Monday, May 01, 2006

Pot Calls Kettle Black: We're Suddenly Worried About Human Rights

Well, thank goodness I agreed to pay W. Potato Head a very handsome salary the other day when I promoted him; otherwise I'd feel horribly guilty about having to exploit him (every single day for the past three!)

Neither of us foresaw that I'd be working him so hard. But I'm a compassionate slave-driver. Ahem. Even if he's looking a little grumpier than usual.

Today's Mr. Potato Head goes to "the Bush Administration" for worrying that the countries from which the Guantanamo Bay detainees hail, if released, will treat the poor suspected terrorists badly, as in torture them.

So, NOW we have some concern for their human rights? Puh-leeze!

I suggest we send them to the secret CIA "spas" in Europe, just so we can be sure their safety is not compromised, & they can get their beauty rest. Free foot massages & dermabrasion treatments for all! And just to be sure they get there, charter a flight on a phony CIA airline (see "European Union Set to Kick our Asses" blog entry below).

Just as an aside, one of these countries is Saudi Arabia, with whose humanitarian policies we take such great issue that we refuse to return their citizens (why, really: because we fear the repatriates will be beaten for not being more effective terrorists?), BUT, mind you, we should STILL feel perfectly safe turning management of America's ports over to them?

I have no idea what's really going on here, but it all stinks to high heaven.

I'm just sayin.' The entire article is submitted here for your concerned perusal (click on the title bar to access it). Let me know if you can fathom the depths of the skullduggery going on. I'm tired.

According to the New York Times yesterday,

"A long-running effort by the Bush administration to send home many of the terror suspects held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, has been stymied in part because of concern among United States officials that the prisoners may not be treated humanely by their own governments, officials said.

"Administration officials have said they hope eventually to transfer or release many of the roughly 490 suspects now held at Guantánamo. As of February, military officials said, the Pentagon was ready to repatriate more than 150 of the detainees once arrangements could be made with their home countries.

"But those arrangements have been more difficult to broker than officials in Washington anticipated or have previously acknowledged, raising questions about how quickly the administration can meet its goal of scaling back detention operations at Guantánamo.

"The Pentagon has no plans to release any detainees in the immediate future," said a Defense Department spokesman, Lt. Cmdr. Jeffrey Gordon of the Navy. He said the negotiations with foreign governments "have proven to be a complex, time-consuming and difficult process."

"The military has so far sent home 267 detainees from Guantánamo after finding that they had no further intelligence value and either posed no long-term security threat or would reliably be imprisoned or monitored by their own governments. Most of those who remain are considered more dangerous militants; many also come from nations with poor human rights records and ineffective justice systems.

"But Washington's insistence on humane treatment for the detainees in their native countries comes after years in which Guantánamo has been assailed as a symbol of American abuse and hypocrisy — a fact not lost on the governments with which the United States is now negotiating.

"'It is kind of ironic that the U.S. government is placing conditions on other countries that it would not follow itself in Guantánamo or Abu Ghraib,' said a Middle Eastern diplomat from one of the countries involved in the talks. He asked not to be named to avoid criticizing the United States in the name of his government.
"According to a State Department human rights report released in March, the Saudi authorities have used 'beatings, whippings and sleep deprivation' on Saudi and foreign prisoners. The report also noted 'allegations of beatings with sticks and suspension from bars by handcuffs.'

"Mindful of such allegations, officials of the State Department's human rights bureau, among others, have insisted that any transfer deal include clear assurances that the prisoners will not be tortured and will be treated in accordance with international humanitarian law, and that those pledges can be verified, officials familiar with the discussions said."


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