Implausible Denial

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Implausible Denial

If I were Amnesty International I'd put up a mighty shield to protect myself from a lot of GOP mud coming my way.
Vice President Dick Cheney says he's offended by a human rights group's report criticizing conditions at the prison camp for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay.

The report Amnesty International released last week said prisoners at the U.S. Navy base in Cuba had been mistreated and called for the prison to be shut down. Cheney derided the London-based group in an interview set to be broadcast Monday night on CNN's "Larry King Live."

"Frankly, I was offended by it," Cheney said in the videotaped interview. "For Amnesty International to suggest that somehow the United States is a violator of human rights, I frankly just don't take them seriously."

Cheney is the latest Bush administration official to object to the report. On Sunday, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Richard Myers called the Amnesty International report "absolutely irresponsible."

Washington's defense of its detention and interrogation practices comes after weeks of international criticism and violent protests by Muslims outraged at reports - which the Pentagon says are false - that an interrogator at Guantanamo had flushed pages of the Quran down a toilet.

Cheney said detainees at Guantanamo "have been well treated, treated humanely and decently."
I guess Dick Cheney doesn't read any newspapers either. (If he bothered to actually look at AI's report he'd know that it even criticizes Canada. Yes, Canada.) Also, it's not like they're the only international humanitarian organization complaining that something is awry at Gitmo. It does appear that Cheney and friends are quite confident that this time there aren't any graphic pictures out there to contradict their denials of any abuse. After all, without the photographic evidence of Abu Ghraib I sincerely doubt they ever would have admitted that anything went wrong.

One can only hope that this turns into something like DeLay's recent "Land and Order" kerfluffle and only serves to better highlight what Amnesty International is talking about-- taking a non-partisan look at human rights abuses around the globe. It's not as though AI is the only international humanitarian organization that has taken notice that things aren't quite right at Gitmo-- they're just more forthcoming than the International Committee of the Red Cross.

However, investigating and exposing the truth about these allegations would depend upon a fair and independent American press that doesn't just swallow most of the government's swill.

I sure hope that Amnesty International watches out, because that mud might have some very rocks in it.

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