that conclusion - however I refer to the fact that in 1991 Iraq signed a ceasefire with the United States followed by the United Nations resolution 687 a month later.

    The Nation of Iraq had an obligation under the Hague Convention of 1907 to honor that cease fire, under that convention the United States has the right under International Law to enforce the conditions of the ceasefire by resuming armed conflict. Resolution 1441 does not negate or over-ride the Hague Convention of 1907 since all Western Armies still operate under that convention. By terming the war illegal - all your doing is making an emotional based arguement and refusing to see the other side of the arguement.

    Edit: and by the way the United Nations recongized the Hague Convention of 1907 as the Law of War.
    Last edited by Redleg; 05-25-2005 at 22:23.
    O well, seems like 'some' people decide to ruin a perfectly valid threat. Nice going guys... doc bean

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    Mad Professor Senior Member Hurin_Rules's Avatar
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    Default Re: Amnesty's Report: US mostly responsible for global rollback in human rights

    Quote Originally Posted by Pindar
    I think it may be that some detainees were violated or error occurred. This is a government action recall: that is distinct from the policy itself.
    More hairsplitting? The government action was carrying out the policies of the Bush administration.

    Military tribunals were held in Afghanistan on the battlefield similar to what was done during WWII.
    Actually, the detainees in WWII were given lawyers and a court hearing.

    Charges of illegality are and were vacuous. Any understanding of U.S. law cannot support such a position. For your review: law is determinable by national authority and ameanable to the same: in this case, that authority would be the U.S. Senate. Contrary opinions on this matter are uninformed.
    You are prepared, then, to give up your self-designated title of 'International Lawyer' and instead to refer to yourself only as an 'International Treaty-guy'?
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    Default Re: Amnesty's Report: US mostly responsible for global rollback in human rights

    Actually, the detainees in WWII were given lawyers and a court hearing.
    Really? All of them?

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    Feeding the Peanut Gallery Senior Member Redleg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Amnesty's Report: US mostly responsible for global rollback in human rights

    Quote Originally Posted by Hurin_Rules
    Pindar, even Redleg has admitted that manner of detention of some of the detainees (specifically, the Taleban and non-Al Qaeda) is in violation of the law (Geneva and Hague conventions, specifically).
    Yes the Militia of the Taliban is a legimate force according the the Hague Convention of 1907 and are entitled to the protections of the Geneva Conventions. If an individual was captured outside of Afganstan or Iraq and sent to GITMO - then I also believe that is a violation of the United States Constitution. Any detainee that was captured in either Afganstan or Iraq and was not a citizen of either nation - then well they took their chances in performing activities that violate the rules of war, and are not entitled to the protections of the Geneva Convention.

    Fair and competent tribunals have not been held for the detainees at Guantanamo. Some of the detainees have been waiting for three years now. Are you saying that they have had due process?
    There due process was the tribunal that was held in the location that they were captured in either Afganstan or Iraq - which determined that they needed to be sent to Gitmo. If they were sent to Gitmo from other areas - then I would have to agree that they were not given the due process due to them.

    I never thought anyone could, with a straight face, characterize a thread that saw an extended and rancorous debate, in which very different opinions were expressed regarding the legality of the war in Iraq, as settling the matter in your favour. I stand corrected.
    The problem is that it was not settled - it was agreed to disagree over the different aspects of the issue. However since Adrian believes that the war is illegal - its perfectly acceptable for Pinder and myself to conclude that the war with Iraq is legal.
    O well, seems like 'some' people decide to ruin a perfectly valid threat. Nice going guys... doc bean

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    A very, very Senior Member Adrian II's Avatar
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    Default Re: Amnesty's Report: US mostly responsible for global rollback in human rights

    Quote Originally Posted by Devastatin Dave
    LOL, AI has as much credibility as Libya being on the Human Rights Commission for the UN.
    So, whom did Amnesty beat to death on a concrete floor lately?
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    Master of the Horse Senior Member Pindar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Amnesty's Report: US mostly responsible for global rollback in human rights

    Quote Originally Posted by Hurin_Rules
    Originally Posted by Pindar
    I think it may be that some detainees were violated or error occurred. This is a government action recall: that is distinct from the policy itself.
    More hairsplitting? The government action was carrying out the policies of the Bush administration.
    I don't think making distinction between individual action and policy is hair splinting. Now if you are arguing that Bush ordered troops to rape, kill etc. detainees then you would have a point.

    Actually, the detainees in WWII were given lawyers and a court hearing.
    Detention was handled under military auspices in field tribunals the same as in Afghanistan.

    You are prepared, then, to give up your self-designated title of 'International Lawyer' and instead to refer to yourself only as an 'International Treaty-guy'?
    Self-designated title?

    Your post suggests you do not understand treaties or what an international lawyer is. A treaty is determined by national governments. The negotiation is handled by diplomats or other government authority typically through the State Department in the U.S.. These may or may not be lawyers. Any accord is pre-legal. It does not gain standing until it has been ratified. That same ratifying authority can change the terms in any fashion at any time.

    International lawyers basically operate in the private arena. The designation applies to individuals who have licensing in more than one country.

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    The Black Senior Member Papewaio's Avatar
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    Sep 2001
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    Default Re: Amnesty's Report: US mostly responsible for global rollback in human rights

    The US standards of human rights may have dropped a few points compared with before 9/11. But surely they are no where the order or magnitude of say Sudan?

    This AI report is in the same path of Greenpeace. Using propaganda and hyperbole rather then facts to highlight the real issue.

    Stick to the facts today if you want to be believed tomorrow.
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    The rest is either as average as advertised or, in the case of the missionary, disappointing.

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