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What Else Is In Scott's Head?

The blog site for writer Scott C. Smith. Some observations on the world we live in and life in general. And maybe some politics.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Blame the Messenger

The Bush administration is hopping mad over Amnesty International's report of alleged prisoner abuse at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

“It’s absurd. It’s an absurd allegation. The United States is a country that promotes freedom around the world,” George W. Bush said at a White House news conference.

Vice President Dick Cheney was similarly offended. Interviewed by Larry King, Cheney said, "Frankly, I was offended by it...for Amnesty International to suggest that somehow the United States is a violator of human rights, I frankly just don’t take them seriously.”

And now the kicker.

Bush said, of the Amnesty International report, that interviews with detainees about alleged abuse could not be trusted since the detainees "hated America" and were trained to lie.

Which kicks the Bush propaganda machine into full operation. Detainees complaining of abuse? Ignore it! They're probably lying, anyway.

And Dick Cheney's comments...perhaps Cheney does live in some underground bunker, tucked away from reality. Sorry to break it to you, Dick, but the United States has been a violator of human rights. You do remember Abu Ghraib, right? I know, right-wingers are going to counter: "That was an isolated incident! It was just some low-level enlisted guards operating independently!"

I don't think 70 confirmed cases of prisoner abuse can be classified as "isolated," as accounted in the Taguba Report and the Church Report.

The U.S. Army's Southern Command in Miami investigated allegations of prisoner abuse at Gitmo, and uncovered numerous instances of abuse, including beatings of prisoners and sexual abuse.

Perhaps Amnesty's report will put into motion increased efforts to halt prisoner abuse. The United States is supposed to be above resorting to techniques that our good friends, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for instance, use in torturing prisoners.

More importantly, I would think our government would do it all it could to prevent prisoner abuse. We know that our enemies would not give American prisoners the same protections afforded to them by the Geneva Conventions. We need to take the high road on this one.

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