So Amnesty International releases its 2005 report on worldwide human rights violations, and has this to say about the US:
Hundreds of detainees continued to be held without charge or trial at the US naval base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Thousands of people were detained during US military and security operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and routinely denied access to their families and lawyers.
Military investigations were initiated or conducted into allegations of torture and ill-treatment of detainees by US personnel in Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and into reports of deaths in custody and ill-treatment by US forces elsewhere in Iraq, and in Afghanistan and Guantánamo. Evidence came to light that the US administration had sanctioned interrogation techniques that violated the UN Convention against Torture. Pre-trial military commission hearings opened in Guantánamo but were suspended pending a US court ruling.
How do our leaders respond to these serious allegations?
“It’s absurd. It’s an absurd allegation. The United States is a country that promotes freedom around the world.”
“It seemed like to me they based some of their decisions on the word of — and the allegations — by people who were held in detention, people who hate America, people that had been trained in some instances to disassemble — that means not tell the truth. And so it was an absurd report. It just is.”
“For Amnesty International to suggest that somehow the United States is a violator of human rights, I frankly just don’t take them seriously.”
“Occasionally there are allegations of mistreatment. But if you trace those back, in nearly every case, it turns out to come from somebody who has been inside and been released … to their home country and now are peddling lies about how they were treated.”
Maybe in 2008, regardless of which party wins, we can at least get some grown-ups in the Oval Office.