HRW: US Has Forfeited Human Rights Leadersip to Europe
EU must take over human rights leadership: Report
The European Union must fill the leadership void on human rights left by the United States, which forfeited the role with its harsh treatment of terror suspects, Human Rights Watch said Thursday.
The leading rights group released its 556-page World Report 2007 on the fifth anniversary of the U.S. first sending detainees to its controversial detention centre in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
"Since the U.S. can't provide credible leadership on human rights, European countries must pick up the slack," the group's executive director, Kenneth Roth, said. "Instead, the European Union is punching well below its weight."
The voice of the U.S. "now rings hollow — an enormous loss for the human rights cause," Roth said in an essay at the start of the report.
He cited a speech last September by U.S. President George W. Bush, in which he spoke of an "alternative set of (interrogation) procedures."
"The last year dispelled any doubt that the Bush administration's use of torture and other mistreatment was a matter of policy dictated at the top rather than the aberrant misconduct of a few low-level interrogators," he wrote.
Which brings us to this tidbit: The Fifth Anniversary of the gulag at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba is just the beginning according to an announcement today by the US Department of Defense.
Guantanamo Facility Needed ‘for Foreseeable Future,’
By Kathleen T. Rhem, American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jan. 11, 2007 – The United States will need a detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for as long as the country is fighting a war on terror, the admiral in charge of operations there said today.
“I think that we’ll have a detention facility and a detention mission for the foreseeable future,” Navy Rear Adm. Harry Harris Jr., commander of Joint task Force Guantanamo Bay, said in an interview here today -- the fifth anniversary of the start of detention operations at Guantanamo.
“The president has said that he would like to see Guantanamo closed when it’s no longer necessary, and we support that, of course, and we believe in that,” Harris added. “The issue is when it’s no longer necessary. And I believe that today, as long as we’re in the fight, as long as we’re in the global war on terror, and as long as we have forces engaging the enemy in Afghanistan and in Iraq, there is a need for a facility like Guantanamo.”