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Kiss the Era of Human Rights Goodbye-What Bush Willed to Obama and the World

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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 06:37 PM
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Kiss the Era of Human Rights Goodbye-What Bush Willed to Obama and the World
Kiss the Era of Human Rights Goodbye

What Bush Willed to Obama and the World
By Karen J. Greenberg

These days, it's virtually impossible to escape the world of torture the Bush administration constructed. Whether we like it or not, almost every day we learn ever more about the full range of its shameful policies, about who the culprits were, and just which crimes they might be prosecuted for. But in the morass of memos, testimony, op-eds, punditry, whistle-blowing, documents, and who knows what else, with all the blaming, evasion, and denial going on, somehow we've overlooked the most significant victim of all. One casualty of the Bush torture policiescertainly, at least equal in damage to those who were tortured and the country whose laws were twisted and perverted in the processhas been human rights itself. And no one even seems to notice.

So let's be utterly clear: The policies of the Bush administration were not just horrific in themselves or to others, they may also have brought to an end the human rights movement as we know it.

One need only glance at the recently released Justice Department memos, which have caused such a media storm of late, for the story of what has happened to human rights in American hands to become clearer. It is not just, as New York Times columnist Frank Rich recently wrote, that "our government methodically authorized torture and lied about it." No less important, though hardly commented upon, is this fact: the United States succumbed to the exact patterns of abusive state action that the human rights movement was created to outlaw forever. What the Bush administration pursued, after all, was a policy of state-sponsored, legally codified dehumanization designed to torture (and in some cases destroy) individuals, which was to be systematically and bureaucratically implemented in the name of the greater good of the country, however defined.

The documents that the Obama administration and Congress have just released make this conclusion impossible to avoid. These include four memos written by the Office of Legal Council between 2002 and 2005, the Senate Armed Services Committee Report on Interrogation Practices, and the Senate Select Committee Narrative on the Chronology of the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) Memos. Added to this must be the publication by Mark Danner in the New York Review of Books of a previously secret International Committee of the Red Cross report on abuse at Guantanamo Bay.

As a group, these documents reveal that the pattern of systematic abuse at the hands of the American government during George W. Bush's Global War on Terror has been a textbook case of human rights violations designed and implemented at the highest levels of government. First, there was the assault on the English language, a necessary initial step in the process of changing the national mindset of a country about to become a first-class human-rights abuser. As Susan Sontag once wrote in a piece about the Bush administration and its pretzeling of language, "Words alter, words add, words subtract."

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PetrusMonsFormicarum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 06:47 PM
Response to Original message
1. Prosecuted or not,
I believe that these people will bear the burdens of their regime's corruption, malice, and moral inadequacy, and that it will hound them to the end of their days. But outing their behavior, no matter how hard it may be to read, let alone comprehend, is the is the best way to expose their lies. Once they are in the virtual stockade, they will be the target of the world's ire.

I'll be passing out the rotten vegetables, so bring your throwing arm!
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Psychic Consortium Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 07:45 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. You are correct.
The truth will come out.
Most of it.

And then they will be entangled in litigation as long as they live.
It will not be fun or cheap.
No more power or prestige.
It is over for them and they know it.

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Redbear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 06:47 PM
Response to Original message
2. It's only over if we allow it to be.
The economy, the environment, health care, education .. all priorities
but none is more important than accountability for the monstrous programs the Bush admin constructed.
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Juche Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 06:49 PM
Response to Original message
3. Or it could renew our commitment to human rights
When a wealthy OECD democracy signs several domestic and international laws prohibiting torture, then tortures, then its politicians try to cover it up it can lead to the end of the HR movement, but it can also cause so much anger that that rage is channeled into rebuilding the human rights movement.

We have everything that is supposed to protect us (high per capita wealth, independent branches of government, elections, a media) and it has by and large failed so far on this issue. If anything, it might lead the world to realize that we can't be complacent about the issue and work even harder.

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Psychic Consortium Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 07:43 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. You are correct. This is what will happen. nt
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Turbineguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 06:55 PM
Response to Original message
4. Found this in 3 CFR
Proclamations Proc. 8102
Proclamation 8101 of January 18, 2007
National Sanctity of Human Life Day, 2007
By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation
America was founded on the principle that we are all endowed by our Creator
with the right to life and that every individual has dignity and worth.
National Sanctity of Human Life Day helps foster a culture of life and reinforces
our commitment to building a compassionate society that respects
the value of every human being.
Among the most basic duties of Government is to defend the unalienable
right to life, and my Administration is committed to protecting our societys
most vulnerable members. We are vigorously promoting parental notification
laws, adoption, abstinence education, crisis pregnancy programs,
and the vital work of faith-based groups. Through the Born-Alive Infants
Protection Act of 2002, the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, and
the Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004, we are helping to make our
country a more hopeful place.
One of our societys challenges today is to harness the power of science
to ease human suffering without sanctioning practices that violate the dignity
of human life. With the right policies, we can continue to achieve scientific
progress while living up to our ethical and moral responsibilities.
National Sanctity of Human Life Day serves as a reminder that we must
value human life in all forms, not just those considered healthy, wanted,
or convenient. Together, we can work toward a day when the dignity and
humanity of every person is respected.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States
of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and
laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Sunday, January 21, 2007,
as National Sanctity of Human Life Day. I call upon all Americans to recognize
this day with appropriate ceremonies and to underscore our commitment
to respecting and protecting the life and dignity of every human
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eighteenth day
of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand seven, and of the Independence
of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-first.
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winyanstaz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:26 PM
Response to Original message
7. Its not over unless we give up
I don't know about you...but I have not yet begun to fight!!!! I don't believe in giving up a sinking ship until AFTER it goes down.
I have faith that the American people are going to get it right..might take some time..might take a lot of screaming and kicking and fighting....but the MAJORITY of the American people are good folks and will not keep bowing down.
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